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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Why Diabetes Causes Excessive Thirst Hunger In Cats

Why Diabetes Causes Excessive Thirst, Hunger in Cats

PetSmart Banfield, The Pet Hospital®

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Diabetes mellitus is a serious medical condition where your pet cannot control her blood sugar levels due to problems with insulin production or function. It has many symptoms, but the most common that concerns Pet Parents are excessive urination, excessive thirst and eating while losing weight.

Glucose is the main energy source that body cells need to operate efficiently. Your cat’s digestive system breaks food down into various parts, including glucose, which then enters the bloodstream.

Diabetes mellitus is a serious medical condition where your pet cannot control her blood sugar levels due to problems with insulin production or function. It has many symptoms, but the most common that concerns Pet Parents are excessive urination, excessive thirst and eating while losing weight.

Glucose is the main energy source that body cells need to operate efficiently. Your cat’s digestive system breaks food down into various parts, including glucose, which then enters the bloodstream.

Insulin, which is made by the pancreas, is a hormone that acts as the “key” for cells to absorb glucose from the blood stream. When insulin levels are too low or when the body is resistant to insulin, cell “doors” remain closed and glucose stays in the blood stream where cells cannot utilize it.

Your cat’s cells tell the body they are starving, even though there may be high levels of unused glucose in the bloodstream. This is why many diabetic cats are ravenous, and yet continue to lose weight. Because of the vast amounts of glucose in the body, the cat urinates more often and drinks excessively to make up for the increased water loss. Untreated, the cells will begin to utilize other, less desirable fuel sources since glucose is not available. Without treatment, severe problems, such as liver and kidney damage, and even death, can occur.

The good news is that diabetes is a treatable condition. Diabetes can be permanent, temporary, stable or variable and does require life long attention.

For more information on diabetes and how to treat it, consult your veterinarian or Banfield doctor.

 

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