Diabetes is not a very rare disease in cats. It can have many causes, but they all lead to the same thing - incapacity of the body to metabolize glucose and elevated levels of blood sugar. Regardless the cause, the feline diabetes symptoms are the same.
1. Increased thirst
2. Increased appetite
3. Frequent urination
4. Weight loss
5. Weakness in legs (especially hind legs)
6. Urinary infections
Urinary infections are diabetes symptoms that are most likely to occur in cats than in other animals. The leg weakness is also specific to feline diabetes and it is caused by a degradation of the nerves. The nervous system become thus incapable of sending the correct signals to the legs and the cat starts having an uncommon posture or starts moving insecurely.
The frequent urination, which is also the cause for increased thirst, happen because kidneys try to deal with the glucose that is not metabolized and they produce more urine in an attempt to flush the glucose away. Because kidneys are the organs that struggle the most to eliminate excessive sugar, they are also the first ones that are going to fail. The increased level of blood sugar also damages the blood vessels, including the ones on the retina. This leads to a condition known as diabetic retinopathy.
Feline diabetes symptoms might also include sudden cataract formation, although this is a condition that mostly affects dogs. On the other hand, increased appetite and weight loss are symptoms that affect all diabetic bodies, whether they are human or animal. This symptom is generated by the fact that cells are being deprived by the energy they were normally receiving after sugar was metabolized. The body demands more food in order to substitute missing energy, but weight loss occurs because storages of fat and protein in the body are also being used for fueling body cells.
If the symptoms of feline diabetes are untreated for a longer period of time, the body starts using fat for having enough energy for daily activities. When this happens, the cat becomes ketotic and this might lead to other feline diabetes symptoms, associated with ketosis. These include vomiting, depression, generalized weakness, rapid breathing and a particular odor of acetone when breathing. Ketosis requires immediate attention from a veterinary because it can have serious consequences. Receiving medical assistance from the first feline diabetes symptoms minimizes the damage diabetes does on the cat's body.