Health issues are a reality for cats of all ages, as tough as it may be to acknowledge. Even your energetic, bouncy and sprightly brand-new kitten may come with built-in ailments. Take diabetes: It's especially common in senior cats, and it can affect kittens, too.
According to the Feline Advisory Bureau, diabetes is a possibility for cats of all age groups, including juvenile kittens -- those 1 year old or under. However, juvenile diabetes is uncommon. For the most part, diabetes affects elderly cats and those approaching middle age -- think 7 years old and up. Never rule out diabetes in your cat, though, no matter how young and healthy she may seem.
If you are worried that your kitten might be diabetic, pay close attention to her health and behavior. Some common signs of feline diabetes are abnormally high thirst, frequent urination, halitosis, rear body weakness, exhaustion, dehydration, dandruff, throwing up, messy coat, breathing difficulties, litter box problems, weight loss and unusual appetite changes. Upon identifying any of these potentially extremely dangerous symptoms, take your kitten to the veterinarian without hesitation.
Kittens are generally not high-risk candidates for diabetes, although it appears in rare cases. The ASPCA indicates that certain types of cats seem especially vulnerable to the chronic condition. If a cat is geriatric or obese, he may be particularly susceptible. Also, diabetes affects male cats with more prevalence than females, especially if they have been neutered.
The root cause of diabetes in both kittens and adult cats is uncertain. The ASPCA states that the disorder could potentially be caused by a variety of factors, including medication, genetics and issues within the pancreas. The Feline Advisory Bureau reports that cats of Burmese breeding get diabetes with especially high frequency.
Ignoring symptoms of your kitten's diabetes could kill her. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine reports a variety of harmful consequences that may result from not providing diabetic treatment to felines, including bacterial infection, liver disease and diabetic neuropathy. Kittens are especially delicate and fragile creatures, so take your pet's health seriously and head down to the veterinarian's office.