Diabetes Symptoms in Cats

Diabetes is a relatively common health concern in house cats.
i George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If you notice that your typically cheerful and lively pet is suddenly full of malaise, it could be related to feline diabetes, one of the most common health issues in the cat world. The more you know about the ailment, the easier it may be for you to spot.


Cats often aren't big fans of drinking water, despite the fact that it is important for them. If you notice out of nowhere that your sweet kitty is lapping up H20 like there's no tomorrow, it may be an indication of diabetes. As a result of the heightened thirst and increased drinking, she will probably be urinating a lot more, unsurprisingly. This is probably one of the most telling symptoms of the chronic high-glucose ailment.


Drastic changes in appetite are also frequently related to feline diabetes. Let's face it—most cats love mealtime! If all of a sudden your cat displays an unusual lack of interest in her food bowl, you know something is up. That something very well could be diabetes. In some instances, however, diabetes could also trigger a bigger appetite in cats. If your usually finicky eater suddenly has the appetite of a horse, it could also be a diabetes symptom. Pay attention to any and all appetite cues.


One easily identifiable symptom of cat diabetes is unpleasant breath. Put your nose close up to your kitty's mouth. If her breath is unusually foul-smelling, diabetes may be the cause.


If your usually sturdy and robust pet seems abnormally weak and frail, investigate the possibility of diabetes. With feline diabetes, the feelings of weakness are especially prominent in the cat's back legs. The leg weakness is a direct result of nerve cells that are prone to elevated blood sugar levels.

Respiratory Issues

Respiratory issues are also sometimes linked with feline diabetes. If your poor kitty is suffering with shortness of breath, get veterinary attention for her immediately. Not only does the symptom match up with diabetes, it also could be related to many other very dangerous health conditions. When it comes to your cat's health and well-being, waste no time!


If your sweet kitty seems to be throwing up with frequency, even if she hasn't eaten too much or eaten anything wrong, diabetes may just be the reason. Like any unusual health symptom, excessive vomiting—or any vomiting—calls for emergency veterinary consultation.

Veterinary Attention

If you suspect for any reason that your pet has diabetes, even if just based on one symptom, schedule a veterinary appointment immediately for her. Diabetes is treatable, and ignored diabetic symptoms can sometimes be fatal, so don't take any chances.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

the nest