Feline Diabetes: Signs and Treatment

What is Feline Diabetes?

Feline diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body cannot properly produce or respond to insulin. Type 1 diabetes results in high levels of glucose due to the lack of insulin, and type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot respond properly to insulin. Cats generally suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Cats at Risk

  • Overweight cats
  • Senior cats
  • Male cats
  • Neutered cats
  • Burmese cats


  • Weight loss
  • Extreme thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Excessive urination

If your cat shows signs of increased thirst or hunger while experiencing significant weight loss, you should consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible to determine the cause of your pet’s condition.


  • Diet and exercise
  • Normalizing blood glucose concentration through a carb-restricted diet
  • Insulin therapy/shots

Even cats with a successful treatment plan will need to be closely monitored. Some cats may go into remission and no longer require insulin shots, but this usually occurs in overweight cats that reach a healthier weight. There is no cure for feline diabetes and even those who do go into “remission” may require more treatment in the future.

The Cost

Most cat owners can expect to spend between $20-$30 per month on insulin, syringes, and other diabetic supplies. Although that may not seem terribly expensive when compared to other conditions or surgeries pets may require, these costs can really add up. 4Paws pet insurance can help alleviate some of these costs*, so you can focus on what really matters – caring for your cat!

* Please note that 4Paws does not cover pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition is an “illness, disease, injury, or change to your pet’s health that first occurs or shows symptoms before coverage is effective or during a waiting period. This includes conditions that are related to, secondary, or resultant from a pre-existing condition.” In basic terms, if your pet has or had any condition, diagnosed or not, before enrollment or during the policy waiting periods it is a pre-existing condition.