Diagnosing Feline Diabetes

Gloria B. contacted us with an unusual question about her cat, Murphy.  Gloria writes:

He is almost 16 yrs. old. He pees like a race horse. Is that a sign of any problems?

Gloria, it depends.  If you're feeding Murphy wet food or a special urinary tract health food, you should expect him to urinate more.  If you're feeding him dry food and he's suddenly peeing (and drinking) a lot more than usual, he may have feline diabetes.  It's fairly common among older cats, especially those who've lived on high-carbohydrate diets for most of their lives.  

You should have him checked out by your veterinarian to be sure.  They'll need to perform a basic urinalysis and a complete blood count, and some may suggest a serum biochemistry profile.   Rest assured, your vet isn't trying to score a boat payment from recommending so many tests.  If the initial urinalysis goes well, they may not recommend the other two.  Just be prepared.

If Murphy is indeed diabetic, your doctor will prescribe a course of treatment based on the severity of the disease.  These days, it's easily treated.  Of course, that is if Murphy actually has the disease.  We certainly hope that's not the case, but the only way to know for sure is a vet visit.

As an aside, we recommend an all wet food diet for all pet cats.  See this post for more on the reasons why.