Can feline diabetes be reversed?

Yes, in my opinion it can, but I am not a veterinarian. However, I don’t think I need to be a veterinarian to answer the question. Studies on humans have found clear evidence that type 2 diabetes can be reversed and diabetic be free of the disease if they lose weight. And sometimes it need not be that much weight. They see quick benefits with a stone or two of weight loss.

Cure for type 2 feline diabetes
Cure for type 2 feline diabetes. Image: MikeB.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I am referring to type 2 diabetes which has been proved to be caused in many cases by obesity. Reverse the obesity and you’ll reverse the type 2 diabetes. Type 1 cannot be cured and is an inherited disease I believe or genetic factors predispose people to developing it.

So the first steps in reversing type 2 diabetes in cats is to manage weight loss through a careful diet. Weight loss should not be too fast as it can lead to fatty liver disease. I have a page on this – click here.

Secondly there are many stories of overweight cats on dry cat food contracting type 2 diabetes and going into remission when they are put on an exclusively wet food diet of high quality. Sometimes that is all it takes. Remember dry foods are unnaturally high in carbohydrates (35%). Cats are flooded with carbs. It is unnatural for them. Their pancreas can’t cope.

So two steps: weight loss and wet food. You can add some exercise. No human treats. Make it a planned programme. Measure weight and control the process carefully. You may see results. I am not saying that all cats with type diabetes will be ‘cured’ using these simple steps but some will.

My research indicates a pessimism on this topic on the internet. The general mood music is that a cat is stuck with diabetes once they have it. I disagree. It is reversible. You simply reverse the steps that caused it in the first place.

I think that it is perfectly acceptable to cross reference type 2 diabetes in humans and cats. Their physiology is similar. The causes I would argue for type 2 diabetes are often the same: obesity. Too many domestic cats are obese nowadays.

Type 2 diabetes is also called sugar diabetes or diabetes mellitus. It causes high levels of sugar in the blood because the pancreas no longer produces insulin or enough insulin to control the levels. I believe that the reason is because there are fat deposits on the pancreas which impairs its function.

When a cat is obese the fat that we see is less serious than the fat we can’t see and which coats the internal organs. High blood sugar damages nerves causing neuropathy. It also damages the small blood vessels and kidneys. It is a very potent source of damage to internal organs.

Feline type 2 diabetes has consistently increased over recent years in developed countries such as the USA and UK and it is inline with an increase in reliance on dry cat foods high in carbohydrates and more cats living idle lives inside the home full-time.

The formula for failure in this regard looks pretty straightforward. The remedy is straightforward too. At least the first steps are. If they fail the matter is more complicated. Get the basics right on diet and body weight and take it from there.

Click the picture for home treatments:

Home treatment for feline diabetes
Home treatment for feline diabetes. This is a personal story from Bob, a great guy with a big and tender heart. I admire him. The cat in the picture is just for illustration purposes only.


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