On December 1, 2006 after a 5 year, 4 month battle with diabetes, we lost our beloved pet Doodles. He was over 14 and 1/2 years old, and was an indoor only cat. I had started this story a month ago with the intention of putting it online to help other cat owners. After he passed away, I almost decided not to post it, but thought that I should so others could learn from him. There is a picture of him below.
He was diagnosed with diabetes in August of 2001 when he was 9. At the time he was diagnosed, he weighed a little over 18 pounds, and the average life expectancy for diabetic felines was 2 years after they were diagnosed. I’m not sure what that number is now. Until that time I never knew cats could get diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus (sometimes called sugar diabetes) is actually pretty common in cats and dogs. Diabetes is not caused by eating too much sugar. One common cause is being over weight. When Doodles developed his diabetes, he weighed almost 18 and a half pounds.
Diabetes occurs when the pancreas can’t produce enough insulin (a hormone), which is needed to absorb basic food substances (such as glucose or sugar) into body cells or when the cells can’t properly use the insulin. Insulin is used by the body to convert glucose into energy. When insulin is not being produced or is ineffective, the body will start to break down fat and protein to use as alternative energy. This will cause the animal to eat more but still lose weight.