Your Cat and Diabetes: Everything You Need to Know
Did you know that your cat can get diabetes? Though hereditary diabetes (i.e. being born diabetic) is extremely rare in cats, they can develop a type of diabetes during their life time. This is often described as being akin to Type II diabetes in humans. And, just as with humans, type II diabetes in cats can be caused by a range of factors, including diet and life style.
Can I protect my cat from diabetes?
Fortunately, the answer is usually yes: you can greatly reduce your cat’s chance of getting diabetes by ensuring that they do not become overweight. It is a simple matter of making sure that they have a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Do not overdo it on the treats, and if in doubt about how much your kitty should be eating make sure to consult with your veterinarian.
Diabetes is significantly more common in cats that are overweight (it is also more common in overweight cats). Leading a sedentary life style is another key cause of feline diabetes. So, as well as managing your fluffy friend’s food intake (for instance by carefully weighing out their daily food amounts for each meal rather than tossing a random amount into their bowl), you can also do them a great favor by ensuring that they get plenty of exercise.
Having trouble getting your cat to exercise? Invest in some fun toys for them to chase – you do not need to spend a lot of money. A ball with a little cat nip will do, or even the light of a laser pen (which they can chase as you whizz it around the room). They will be running round in no time!
What is my cat gets diabetes?
The first thing is: do not worry. There are a number of ways of treating and managing feline diabetes simply and effectively. Your cat can live a totally normal life with diabetes and enjoy every day that they spend with you. First things first, though, it is good to know the signs of diabetes in cats.
What are the main symptoms of feline diabetes?
There are several symptoms to look out for, and your cat may not display all of them at once. If you notice any of the below, make sure to head straight to the veterinary practice, so you can get a diagnosis of what is going on:
Urinating more frequently than usual.
Drinking more than usual. This symptom is highly linked to the first listed symptom (precisely because they are urinating more frequently, cats with diabetes often feel more thirsty)
Weight loss. Though diabetes often (but not always) starts to develop in cats that are overweight, these cats often also start to lose weight noticeably once diabetes has developed.
Eating more than usual. An increased appetite is another warning sign of diabetes. This symptom is not always present in diabetic cats, though.
Are there any other symptoms?
Yes, there are. Other symptoms of diabetes include:
A poor quality coat – one that loses its shine, softness and strength.
Weak legs, especially weak back legs.
Greater vulnerability to bladder infections (such as cystitis).
An enlarged liver. This is something your vet will often be able to feel with their hands.
Your vet will usually test for diabetes by performing a blood test and or a test on a urine sample.
How can the diabetes be managed?
The most important thing that you can do yourself at home is to keep your cat at a healthy weight. You can do this by giving them a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Your vet will be able to give you advice on how much to feed your cat, and which types of food are best for their condition.
In addition, your vet may well opt to control your kitty’s diabetes with medications. As very often feline diabetes is a hormonal issue, these drugs will target the pancreas where hormones are secreted.
So, what is the bottom line?
Managing your cat’s weight and ensuring that they get lots of exercise is always a good idea. Though by doing so, you will reduce your kitty’s chance of developing diabetes, you cannot completely eliminate it. Sometimes, it’s just the luck of the draw, and some cats (for instance, Burmese cats) are thought to be genetically more likely to develop diabetes. So, if you do wind up with a diabetic cat, don’t beat yourself up about it!
Remember, feline diabetes is a totally manageable condition. Keep a look out for the warning signs and catch it early – that way, it will be easier to manage.
Do you have any experience with diabetes in cats?
Download our 10 fun exercises you can do with your cat.
Meow for now… Kristian
10 Reasons Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs
This question is asked so many times, and for many people it is a crucial test of someone’s personality. In fact, this question about whether you prefer cats or dogs is often included on dating sites for that very reasons. Now, of course, there are pros and cons to either side of the argument, and it is also totally possible to be both a cat person and a dog person. However, today we are going to argue for the ‘cat side’ of the matter! So, without further ado, here are 10 reasons why cats are better than dogs.
1. Cats are cleverer. Though they may have quite small brains, cats still have nearly twice as many neurons in their brains as dogs do. In fact, studies have shown that cats can understand every word that their owners speak: they just do not deign to reply.
2. Cats are less expensive to keep than dogs. Adding up vet bills, toys and so on shows that if you are on a budget, a cat is a better pet to have than a dog.
3. Keeping a cat is better for the environment. Looking at their food, medicine and other needs demonstrates that cats have a smaller carbon footprint than dogs do.
4. Cats groom themselves. Well, most cats do. There is no need to brush or bathe them: they are constantly pampering themselves! So low maintenance!
5. Cats do not need to be walked. Sleeping for over 10 hours per day really takes it out of you! Whilst cats are generally happy just to chill out for most of the day, a dog requires a whole lot more effort and exercise to look after.
6. Cats are more sensitive. Their senses of smell and eyesight are better than dogs’. On average, anyway. And, they are much better than ours. To give an example, cats can see in light levels that are six times lower than the levels of light that humans can cope with.
7. You do not need a large house or backyard to keep a cat. A cat can be perfectly happy in a small apartment, as long as it has lots of toys, love and affection. A dog, on the other hand, cannot stay cooped up in a small place like this. So cats are the ideal pet for people who do not have much space to call their own.
8. Cats cheer you up! Cats have a therapeutic quality: you do not need a scientific study to tell you that stroking a purring cat can life your mood, calm you down, and generally de stress your mind.
9. Cats have a complex language, which they use to communicate with us – if only we made the effort to understand them! A recent study conducted in North America showed that cats use around 24 different vocalizations to express different thoughts and requests. So pay attention the next time that your cat is speaking to you!
10. Cats purr. There’s something magical about that sound, wouldn’t you agree? Not least because it tells you that your feline friend is happy.
Are there any other reasons we have missed?
Meow for now… Kristian
Sunday Selfie: Photography 101
This is a special post which Fat Tony (foster kitten extraordinaire) has decided to share his Sunday Selfie tips.
When you are wanting to take a selfie you need to know what your best angle is. For these kittens… clearly, any angle is their best angle and they know it!
This Sunday we were having lots of fun running around and playing and had so much extra energy to get out. Human dad decided to set up a camera to capture some of our play time on video and you know what? We just love the camera… Snoopy thinks I should become a meowdel. What do you think?
Did they capture my best side?
As always… we love joining The Cat on My Head for our Sunday Selfie blog hop
Meow for now… Fat Tony
Caturday Art: Black & White
Today’s Caturday Art is feeling a little uninspired. It’s certainly no Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty artwork.
I played around with the different filters trying to find a way to make this adorable photo ‘POP’. Unfortunately, the colours in the original photo weren’t right and every time I changed the photo it just looked worse and worse.
I started over about 3 times. I think that’s pretty dedicated if you ask me 🙂
In the end, I chose a simple black and white brushstroke drawing as I thought it would emphasize the wildness of the kittens fur all over the place.
What do you think?
Like always, we thank Athena Cat Goddess for hosting this blog hop 🙂
Meow for now… Kristian
What To Do If Your Cat Is Not Using The Litter Box
Teaching a cat to use the litter box is actually not too difficult, no matter what age your kitty is. It can be even easier to teach a kitten to use the litter box if there is an older cat around to lead by example. But, what happens when your cat does not use the litter box?
It can happen at any time! Perhaps your cat is just finding it really hard to learn how to use their sandbox right from the start. Or, maybe they have spent years using it absolutely perfectly when suddenly they stop. No matter what the situation, we are here to help you understand what to do if your cat is not using the litter box.
First, look at the cause.
There are several reasons why a cat might not be using the litter box. One of the main reasons is that the litter box is dirty: cats are very hygienic animals and they do not want to use a dirty bathroom! So, they may end up pooping on the floor beside their litter box instead: this may seem like ‘dirty’ behavior but in fact very often it is your cat trying their best to be clean.
Another reason could be the placement of the litter box. Cats can find it stressful if their litter box is placed somewhere where it is very noisy or where there are a lot of people tramping around. If the litter box is in a location that is not quiet and private enough, your cat may well feel reluctant to use it.
Another key reason is the type of litter you use. Have you switched the type of litter you use? Clumping litter soaks up any spills but a non-clumping variety might wet your kitty’s paws every time they use their litter tray. Have you got a scratchy harsh type of litter that they find uncomfortable to dig in (digging behavior is a strong instinct in cats, as you will no doubt have observed, they tend to dig a hole in their litter and then cover it over when they have finished going to the bathroom)?
Finally, have you considered that your cat may simply be stressed thanks to another aspect of their life? A new arrival to the home in the shape of a playful little kitten, noisy neighbors or the upheaval involved in you going on holiday or moving home can all cause a cat or kitten to ‘act out’ in the form of not using their litter box.
You may also not have the right AMOUNT of litter boxes – we have a short and easy video for you here
Now, match the solution to the cause that you found!
It really is as simple as that. let’s take things one by one:
Is your cat’s litter box dirty? Make sure to keep it clean and neat. Scoop out any poop at least once a day and throw it in the trash can outside. Completely remove all of the litter and replace it with fresh litter at least every three days: more if it looks like this is needed, or if you have several cats using the litter box at once.
At least once a fortnight, give the litter box a good wipe with some cat friendly disinfectant and a cloth (discard the cloth afterwards of course) to kill any germs. If your litter box is currently looking a little worse for wear, it may be worth getting a brand new one!
The litter in the box should be deep enough for a cat to dig in and bury any poop as this is one of the key standards of cleanliness for cats! Cats are also known to prefer litter boxes with a ‘lid’. This gives them something to balance on when they use the box and stops them from spraying litter everywhere when they scrape around in the tray.
Is your litter box in an inconvenient place for a cat? Find somewhere out of the way, quiet and undisturbed for them. Make sure there is good air circulation so that odors do not build up. In this respect a cupboard under the stairs, though quiet, may not be the best location for your cat’s litter tray. Somewhere round, or in, a corner is ideal as it gives your cat a sense of privacy. This tactic usually works a charm.
Next, check out the litter. Cats and owners tend to prefer ‘clumping’ litter, especially the hygienic, odor-containing kind. Softer litter can simply get soaking wet right through pretty quickly making it unpleasant for your cat to use their litter tray. Get litter which is soft enough to feel okay on their paws but not so soft that it gets soaked through! Choose litter that ‘clumps’ (the front of the litter package will usually tell you this) to stop wetness spreading throughout the whole litter box and to prevent odors.
Finally, minimize stress!
Usually stress-related bathroom problems are temporary ones for cats. The cat’s behaviour should go back to normal once you get rid of the source of stress. They will start using their litter box properly again. If, for instance, your cat is stressed out because you are away on holiday, they may neglect to use their litter box only to become perfectly well behaved again as soon as you return.
What to do if you catch your kitty in the act of going to the bathroom outside their litter box.
There are two key things that you can do if you catch your cat in the act! The first is simply to pick them up and place them in the litter box!. If you get there too late, don’t punish them for this and never rub their nose in their mistake.
Have you had experiences with your cat going outside the box? Share them with me here.
Meow for now… Kristian