Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Diabetes in cats

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Diabetes mellitus in cats is much the same as type 2 diabetes in humans - overweight, sedentary individuals are most at risk.

Cleo came to see us for her annual check a few months ago and we were concerned to find that she had shed nearly a kilo since we had last met. That's 10% of her bodyweight! Her carers told us that her appetite was greater than ever and they'd noticed that she was up at the sink looking for water much more often. Burmese are more at risk for diabetes than other breeds so we were immediately suspicious that Cleo had developed diabetes.

Because we were anxious to confirm our suspicions and to rule out other diseases we ran her blood tests in our lab at Canberra Cat Vet. While her kidneys, liver, blood count and electrolytes were normal her blood glucose was high. She also had a urinary tract infection, which is very common in cats with diabetes because bacteria thrive in the sugary urine.

Cleo started on insulin that night. Although her carers had never given injections before they were soon experts. They waited until she was eating her special high protein diet and slipped the tiny needle under her skin. Cleo didn't bat an eyelid.

Once they were all in the routine and the urinary infection had cleared we retested her blood glucose levels and adjusted the dose. If diabetes in cats is caught early and the diet adjusted many go into remission. The remission is more durable if the cat is back to a healthy lean weight.

Fat kills

Thursday, August 10, 2017


 Fat itself is a serious health threat, particularly in small animals like our beloved cats. We don't do our cats - or our wallets - any favours by letting the cats in our lives accumulate fat.

Killer Chronic Inflammation - fat cells produce toxic compounds (adipokines) which cause chronic inflammation and damage all over the body

Decreased Life Expectancy - pets kept at a lean body mass live an average of 2 years longer and had fewer medical problems. Fat cats suffer more health issues and live shorter lives

Osteoarthritis - overloaded joints break down cartilage leading to arthritis but it also appears the adipokines produced by fat tissue compound the problem.

Diabetes - obesity leads to diabetes and insulin resistance in many cats, especially Burmese cats

Kidney Disease - excess weight in cats leads to high blood pressure, which can directly affect the kidney.

Respiratory Disease - trying to breath with excess fat along the chest wall and abdomen is like having a heavy bag pushing down on your chest. It alters the normal breathing pattern and reduces overall activity.

Cancer - Obesity causes increased cancer rates in mice and men. Not enough studies have been done on cats to confirm the linkage in cats - but it's only a matter of time.

Weight control

Tuesday, July 04, 2017


Sadly, over half of our patients are overweight and many of these are clinically obese. As little as an extra 1% of intake over caloric requirements can result in 25% excess bodyweight by middle age.

Overweight cats risk developing health issues like diabetes, arthritis, breathing difficulties, bladder problems, liver disease, decreased exercise and heat tolerance, and an overall compromised quality of life.

Obesity is caused by overeating and lack of    exercise. Indoor cats eat more and exercise less, often through boredom and lack of opportunities to play and hunt. It’s up to their carers to give them an appropriate amount of food, a good quality diet, and mental stimulation.

So how can we help our overweight cats to lose weight?

¨ Overweight cats lose weight most reliably on a high protein, low fat diet like Hill’s Metabolic diet

¨ Make sure everyone in the household knows the new feeding regime so that meals are not fed twice and treats are rationed

¨ Weigh the kibble allowance. An extra piece or two every day adds up

¨ Don’t allow free access to kibble

¨ Feed more wet food. A can Hill’s Metabolic is available and palatable

¨ Avoid fatty treats like cheese, liverwurst or pate. Hill’s Metabolic treats help control hunger by keeping you cat feeling full and satisfied between meals

¨ Make sure you overweight cat is not taking your other cats’ food or raiding the neighbours’ dog and cat food bowls!

It is vital to increase your cat’s opportunities to exercise. Cat towers, high shelves, window sills and a variety of toys on rotation out of the cupboard are a good start. Tunnels and hideouts made from cardboard boxes are cheap and  amusing. You can join in the fun with a fishing rod type toy or a length of ribbon or string, ping pong balls, scrunched up foil, or a laser light.

If possible install an outdoor cat enclosure so indoor lounge lizards can have a run and a stretch in the sun,

Food puzzle toys are ideal for plump pussy cats. They slow down food consumption, increase movement and mentally stimulate your cat.

Please book an appointment with our weight control nurses. They will help your cat achieve safe and effective weight loss. Too rapid weight loss in fat cats may cause liver damage. 




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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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