By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Diabetes mellitus or sugar diabetes is a relatively common disorder in cats – and sometimes even dogs – but is found more often in cats. It’s a disease in which the cat is unable to produce or to properly use the insulin inside the body.

Symptoms to watch for would be increased thirst, increased appetite or weight loss, excessive urination, an unhealthy appearance of the coat, lethargic behavior and depression. Also watch for signs of diabetic neuropathy, a diabetes-related disorder affecting the hind legs, causing the legs to grow weaker and also affecting the cat’s ability to jump.

Once diagnosed, treatment should follow immediately. Feline diabetes can be treated effectively and in some cases even lead to remission, but if left untreated, the disease can be life threatening.

Obesity can be a major factor. Along with medication, altering your cat’s diet is crucial. Proper diet, medication and a stress free lifestyle are essential to your diabetic cat. In this way, your cat can live a long healthy and happy life.

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