Hyperglycemia in Cats


The term hyperglycemia refers to greater than normal levels of glucose in the blood. An easy carbohydrate sugar that circulates in the blood, glucose is a major source of energy for the body, of which regular levels range in between 75-120mg.

Insulin, a hormone that is produced and launched by the pancreas into the bloodstream when glucose levels rise, plays a critical role in preserving the blood sugar levels within typical limits. If insulin concentration is too low or there is absolute deficiency of insulin, levels of glucose increase sharply causing hyperglycemia.

A few of the causes for hyperglycemia might be pancreatitis, and the resulting failure to produce insulin; typically taking place hormones, specifically in female cats; diet; and infections of the body (such as teeth, or urinary tract).

Middle aged and older cats are more at risk for establishing hyperglycemia, however otherwise, no type is particularly disposed to this condition. Neutered male cats are at increased risk. Cats in basic are susceptible to high blood sugar, normally during times of stress, where glucose levels may reach 300-400mg. This is typically a temporary increase in blood sugar, and while it necessitates more observation, it might not be cause to identify chronic hyperglycemia or diabetes mellitus.

Symptoms and Types

Clinical symptoms might differ depending on the underlying disease/condition. Your cat may not be showing any serious symptoms, particularly those if the increased sugar is thought to be temporary, hormone, or stress caused hyperglycemia. Some of the more common symptoms include:

  • Bloodshot eyes (due to irritated blood vessels).
  • Tissue damage (due to oxidizing [burning] impact of the excess sugar in the tissue).
  • Obesity.
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia).
  • Cataract.
  • Increased urination (polyuria).
  • Depression.
  • Non-healing injuries; infection is increased as the excess sugar feeds fungal and bacterial intruders.
  • Severe anxiety (in cases of very high blood sugar levels).
  • Nerve damage in legs.
  • Liver enhancement.
  • Weight-loss.
  • Excessive appetite.
  • Dehydration.


Aside from high stress scenarios, damaging drug interactions (such as with heartworm medication), and intake of dietary options containing high glucose, the following are potential causes to hyperglycemia:

Low glucose consumption within body leading to high blood levels

  • Diabetes mellitus.
  • Acute pancreatitis.
  • High progesterone levels.
  • Inadequate excretion of wastes by the kidneys.

High glucose production

  • Hyperadrenocorticism.
  • Pheochromocytoma.
  • Glucagonoma.
  • Pancreatic neoplasia.

Physiological causes

  • Right after taking meal.
  • Exertion.
  • Excitement.
  • Stress.


  • Infections in the body can drive blood sugar levels high.
  • Dental infection.
  • Kidney infection.
  • Urinary tract infection.


A complete blood profile will be performed, consisting of a chemical blood profile, a total blood count, and a urinalysis. Your vet will have the blood samples evaluated immediately for blood sugar levels. In some cases the only irregular finding will be the raised blood sugar. This is specifically true in cases that are linked to temporary conditions, such as stress or hormonal agents. Unless there is some hidden disease/condition present, the blood test outcomes are typically typical.

Urinalysis may reveal higher sugar levels, pus, bacteria, and an excessive variety of ketone bodies in the urine, as seen in diabetes mellitus. Low insulin levels accompanied by high blood glucose levels are also a sign of diabetes mellitus. High lipase and amylase enzyme levels suggest inflammation in the pancreas. In many cases higher liver enzyme levels are likewise present due to fatty deposits in the liver tissue. Abdominal X-rays and ultrasound may offer crucial info concerning the underlying disease.

More particular tests may be required to identify the underlying cause. You will need to give a thorough history of your cat’s health, start of symptoms, and possible events that may have resulted in this condition, such as demanding events that may have cause the spike in blood sugar. The history you provide might give your veterinarian clues as to whether secondary symptoms are being brought on by underlying organ conditions, such as undiagnosed diseases of the pancreas (e.g., pancreatitis, amyloidosis).

If your cat has had any previous infection in the body, you must tell your vet about it, as it might still exist and triggering glucose levels to remain high.

Treatment for Hyperglycemia in Cats

As there are number of conditions that can raise blood sugar levels, the treatment depends upon correction of the underlying cause. In cases of physiological rise in blood sugar levels, stress will need to be minimized or eliminated.

It is never ever ideal to attempt reducing the blood sugar levels suddenly as it might cause hypoglycemia or lower blood sugar levels. In diabetic patients glucose level changes prevail and adjusting the insulin dose or other drugs can help solve the issue. There are some circumstances in which glucose levels are high but do not indicate a boost in insulin and can even be worsened by increased insulin doses. Your vet will assist you in determining when to adjust insulin levels.

Living and Management

In case of diabetes, the cat’s owner’s life-long dedication and compliance is required for proper management of the disease. These animals also need special diets including less concentrations of sugar. High-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fat, and high fiber diet is often advised for these patients. If your cat is discovered to be diabetic, you will have to strictly follow the treatment guidelines provided for your cat to prevent significant changes in blood sugar levels.

If insulin has been recommended, it ought to be injected at the correct time and in the right dose. Never ever change the brand name or amount of insulin dosage on your own without previous consultation with your veterinarian.



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