Changes in appetite, weight loss, urinary issues, dehydration and increased consumption of water are symptoms of feline diabetes, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Lethargy, sweet-smelling breath and an unkempt coat are some other signs of the disease.
A cat with diabetes may exhibit either an increase or a decrease in appetite, explains the ASPCA. Decreased appetite may be due to not feeling well, while an increase in appetite may occur because the cat's hypothalamus sends increased hunger signals, according to PetEducation.com. Since the cat's body is unable to use the calories it consumes, it breaks down body fat, which causes the cat to lose weight. The cat may have less energy, become weak, groom less often and become depressed.
Because diabetes prevents glucose from entering the cells, glucose accumulates in the blood before being filtered out and excreted by the kidneys along with additional water, as PetEducation.com explains. The cat replaces this loss of fluid by drinking large quantities of water, which leads to increased urination. The cat may urinate in inappropriate areas and may develop a urinary tract infection.
Male cats that are obese and older in age are most at risk for developing diabetes, according to the ASPCA. A veterinarian usually prescribes a low-carbohydrate diet and insulin injections to treat feline diabetes, according to WebMD.