Water Diabetes In Cats: What Do You Need To Know About It?


Diabetes insipidus or water diabetes in cats is a rare feline condition, which affects the ability of the cat’s body to conserve water, thus releasing too much of it. Further, this condition is often characterized by the increase in urination, increased drinking and thirst, and dilute urine. If you want to learn more about this feline condition, feel free to give this article a read.

Water Diabetes in Cats: What is this feline condition?

When a cat tends to experience an inability in retaining proper amounts of water, they might be suffering from diabetes insipidus. The water diabetes in cats is, as what I have said above, a rare feline condition and dissimilar to the sugar absorbing associated diabetes or the diabetes mellitus. Moreover, the water diabetes in cats may lead to possibly lethal conditions like dehydration and even death, when not treated. If you happen to suspect water diabetes in your own cat, you need to consider seeking some immediate vet care.

Furthermore, there are two types of water diabetes in felines. Both of which have distinct origins and causes. Both may relate to antidiuretic hormone or DH that is produced in the brain’s pituitary gland and is used by the cat’s kidneys in stimulating the blood vessels, which cause the kidneys in contracting and retaining water and urine.

  • Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus: The kidneys of the cat aren’t able to utilize the produced ADH properly.
  • Central Diabetes insipidus: The feline flops in producing sufficient quantity of ADH.

Causes of Water Diabetes in Felines

The cause of water diabetes in cats or diabetes insipidus actually relates to some malfunction in either the utilization or creation of the ADH hormone. The reason for this malfunction is actually different, contingent on which of the two kinds of the condition the cat is suffering from.

Causes of nephrogenic diabetes insipidus may include:     

  • Certain metabolic conditions
  • Drug side effects
  • Congenital defects

Causes of central diabetes insipidus may include:

  • Congenital pituitary gland defects
  • Injury
  • Tumor

Symptoms of Water Diabetes in Felines

The symptoms of water diabetes in cats may start off as restrained changes, yet rapidly escalate as the ability of the cat in retaining water increases.

  • Diluted urine. A deprivation of the color or odor in the urine is commonly a sign of dilution.
  • Increased urination. Clumping the litter might be able in helping you define if the cat is really urinating more frequently or producing much larger amounts than the normal.
  • Increased water intake and thirst. You need to closely monitor the water supply of the cat, as well frequently change it, in order to track its intake.
  • Dehydration. Lack of appetite, as well as lethargy might be secondary symptoms of the dehydration.

Prognosis of Water Diabetes in Felines

To be able to diagnose and cure water diabetes in cats, the vet may start by performing a complete physical examination of the cat. It’s vital to supply the vet with an estimated time frames on when the increase in water elimination and consumption started. As well as whatever history of injury or trauma to the cat. Furthermore, the vet may also attempt to exclude some other potential conditions like liver pyometra in female cats, disease, renal failure, as well as cancer. In addition, in case a vet suspects a growth or tumor in the cat’s pituitary gland or brain, they might order some images through MRI or x-ray, to diagnose the primary cause accurately.

Moreover, the veterinarian might also perform water deprivation examination to determine whether the cat is properly producing and / or using an ADH. With this exam, water is being withheld from the cat while it’s safely checked at the vet’s office. Additionally, the levels of hydration in the cat will be measured to see if the cat is adequately responding to the ADH production, which should go along with the water deprivation. Furthermore, the vet might also order blood work throughout this test that may include exams, which may show whether proper levels of ADH are produced and may allow the vet to distinguish between the water insipidus’ two types.

Treatment for Water Diabetes in Cats

The cat might need to be hospitalized, primarily at least. This is for a modified water deficiency test. Furthermore, the ADH test may often be done as an outpatient process. In addition, in case the cause is already found to be neurogenic DI, the issue might be treated using vasopressin injections. Additionally, the diagnosis depends mainly on the austerity of the trauma, or in some other instances, on the austerity of the kidney disease.

Furthermore, if the treatment with medications might just irritate the already frazzled kidneys or might have some other austere secondary effects, the vet might advise you managing the issue via increased intake of water for the cat. Moreover, this might be done via altering the cat’s diet to an especially recommended, high moisture diet or via a regular water supplementation at the vet’s office. This route may actually be delicate, though, as you need to ensure the cat is getting enough amount of fluids.


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