Did you know that cats with diabetes are more likely to develop dental problems? In fact, both gum disease and tooth loss are far more prevalent in cats that have diabetes. Dental problems can cause severe pain and loss of appetite, so if your cat has diabetes, dental care is more important than ever. 

What Is the Link Between Diabetes and Dental Disease in Cats?

Diabetes is a disease that affects the production of insulin, a pancreatic hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. It is becoming more common in cats, and although it is treatable, it can have some negative side effects. Cats with diabetes are more likely to suffer from dental disease for this reason.   

The high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes make cats more susceptible to chronic infections like gum disease. And since infections make it more difficult for a cat’s body to regulate blood sugar levels, it becomes a vicious cycle. Because diabetic cats are more likely to suffer from infections, they are also much more likely to develop dental diseases.

Caring for a Cat with Diabetes

Insulin Therapy

Fortunately, veterinarians understand feline diabetes better nowadays, and can cure it in many cases. Not all diabetic cats have permanently lost the ability to produce insulin, and they can recover. Your cat may need insulin injections for a period of time to help their pancreas rest. Eventually, it could heal and return to normal function.

Low-Carb Diet

You will also need to switch your cat over to eating a low-carbohydrate wet or dry food diet. Dry cat foods are often high in carbohydrates, and many cases of feline diabetes are caused by excess carbs in the diet. But before changing your cat’s diet, talk to a vet. They can advise you on the best food for your cat, and on how to help them make the transition to wet food. 

Portion Control

Monitor your cat’s appetite closely. You’ll need to make sure that your cat doesn’t eat too much, and that they’re getting enough exercise and play to prevent obesity. But if they’re not eating as much as they normally do, it could be due to tooth pain. When cats refuse to eat, they can get very sick, so always report a loss of appetite to your vet. 

Dental Care

No matter how healthy your cat seems, don’t forget to schedule regular checkups and dental exams. Not only do cats with diabetes need regular dental care, they will also benefit from it more than other cats do. A veterinary dentist can give your cat treatments to help prevent painful problems like periodontal disease and tooth resorption.

Dental Care for Cats in Gilbert, Arizona

Dental diseases are more common in cats than you might think. In fact, 70% of cats have some form of oral disease by the age of three. That’s why every cat needs a dental exam at least once a year. Dental x-rays will reveal any underlying problems, and a thorough teeth cleaning will remove the plaque buildup that causes gum disease and tooth decay.

If your cat needs a dental checkup or if you are seeking treatment for feline diabetes, the team at Anasazi Animal Clinic will be glad to help. Give us a call at 480-497-0505 or send us a message to schedule an appointment today.

Photo by Owen Lu on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 11/30/2023.