Clinical Remission of Diabetes Mellitus in Cats

In cats treatment of diabetes mellitus may result in clinical remission in 25% of cases.

Diabetic cats that go into diabetic clinical remission have remaining functional beta cells in the pancreatic islets which are able to produce sufficient insulin once persistent hyperglycaemia, which results in glucose toxicity, is treated adequately with insulin.

The time to remission is variable and likely depends on how long the hyperglycaemia, and glucose toxicity, has been present and if there are remaining functional beta cells in the pancreatic islets. In diabetic cats it may be shortly after the start of treatment (e.g. around 2 weeks) in cats that have not been diabetic for long or take up to 3-4 months or longer after starting treatment in cats that have been diabetic for longer.

Although many diabetic cats that go into clinical remission seem to remain in remission it is important to remember that remission does not necessarily mean cure. Care with diet and exercise and avoidance of aggravating factors (progesterone, progestogens, corticosteroids, obesity, etc.) are important.