Feline diabetes of Non-Pancreatic Origin

Obese cats

The sensitivity of tissue receptors to insulin is decreased by obesity. This increases the demand for insulin resulting in hyperglycaemia along with high plasma insulin concentrations. This may lead to exhaustion of the islets of Langerhans and diabetes mellitus.

Overproduction of counteracting hormones and insulin resistance

  • The administration of progestogens, e.g. to treat skin disease or spraying, may induce diabetes mellitus.
  • Growth hormone excess of pituitary origin – pituitary tumours producing growth hormone have been diagnosed in cats. These cats usually have typical signs of acromegaly (growth hormone excess).
  • Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s disease) or the administration of glucocorticoids stimulates gluconeogenesis. This in turn increases blood glucose concentration which in turn increases insulin secretion. This can lead to exhaustion of the islets of Langerhans. Diabetes mellitus appears to be a common feature of Cushing’s disease in cats.
  • In Hyperthyroidism, increased insulin catabolism due to high thyroid hormone levels may increase the demand for insulin in pre–existing diabetics.
Feline diabetes due to Non-Pancreatic Origin