Cushing’s Disease in Cats with Diabetes


Cushing’s Disease, also known as Hyperadrenocorticism, is an endocrine disorder caused by the overproduction of cortisol in cats. This is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on cats’ health. It is a common disease in cats with diabetes, as the stress of having diabetes can cause the body to produce too much cortisol. Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease can include increased thirst and urination, an increase in appetite, weight gain, muscle weakness, panting, and hair loss. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health complications such as diabetes mellitus, renal issues, and hepatic lipidosis. Early diagnosis and treatment is important to ensure the health and well-being of cats with Cushing’s Disease.


Cushing’s Disease in cats with diabetes is an often overlooked and underdiagnosed condition that can have serious consequences if left untreated. The most common symptom of Cushing’s Disease in cats with diabetes is an increase in thirst and urination. Other physical symptoms include a pot-bellied appearance, thinning of the hair coat, and thinning of the skin. In some cases, cats may also experience an increased appetite and weight gain. Behavioral changes may also occur, including increased irritability and restlessness. If left untreated, Cushing’s Disease in cats with diabetes can cause severe dehydration, organ failure, and even death. It is important to monitor your cat’s symptoms and seek medical attention if they persist or worsen. Early detection and treatment of Cushing’s Disease can lead to a better prognosis and improved quality of life for your cat.


Cushing’s Disease in cats with diabetes requires a certain plan for diagnosis. To determine whether your cat has this condition, a veterinarian will first take the cat’s medical history and perform a physical exam. Then, the following ancillary tests may be implemented for accurate diagnosis:

  1. Complete blood count (CBC)
  2. Urinalysis to check for protein in the urine
  3. Serum biochemistry panel
  4. thyroid panel and adrenocortical assays
  5. Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) tests
  6. Ultrasound with fine needle aspirate

Your veterinarian may also recommend additional tests as deemed necessary. It is important to note that the diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease in cats with diabetes can be difficult and often requires repeated tests to obtain an accurate diagnosis.


Cushing’s disease in cats with diabetes can be difficult to manage and treat, but it is manageable with the right care. The first step in treating Cushing’s is to regulate the cat’s blood sugar. Diet and lifestyle changes, such as a reduced-calorie diet, may be necessary. In addition, medications, either in pill form or as an injection, may be prescribed to treat the underlying diabetes and to keep the cat’s blood sugar from becoming too high. Once the diabetes is under control, there are several treatments available for managing Cushing’s. These include dietary changes and the use of medications, such as trilostane, which can help manage Cushing’s symptoms. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary. If a tumor is discovered, it may need to be surgically removed. A regular check-up with a veterinarian is important to monitor the cat’s condition and, if necessary, adjust medication dosages. With proper care and treatment, cats with Cushing’s disease and diabetes can live happy, healthy lives.


Cushing’s Disease in cats with diabetes can be particularly dangerous, as it increases the risk of developing other health complications. One of the most serious is the increased risk of developing an infection, as the immune system is weakened. Diabetes can also damage the kidneys and heart, and can cause nerve damage, leading to abnormal sensations in the legs or hindquarters. Eye problems are also common, such as cataracts or glaucoma. Many cats with Cushing’s and diabetes will experience weight gain due to their lack of activity and the effect of the hormones on the cat’s metabolism. This further increases the risk of further complications, such as arthritis and joint pain. It is important to closely monitor your cat’s condition, and to take them to the vet for regular checkups, to ensure any developing complications are identified and dealt with quickly.

Precautionary Measures

Preventing Cushing’s Disease in cats with diabetes requires pet owners to be vigilant and proactive when caring for their cats. Proper nutrition, including a balanced diet, is essential. Regular veterinarian checkups are also important as they can diagnose any problems early. Exercise is also key as inactivity can put cats at higher risk. In addition to diet, exercise, and regular checkups, owners should also be aware of any changes in their cats’ behavior, including loss of appetite, increased thirst, and increased urination. These can be signs of Cushing’s Disease. If any of these changes occur, contact a veterinarian immediately for further evaluation. Finally, in order to ensure optimal health and reduce the risk of this disease, pet owners should ensure that their cats are up-to-date on their vaccinations and other necessary preventative health care treatments.


In conclusion, Cushing’s disease in cats with diabetes is a serious issue that can cause a number of medical problems and can even be life-threatening. It is important to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms that may be present in cats with diabetes and to receive proper treatment to help manage the disease and its consequent complications. While there currently is no cure for Cushing’s disease in cats with diabetes, it is possible to manage the condition and reduce symptoms through lifestyle changes and medical interventions. With proper care and monitoring, cats with diabetes and Cushing’s disease can live a happy, healthy life.

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