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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Survival, remission, and quality of life in diabetic cats

Rothlin-Zachrisson, Ninni; Ohlund, Malin; Rocklinsberg, Helena; Holst, Bodil Strom


BackgroundRemission is documented in a substantial proportion of cats with diabetes. The effects of diabetes mellitus (DM) on the lives of cats and their owners should be considered when evaluating treatment success. ObjectivesTo study outcome in cats with DM and the impact DM has on the life situation of cat and owner. AnimalsDomestic and pedigree cats with a diagnosis of DM (n = 477) insured by a Swedish insurance company during 2009 to 2013. MethodsRetrospective cross-sectional study. A questionnaire was sent to 1369 owners of cats diagnosed with DM. The questions concerned the cat, treatment, owner perceptions of the disease and treatment and disease outcome. Data were analyzed using multiple linear and logistic regression, with outcomes set as survival for more than 4 weeks after diagnosis, survival time, achieving remission, remission without relapse and quality of life (QoL) for the cat. ResultsThe response rate was 35%, leaving 477 questionnaires for analysis. The remission rate among treated cats was 29% (118/405). Feeding a commercially available wet diet was associated with both remission (OR 3.16, 95% confidence interval 1.27-8.12) and remission without relapse (OR 14.8, 95% confidence interval 2.25-153.8). Remission was associated with a better QoL for the cat. Conclusions and Clinical ImportanceThe association between feeding a commercially available wet diet and remission is important and strengthens the role of diet in treatment of DM in cats. Linking remission and a better QoL for the cat emphasizes remission as a goal in disease management.


feline; outcome; owner; perceptions; treatment; wet diet

Published in

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
2023, Volume: 37, number: 1, pages: 58-69
Publisher: WILEY