A study has indicated an association between dry food and an increased risk of diabetes in cats.

The work, by scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Department of Clinical Sciences in Uppsala, is based on an internet questionnaire sent out to owners of 1,369 diabetic cats and 5,363 control cats.

fat cat
The study found indoor confinement, being a greedy eater and being overweight were associated with an increased risk of diabetes in cats. Image: Freeimages.com/Adrian van Leen.

Multiple logistic regression

The survey contained questions related to a cat’s:

  • breed
  • age
  • sex
  • neutering status
  • body condition
  • housing
  • access to the outdoors
  • activity level
  • diet
  • eating behaviour
  • feeding routine
  • general health
  • stressful events
  • other pets in the household
  • medications
  • vaccination status

Data were analysed by multiple logistic regression. Response rate was 35% for the diabetic group and 32% for the control group.

Indoor confinement, being a greedy eater and being overweight were associated with an increased risk of diabetes. In cats assessed by owners as being normal weight, an association was found between eating predominantly dry food and an increased risk of diabetes.

Increased risk

They concluded the association found between dry food and an increased risk of diabetes in cats assessed as normal weight by owners warranted further attention.

The work, “Environmental risk factors for diabetes mellitus in cats” was published in the open access Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

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1 Comment on "Possible dry food link to feline diabetes found"

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gustav ray
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1 month 23 days ago

Interesting: It would be nice to follow up with an A1c test like the one for canines and felines from baycom diagnostics

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