Incidence of diabetes mellitus in insured Swedish cats in relation to age, breed and sex

Risk factors for feline diabetes

Source: M. Ohlund, T. Fall, B. Strom Holst, H. Hansson-Hamlin, B. Bonnett, A. Egenvall
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine vol 29 no 5, September-October 2015, pp 1342-1347.

Older cats often suffer from Diabetes mellitus, usually type 2 diabetes. Diabetes has been linked to feline obesity, which is an increasing problem. This study, carried out in Sweden, has assessed risk factors for diabetes in cats using insurance records of 504,688 cats over five years from 2009 to 2013. Owners’ reimbursed claims on their policies gave information on the diseases which affected their cats.

Male cats were twice as likely to suffer from diabetes as females, except for Burmese cats, where diabetes affected both sexes equally. Some cat breeds showed a higher than average rate of diabetes. These breeds included Burmese, Russian Blue, Norwegian Forest and Abyssinian. However, the Bengal, Birman, Persian, Ragdoll and British Shorthair breeds had lower than average rates. Diagnosis for diabetes was at age 11, on average, with a peak for cases at 13 years old.