Overweight cats are more likely to develop diabetes, as are older cats (usually more than 7 years old). Males cats are more likely than females to get diabetes. Typical symptoms include excessive thirst, frequent urination, and weight loss. Owners sometimes first notice that something is wrong when the cat begins urinating outside of its litterbox.
At first, your veterinarian may have to run several tests to determine whether your cat is diabetic. If it's determined that your cat has diabetes, a treatment plan is created, which includes figuring out the proper insulin dosage. This initial testing and adjustment period can be expensive. After that, costs usually decrease and stabilize once your cat responds to treatment. Insulin and needles are the biggest cost, plus occasional check-ups and bloodwork to make sure your cat is still responding properly at its current insulin dosage.
It's extremely important to follow your vet's directions and know the signs of hypoglycemia in cats. Due to insulin injections, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a possibility, especially if more than one person administers insulin to the cat, or if the cat tends to have erratic eating patterns (sometimes eats more, sometimes less, sometimes not at all; or occasionally vomits up food). Good management of your cat's diabetes leads to a good feline diabetes prognosis: although diabetes is not curable, it's also not fatal nor will it worsen if it's properly managed. Cats who are otherwise healthy can live many more happy years.