Feline Hypoglycemia Symptoms

Hypoglycemia symptoms in cats occur when the levels of blood sugar are below the lowest value considered normal - 80 mg/dl. The symptoms will vary according to the values of the blood sugar and may be as severe as coma and seizures. However, to prevent these severe symptoms, you may detect more subtle signs that your pet’s blood glucose levels are low.

Symptoms of Feline Hypoglycemia

The symptoms of hypoglycemia may be less serious and subtle, if the glucose levels are slightly lower than normal:

  • Less interest in activities
  • More sleep
  • Paler gums and tongue
  • When pressing on the gums, these will require more than 5 seconds to regain their color and this may be due to low blood pressure

More severe symptoms of hypoglycemia may include:

  • Lack of energy and weakness
  • Slower movements and difficulties coordinating the members
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Low body temperature
  • Low pulse and heart beat
  • Trembling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Excessive drooling
  • Sudden collapse
  • Coma

Ideally, you should detect the early symptoms of low blood sugar, so that you can prevent the more severe manifestations.

Causes of Hypoglycemia in Cats

The causes of hypoglycemia may influence the symptoms and certain underlying conditions may also cause additional symptoms in the cat.

Hypoglycemia in felines can be caused by:

  • Hypothermia
  • Lack of food for over 12 hours
  • Anxiety
  • Hypo or hyperthyroidism
  • Low blood pressure

The condition may affect kittens as well, especially during the first 3 months, when kittens cannot regulate the blood glucose and may often have low blood sugar.

Diagnosing Low Blood Sugar

The normal levels of blood sugar in felines are between 80 and 120 mg per dl. A blood test can be sufficient for the vet to establish if the cat’s glucose levels are normal.

However, the vet may want to examine the pet further to determine the possible underlying condition of hypoglycemia.

Treatment Options for Cats

When you notice the symptoms of hypoglycemia in your cat, you can give him some honey, sugar or maple syrup. 1 tbsp administered under the pet’s tongue every 6 hours is typically enough to normalize the blood sugar. However, this is a temporary treatment and the cat may need additional treatment to prevent symptoms of low blood sugar in the future.

The treatment options may be variable, according to what the vet finds when performing the tests:

  • A change in diet or administration of food more often
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Anxiety medication

There are also alternative means of treating hypoglycemia. Herbal remedies can be made available and should be administered along with the cat’s food.

Periodical checkups are necessary, at least until the cat’s blood sugar is stabilized. The vet will have to monitor the cat’s response to treatment and adjust the medication or change the course of treatment.