Normal Glucose Levels in Cats

Glucose levels have a normal range in healthy felines. If the cat has high glucose, also known as hyperglycemia, the pet may easily develop diabetes. A low glucose level, or hypoglycemia, can be indicative of blood loss or a low body temperature, but may also be a result of an insulin overdose in diabetic cats.

Normal Glucose Levels in Cats

The glucose (sugar) in the blood can be measured by taking a blood sample from the cat.

The normal glucose levels in cats are between 80 and 120 mg/dL or 4.4 to 6.6 mmol/L; however, these levels may vary according to the age and the breed of the cat. The results immediately after a meal may be higher and they may drop if the cat hasn't eaten for a long time, so the test should be performed two to four hours after a meal.

A cat that is over excited (due to the car ride or the trip to the vet) may also have high glucose levels, but this is only a temporary condition. Consequently, the cat should get two tests for more conclusive results.

Increased Glucose Causes and Symptoms

A cat that has increased glucose levels in the blood may have diabetes, or may have just consumed a meal. Some cats may have an increased level of glucose due to stress or excitement. Diabetes can be caused by an increased production of glucose and an insufficiency of insulin to assimilate the glucose. The levels of glucose in the blood of a feline with diabetes may be as high as 600 mg per dL.

The symptoms of hyperglycemia will include:

  • Increased thirst
  • More frequent urination
  • Restlessness
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Oily or dry skin and poor coat condition

The cat will eliminate the glucose in the urine as well, so a few simple tests can establish if the cat is hyperglycemic. Diabetes in felines can be controlled with daily doses of insulin.

Low Glucose Causes and Symptoms

Hypoglycemia is when the cat has the glucose levels below 80 mg per dL. The levels of glucose in the cat's blood may drop due to blood loss, malnutrition or low body temperature, which will lead to the consumption of the glucose in the blood. If the cat has diabetes and gets an overdose of insulin, this can also cause low glucose levels in the blood.

When the cat has hypoglycemia, he will display the following symptoms:

  • A change in appetite (may lack or be increased)
  • Agitation
  • General state of weakness
  • Shivering
  • Low body temperature
  • Pale gums
  • Lack of coordination
  • Confusion

Severe cases of low glucose levels in cats may lead to seizures and even coma.