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Survival, remission, and quality of life in diabetic cats

Last changed: 02 March 2023
Eating cat

Remission is documented in a substantial proportion of cats with diabetes. The effects of diabetes mellitus (DM) on the lives of cats and their owners should be considered when evaluating treatment success. The objective of the current study was to study outcome in cats with DM and the impact DM has on the life situation of cat and owner.


Domestic and pedigree cats with a diagnosis of DM (n = 477) insured by a Swedish insurance company during 2009 to 2013.


Retrospective cross-sectional study. A questionnaire was sent to 1369 owners of cats diagnosed with DM. The questions concerned the cat, treatment, owner perceptions of the disease and treatment and disease outcome. Data were analyzed using multiple linear and logistic regression, with outcomes set as survival for more than 4 weeks after diagnosis, survival time, achieving remission, remission without relapse and quality of life (QoL) for the cat.


The response rate was 35%, leaving 477 questionnaires for analysis. The remission rate among treated cats was 29% (118/405). Feeding a commercially available wet diet was associated with both remission (OR 3.16, 95% confidence interval 1.27-8.12) and remission without relapse (OR 14.8, 95% confidence interval 2.25-153.8). Remission was associated with a better QoL for the cat.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance

The association between feeding a commercially available wet diet and remission is important and strengthens the role of diet in treatment of DM in cats. Linking remission and a better QoL for the cat emphasizes remission as a goal in disease management.

Link to the publication


Rothlin‐Zachrisson, N., Öhlund, M., Röcklinsberg, H., Ström Holst, B., 2023. Survival, remission, and quality of life in diabetic cats. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 37, 58–69. doi:10.1111/jvim.16625


Ninni Rothlin Zachrisson
Doctoral Student, Clinical Veterinarian at the Department of Clinical Sciences; Clinical Pathology Unit

Telephone: +4618671926