The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is claiming disease remission rates of around 75% for cats with diabetes following a trial treatment programme.
The trial has proven so successful that the RVC is now seeking more participants for a new wave of the study to investigate the effects of supervised calorie restriction – including a new feline prescription diabetic food – to achieve weight loss and diabetic remission in cats with the condition.
An estimated 54,500 cats suffer from diabetes mellitus in the UK, with obesity a strong contributing factor. The condition requires daily injections and frequent veterinary examinations for affected cats, resulting in significant financial and social costs for owners. Many cats are currently euthanised at the time of diagnosis.
Dr Ruth Gostelow, lecturer in small animal internal medicine at the RVC, said:
“The study has already proved incredibly successful. Since it began, recruited cats have recorded a diabetic remission rate of approximately 75% – an outstanding result compared to what is typically reported for diabetic cats.
“The early success of the trial means we want to expand it, and now we need more vets and their cat owners to sign up. Although some cats will remain diabetic for the duration of their life, a proportion can achieve diabetic remission and stop insulin treatment. Achieving diabetic remission significantly increases their life expectancy, and owner and pet wellbeing.”
The study will take place over 12 months, and cats joining the trial will attend between five and seven outpatient appointments at the RVC Queen Mother Hospital for Animals, near Potters Bar in Hertfordshire. Additional monitoring will also be conducted by owners at home.
Cats and owners joining the trial will receive free underlying disease screening, free cat food for the 12-month period, free home blood glucose monitoring supplies, newly developed glucose monitoring cat litter for use at home and dedicated diabetic care from the RVC clinic team.
As part of the study, cats will be fed the test diet for the first 12 weeks, and the remaining time period will assess and monitor cats’ longer-term outcomes.
Both general practice vets and pet owners can apply for the trial by emailing [email protected] or calling 01707 666605