Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: October 22, 2022 by Crystal Uys
Written by Carolina Gonzales, R&D Coordinator at Basepaws*
Did you know that diabetes in cats has increased by 18% over the past ten years, and one out of every 230 cats is affected by feline diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot properly produce or respond to the hormone insulin. This results in elevated levels of the sugar glucose, which is the body’s main source of energy.
There are two types of diabetes in cats: Type I and Type II. In Type I diabetes, glucose levels are high due to a decrease in insulin production. In Type II diabetes, glucose levels are high because the cells in the body do not respond appropriately to insulin. Feline diabetes is most often classified as Type II diabetes. There is no cure for feline diabetes, but with early detection and proper treatment, it can be managed successfully.
An ongoing Basepaws research project aims to understand the genetic factors associated with feline diabetes. We are focused on finding diabetes-specific signals in the feline oral microbiome and identifying potential genetic markers associated with feline diabetes predisposition. Basepaws is breaking new ground in feline health research with host genetics and oral microbiome analysis. Identifying diabetes-specific genetic markers can further our understanding of how genes contribute to the disease.
If you are a cat parent who would like to contribute to this important effort, we welcome you to participate in Basepaws’ diabetes research by filling out this survey. As part of your application, you will be asked to provide your cat’s medical records that confirm a diabetes diagnosis by your veterinarian.
Pet parents of qualifying cats will receive a free oral swab kit to collect their cat’s DNA sample. Shipping the sample back to the Basepaws lab is easy and free with the prepaid shipping label included in the kit. All qualifying participants who are not current Basepaws customers will also receive the company’s signature cat DNA report, also free of charge, as a complimentary thank you for their contribution.
Learn more about how you and your cat can participate in feline diabetes research and other ongoing citizen science programs at Basepaws by visiting Basepaws Research.
Image Pixabay stock photo
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.