Feline Hypoglycemia: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Instructor: Amy Couture

Amy has a master's degree in nursing and has taught nursing students at the college level.

Humans are not the only ones to get hypoglycemia. Cats can too! The term feline hypoglycemia is known as low blood sugar in cats. This lesson discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatment of feline hypoglycemia.

What is feline hypoglycemia?

Barb's cat Freckles has not been acting like himself lately. She brings the cat in to be examined by the vet. The vet does a thorough examination and blood work and diagnoses Freckles with hypoglycemia. The vet explains to Barb that hypoglycemia is also known as low blood sugar. It is caused by a condition affecting how insulin is produced, released, or stored. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the body's blood sugar. It is released from the pancreas and enters the blood stream. It absorbs the sugar in the blood stream and stores it in the liver or transports it to other parts of the body. The body needs this stored sugar for energy.

Feline hypoglycemia is known as low blood sugar in cats.


The vet explains that there are several causes of hypoglycemia in cats, but the main cause is diabetes. Other causes are:

  • Infections of the blood
  • Tumors on the pancreas
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • High amount of exercise
  • Adrenal gland disorder


The vet explains there are easy symptoms to recognize Freckles is experiencing hypoglycemia. Barb knows to watch for these signs:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Shakiness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fast breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue

Barb knows that if Freckles is suffering from severe hypoglycemia he would experience a seizure or possibly a coma. Barb know if this occurs she should seek emergency treatment immediately for Freckles. Death could occur if this is not treated.

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