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Water Diabetes in Cats

3 min read



Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your cat and ask you a series of questions to determine its state of health and the onset of symptoms. He or she will also order a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel.


Plasma ADH levels, for example, can be directly tested to differentiate between neurogenic, or central diabetes insipidus, and nephrogenic diabetes insipidus. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), meanwhile, are useful for locating pituitary tumors and/or kidney disorders. A modified water deprivation test and/or an ADH supplementation trial can also be done to monitor body water loss. 




Your cat will need to be hospitalized, at least initially, for a modified water deprivation test. The ADH trial can often be performed as an outpatient procedure. If the cause is found to be neurogenic DI, the condition may be treated with vasopressin injections. The prognosis depends on the severity of the head trauma, or in other cases, on the severity of kidney disease.


Living and Management


Plenty of water should always be made available to your cat, as lack of water can lead quickly to death. Diabetes insipidus is usually a permanent condition, except in rare patients for which the condition was trauma-induced. The prognosis is generally good, depending on the underlying disorder. However, without treatment, dehydration can lead to stupor, coma, and even death.



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