• Open Access

Predictors of Clinical Remission in Cats with Diabetes Mellitus


  • The study was performed at the Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Corresponding author: Dr Eric Zini, Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland; e-mail: ezini@vetclinics.uzh.ch.


Background: Clinical remission is frequent in cats with well-controlled diabetes mellitus, but few studies explored predictors of this phenomenon.

Hypothesis: Data retrieved from medical records at admission might be valuable to identify likelihood of remission and its duration in diabetic cats.

Animals: Ninety cats with newly diagnosed diabetes, followed-up until death or remission.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study. Data were collected from records at admission, including history, signalment, physical examination, haematology, and biochemical profile, and the occurrence and duration of remission, defined as normoglycemia without insulin for ≥4 weeks. Predictors of remission were studied with univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Factors associated with remission duration were analyzed with Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard models.

Results: Forty-five (50%) cats achieved remission, after a median time of 48 days (range: 8–216). By study end, median remission duration was 114 days (range: 30–3,370) in cats that died and 151 days (range: 28–1,180) in alive cats. Remission was more likely with higher age (OR: 1.23, 95% CI: 1.04–1.46; P= .01) and less likely with increased serum cholesterol (OR: 0.36, 95% CI: 0.11–0.87; P= .04). Remission was longer with higher body weight (HR: 0.65, 95% CI: 0.42–0.99; P= .04) and shorter with higher blood glucose (HR: 1.01, 95% CI: 1.00–1.02; P= .02).

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Age, body weight, cholesterol, and glucose levels are suggested for prediction of remission or its duration in diabetic cats. Older cats developing diabetes may have a better outcome, possibly suggesting a slower disease progression.