Gluconeogenesis is the production of new glucose in the body from non-sugar sources, mainly proteins[1][2]. It occurs mainly in the liver and kidneys[3].

It is, according to Dr. Greco, the major body energy source for cats, who lack the glucokinase[4][5]that let other animals synthesize glucose more rapidly after eating. Cats use another enzyme called hexokinase, which is not very efficient, for processing carbohydrates[6].[7]. Gluconeogenesis happens slowly and steadily, in each cell of the body.

Dr. Greco continues, saying that cats are able to maintain fasting blood glucose (by converting protein to glucose) even without a meal, but must be eating a high protein diet on a regular basis to be able to do so[8].

An unrelated process, glycogenolysis, releases stored glucose very fast by breaking down glycogen in the liver[9].

Further ReadingEdit




  1. Manhattan Cat Specialists-Diabetes, Obesity & Diet-Dr. Plotnick
  2. Elmhurst College-Glycogenesis
  3. Interactive Concepts in Biochemistry-Gluconeogenesis
  4. Dr. Deborah Greco on Diabetic Feline Diet and Glucokinase, Prairie State Veterinary Clinic
  5. Dr. Deborah Greco, Notes from the AVMA
  6. Manhattan Cat Specialists-Diabetes, Obesity & Diet--Dr. Plotnick
  7. Managing Feline Diabetes-Diet-North American Veterinary Conference-2006
  8. BD Diabetes-Ask Dr. Greco-FAQ's About Feline Diabetes
  9. Role of Gluconeogenesis in Sustaining Glucose Production During Hypoglycemia Caused By Continuous Insulin Infusion in Dogs-Diabetes-1988
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