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In an unfortunate parallel with trends in human health, diabetes in cats is increasing at a tremendous rate.

Banfield Pet Hospital of Portland, Oregon, recently released a report showing that the rate of diabetes mellitus in cats has increased 16 percent in five years.

Although the rise in cat diabetes isn’t as dramatic as the jump in human diabetes, which has increased 28 percent since 2005, the Banfield report could be a sign that trouble is brewing.

While diabetes was still not listed among the top 10 diagnoses of cats, the diagnosis of obesity, a major risk factor for the disease in cats, was high on the list. It ranked in the top three conditions seen among young adult, mature adult and geriatric cats.

Banfields State of Pet Health 2011 Report gathered medical data from 2.1 million dogs and nearly 450,000 cats that were cared for in 2010 in Banfield hospitals across the United States.

This report was created because we wanted to use our knowledge and research to help educate pet owners and raise profession-wide awareness for some of the most common and important diagnoses affecting the health of pets in the United States, said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. We hope the information in this report will be useful to both veterinarians and pet owners as we partner to help pets live longer, healthier lives.

American cats are facing other conditions that parallel those of their human caretakers, including dental disease. Dental disease is the most common disorder among cats, affecting 68 percent of cats over the age of three, according to the report. And as is the case with people, dental disease can contribute to kidney, liver and heart problems.

In 2010, tartar buildup was the most common dental diagnosis in cats, according to the report. Rounding out the top five conditions found by Banfield’s vets were fleas, overweight, tapeworms and cystitis (bladder inflammation or infection).

[Source: CatChannel]