A Guide to Arthritis in Cats

It can often be difficult to work out whether your cat is suffering from the effects of arthritis as the symptoms are often restrained. Your cat is not likely to walk any differently but there could be other signs that you should be aware of that could affect their mobility. Jumping may be limited and they may not want to be stroked or even brushed, even small signs such as going to the toilet in places other than their litterbox could suggest that there is an underlying medical condition.

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Diagnosis

Unlike dogs, cats can be tricky when it comes to identifying painful joints. X-rays can help to pinpoint the areas but they are not always accurate. A vet will diagnose arthritis by the way in which you describe their behaviour as well as any other symptoms.

Keeping your cat comfortable

Treating a cat for arthritis can be difficult because some drugs can lead to problems.  Therefore, all drugs administered should be registered for use in cats and the exact dosage has to be given. The most common on the market are Metacam 30ml oral suspension and previcox 227mg tablets.

There are a number of things you can do to help minimise pain in order to make them more comfortable.

If your cat is overweight then losing weight can help to reduce pressure on the joints. Any weight loss should be slow because a rapid weight loss can lead to other problems such as hepatic lipiodosis which can be troublesome.

To ease some of the symptoms, please consult your vet. They can prescribe pair relief which helps to take away the inflammation in the joints to make your cat more comfortable. Acupuncture can also help as this can ease pain without causing any side effects.

Cartilage degeneration can be slowed down by using a number of products. Glucosamine, Chondroitin and green lipped mussel extract can help to relieve the symptoms. However, there have been no studies to prove that it is 100% effective, however there is some evidence to suggest they may work. Your cat will experience no side effects, which means that they are worth trying.

As the joints will be inflamed, essential fatty acids such as fish oil can help to provide a natural anti-inflammatory.

Think about the environment in which your cat lives. Making obstacles easier for them to interact with will help to improve things but also give them a better quality of life. Moving their bed to the floor or even putting a heated bed inside their bed during cold spells can help.

Many people put a decrease in activity in their cat down to old age when in reality it could be down to something that is causing them pain, remember that cats tend to avoid showing pain, so if you believe something may be affecting your cat, watch its body movement and general behaviour to identify is there could be an issue.

Arthritis is common in cats, so if you notice that your cat is becoming less mobile then a trip to the vets could help to improve their well-being. Getting access to the right treatment for your cat as quickly as possible could help them to get back to some form of normality.

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Author Bio
Medicines4Pets are an online retailer of prescription pet medicines, pet supplies and accessories.

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18 thoughts on “A Guide to Arthritis in Cats

  1. My cat is older and has recently been having some problems jumping up. My vet suggested the Chondroitin as he said she has arthritis, so I am hoping it helps. Your info is very helpful.

  2. Reblogged this on Rosie Malezer and commented:
    Not many cat owners realise why a cat suddenly becomes snippy, hissing and growling when you pat them. Here is some useful advice to help you and your cat deal with the pain when your kitty becomes arthritic.

  3. Very helpful information. For years, I’ve suspected that Mr. M suffered from arthritis, but since he became a tester for Cat-a-bliss’ blends he’s become much more agile. Don’t know if this is coincidence or what, but I’m getting a bit impatient for Cat-a-bliss to become available so I can stock up… just might try some for my own arthritis 😉
    Plan to reblog this on foguth.wordpress.com

  4. I didn’t know that cats reacting badly to stroking could be because of arthritis 🙁

  5. Excellent post my friends. Kali has been having bad problems with arthritis in the hip. She has been taking Glucosamine and chondroitin but we have been away for 2 weeks and she didn’t get any so she was limping when we got home. We have her on Naproxen from the vet and the difference is remarkable. She is even up nosing around and talking. However, this Naproxen can be hard on her stomach so this is a short term solution until the glucosamine gets to working again.

    Jean

  6. I’ve taken Puss to the vet about joint pain before, but when he’s at the vet he’s completely fine, doesn’t make a sound like he’s in pain, will let the vet pat him. I really don’t know why he reacts the way he does to some things, he’s a strange cat that’s for sure.

  7. OK from experience. My dear Maine Coon Apricat had obvious joint pain to the extent that he hissed and growled when handled, Injectable Metacam did help, but acupuncture not only eliminated the pain of his arthritis, his skin allergies disappeared and his kidney failure slowed. I encourage anyone with a cat who shows arthritis signs to seek out acupuncture therapy.

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