Cats are very skilled at hiding the signs of pain or illness, so it might surprise you to learn that up to 30% of cats may be suffering from some level of arthritis.
Arthritis in cats can look very different from arthritis in dogs, who might show more obvious signs of limping, slowing down on walks, etc. Cats are more likely to have very subtle signs of arthritis such as:
sleeping more- not grooming as much, particularly around the hind quarters
not jumping as high e.g. instead of jumping directly from the floor to a table, they might first jump onto a chair or bench and then onto the table.
grumpiness when being picked up or brushed especially around the hind quarters
If you think your cat may have signs of arthritis, the first step is a check-up with your vet who will examine your cat and in some cases may recommend additional testing such as blood and urine tests and/or x-rays. They will discuss the options for management of arthritis in cats, including:
anti-inflammatory/pain relief medication, which may be given as needed or on a daily basis at home
a course of injections called Synovan, which contains medication to help lubricate the joints by increasing joint fluid production, as well as glucosamine (a building block of cartilage)
natural supplements such as green lip mussel, which has anti-inflammatory effects
special diets with added fish oils and other supplements to help reduce inflammation and keep cartilage and bone healthy
Some easy things you can do at home to help your feline friend include:
placing padding on steps or places where your pet tends to jump
provide extra heating or warm bedding especially in winter to keep joints warm- keep your cat at their ideal weight, as being overweight greatly increases the strain on joints
Luckily there are a range of effective treatment options for arthritis in cats, so if you think your older feline friend might be suffering in silence, contact us for more information!
VetCheck is the easy-to-use app that allows you to keep all of their pet’s information, appointments and treatment plans in one place. Developed by Dr Moss Siddle, it is a complete pet care management app and it's FREE!