Arthritis in Cats

Posted by ,Nov 08, 2022
Arthritis in Cats
Is Arthritis common in Cats?

It is hard when you first realise your cat is in agony. It’s hard because for one they are masters at hiding their pain and discomfort. They will instinctively minimise their own activity to reduce the pain. They will not show you overt signs of limping or pain that is associated with arthritis. The image above demonstrates the typical face they express with their paws tucked in, eyes shut tight when experiencing discomfort. Arthritis in our feline friends is indeed more common than we think based on genetic factors, size, obesity and age. Arthritis and hip dysplasia is quite common in larger breeds such as the Maine Coon, Persians and Siamese. The older they get even after a life of cat yoga and super hero jumping tactics the joints will inevitable take strain.

What is Arthritis and what are the signs to look out for in cats?

Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints caused by the breakdown of the joint's cartilage, which results in the bones rubbing against one another causing stiffness, pain and loss of movement. This can spark off changes in the bones themselves, causing bony spurs and thickening.
If you start noticing changes in your cat’s behavior, your vet will be able to examine and check for signs of inflammation and may request x-rays to diagnose arthritis. If your cat is 7 years or older keep a watchful eye for the following symptoms:
Reduced activity and mobility
Less frequent jumping on higher or lower surfaces
Difficulty climbing stairs or getting through the cat flap
Difficulty using the litter tray
Sleeping in different, easy to access places
Changes in grooming- either less frequently or over grooming sore joint areas
Irritability and grumpy when stroked or handled
Avoiding contact with humans or other furry family members or running away when approached

Treating Arthritis

Arthritis in cats and for all others affected, humans or dogs is a long term illness that needs to be managed. Your vet will prescribe the appropriate medication for pain management and as well as supplements to support the joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate supplements have recently become available for dogs and cats and has proved effective in cases of mild arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate are normal substances found in the body of all living animals. The body synthesizes most of its own glucosamine, however during the aging process and when damage to the joint cartilage is present, the body cannot produce enough.
 The first proactive step cat parents can take is manage their cats weight. If they are obese, controlling their diet to shed those extra pounds will ease the pain and pressure on the joints.
Acupuncture for cats has yielded positive long term results for pain relief and general well being. It is surprising that most cats quite enjoy their treatments. Find out more about the benefits of acupuncture - Find a veterinary acupuncturist near you

Prevention is better than cure

Investing in an orthopedic high quality foam cat bed will ensure your cat gets restorative rest and the spine and joints are well supported from early on in his or her life. Normal commercial pet beds are usually filled with foam plastics with very little density. They are usually far too thin and not stable enough, resulting in your cat ending up sleeping on the hard cold floor in no time. 

We have curated a selection of cat baskets and designer cat beds with orthopedic cushions specifically developed and optimized for cats. The pillow inlets are filled with high-quality-latex-flakes with an extremely high density. As a general rule, the higher the density, the more elastic, durable and sustainable. The pillow easily regains its shape and remains permanently elastic. The excellent point elasticity of the latex filling moulds perfectly to the individual shape of your cat.

The pillows are anti-allergic, antibacterial, and regulate humidity and temperature. The padding is absolutely silent when kitty moves, ensuring a restorative sleep. The pillows are covered in warming brushed wool fleece which cats absolutely adore. It keeps them warm and cosy with natural body heat that increases blood flow and relaxes the muscles. These are not only great options for senior cats but they are made to last for many years and the covers are machine washable and replaceable so it’s an investment worth considering.

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Andrea is a writer, digital marketer and content creator with a passion for all things related to pets. Her expertise lies in the realm of pet travel, she explores topics such as pets in the workplace, adventurous trips with canine companions, and pet travel within the EU. Andrea collaborates with Street Vet to help dog owners find ideal dog strollers for their beloved companions.