Cats have joint problems too!
Although you may not know it, joint problems in cats are more common than you think.
It’s a common misconception that cats don’t have joint problems. Cats are very independent and are very nimble that we forget that it is very common for them to develop arthritis. Most cats don’t display obvious signs that they have arthritis. They tend to hide their pain, even when they’re in distress. This is why it is important for us to pay attention and observe for any signs of arthritis.
Cat arthritis is a common condition that causes painful joints and makes moving uncomfortable. There is no cure for cat arthritis, but you can take steps to make your cat feel better. If you notice your cat slowing down or showing signs of pain when they move, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian right away.
What Are the Symptoms of Arthritis in Cats?
- Reluctance or hesitance to jump up or down
- Difficulty going up or downstairs
- Stiffness in the legs, especially after resting or sleeping
- Difficulty using their litter box
- Reduced levels of activity
- Less time spent on their grooming
- Reduced height when jumping
- Hiding or sleeping more than normal
Causes of Cat Arthritis
Some of the common factors that increase a cat’s risk of arthritis are:
- Wear and tear. The joints may weaken as the cat gets older.
- Abnormalities. Abnormal hip development may affect cartilage around joints.
- Injury. When a cat experiences a joint fracture or joint injury, it may cause arthritis.
- Obesity. While there is no scientific evidence that obesity causes arthritis, it may make the condition worse.
- Genetics. Some cat breeds have an increased risk of arthritis. This is due to abnormal development of their cartilage or hips. This is most commonly seen in Maine Coon, Persian, Scottish Fold and, Siamese cats.
Changes you can make at home for a cat with arthritis.
One of the best ways to help a cat who has arthritis is to create a comfortable environment for them that’s also safe. You can do this by:
Giving your cat a soft, warm bed that is easy for your cat to get into and out of
Providing a ramp-up to places they like to rest — such as your bed, a couch, or a window seat
Providing a litter box with one low side for easy access
Keeping everything your cat needs — like the litter box, food, and water — on one floor of your house
Using soft brushes for grooming
Helping them maintain a healthy weight to put less stress on their joints
Supplementation of green-lipped mussel or other joint health products.
Cats don’t usually display obvious signs that they have arthritis. They tend to hide their pain, even when they’re in distress due to their nature. This can make it very difficult to identify when there is a problem with their joints.
If you pay attention to subtle signs — like difficulty jumping or sudden issues with the litter box — you may be able to detect potential problems early on. The earlier you can start treating cat arthritis, the better.
If you suspect your cat may have arthritis or is in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian as soon as possible.