Arthritis in cats: What you need to know
Cats have been designed through evolution to hide their pain in order to not look weak to predators. As a cat owner, it can therefore be incredibly challenging to spot when your kitty is in pain or discomfort. However, keeping an eye on signs of arthritis in your cat becomes more critical as she gets older. Here’s what you need to know…
Causes of arthritis in felines
Arthritis happens when cartilage in a joint break down which leads to abnormal rubbing within the joint, inflammation, and pain. It can be caused by a number of different factors including trauma, developmental disorders, and increased wear and tear from obesity or advanced aged – hence why looking out for it gets more important as time goes on.
Signs and what to look out for
Cats tend to display subtle signs including:
- Sleeping more and playing less
- Jumping less often or not as high
- Reluctance to go up or downstairs
- Excessively grooming painful areas
- Litter box problems, such as urinating outside the litter box
- Hiding more frequently
- Increased aggression with other cats
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, therefore treatment is aimed at disease management. Weight is an important factor to keep in check, overweight cats experience the pain worse. Pain management may be required, along with joint supplements that support joint health – fish oil is a good option.
Speak to your veterinarian if you are concerned about feline arthritis.