Did you know an estimated 40% of all cats are living with arthritis?
What is arthritis?
- There are many different types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis, essentially the same chronic condition that humans suffer from.
- Healthy joints are covered by cartilage, a rubbery material that creates a cushion between the bones and provides a smooth surface for movement.
- When arthritis occurs, this cartilage breaks down, causing swelling, stiffness, movement problems, and increasing pain, which steadily spreads throughout the body.
- Arthritis is normally found in older cats, although it can affect youngsters too.
- It’s usually caused by natural wear and tear of the joints, but can also be linked to injuries, as well as joint abnormalities such as hip dysplasia.
How do I spot the symptoms?
Cats are very good at hiding pain, which means they might not whimper or look obviously lame. Because our furry friends are four-legged (unlike us!), they are more adept at redistributing their weight to cope with discomfort. As a result, a limp can be harder to spot.
Nevertheless, there are some signs to look out for:
- Slowing down
- Lack of grooming
- Difficulty climbing up or down stairs
- Reluctance to jump on and off furniture
- Sleeping more
- Difficulty chasing moving objects
- Difficulty jumping up or down
If you’ve noticed your cat seems to be slowing down or have seen changes in their mobility, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. A simple health check or consultation can advise on any next steps, if necessary.
With proper management, the effects of osteoarthritis can be substantially reduced; enabling cats to live happier and more comfortable lives. Working in partnership with your vet to devise a complete care program can improve the quality of life for your cat and ease the management of feline osteoarthritis.