DID YOU KNOW, CATS CAN GET ARTHRITIS?
As your cat ages, you may notice both behavior, and physical changes. There comes a point when your kitty’s body just doesn’t function the same as it used to.
As hard as this may be to witness, your cat may still be able to live a relatively healthy life for years to come.
Arthritis is one disease that may affect your fur ball as she ages.
Did you know, according to Veterinarians.org, “over ninety percent of felines over twelve years of age show signs of arthritis?” Additionally, keep in mind that arthritis is not just an “elder cat” disease. Younger kitties can also be affected.
WHAT IS ARTHRITIS?
Arthritis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Joints become painful to the touch with accompanied swelling.
Degenerative joint disease occurs when the cartilage around the joints breaks down. Bone on bone, if you will.
RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH ARTHRITIS IN CATS
It is very difficult to determine why your cat has osteoarthritis. However, certain risk factors may lead to the disease:
- Age (older cats are at a much higher risk)
- Weight (overweight kitties are more prone to arthritis as their joints bear the burden of those extra pounds)
- Cat breed (pure breeds are more susceptible than mixed breeds)
- Joint injury
- Poor diet
- Medications (overmedicating can lead to inflammation in your cat’s body)
SIGNS OF OSTEOARTHRITIS IN CATS
Upon physical examination by your veterinarian, they will ask if you noticed any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Difficulty jumping up or down
- Difficulty climbing up or down stairs
- Slow moving
- Sleeping more than normal
- Change in grooming behavior
- Change in overall behavior (increased irritability)
- Urination and/or defecation changes (accidents)
X-rays and blood tests may further be ordered to rule out other diseases that may cause symptoms that mimic arthritis.
TREATMENT FOR CATS WITH ARTHRITIS
Unfortunately, no medication exists to cure arthritis in your cat.
Although cats who have arthritis can never get rid of this complicated disease, there are remedies available to control the pain and provide comfort.
Additionally, now may also be a great time to invest in pet insurance. The cost to manage your kitty’s well-being with arthritis can become quite expensive.
Always consult your veterinarian before changing or adding any form of treatment to your cat’s prescribed regimen:
Easing the signs and symptoms and creating a manageable living environment can help your kitty live out her years comfortably.
- NSAIDS (will more than likely be prescribed by your veterinarian to ease pain and inflammation)
- Do NOT self-medicate your cat!
- CBD oil (a holistic approach that may ease pain and inflammation, along with relaxation…consult your veterinarian before starting your kitty on CBD)
- Alternative therapies (acupuncture, laser therapy, massage therapy)
- Natural supplements
- Comfort (important to make changes to your cat’s physical environment for comfort may include ramps, litter box accessibility, cushioning, etc.)
- Diet (consult your veterinarian about a nutritious diet and weight management plan for your newly diagnosed kitty)
- Exercise (kitty will still need to move)