Feline Arthritis – Symptoms and Pain Relief

by | Jun 15, 2022

Feline Arthritis – Symptoms and Pain Relief

Q: What is feline osteoarthritis?

A: Feline osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease (the cartilage in knees and joints starts to break down) that can cause pain and mobility problems in 40% of cats at any age. This condition may negatively impact their quality of life. You might notice it’s more difficult for your cat to play, climb stairs, enter a high litter box, or enjoy light grooming and petting without discomfort. If you notice behavioral changes, be patient. Your pet may be suffering while trying to hide it from you.

We are reading the research that proves that many cats are being significantly under treated for OA. Approx. 40% of cats of ANY age have OA, so it’s not even an age-specific disease anymore. For cats over 8 years old it’s over 70% have OA these days!

If you suspect arthritis, come in for a visit! We will review your cat’s medical history and complete a physical exam to check for decreased range of motion in the joints, joint pain and visible joint deformities. If X-rays confirm a diagnosis for feline arthritis, then we’ll propose a plan for treatment.

Q: What causes arthritis in cats?

A: Cats who have had a fracture or bone injury are more likely to develop arthritis where the damage occurred. Overweight and obese cats may also develop arthritic symptoms due to added pressure on their joints. In this case, weight loss is very important in managing their health. It can also be hereditary. For more information on obesity in cats, read our article: Your Cat is Overweight

Q: What are some treatments for feline arthritis?

A: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most common treatment and are prescribed by a veterinarian. Injectable joint protectants (injections of glycosaminoglycans) work extremely well to relieve arthritic pain and are administered once a month. Even with these options, some cats still feel pain.

In 2022, we were super excited to learn about a new option for arthritis pain called Solensia. This once monthly injectable pain control has had impressive results in Europe over the last year and we are excited to roll it out in Canada. Solensia is a monthly injectable medication, so there’s no need to struggle daily to give it. The cost is less than $5 a day, but in a monthly lump sum. Effects are seen within 2 weeks and the full effect is 1 month.
Q: How can I adapt my home to be more arthritis friendly?
A: Home remedies for your cat can also work well in the early stages! Try a soft padded cat bed, cutting a low opening in the litterbox so your cat doesn’t have to jump in or out, or moving the litterbox where it’s easily accessible, for example, where they won’t have to climb stairs to use it. Ramps work well if they sleep up on your bed, and elevating their food and water dishes to allow for more comfortable eating. There are many ways to make an arthritis friendly environment for your cat.


Really good visual examples of OA symptoms:
General Feline OA info:
Passive Range of Motion therapy:

Come In For A Visit

If you suspect your cat may have arthritis or is in pain, schedule a visit with your veterinarian as soon as possible so you can catch this malady in the early stages.
When your cat needs any kind of medical care, visit us. We provide wellness exams, treatments for feline arthritis, orthopedic surgery, soft tissue surgery, dental care, and spaying and neutering for cats. For more information on our services, please see our SERVICES page.
Call Us Today (236) 425-1111 | Visit Our Office at 1338 Battle St., Kamloops BC | Email Us: info@thecathospital.ca