What to do if your cat has arthritis?

by | Oct 28, 2021

The Importance of Microchip and Tattoo Identification for Cats

Cats – just like humans – can develop arthritis. Arthritis is defined as the inflammation or irritation of a joint. There is no meow meter or translator out there for detecting pain or discomfort in your beloved pets! And so there are some things that current and prospective pet-parents can do.
  • Start with keeping a close watch on your feline’s activities. If your cat is elderly, and walking more slowly, make a checklist observe your cat’s movements.
  • Changes may be more noticeable when climbing and descending stairs. If, while climbing up stairs, both the back legs hop concurrently, or if your pet takes frequent breaks, there is a chance you are seeing osteoarthritis. Similarly, while descending stairs, see whether your cat angles their body sideways or drops one stair at a time, or even stops for a break. This behaviour may trigger a warning that there is a health issue.
Have you observed changes in how your feline chases or tackles moving objects? This is important too. Whether or not they are stopping more during play can be a good place to start. As well, observe them while they are jumping up and down from the furniture. The triggers that pet parents should look for are whether their cat hesitates or not and uses their arms for support. Also, look for the magnitude or size of the jumps. Lastly, you can monitor the running pattern of your cat; see whether they switch between walking and darting.
You can do wonders to improve your feline’s health. Help your vet at The Cat Hospital by noting key indicators such as – Vitality (energy & enthusiasm), Comfort (activeness) and Emotional wellbeing (happiness and contentment). We recommend this helpful checklist. Then you may be ready to seek pet-care guidance for ensuring that your beloved feline is hearty and healthy.
Pets are one’s best friends, and they give back a lot. Taking the utmost care of them may mean medical treatments available for treating arthritis.
  • The most common medication is the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs). These are effective in blocking the body chemicals that cause inflammation.
  • There are also injectable joint protectants such as glycosaminoglycans (provided once every 4 weeks).
  • We can help you by recommending, where appropriate, pain management medication and/or cold laser therapy

Changing the Environment to Help Your Feline Family

Beyond pain management, what else can you do to help your arthritic feline? Beyond doing the steps above, you can invest in steps to help them to surfaces like the couch or your bed. These are readily available at most pet stores – both local and online – or this may be a great project to build some unique ones particular to your aging kitty! Consider modifications such as plexiglass railings if your kitty has balance issues while using the steps.
You may also have to get lower-sided or low-lipped litter boxes, for easy stepping in and out. If mobility is further impaired, consider multiple litter boxes to limit travel.
Other devices for comfort are raised water and feeding dishes.
The other side of increasing mobility options is limiting them: invest in baby gates to inhibit stair use if needed.
Lastly, comfort when sleeping may help – a good night’s rest on a heated bed or pads especially designed for animals.
Having an arthritic cat may takes some transition but a few creature comforts added to the medical care and attention they need will make all the difference in the world to your feline family!
If you think your cat may be suffering from this condition, we invite you to call us for an appointment.
Call Us Today (236) 425-1111 | Visit Our Office at 1338 Battle St., Kamloops BC | Email Us: info@thecathospital.ca