Arthritis in Cats: Signs, Causes, and Treatment Options
Arthritis is a common condition in cats, and it can be a source of a lot of pain and discomfort for your fur baby. It is common in older cats but can also occur in kittens and young adults. Arthritis does not create any symptoms until it has progressed to severe stages. Hence, it's essential to take your pet to the veterinarian if you notice any unusual behavior or signs of pain.
Signs of Arthritis in Cats
Several signs can indicate the presence of arthritis in cats. Here are the most common symptoms of arthritis in cats:
- Limping or having difficulty walking.
- Reluctance to move,
- Inflammation and stiffness of joints
- Weight Loss
- Your cat can't jump onto the couch or bed or climb stairs without assistance.
- Loss of range of motion.
If you notice any changes in your cat's behavior, it's essential to bring this issue up with your veterinarian so they can check out whether there may be something else going on besides arthritis affecting your pet's health.
Causes of Cat Arthritis
The causes of arthritis in cats are varied and may include a combination of factors such as wear and tear, injury, obesity, and genetics.
Wear and tear is the most common cause of cat arthritis. Cats have sensitive joints that require constant lubrication to function correctly. When this lubrication breaks down over time, inflammation occurs. Inflammation leads to damage to the cartilage in the joint and causes pain for your pet.
Abnormalities in your pet's spine can cause arthritis as well. If there are abnormal shapes or sizes of bones in their spine, they may be more likely to develop cat arthritis.
Injury can also lead to cat arthritis if your pet sustains an injury puts extra stress on their joints and pushes them past their limits causing them to break down quicker than normal.
Genetics. It is thought that some cats may inherit a predisposition towards developing this condition based on their parents' health histories. A cat's parents may have suffered from similar conditions in the past, making them more likely to suffer from arthritis themselves.
Treatment of Cat Arthritis
Arthritis in cats can be managed with various treatment options, including medications, supplements, and surgery. The most effective management plan for each individual cat will be based on the severity of arthritis, the age of the cat, and other health conditions that the cat might have.
How To Help Your Cat With Arthritis At Home
There are several ways to help an arthritic cat feel more comfortable.
- Keep the cat's joints warm. If you have a pet with arthritis, it's important to keep their joints warm by placing a heating pad on top of them for about 20 minutes each day.
- Make sure they have a soft place to sleep, as this can help reduce inflammation and discomfort from pain.
- Give them supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help rebuild cartilage.
- Help keep them active by playing with them regularly but avoid too much movement - this will help keep their muscles strong and reduce pain.
In conclusion, we hope this article has helped you understand how to recognize the signs of cat arthritis. If you're concerned about your pet or think they might be suffering from this condition, speak with your veterinarian immediately.
Rye Hill Veterinary Hospital goes the extra mile to care for your beloved pets!
At Rye Hill Veterinary Hospital, we want to be your go-to animal health care provider. We offer wellness care for your pet, including dental care and in-house diagnostics. If you have any questions about what we can do for your pet, please don't hesitate to reach out and request an appointment with us.