Proper Dosage For Your Cat
As with all supplements and drugs for your animal, its vital to know the proper dosage for the maximum health benefits. Depending on your cat, it has been suggested that a dose of 2-4 milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of your cats weight is appropriate. However, it will take some trial and error to find which amount works best, as no two cats are the same. One primary concern is that you cant use the product if your cat is pregnant or nursing. Its also important to incorporate the supplement slowly into your cats regimen to see if its suitable for your particular cat, or if its appropriate for your cats age.
How To Care For A Cat With Arthritis
There are many things that you can do at home to comfort and care for your cats sore joints.
Take extra precautions when interacting with your senior cat. Games or activities that she used to enjoy, may now cause pain. And when you pick her up, do so gently, in a way that will not cause pain.
Use heat to naturally soothe your kitties sore joints. You can use a heating pad to do this, however, you will need to closely monitor your cat as many cats tend to enjoy chewing electrical cords which can lead to danger. As a safe alternative to a typical heating pad, choose one that is specially made for pets, like this one. Its designed with a chew-resistant cord, its waterproof, and its the perfect size for a cat or small dog. Simply put the pad in their bed or favorite resting spot and let them enjoy the warmth. I would still recommend that you supervise your pet when using any heating pad.
Another option is to buy a pet bed that has warming capabilities like this one. It uses its special insulating materials to trap heat and transmit it back to your pet without the use of batteries or electricity. Plus, its super cozy!
Provide Easy Access To Comfortable Lounging Spots
Make sure your cat has well-cushioned and comfortable places to sleep at night and to lay around on during the day. Dont forget about your windowsills, where many cats like to spend their time.
Pet Craft Soho Small Round Memory Foam Bed
For cats that like to be up on furniture or windowsills, try to get them to use a ramp or create a situation to where they do not have high or long jumps to make.
Pet Gear Stair and Ramp CombinationBuy on Chewy |
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Signs Of Arthritis In Senior Cats
Since cats tend to be quieter and more reclusive than other pets, such as dogs, it may take some detective work to find the root of their health concerns. There are however a few common signs that may point to joint deterioration and artists.
- can be a sign that your cats regular activity is becoming too painful for her. It can also be a sign of fatigue, which often accompanies arthritis.
- Change in litter box habits, like going potty outside the box, can be a sign that climbing in and out of the box is too painful for her joints.
- No longer jumping, running, or going upstairs may be signs that those activities are too painful to do.
In addition, regular check-ups with your veterinarian, and maintaining good communication between visits will also benefit your cats overall health.
You can also talk to your veterinarian about therapeutic options, such as laser treatments, to decide if your cat would benefit.
How To Help Your Senior Cat Cope With Arthritis
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Warm snuggles and a calm cat-itude are some of the best parts about being a pet parent to a senior cat. Kittens are so much fun, but if youre like me, senior cats hold a special place in your heart when it comes to quiet time spent together.
However, as your cat ages, you may notice subtle changes in her agility, activity level, and even litter box habits. And these are very important clues to your senior cats health, particularly when it comes to arthritis.
Now that Olivias about 13 years old, Im always watching her as she jumps to see if she slips, is in pain, or simply cant leap as before. So far, shes still quite agile but that doesnt mean she doesnt experience soreness.
Senior cats and arthritic cats are masters at hiding discomfort, so you need to look for tell-tail clues that may indicate arthritis in your senior cat.
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Environmental Modifications To Help Arthritic Cats
Accessible litter boxes. Providing accessible litter boxes is essential for comfortable living for all cats, but it is crucial for cats with arthritis. Joint pain caused by osteoarthritis can limit mobility, and it is not uncommon for these cats to have accidents outside of the box simply because it hurts to use it. Here are a few ways you can help to keep your cats litter box accessible:
Easy access to necessities and favorite locations. Aching joints caused by osteoarthritis make it tougher to reach spots that your cat used to with the prowess of a skilled acrobat. Therefore, special consideration needs to be given to the locations of necessities like food and water bowls, beds, and toys.
- Easy access to food and water. Place these items in an area where your cat will not have to jump, climb, or maneuver challenging slopes like stairs to the basement. And like litter boxes, keep them in the same place to prevent confusion about their location.
- Easy access to litter box. Place your cats litter box in an accessible location make sure they dont have to go up or down stairs to get to it.
The same can be done for your cats favorite elevated areas. If they have a treasured window perch where they like to watch the birds outside, place a ramp or steps to the perch so they can continue to take in the pursuits of wildlife that captures their eye.
Can Cats Get Arthritis In Their Back Legs
A cats back legs can be impacted by arthritis. Degenerative joint disease and arthritis often leads to debilitating mobility loss in cats. The knee and hip are two of the most common joints affected by feline arthritis. In severe arthritis cases, a cat may be unable to bear weight or walk on their back legs. The arthritis pain can be bad enough that a cat begins to drag their back legs behind them to get around. A cat wheelchair can be beneficial to promote mobility and continued exercise in cats with osteoarthritis in their back legs.
What Treatments Are Available For Pets With Arthritis
Unfortunately, there is no cure for osteoarthritis. The goal of treatment is to slow the process down and alleviate your pets pain. There are several beneficial treatments to help your pet maintain an active, healthy, and comfortable lifestyle.
Traditionally, arthritis treatment has focused on medication to relieve joint pain and inflammation. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs can reduce joint pain and decrease inflammation. Its important to note that these must be formulated for your pet. Over-the-counter pain medications for humans can be very dangerous for your pet.
Supplements and Specialized Diets
In addition to medications, some joint supplements or specialized diets can be helpful. Certain supplements can support cartilage growth and increase water retention in cartilage to provide more cushioning for the joint. Diets with fatty acids may also help joint health.
Exercise is key to improving your pets strength and fitness level, and in some cases, helping them lose weight. Not all exercises are equal. Youll want to limit high-impact activities like running or jumping and instead opt for leash walks that can be calm and controlled. Low-impact and consistent exercise builds muscles around joints and can help your pet lose weight which helps decrease stress on the joints.
Risk Factors For Feline Arthritis
There are a number of factors that make arthritis more likely for your cat:
- Feline arthritis is more common in middle-aged and older cats.
- Cats that are obese are more likely to be affected by the signs of arthritis than a cat that is lean.
- Joints that have been injured in the past are also more prone to becoming arthritic later in life.
- Congenital abnormalities that result in abnormalities within a particular joint can make your cat more likely to suffer the effects of arthritis. Hip dysplasia is an example of a congenital abnormality that can lead to arthritis.
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Lifestyle And Environmental Changes
Make your cats environment as arthritis-friendly as possible with these changes:
- If your cat is overweight, discuss a weight loss plan with your vet to help relieve some pressure on your cats joints
- Provide soft, easily accessible beds in low places
- Give access to safe heat sources such as placing a bed in a sun spot
- Place steps or a ramp in elevated areas that your cat likes to frequent, such as the couch
- Use an uncovered litter box, with at least one low side
- Put food and water at floor level in raised bowls
- Groom and clean your cat, including trimming nails
Try to keep everything your cat needs on one level of your home so your cat doesnt have to climb stairs unnecessarily.
Treatment Of Arthritis In Cats
The goal of treatment is to manage your cats pain, improve activity, limit the progression of OA, and improve her quality of life. The following treatments are available for osteoarthritis in cats:
- Weight loss is key to improving your senior cats discomfort with OA. If your cat is overweight, talk to your vet about specific diet and exercise plans to fit your senior cats needs.
- Nutraceuticals, also called supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. Always check with your vet before giving your cat any supplement. Some can be dangerous or potentially interact with other medications. Follow this link for more information about supplements!
- Pharmaceuticals or prescription medications and injectable medications including anti-inflammatory drugs and pain management drugs. These medications must be given under the supervision of your vet as they are not risk-free and need close and continued monitoring.
- Surgical intervention depends on the specific diagnosis of OA and should be discussed thoroughly with your vet, including what to expect during recovery and long-term goals.
- Other options such as acupuncture and cold laser therapy are often used together with the above options. Again, its important to discuss these therapies in addition to more traditional therapies with your vet to meet your cats specific needs.
- A multimodal approach involving a combination of the above treatments
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Are There Other Signs Of Oa Besides Difficulty Jumping Up Into A Window
Cats can exhibit many different signs when they have OA, and they do not necessarily demonstrate all the same signs all of the time. The most common signs cat owners may notice include:
- Difficulty getting up and down
- Walking stiffly
- Lameness in one or more legs
- Reluctance to go up and/or down stairs
- Reluctance to jump up or down
- Stiff, swollen, or sore joints
- Reluctance to be touched on some parts of the body
- Unexpected aggression towards other cats or towards humans
Home Remedies For Arthritis In Cats
While home remedies can be risky and its best to talk to your vet before trying any treatments, there are several ways to help your cat feel better.
Cat owners should be careful before giving any home remedies to cats: they can be especially vulnerable to toxicities and harmful effects from medication that may be well tolerated in other species like dogs and humans. Its best to follow your veterinarians advice when selecting treatments.
Its important to ensure that a cats environment is as arthritis-friendly as possible. An electric heater pad beneath the bed to ensure a warm, cosy sleeping place, and easy access to favourite places are examples of simple changes that can be made. If a cat struggles to go down stairs, the cats resources may be placed in areas that are easier to access.
Pet owners should also be aware that obesity is a prime driver of arthritis, and weight loss is an effective way of providing pain relief in overweight animals.
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What We Can Do To Help A Cat With Arthritis
Arthritis is a common condition affecting cats of all ages but mostly older cats. Fortunately there are many ways to slow the progression of arthritis and treat the associated pain.
Its important to work with your veterinarian to design an arthritis management program. Arthritis management should be a team approach and you are the most important members of that team. You know the behaviours of your own cats best and will be able to help judge how the treatments are working.
Caring For A Cat With Arthritis In Boston Ma
When we think of cats, we often think about their remarkable agility and speed. Graceful or not, their acrobatics can be amazing to see. Still, cats are not immune to arthritis, which may occur as a result of their age, weight, an injury, or heritable condition. Arthritis causes inflammation of the joints and the gradual deterioration of cartilage in the joints. This, in turn, can result in the bones in the affected joint rubbing against each other, causing further wear and tear over time. Our clinic in Boston, MA can offer a variety of solutions to help relieve your pets pain and possibly improve their mobility, too.
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The Veterinarian Said That My Cat Is Overweight And Prescribed New Food As Well As Some Medications And Nutraceuticals Why Are There So Many Things For Me To Give My Cat
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet for treating OA. In fact, once OA is in place, we are not so much treating it as managing it because OA cannot be cured.
OA is a very complex disease, so managing it is a fairly complex process because we get the best results from combining multiple modalities. Typical multimodal management of arthritis generally includes the following:
Normalizing body condition is critical, so your veterinarian will prescribe a specific nutritional product to accomplish this goal. There is now a nutrient profile that can support the joints while helping to normalize body weight and condition. It is important to stick strictly to the prescribed nutritional program.
Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are generally used as the first line of defense against the pain of OA. Your veterinarian will determine if your cat is a good candidate for this class of medication.
Occasionally, a corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drug will be prescribed instead of a NSAID. The two classes of medication CANNOT be used together.
“Never reach into your own medicine cabinet when your cat limps or has been diagnosed with OA.”
Gabapentin is a pain medication that addresses chronic pain differently from NSAIDs or corticosteroids, and complements those medications. It provides a way to address the chronic nature of OA pain, and is especially helpful when the patient is older and not able to take a NSAID.
Diagnosing Your Cat With Arthritis
Cats often hide painful conditions like OA from their owners and veterinarians alike. As a result, OA in cats is often underdiagnosed and undertreated until advanced stages of the disease begin leaving them in pain and potentially damaging the bond they have with their owners.
Osteoarthritis pain can be a serious health problem for your cat. Without treatment, the pain will continue to get worse. Helping your cat begins by talking with your veterinarian and coming up with a medical treatment plan to relieve your cats discomfort. Your veterinarian will thoroughly examine your cat and can often make the diagnosis of arthritis on the exam alone, or with the help of x-rays . Cats with OA may have varying signs and symptoms, and you and your veterinarian can work together to catch it in its earlier stages, to help get your cat ahead of the pain, rather than waiting to treat it.
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When To Contact Your Vet
If you notice any of the above symptoms, you should contact your vet. Regular check-ups as your cat gets older can also help to pick up signs early.
You know your cat best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned its always best to contact your vet.
Causes And Signs Of Arthritis In Cats
Arthritis in cats includes inflammation of the joints and sometimes a breakdown of cartilage that usually helps prevent bone-on-bone wear and tear. Cats can develop arthritis for a variety of reasons, including aging, obesity, trauma, and occasionally genetic or heritable conditions.
Being less active
A change in the desire or ability to jump up or down
Mobility or gait changes
Changes in sleeping patterns
Changes in body tension or posture
Causes Of Arthritis In Cats
There are two alternative names for feline arthritis:
- Osteoarthritis is a better description of the disease than arthritis, in that the bones and other associated structures are also inflamed in this condition, rather than just the joints .
- Degenerative joint disease arguably explains the problem more clearly. Arthritis is a disease caused by wear and tear of the cats joints, with the joint surfaces and surrounding tissues becoming inflamed due to daily use. There are many other factors, including inherited issues such as hip dysplasia, but age-related bit-by-bit damage to joints after years of daily use is the main problem. Up to 90% of senior cats over the age of twelve suffer from some degree of degenerative joint disease.
There are, of course, other causes of cat arthritis, including septic arthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , and arthritis caused by trauma or instability of the joints.