Arthritis & Degenerative Joint Disease In Cats
26th July 2018
It is well recognised that as humans get older they are likely to suffer from joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. It is also well known that older dogs commonly suffer from arthritis and both owners and vets are familiar with the medication dispensed to relieve their pain.However, until relatively recently, arthritis in cats was not commonly diagnosed or treated. This may be due in part to the cats survival instinct to hide signs of pain, and the lack of recognition of the condition by owners and veterinary surgeons.
How To Choose The Best Cat Arthritis Supplements
Natural pain relief for cats with arthritis is one of the most popular ways to address cat arthritis, but not all cat arthritis supplements are created equally. Its important to look for a company that knows what theyre doing so you can be sure of what youre getting. Third-party testing, responsible and sustainable harvesting of ingredients these are all things we should think about when seeking natural supplements. And of course, dont forget to consult your vet. They may have additional guidance on the dosage, and they can warn you of any potential medication contraindications.
When youre looking for a joint supplement you can trust, turn to SeaPet. Weve spent the last 25 years perfecting our cat arthritis supplements. Our Super Joint Formula Powder is cat-tested and owner-approved and gives your cat the glucosamine and chondroitin they need. Adding this supplement to your cats diet is a safe and easy way to support your cats joint health, letting them live a more comfortable life. For owners interested in trying a natural solution to joint pain caused by OA, try SeaPets Super Joint Formula Powder today.
Diagnosing Osteoarthritis In Cats
OA is often suspected based on your cats age as well as the signs and symptoms noted above. Confirmation requires radiographs or x-rays done under sedation or anesthesia. Sedation or anesthesia greatly decreases anxiety in your cat during the procedure as well as decreasing the time needed to get accurate, good quality x-rays so that an appropriate treatment plan can be determined.
Your vet may recommend blood work and a urinalysis to make sure your cat is healthy inside and out. Any problems found can be discussed, treated, and managed. Your vet will be able to guide you on the best course of treatment based on the lab work results and x-rays.
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Weight Loss And Management
A key part of arthritis care for cats is managing their weight. Extra weight puts more pressure on a cats joints, which can worsen the pain of arthritis. If your arthritic cat is obese or overweight, your veterinarian will likely recommend a weight loss program, which could include a special diet and an exercise regimen. Depending on the severity of arthritis, your cat may not be able to do too much in the way of exercise, but your veterinarian can give you a safe plan for weight reduction.
If your cat is at a healthy weight, its important to maintain it. For instance, avoid the temptation to offer extra treats and always measure out food portions precisely.
What Else Can I Do About Feline Arthritis
Excess weight can overburden already painful joints and also has been shown to contribute to cartilage deterioration. If your cat is overweight, talk with your vet about the best way to safely reduce the cats weight. Usually this involves feeding more canned food and less dry.
Exercise provides a two-fold benefit: it aids in weight loss and it helps keep arthritic joints from becoming stiff by increasing synovial fluid.
Warmth provides comfort for stiff, painful joints. You might provide a heated or thermal pet bed, or use a Snuggle Safe disk to supply safe warmth without electricity.We strongly recommend the use of Snuggle Safes over traditional electric heating pads. Even more appropriate would be radiant heat, like a reptile basking spot. We recommend ceramic heat elements which emit no light, only heat. You can create a microenvironment.
Large-breed dog beds usually provide thicker cushioning than cat beds, making them an excellent resting spot for your arthritic cat.
Be mindful of your cats changing needs. Perhaps you can add a litter box closer to the cats favorite napping spot, or add a feeding station on each floor so the cat doesnt have to climb the stairs to eat or get a drink.
With a little special care, your arthritic cats can enjoy their senior years.
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How To Help Cats With Arthritis
Easily deliver the many benefits of CBD, like pain relief, with the CBD Pet Care Transdermal Pen. Simply pump the pen for an exacting dose then rub into the inside of your cats ear to supply organic, broad-spectrum hemp with naturally occurring CBD, plus MSM and lemon myrtle.
Formulated with a feline-specific blend of glucosamine, antioxidants, and vitamins, WellyTails Senior Cat Vitality Supplement supports joints, immunity, and urinary tract health.
Provide continued, safe access to your cats favourite spaces. The pet steps from Bowsers Pet Products lets your cat avoid injury while climbing or jumping.
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.
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Arthritis In Back Legs
Arthritis can affect any part of a cats body, but its common in the legs. When cat arthritis occurs in the back legs it can greatly limit your cat’s mobility. In some cases, cat arthritis can cause lameness where the cat will begin limping or favoring one leg when they walk. Many times, this causes the cat to become much less active and spend more time resting.
A licensed veterinarian can help determine if your cat has arthritis in their back legs and help put together a treatment plan.
About Amanda Jondle Dvm
Dr. Amanda Jondle is a veterinarian who practices small animal medicine and surgery and integrative medicine such as acupuncture in all sizes of animals. Growing up on a small farm, she knew from a very young age that she wanted to work with animals and started spending time at a local vet clinic at 11 years old. In addition to working full time at an animal hospital, she now enjoys helping pets and educating clients through writing and editing articles to inform pet owners on how to best care for their pets. She and her husband currently have 4 rescue dogs and 3 cats of their own and are often fostering pets with health issues until they find their forever homes.
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Identifying Arthritis In Cats
Q: How do I know if my cat has arthritis? Shes getting old and slowing down, but she doesnt limp.
A: Osteoarthritis is exceedingly common, particularly in older cats, so you are right to be concerned. Unfortunately, though, the condition is hard to identify.
Cats with arthritis dont limp, because feline arthritis typically affects multiple joints on both sides of the body. Instead, their behavior changes.
Arthritic cats become less active and less playful, and they sleep more. They may be moody and less tolerant of other pets or human handling. They are reluctant to jump, and they jump shorter distances. Their posture may become more crouched.
The twisting and stretching required to groom themselves is painful, so some arthritic cats look unkempt, and their coats may mat. Conversely, they may over-groom painful joints. Claws sometimes grow long when cats dont scratch or move enough.
Litter box habits may change, particularly if the cat must use stairs to access the box or climb into a box with high sides.
If you see any of these behaviors in your cat, make an appointment with your veterinarian. I also offer these tips for helping your cat with arthritis.
Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine in Pennsylvania. Contact her at .
Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated Best Pet Insurance by Reviews.com since 2017.
How To Treat Arthritis In Cats
Wanting whats best for their feline friend, most concerned cat parents ask the question, How can I help my cat with arthritis? Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that can cure arthritis in cats. However, there are ways to help manage arthritis relief for cats and improve their quality of life.
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How To Tell If Your Dog Or Cat Has Arthritis
Like humans, our pets can develop arthritis, otherwise it can have a significant impact on quality of life. Well managed. It is inevitable that pets will slow down as they get older, but some of the signs that we usually associate with getting older are: actually, Due to arthritis. Also known as osteoarthritis. Arthritis develops when the cartilage in the joints is eroded,this is Rubbing bones Painful condition of bones.
Getting older is inevitable dThe progression of arthritis is not. Some of our pets develop arthritis, Treatment helps manage their condition. So bBefore dismissing some of those symptoms as a normal part Aging process, Because they pay attention to their actions You can provide them with the help they need.
What Are Some Common Symptoms Of Cat Arthritis
Cat owners often wonder how to tell if a cat has arthritis. Sometimes the symptoms will be obvious, and other times they may be nearly undetectable. Check out this list of symptoms to see you see any of these signs of arthritis in cats:
- Trouble going up or down stairs
- Difficulty or reluctance to jump up or down
- Limping or stiffness in the legs, particularly after periods of rest
- Hiding or sleeping more than normal
- Difficulty using the litter box
- Grooming themselves less
Contrary to popular belief, OA can happen in cats of all ages, not just seniors. While none of these symptoms on their own are a definitive diagnosis of osteoarthritis, they are definitely worth getting checked out, no matter how old your cat is.
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How Is Arthritis Diagnosed In Cats
As arthritis is more common and more severe in older cats, it should be looked for in any mature or older cat. A diagnosis is often based primarily on the presence of appropriate signs and changes in the home environment . If you see any of these changes, it is important to have your cat checked by your vet as arthritis is an uncomfortable and painful condition.
When your vet examines your cat, they may be able to detect pain, discomfort, swelling or other changes affecting certain joints. If there is any uncertainty, your vet may suggest taking X-rays of the joints, but this is not always needed, and in some cases if the diagnosis is uncertain a simple trial treatment may be used.
Although further investigations such as blood and urine tests are not usually needed to investigate arthritis, your vet may suggest these if they think there may be another problem as well , or prior to starting some medications.
At What Age Do Cats Develop Arthritis
According to Cats Protection, more than 80% of cats over the age of 10 suffer from arthritis, but it often goes undiagnosed. This common problem refers to inflammation of their joints, causing pain, discomfort and stiffness.
Inside their joints, the surface of the bone is usually covered with a thin layer of smooth cartilage and lubricated with a small amount of fluid, which allows the joint to move freely and without friction.
Arthritis occurs when the joint is damaged or its naturally smooth surface changes, resulting in the rough bone rubbing together. Not only is this very painful for your cat, but it also further damages the cartilage and causes new bone to form around the joint, making it stiffer and limiting movement. This is called osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease.
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Use Raised Food Bowls
- Make sure your cats food and water bowls are somewhere they can easily get to.
- Raising food and water bowls can help because bending down can be painful when you have arthritis. You can buy special raised bowls, or alternatively just place something solid underneath your cats bowl the lift it up to a height so they dont have to crouch to reach it. A pint glass full of water can be used as a water bowl.
Final Thoughts On Treating Arthritis In Cats
If your aging cat is starting to show changes in mobility, have a conversation with your veterinarian. I think arthritis in cats is under-diagnosed. We need to be more aware of our cats subtle movement changes, diagnose their pain and help them.
There are lots of options to ease their discomfort, so dont duck away but face things head on.
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Arthritis In Cats: Signs Symptoms & Treatment Options
Cats display extraordinarily agility, from those sudden, unpredictable darts across the room to impressive leaps onto and off of high spaces. However, this agility depends on healthy, trouble-free joint function.
If your cat has one of the conditions classified as feline arthritis, that agility may gradually disappear, replaced by increasing pain, stiffness, and avoidance of favorite pastimes. Cats who cannot trust their own joints to support their weight comfortably may find themselves unable to get out of harms way or get the exercise they need.
As a cat owner, you have more power to help your struggling feline friend than you might realize. The right combination of treatments and assistive devices can optimize joint function, prevent further joint damage, and help your cat participate in life more fully.
Lets examine the complicated world of feline arthritis, how it affects feline mobility, and what you can do to give your cat a better quality of life.
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Managing Arthritis In Cats
Many options should be considered when managing a cat with arthritis, and it is not just about finding the right tablet to control the disease!
Environmental enrichment for arthritic cats
Modifying the environment in many ways can greatly help to maintain quality of life for an arthritic cat. Things to consider include:
- Use of soft, comfortable beds placed in easily accessible, quiet, draft-free locations use of igloo beds can make an older cat feel warm and secure
- Provision of a series of steps or a ramp to allow cats to access favoured higher sites
- Make sure the cat flap is very easy to open, and if necessary tie it open so the cat doesnt need to push through
- Always have a litter tray inside and one that has at least one low side for easy access
- Make sure food and water are easily accessible, at floor level or with steps up to higher levels
- Make sure the cat doesnt have to go up or down stairs to access food, water, or litter trays
- Spend time grooming and cleaning an arthritic cat as this may be difficult for them
- Overgrown claws need regular cutting
Diet and dietary supplements
Obesity or being overweight will exacerbate arthritis and so should be avoided. Careful weight management is therefore very important for older cats. If your cat is overweight, they will benefit from carefully controlled weight loss, supervised by your vet. Your vet may also recommend a special diet to help achieve this safely and effectively.
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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
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Arthritis
Symptoms of arthritis in cats:
- Spending more time laying down and sleeping. Being less active.
- Not being able to jump or climb up stairs
- Lameness or limping after sleeping,
- Difficulty using a litter tray
- Stiffness or swollen joints
- Maintaining a healthy weight
Metacam is a licenced treatment for pain relief in cats that your vet can prescribe for chronic pain.
Hydrotherapy and gentle massage may help to keep your cats joints more mobile.
Acupuncture is a complementary treatment that may be of help if your cat is amenable to handling and would tolerate the treatment.
This is a product that your vet can inject into the painful joints to help relieve arthritis.
Always seek advice from your vet as to the best way to treat your cat.
Gentle exercise can also help to keep the joints mobile.
- Essential fatty acids
The above is usually given in combination, for example, Seraquin is a supplement suitable for cats which can be crumbled into food or hidden in treats it is chewable and has a chicken flavour.
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