What Can I Give My Cat For Arthritis Pain
Arthritis in cats or feline rheumatoid osteoarthritis is a disease that can affect felines of any age, whether they are puppies, youngsters or adults. Cats, like us, can suffer from many diseases that are related to the joints, such as feline arthritis.
Arthritis is a very common problem in our felines, this disease reduces their mobility and causes pain, in most cases it is due to our cats being overweight, or it can also be caused by injury, infection or development problems. The most common arthritis is called osteoarthritis, which is the wear and tear of the articular cartilage or the formation of bone tumors within the joints of our felines and this over time can lead to a reduction in joint mobility and cause a lot of pain to the cat.
Natural anti-inflammatory for cats
The use of human drugs can be very dangerous for our pets if they have not been prescribed by the veterinarian, in the same way, many veterinary drugs, despite having been administered correctly, can carry different side effects in their attempt to treat any of common diseases for cats.
If this is the case, you should know that there are several natural anti-inflammatories for cats, some very simple, but no less effective for that. See what they are:
With a thermal bag or a hot water bottle, you have an anti-inflammatory for your cat. When we apply local heat to the affected area, the blood vessels dilate, which reduces inflammation and relieves pain very quickly.
Keep Your Cat’s Nails Trimmed
Regular nail trimming and care can greatly improve your cats comfort level and mobility. If you can’t easily trim your cats nails yourself, speak with a good groomer or your veterinarian’s office about having it done. And dont forget about including plenty of scratching posts and other scratching surfaces for your cat to help them maintain their own nails.
If you don’t have them already, here are two great cat nail trimmer options .
Safari Cat Nail Clippers
And if you’re going to be clipping your cat’s nails, it’s best to have styptic powder nearby, just in case you cut a bit too much and “quick” them .
Miracle Care Kwik Stop Styptic PowderBuy on Chewy |
PRO TIP: If you do quick your cat’s nail and don’t have Kwik Stop, using corn starch will do the job in a pinch! Just take a small amount of corn starch and put it on the bleeding nail. Apply pressure for a couple of minutes until bleeding has stopped.
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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I Think My Cat Has Arthritis What Now
Have you noticed that your cat is no longer jumping up on their favorite couch, is less interested in chasing their catnip mice, or has difficulty getting in or out of the litter box? You’ve unlocked a new badge of cat ownership one earned when an observant cat owner notices these subtle, yet possibly very painful, signs. While many cat owners may attribute these signs to slowing down with age, they may be a sign of osteoarthritis , which affects nearly 40% of all cats.
Osteoarthritis can be a result of poor joint structure from birth, a traumatic injury, or, most commonly in cats, normal wear and tear on their joints as they age. Surprisingly, one study showed that by the time cats reach the age of 12, more than 90% of them have bone changes visible on x-ray, yet few are diagnosed or treated before these irreversible changes have occurred.
Cat Pain Relief Whats Coming In The Future
New pain control medications are being explored every day for our pets. One that is sure to make headlines if it comes to pass is Cannabis use in cats. Cannabis oil has shown promise in rat studies for pain control associated with tumors. In the future, more research and data may be available to make cannabis oil legal for veterinary use. Until that time, please stick to legal, safe alternatives for your kitties.
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Signs Of Osteoarthritis In Cats
Cats dont show pain like we expect them to. Its part of their nature to be subtle, says Joyce Login, DVM, CPH, Veterinary Medical Lead, Chronic Pain Portfolio at Zoetis. If they were to show pain in the wild, theyd be somebodys lunch, so theyre very good at hiding it.
But that doesnt mean its impossible to spot. While your cat isnt likely to limp or cry out in pain, Login says you can watch for these behavioral signs of osteoarthritis in cats:
- Difficulty jumping up on furniture
- Difficulty jumping down from furniture
- Difficulty going up and down the stairs
- Difficulty chasing moving objects
- Difficulty running
- Inappropriate elimination
- Increased irritability
These changes in behavior can be easy to dismiss as normal aging or even to miss altogether. Because cats hide their painespecially in the veterinary clinicyour observations from home are a crucial part of diagnosing arthritis in cats. If that feels like a lot of pressure, Login has some tools to make your job easier.
Arthritis In Cats: 8 Questions To Ask Yourself
Because you live with your cat, its often hard to spot those telltale changes that indicate sore joints. Most cases of arthritis in cats are picked up by the veterinarian during vaccine checks.
Sit down and think about these questions:
If you answered yes to any of these 8 questions, then arthritis is a possibility. Please discuss this with your vet.
If your cat had a broken bone or a dislocated hip earlier in life, that joint has a higher risk of becoming arthritic as the cat ages.
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What Are The Alternatives To Pain Medicine For Cats
An appropriate diet can go a long way in relieving chronic inflammation and pain in cats.
For example, many overweight cats suffer from arthritis. Giving them food that has a reduced caloric density with normal amounts of protein will help them lose weight while still allowing them to retain muscle mass and strength.
Excess body weight not only puts undue stress on arthritic joints, but it also promotes the inflammation that is at the heart of the disease. Foods or supplements that contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid can also reduce joint inflammation and the pain associated with it.
Pain meds are not the only, or sometimes even the best, way to provide a cat with pain relief. Talk to your veterinarian to determine what combination of diet and other forms of therapy might be right in your cats case.
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
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Treatment: The Importance Of Nutrition
The food your cat eats plays an important role in her overall health and well-being. Balanced nutrition is an essential part of an active, healthy lifestyle. For accurate diagnosis and treatment options, always consult your veterinarian and ask them to recommend the best food for your cats arthritis and joint mobility health.
What Can I Give My Cat For Pain
If you are searching for something that you can give your cat for pain, dont look to your medicine cabinet or your dogs medications for answerswhat you find there can be toxic to cats.
Many common pain relievers have seriously harmful effects for cats. This is especially true of pain medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories and Tylenol .
Heres why over-the-counter pain medications for people can be dangerous for cats and which medications should be used instead.
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Can You Give A Cat Aspirin
So, can cats have aspirin to help with pain? Unlike many animals, cats can be given aspirin. However, this needs to be done very carefully as the dosage amounts are different. For most cats, you can give them a dose of about 10 mg but this should be given every 48 hours, rather than every six hours as with humans.
While you can give your cat a dose of aspirin, its very important to try a different medication if possible. Aspirin should only be given to your cat rarely as it can cause significant health problems and sometimes be fatal.
If you plan to give your cat aspirin, look for an aspirin dosage for cats chart. This way, you can find the right amount of aspirin to give your cat depending on aspects such as their age and weight.
As with any medication, its always a good idea to ask questions or voice your concerns with your vet. This way, you can be confident that you will help your cat without accidentally causing further problems.
How Is Feline Arthritis Normally Treated
There is no cure for arthritis.
Hence, vets usually focus on minimizing your cat’s symptoms and improving their quality of life.
Theyll usually do so by giving your cat prescription pain medications, such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and Novox, which are all non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.
However, they may also suggest opioids or corticosteroids, as they provide stronger relief from chronic pain and inflammation.
Cats can be very sensitive to prescription drugs, so your vet may want to monitor your cat’s response to a medication when they first prescribe it.
Keep in mind that some arthritis medications can also produce side effects.
Most are mild , but some might be more serious, possibly affecting the GI tract, kidneys, liver, or other organs.
If your cat is overweight, your vet will also recommend they lose weight and may prescribe specific food to help with that.
They might also suggest using specific supplements or topical products to relieve your cats symptoms.
Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, for example, are often said to repair damaged cartilage and promote joint health.
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Lifestyle And Home Changes
These are the mainstay of arthritis treatment. There are many easy ways to alter your cats home to help reduce arthritis pain:
-cut a low opening in the litterbox so your cat doesnt have to jump in or out
-litterboxes should be as spacious as possible
-distance to the litterbox should be minimal
-make or buy a set of steps or ramps for your cat to get to their favourite spots
-move food and water dishes to a more convenient location
-elevate the food and water dishes to allow for a more comfortable eating position
-provide soft, well-padded beds in your cats favourite spots
-many arthritic cats love heating pads, set on low with a blanket covering them. Dont leave them unattended to prevent fire.
-for cats that go outdoors, building ramps, steps or outdoor enclosures can allow cats to continue to enjoy the outdoors
-weight loss is probably the single most important part of managing arthritis in overweight cats. Increased body weight stresses the arthritic joints even more and contributes to the pain. Weight loss alone will decrease the amount of pain that the arthritic cat is experiencing.
-moderate exercise has benefits in maintaining normal range of motion in arthritic joints and also in maintaining/building muscle mass. In acute flare-ups, restricting exercise may be warranted.
What About Tylenol For Cats
Acetaminophen is even more dangerous to cats than NSAIDs and should NEVER be given to a cat under any circumstance. As little as one tablet of Regular Strength Tylenol contains enough acetaminophen to kill some cats.
The drugs metabolites destroy liver cells, damage the kidneys and convert hemoglobinthe oxygen-carrying molecule in bloodto methemoglobin, which results in poor oxygen delivery throughout the body and tissue damage.
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Can Complementary Treatment Help Arthritis In Cats
As arthritis is a very long-term problem, many owners are keen to try complementary treatments for their pets. This is fine providing that a vet has given the all-clear to use them. Acupuncture may well be of value, and there are some vets around the country who specialise in offering that type of care to cats, although it does need to be one that is amenable to that sort of handling!
Does My Cat Have Arthritis Warning Signs And Symptoms
Arthritis can have serious effects on a cats health and mobility. If your cat has arthritis, the first thing youll notice is that she finds movement difficult and is reluctant to walk, run and jump. Some signs of arthritis in cats are similar to those of other serious conditions. Make sure you consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these signs.
Signs of arthritis in cats
- Eliminating outside the litter box
- Walks stiffly and may even limp
- Social reclusiveness
While most cat parents are tuned in to the little details and quirks of their cats personality like their ability to open a door or proclivity for attacking feet at night it can be difficult to determine when behaviors that seem unusual are signs of a deeper health concern. Heres a look at some of the ways cats hide their pain, common conditions they suffer from, and how to get your cat the care she needs.
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Joint Supplements And Nutraceuticals
Glucosamine and chondroitin – the two most common joint supplements. They have a positive influence on cartilage health by improving cartilage repair and maintenance in the joints.
Essential fatty acids – The omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects.
Diet Therapeutic diets for arthritis in cats have become available that contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as glucosamine and chondroitin. The Royal Canin diet also contains green lipped mussel extract.
Symptoms Of Arthritis In Cats
Signs of arthritis in cats can include:
- Difficulty jumping or using the stairs
- More prominent shoulder blades
- Hiding away or sleeping more than usual
- Unkempt or matted fur especially along the back and around the bottom, because your cat will find it difficult or painful to twist to groom these areas
- Swollen or hot joints
- Being a bit more grumpy than usual, especially when you go to touch them.
Signs of arthritis can be hard to spot as they can be subtle and come on gradually. It can be helpful to think back to what your cat was like a few months or even years ago when trying to think if they are showing any of these signs.
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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.
The Many Natural Remedies To Choose From
Thankfully, you can bypass all of the harsh conventional treatments out there if you provide your cat with the right combination of natural remedies that can help the body heal when arthritis takes hold. Here are some natural options to treat your cats arthritis:
Devils claw is an herbal remedy thats prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain. Its often used when pets are diagnosed with arthritis, but it shouldnt be given if your pet is diabetic.
Pau DArco is an herbal remedy thats known for relieving the pain caused by arthritis, which can promote mobility if your pet is having trouble getting around.
Turmeric is another commonly prescribed herbal remedy for animals suffering with arthritis because it has a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Its also a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the liver and protects against myriad diseases.
Please note, all natural remedies should still only be used under a veterinary professionals guidance. Many herbs can have alternative side effects if not dosed properly depending on your cats age, weight, and health conditions.
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