Arthritis is pain and stiffness in joints, often caused by the degeneration of the cartilage between the bones in your joints.
Signs of Arthritis
- Overall stiffness
- Swelling of the joins
- Lameness – meaning limping or favoring of one leg over another
- Decreased flexibility
- Discomfort when you handle (hold) them in certain positions
- Decreased activity
- Lapsed litterbox habits (this is caused by pain from getting in and out of the litterbox)
- Reluctance to run, jump or climb stairs
- Supplements to decrease joint stiffness, like glucosamine
- Diet to control weight gain due to inactivity
- NSAIDs to help manage pain
Cats are very clean animals. One of the biggest issues with a cat having arthritis is the decrease in flexibility and mobility. This can affect their ability to groom themselves. If you notice that your cat is having a hard time reaching certain areas of their body, you can help out by brushing those areas for them. This will relieve some of their grooming stress.
You can also make sure that she has a comfortable and soft cat bed to lay in and easy access to food and water. If you kept her food on the counter, you may want to put it on the floor. You should also consider getting a litterbox with a lowered opening to make it easier for your cat to get in and out.
If you think your cat may have arthritis, call you vet and schedule an exam. Once the vet determines if your cat is arthritic they will be able to help lay out a treatment plan.