Bringing a cat into your home and family's life can be a wonderful experience. However, this new family member will require ongoing love and care. Unfortunately, love cannot protect your cat from all medical disorders. Considering recent studies have shown many cats, especially ones over the age of 12, have arthritis, understanding this condition is key to helping your own cat. With this guide, you will learn a few common signs and treatment options for your cat's osteoarthritis.
Pain is the most common sign of arthritis, but your cat will not be able to verbalize this discomfort to you. Therefore, you need to look for signs that they are experiencing pain.
Firstly, your cat may be less active. They may sleep for longer periods of time or choose to lay around more frequently than they did in the past.
Because of the pain, arthritis will cause your cat to struggle jumping or moving up and down stairs. They may avoid these tasks completely.
If you notice debris, urine, or feces around or near the litter box, your cat's arthritis may be preventing them from entering and exiting the box properly.
Also, arthritis can affect your cat's appetite. They may not want to eat as much or they may avoid chewing hard food due to the inflammation and pain in their joints, which include the jaw.
Fortunately, help is available if your cat has arthritis. In addition, there are many options to help relieve your cat's pain and improve their mobility.
In most cases, your veterinarian will suggest prescription pain relievers. These medications reduce inflammation and swelling, which decreases your cat's pain. It is important to remember you should never give your cat human medications. Most human medications are not suitable for animals, so offering these drugs to your cat can increase the risk of illness and even death in some cases.
Carrying extra weight places extra stress on the joints, which will make your cat's arthritis more painful and debilitating. If your cat is overweight, the veterinarian may suggest changing the diet and exercising more frequently to help with weight loss.
Fortunately, surgery is not usually necessary unless your cat is dealing with another condition related to their arthritis. Cats with hip dysplasia or a torn ligament or tendon may lead to arthritis, so repairing these issues with surgery can reduce your cat's arthritis pain.
Your cat does not have to suffer from the pain and immobility of arthritis. With proper understanding, a vet clinic can diagnose and treat your cat's condition.