Does your senior cat seem stiff and sore lately? If so, there’s a chance that your feline pal has arthritis. Arthritis is actually very common in older kitties. In fact, it afflicts a whopping nine out of ten cats over the age of ten. A local Crown Point, IN vet offers some information on this common condition below.
There is no one specific thing that causes arthritis. It’s most often a result of simple wear and tear. Over time, Fluffy’s tendons and ligaments will grow thin and lose elasticity, causing stiffness and pain. Obesity, injury, and body composition also factor in. Genetics plays a role, too; some breeds, such as the adorably chirpy Maine Coon, are more often affected than others. (Persians, Siamese cats, and Scottish folds are also highly prone to arthritis.)
Back It Up
Although Fluffy can have arthritis in any of her joints, her back legs are most often affected. (This makes sense, as those rear limbs do most of the work whenever your furball jumps into your lap or hops onto that table she isn’t supposed to be on.)
Fluffy can’t tell you if she has arthritis, so it’s up to you to watch for warning signs. Limping is a common one. Some other things to look for are reduced interest in play, poor grooming, sleeping more, crankiness, sensitivity (particularly in specific areas), difficulty jumping and climbing, and withdrawal. Since many of these things can also be caused by other issues, get your feline friend checked out right away if you notice any of them.
Arthritis can’t be cured, but there are things that can help Fluffy feel better. Medication may be one option. Your furry buddy may also benefit from alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, massage, laser therapy, or veterinary medical manipulation, or chiropractic. Supplements, such as fish oil, may also help. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Home care is also important. Comfort and safety are the two big things. Keep your kitty indoors, and offer her lots of warm, comfy napping spots. Regular play sessions will keep your furball fit and active, while pet ramps and senior-friendly litterboxes will make life a bit easier for her. Finally, just pay lots of attention to Fluffy.
Do you have questions about arthritis in kitties? Contact us, your local Crown Point, IN veterinary clinic, anytime.