When it comes to our pets and joint diseases like arthritis we usually think of this debilitating disease affecting dogs much more commonly than cats. However, research indicates that Osteoarthritis (OA) occurs in 61% of cats over the age of 6, and 90% of cats over the age of 12. In this article, we discuss arthritis in cats, signs your cat may be suffering, and treatment options.
OA is the most common form of arthritis, it is a health condition involving inflammation and degeneration of one or more joints. It occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the ends of bones wears down over time. Cats with OA experience pain and inflammation in various joints that interfere with the activities of daily living. It can often be difficult to determine if OA is affecting your pet because animals have a natural instinct to hide their pain or health conditions.
The most common signs your cat may be suffering from joint disease may include:
- Difficulty getting up and down
- Walking stiffly
- Lameness in one or more legs
- Reluctance to go up and/or downstairs
- Reluctance to jump up or down (onto/off furniture or into/out of a vehicle)
- Stiff, swollen, or sore joints
- Reluctance to be touched on some parts of the body
- Urinating/defecating outside the litter box
- Unexpected aggression towards other animals or towards humans
It’s important to note that many pain relievers used to treat arthritis in humans and dogs can be deadly for cats. Never give your cat any medication without first consulting your veterinarian. When it comes to treating OA in cats, it is recommended to start out with weight loss if the cat is overweight. Extra pounds only put more pressure on those painful and swollen joints. Getting your cat to move around more and exercise will help to strengthen supportive tissues, core muscles, and limbs. Keeping nails trimmed will help to keep their paws from getting caught on objects and put less stress on their limbs.
There are simple things that you can do to provide your cat with more comfort and mobility. These include:
- Soft, padded bedding
- Raised food and water dishes (elbow height)
- Non-skid floor surfaces
- A ramp or stool/step for getting onto favorite higher surfaces
- A litter box with lowered edges making access easier.
Last but certainly not least, adding a nutritional supplement that has medicinal effects is recommended for cats with arthritis. An all-natural joint nourishing supplement like Flexpet taken daily can help to nourish your pet’s joints and rebuild cartilage. It reduces swelling in the joints and this means less pain. Flexpet is the only petcare product on the market to contain Cetyl Myristoleate or CM8. This is a fatty acid that occurs naturally in certain mammals making those mammals immune to arthritic conditions. It also helps lubricate joints and reduces swelling. Flexpet also contains other joint nourishing ingredients like Glucosamine Sulfate Potassium, MSM, Hydrolyzed Collagen Type II, Bromelain, Vitamin C, and Digestive Enzymes that help your pet absorb the ingredients.
Even though arthritis has long been overlooked in cats, the good news is that there’s now plenty of hope should your cat develop the condition. At Flexpet, we care about animals and keeping them as healthy as possible! We have a fantastic and knowledgeable customer care team available to answer any of your questions about our products and how they may help your four-legged friend. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email, or by phone at 1-800-505-0575.