Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Degenerative Joint Disease in Cats




Medical treatment of DJD is designed to control the signs and symptoms of the disease, this disease cannot be cured. But, surgery may help alleviate symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. This can include reconstructive procedures, joint removal or replacement, and the surgical removal of aggravating causes, such as bone or cartilage fragments, in a joint.


Physical therapy designed to maintain or increase joint motion is very beneficial and may be done with various motion exercises, swimming, and massage. Exercise designed to strengthen muscle tone is also useful. The pain that comes with arthritis can be managed using cold and heat therapy, such as with heating pads.


Long-term medication may also be helpful in reducing joint swelling and pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, are often recommended.


Living and Management


Continue to monitor your cat's symptoms, as DJD is likely to progress with time. A change in drug selection or dosage, or even further surgical intervention, may become necessary. Limit physical activity to a level that will not aggravate symptoms and pain. In addition, a diet including omega fatty acids is sometimes recommended for decreasing inflammation.




Prompt treatment of DJD is an important part of reducing the disease’s progression of symptoms. It is important to avoid trauma or excessive pressure to joints, but exercise and a healthy diet are essential for the prevention of obesity, which can add stress to the joints.



Related Articles

Joint Cartilage Erosion in Cats

Erosive, immune-mediated polyarthritis is an immune-mediated inflammatory disease of the joints, in which the cartilage of the cat's joint (articular...

Bone Tumors/Cancer in Cats

Osteosarcoma refers to a type of bone tumor that can be found in cats. Although it is rare, the disease is extremely aggressive and has a tendency...

Verterbral Disc Inflammation in Cats

Diskspondylitis is the inflammation of vertebral disks due to an infection caused by the invasion of bacteria or fungus.

Kneecap Dislocation in Cats

Patellar luxation occurs when the cat's kneecap (patella) is dislocated from its normal anatomic position and is thought to be quite rare in...