Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.
7 Signs of Arthritis in Cats
How to Spot Arthritis in Cats
By Lorie Huston, DVM
Arthritis is one of the most common ailments seen in middle-aged to older pets. Even younger cats, under the right circumstances, can suffer from arthritic changes. Arthritis causes changes within the affected joints that are painful for the affected pet. This pain is responsible for many of the signs associated with arthritis in cats. Here are seven of those common signs.
You may see your cat limping or favoring one or more of his legs, depending on which legs and which joints are arthritic. In some cases, the limp may seem worse when your cat first rises and become less noticeable as your cat “warms up” by moving around.
2. Difficulty Moving
Your cat may also become reluctant to do things that were previously easy for her to accomplish. For instance, your cat may stop jumping onto countertops, perches and other high areas because of the pain and discomfort.
3. Spinal Issues
Arthritic changes can occur not only in the legs but also in the various parts of the spine. These changes may result in a sore neck, an abnormal posture with a “hunch” in the back, or lameness of one or both hind legs.
Your cat may tire more easily. For cats, this may mean less motivation to play games and signs of pain when she does. Your cat may also spend more time sleeping and/or resting.
Arthritic cats may become irritable. They may snap and/or bite when approached or handled, particularly if the petting or handling takes place in a manner that increases their pain.
6. Muscle Atrophy
Arthritic cats often develop muscle atrophy or dying off of the muscle tissue due to inactivity and decreased use of the muscles. A cat with atrophied muscles in their legs will have a leg which looks thinner than a normal leg.
7. Licking, Chewing & Biting
Cats affected with arthritis may also begin to lick at, chew or bite at body areas that are painful. This may even reach the point of causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.
Arthritis Treatment for Cats
Though arthritis cannot be cured, there are various remedies and procedures that can help ease the pain for your cat. Consult your veterinarian for advice if you believe your cat is suffering from arthritis.
Arthritis in cats can be particularly hard to spot. Many arthritic cats simply become less active. Often, this change in behavior corresponds to the cat becoming older and a cat owner may simply assume that the change is normal when, in fact, your cat may actually be decreasing his activity level because he is in pain due to arthritis.
Additional SlideshowsWhat's New Dog Cat
|7 Common Skin Problems in Cats||7 Reasons Your Vet Needs to Examine Your New Dog||5 Trash Can Dangers for Your Pet||5 Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease in Dogs||7 Causes of Weight Loss in Pets|
|8 Hidden Pet Dangers Lurking in Your Car||5 Simple Rules for Giving Your Pet a Healthy Life||10 Car Safety Items for Your Pet||Five Winter Essentials for Short Haired Dogs||5 Exercise Tips for Arthritic Pets|
|4 Ways Food Can Promote Mobility for Cats||Introducing MyBowl for Cats: A New Way to Think About Cat Food||How Did My Cat Get Fleas or Ticks?||9 Misconceptions About Cancer in Pets||5 Simple Rules for Giving Your Pet a Healthy Life|