How to know if your cat has arthritis and how is this illness treated?
The answers to these questions and much more can be found in this article!
Recent studies have shown that old age arthritis or osteoarthritis is something that affects cats over the age of 12 by up to 90 percent. However, this is an illness that isn’t so easy to notice and it often goes undiagnosed. That is why it is important to know the symptoms to be able to give your cat the treatment it needs.
Arthritis And Cats
What Is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a complex condition that involves inflammation and degeneration of one or more joints anywhere in the body. In cats, the most commonly affected joints are elbows, spine, and hips. What really happens is that the cartilage deteriorates and the synovial fluid loses most of its lubricating properties. Therefore, the movement of the bones becomes less smooth which leads to a lot of discomforts and reduced mobility.
As we already mentioned, arthritis symptoms are a lot harder to pick up on with cats as they generally don’t limp as dogs do. But cats tend to change their behavior. Here we mentioned some of the most common signs of arthritis amongst cats.
1. Reduced Movement
The first symptom is the inability to get up and down from furniture, such as a tall narrow cat tree, or even their sleeping area. That means that they will tend to sleep in different locations that previously, usually somewhere lower down. Also, they might have difficulty getting in and out of litter trays or you might even notice stiff gait when walking.
2. Changes In Grooming
Another way to spot arthritis with your cat is reduced grooming due to the pain they are experiencing. They might also over-groom the painful joints which can result in hair loss, infected skin in that area, etc.
3. Change Of Personality
The cat may become more aggressive when they suffer from arthritis. They also might not like to be patted, held, or even brushed by their owners or anyone else really.
4. Less Active
Your cat will spend less time playing, hunting, and exploring the outdoors or your home. It will become completly captivity cat. It is also quite common for them to stop using the scratching post which you will notice as their nails will become really long very quickly.
If you noticed any of the signs we mentioned earlier, we highly recommend you take your cat to the vet where they can properly diagnose her. There are various veterinary treatments available for managing osteoarthritis in cats. But the treatment will also depend on your cat’s age, the progression of the disease as well as some other health factors.
1. Disease-Modifying Osteoarthritis Drugs
These types of drugs are mostly given as series of injections. The cat will get one injection every week for four weeks. Then the treatment is usually repeated every 6 to 12 months. This type of treatment has shown a lot of improvement with minimal to no side effects.
2. Anti-Inflammatory And Pain Relief Medications
The next type of arthritis treatment is with anti-inflammatory and pain relief medications. This type of treatment needs to be closely monitored by your vet as it can affect your cat’s liver and kidney function if they are given in too high doses.
3. Nutraceuticals And Prescriptions Diets
The last group of treatment consists of dietary supplements or prescription diets. These contain certain ingredients that work together to protect the joints and help in reducing the inflammation over time.
How Long Can A Cat Live With Arthritis?
Usually, arthritis is an illness that affects mostly older cats and if it has been diagnosed in time and with the appropriate treatment, you can live up to its normal life expectancy. However, you will need to make some adjustments to their lifestyle.
Aside from medical treatments your cat simply must undertake to treat arthritis, it is also important to provide them with a warm and safe environment at home. Make sure you provide your cats with a low sided kitty litter tray for easy access, give them a warm and comfortable place to sleep. You can also put steps near the favorite furniture they like to climb onto. It is also important to trim their nails regularly as well as brush their coat.
To Sum Up
Arthritis is a very common illness amongst cats, but it isn’t so easy to notice the symptoms. However, when diagnosed on time and with the right treatment your cat can live its normal life expectancy. If you want to treat your cat from time to time, read this article all about the cat camera treat dispenser. The easiest way to monitor your cat is through the indoor pet cameras, which we reviewed in another one of our articles for you.