Tag Archives: arthritis

Arthritic Cats

tomi taipoj

On these overcast winter days I’d be content to wrap up and snuggle down inside under a cosy blanket and just sleep until spring time.

Cats excel at finding a comfy place to curl up and sleep, and in this weather I can’t blame them. However, if your cat is sleeping more it may be a sign that they are suffering from arthritis.

There are two sorts of pain that we and our feline friends can experience; acute and chronic pain. While a cat may cry out or limp with acute pain, many cats experiencing chronic pain attempt to hide it as a survival instinct. As such the symptoms of chronic pain can be much more subtle as cats attempt to not draw attention to themselves. It is estimated that 33% of senior cats have arthritis and the associated chronic pain. If you have an older cat then the following are signs to look out for.

cat feline arthritisArthritic cats are more reclusive, less willing to play and more inclined to sleep than cats that are not experiencing arthritic pain. They are often less interactive and may be less tolerant of being petted.cat feline arthritis

cat feline arthritis jumping

 Arthritic cats are less willing to jump. While they certainly can jump, you may get the distinct impression that they really don’t want to. They will often look for an alternative way down, such as jumping onto a chair or half way point to get down.

cat feline arthritis

Some cats will be reluctant to use stairs or go up steps. They often show a preference to stay inside, even when they used to love being outdoors. Some experience such pain that they will only walk from cushion, to food bowl, to litter tray and back.

Arthritis may even prevent an older cat from being able to use their litter tray, with some being unable to climb in or correctly position themselves and so they may have ‘accidents’ on the edge of the litter tray or nearby.

Our senior cats don’t have to live with chronic pain. There are a range of different ways that we can increase their comfort and improve their quality of life. Modifying their environment so that they can use steps and litter trays which are more accessible, supplementing their diet with glucosamine and related nutraceuticals, and the administration of prescription pain relief medication all form part of a multi-modal pain management plan.

Please note human pain killers, especially panadol/paracetamol are HIGHLY TOXIC and potentially lethal to cats.

If you think your cat may be showing signs of arthritis please contact us on 97987723.

(c) Popitz

written by Dr Mary Parker

Golden Oldies

old golden

Our chilly winter weather is often harder on our older pets. Many people note their pets ‘look their age’ in the colder weather, largely due to arthritic joints aching with the cold, but there are things you can do to keep your golden oldies more comfortable in these senior years.

Warmth and shelter is important for any pet, but particularly so with senior pets who may have increased difficulties getting into or out of kennels or elevated beds. Keeping warm also helps to alleviate muscular aches and pains.

It’s very important to watch your older pet’s appetite, thirst and weight. Changes in weight or body shape without a change in appetite could be an early indication of internal disease, and increased thirst can be an early indicator of kidney disease or diabetes. Middle age and older pets are also prone to a number of hormonal conditions, and changes in appetite or thirst are often the earliest signs you can notice. Many of these conditions are manageable with correct treatment, and an earlier diagnosis will be better for both your beloved pet and your hip pocket.

old cat

Arthritis and mobility problems are by far the most common problems afflicting older pets. There are several options available to assist them, including prescription pain relief medication, arthritis modifying injections, nutraceuticals and dietary supplements such as glucosamine and in some cases even joint replacement surgery.

(Please note that we do NOT recommend human pain killer medications for dogs and cats except in very specific circumstances as advised by the attending veterinarian. NEVER give paracetamol to a cat. ) Continue reading