Just like people, arthritis in cats can occur and exhibit the symptoms of aching joints. This occurs in senior cats. Excessive weight can also be a contributing factor and weight control along with exercise is an important treatment for feline arthritis.
The symptoms or osteoarthritis are:
• Stiffness upon the arising from a rest or nap
• Reluctance to jump (often if they jump they might miss and fall)
• Pain when walking
• Personality changes including aggression, depression and anxiety
The good news is that are new developments in veterinary medicine that can provide products that not only can relieve the pain but help protect and repair joints.
Treatments for Osteoarthritis Glucosamine and Chrondroitin – these supplements can enhance the formation of cartilage and inhibits the enzymes in the joint that break down cartilage. These supplements are often combined in products such as Cosequin, which is available from your veterinarian. Cosequin is an edible powder in a capsule form that can be taken whole or sprinkled on your cat’s food. Syn-flex is another pharmaceutical that can provide pain relief.
• Weight Control – A kitty that is overweight can cause an overburden to its joints. You should take efforts to reduce weight of the cat slowly and safely.
• Exercise - Exercise is great and not only can it aid in weight loss, it helps warm up the stiff joints. Purchase or make some cat toys that will get your kitty more playful and active. It’s amazing what you can make with some string and ribbon. Or even better, laser lights!
• Provide warmth – cats with arthritis will find a warm spot to lie. The warmth from electric heating pads, bed, and blankets can provide warmth and comfort for your kitty’s sore joints.
• Massage – Your kitty can benefit from a gentle message of sore muscles and joints.
Even though cat arthritis cannot be cured (though complete relief can be attained), a treatment program along with advise from your vet will provide comfort for the final years of your senior cat.