Is your kitty getting up there in years? Have you noticed Fluffy seeming more stiff and sore lately? If so, your furry pal may potentially have arthritis. This condition is just as common—and painful—in older cats as it is for senior humans. A Louisville, KY vet offers some insight on this painful condition below.
Cats have a tendency to try to hide the signs that something is off. You’ll need to pay close attention to your feline friend, and keep an eye out for warning signs. Limping may be the first thing you notice. At first, your pet may only limp when she gets up. Eventually, though, that limp will become more pronounced. Fluffy may have trouble jumping up to her favorite spots, and she may not be as playful or pouncy as she once was. You may notice your kitty starting to look a bit unkempt as grooming herself becomes more difficult. Your furry bff may also flinch if you touch her on a spot that hurts. Sometimes these things may become more pronounced in cold or damp weather.
Arthritis isn’t curable, but there are treatments to help your feline pal feel better, and just generally improve her quality of life. These may include things like nutrition and weight management, laser therapy, and/or medication. Massaging your kitty may also help. Ask your vet for specific advice.
There are also some things that you can do at home. Taking time to play with your pet regularly can help keep her fit and active, and prevent muscle atrophy. Don’t worry about overdoing it. If your catl gets even a little tired, she’ll promptly quit playing. You’ll also want to make sure that your feline buddy has lots of comfy beds, and that they are easy for her to get into. If you have more than one floor, keep litterboxes and water bowls on every level, so your kitty doesn’t have to use the stairs as much. Fluffy may appreciate having some help with grooming. Supplements may also be helpful. Finally, keep your kitty safe and sound indoors. This is safer for any cat, but arthritic ones are at particular risk, as they may not be able to escape potential threats, such as cars or predators.
Do you know or suspect that your pet has arthritis? Contact us, your local Louisville, KY animal clinic, anytime!