Arthritis in Cats – Symptoms and Treatments

Often suffer from osteoarthritis or osteoarthritis , old cats, senile or senile, who begin to suffer wear on one or several of their joints. It is a degenerative disease, that is, it worsens over time.

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In the Animal Expert we will explain to you what is osteoarthritis in cats and what are their symptoms and treatments . Osteoarthritis is irreversible, since present in our animal can not be reversed, however we can improve the quality of our feline, preventing it from affecting too much your daily routine.

What is arthritis and why does it happen?

To understand correctly what arthrosis is in cats, let’s use the definition given in the dictionary: ” It is a degenerative and irreversible disease of one or more joints due to wear of the cartilages that protect them, losing its function of cushioning . ”

we must differentiate arthritis from arthritis in cats , which is a chronic inflammation of the joints but reversible in most cases. Often they start with an arthritis and by not being detected and with the passage of time, it turns into an arthrosis.

It is a silent disease, since 90% of cats over 12 years old suffer from it, and sometimes owners never detect it. They can have different causes that trigger it as for example:

  • Genetics, common in races such as main coon, Burmese, Scottish fold, or abysses, depending on the affected joint.
  • The traumas, due to blows, fights, falls, etc.
  • Being overweight, although not the cause that would trigger it, but it would aggravate.
  • Acromegaly, an injury to the pituitary gland that deforms the joints.

It can be linked to the appearance of diseases with some of these causes or simply surprise our cat, so we must be alert to the signs and symptoms that we can observe to treat it in a timely manner.

Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis in cats

Sometimes it can be complicated to detect diseases in cats, since it is not so simple to recognize certain anomalies, much less to observe signs of pain.

Within the signs or behavioral changes that we can observe we find: character changes, more irritable or depressed animals, changes in hygiene habits or sometimes fail to do so because they hurt certain positions and may show some irritability or aggression at the moment to clean certain parts of the body like the loin or the column, all due to a great sensitivity.

When we talk about the most visible symptoms we can find the following:

  • Loss of habitual appetite
  • Stiffness in joints
  • Limitation on movements that were once habitual
  • Loss of muscle mass due to the disuse of certain joints, very common in the hips of the abyssinian cats
  • They defecate or urinate outside the litter box because they have difficulty entering

Diagnosis of arthrosis

As already mentioned, osteoarthritis is a very difficult disease to diagnose and on many occasions it is detected through observation and suspicion of the owner, when seeing that the cat is not well.

If you believe that your cat may be suffering from osteoarthritis, you should go to the vet to be able to do the corresponding tests and begin treatment. This is the only way to delay, as far as possible, the effects of this disease.

The vet will do the physical examination of our cat , and with that, usually already has a very accurate diagnosis of what is happening. To confirm the diagnosis, you can order radiographsof the most affected joint.

Treatment of osteoarthritis in cats

In the case of an irreversible disease, we will try to alleviate the symptoms so that it suffers as little as possible and at the same time to avoid the advance of the disease. Each particular case will be evaluated with the veterinarian, because sometimes there are other more serious diseases that require more attention.

We can use conventional anti-inflammatories as well as natural anti-inflammatories for the more acute phases. We can also resort to Homeopathy or Bach Flowers for a more natural control of the disease.

Diet control will be an important part for them since overweight cats suffer more in the affected joints. If the cat is overweight, you should consult the veterinarian about the option of providing diets for obese cats . Do not forget that the food you choose should be rich in fish oil and vitamin E as well as low in carbohydrates. Remember that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate promote cartilage formation, so they should be present in your food.

Last but not least, we must pack the house so that our cat does not have to change his habits. See if you can, for example, lower the litter box, water and food to a more accessible place.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you would like to read more articles matching the following questions, please visit our Degenerative Diseases section .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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