Cat arthritis is a joint inflammation disease causing pain and reduced mobility and is experienced by many middle aged and older pets. Fortunately, veterinarians offer a number of effective treatments for arthritis, and cat owners should keep watch for the symptoms as their pets age, especially when they reach the age of seven. Consult your vet for a diagnosis and help if your cat seems to be suffering from this disease.
There are a Variety of Risk Factors and Triggers
Arthritis is a common problem for aging pets, and cats have their share of these joint problems and could suffer from one of many different types of arthritis. These are the risk factors for kitty:
- Age is definitely a factor and arthritis often strikes middle-aged and older cats, which means ages seven to twelve or more.
- Cartilage between the bones of the joints are subject to wear and tear, and can actually wear away leaving the bones rubbing against each other causing arthritic pain.
- One of the triggers for damage to the cartilage is a joint injury that may have occurred in the past.
- Another trigger is congenital abnormalities such as hip dysplasia, which can cause problems with joints and develop into arthritis as your cat ages.
- More overweight than lean cats suffer from arthritis, or the weight worsens the problem.
Be on the Lookout for the Symptoms
Pain is a major symptom of arthritis and so is lack of mobility, and cats react differently to this combination of problems. Be on the lookout for a variety of behaviors that signal arthritis, primarily any behavior that has changed from normal:
- Cats may become less active and less interested in playing.
- They may become irritable and prone to hissing and scratching when touched roughly.
- Some cats become more sociable but others become less so, and might even avoid family members.
- It is often difficult for cats in pain to find comfortable sleeping positions and, when they sleep, they sleep much longer than usual.
- Some cats may have trouble getting to the litter box in time.
- Some cats may even lose interest in grooming themselves.
Diagnosing Arthritis is the First Hurdle to Overcome
Cats make every effort to conceal pain and lameness, which makes arthritis difficult to diagnose, and owners must be alert to changes in behavior as their pets age.
Be sure and take them for an examination if you notice that your cat has become reluctant to run, jump, and climb, especially if his disposition has changed as well. Your veterinarian will give your cat a physical examination including a radiograph or x-ray.
There are Several Treatment Possibilities
If your cat is suffering from the symptoms of cat arthritis, consult your veterinarian. There are medications, treatments, dietary changes, and natural supplements that can reduce your pet’s pain, repair joint damage, and increase his mobility.
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