If you have an older cat, check for signs of disorders that happen naturally with aging, such as arthritis. Cats are so adept at hiding pain that most times we aren’t even aware that there is a problem. And if our cats do show any signs such as resting more, being less active, we make the assumption that it’s all due to old age.
Usually, a cat with arthritis will show these signs:
- Unwillingness to jump on your lap, tables, etc.
- Difficulty getting into/out of the litter box
- Difficulty drinking/eating
- Unusual laziness
There are things you can do to ease your cat’s pain.
First, your cat should have a thorough examination by the veterinarian to rule out any other illnesses. Then you can start your cat on a regimen of glucosamine/chondroitin and omega 3s. These supplements can help with inflammation and pain. Ask your vet about dosage.
There are other medications available for arthritis treatment, but NEVER give your cat meds or supplements without consulting with your vet. Cats are very sensitive and reactions can be serious.
Acupuncture, acupressure, hydrotherapy, massage, all can help ease pain and allow for more freedom of movement.
The litter box should have low sides to make it more comfortable for your cat to get in and out of.
Watch your cat’s diet. Those extra pounds mean more pressure on painful joints.
If your cat usually is fed on a counter top, place the dish on the floor for ease of access.
There are beds available for pets with arthritis that help with pain and make sleeping or resting more comfortable.
Don’t give up on exercise. Just limit the amount of time (usually play) and learn to recognize when your cat has had enough.
Although there is no cure for arthritis, your cat can have relief from aches and pains, giving a better quality of life.