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Cat Hospital of Chicago Blog

Does Your Senior Cat Suffer From Arthritis?

Posted by admin in Uncategorized on Tuesday, April 26th, 2016.

Recognizing arthritis in cats is challenging. Many cats hide their pain very effectively. While we may sometimes see older cat limping or favoring one leg, more often than not arthritic cats simply become less active, sleeping and resting more of the time. They are also reluctant to jump onto surfaces that were easily accessible previously.

It is easy to mistake symptoms of arthritis for normal aging. We assume it’s normal for an older cat to sleep more and be less active without ever wondering whether pain may be playing a part. We may even assume that our arthritic cat is learning manners or displaying better behavior because he no longer jumps onto the counter tops.

If your cat is starting to slow down and exhibits some of these symptoms, a complete physical examination by a veterinarian at Cat Hospital of Chicago is recommended. Aside from aging, arthritis can be confused with many other diseases. Blood tests and / or x-rays may be needed obtain a definitive diagnosis.

 

Possible Treatments and Remedies for Arthritis in Elderly Cats

Joint supplements containing glucosamine and/or chondroitin can help some cats.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve pain from arthritis and other causes.

Adequan is an injectable product that can be used to help relieve arthritis pain and is effective for many cats.

Other medications are available to help relieve your cat’s pain and may be necessary if the previous products are ineffective. These include tramadol, gabapentin, Fentanyl, and others. Your veterinarian will help you determine which medication is best suited for your cat.

Alternative Therapies

For some cats, alternative therapies such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and even massage can help ease the pain of arthritis.

For overweight cats, weight loss can help make arthritic cats more comfortable by relieving stress and pressure on sensitive joints. One of the veterinarian at Cat Hospital of Chicago will help you establish a safe and effective weight loss plan for your arthritic cat.

Exercise can also keep joints and muscles supple. Exercise can also be effective in burning calories and helping with weight loss where necessary.

Provide your cat with soft bedding in the form of a pet bed or blanket on which to sleep and/or rest.

Make sure the litter box is in an easily accessible location and is easy for your cat to enter and exit. Do not place your cat’s only litter box in a basement or attic far from where your cat spends most of his time. Consider using a litter box with low sides for easy access.

Though arthritis is not a curable condition, the pain it causes can be controlled. However, the first step is recognizing that it exists. Your veterinarian can work with you in developing a treatment regime and strategy to combat the pain your cat may have from arthritis.

If you have any questions, please call us at 773 539-9080.

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