Cats are very stoic. It’s an important survival instinct not to display signs of physical weakness, if at all possible. It is easy to miss signs of discomfort or pain in your cat.

Signs of Chronic pain include:

  • Changes in interactivity & reduced playfulness
  • Changes in personality (becoming withdrawn; grumpy)
  • More time spent resting and sleeping
  • A change in posture from vertical to horizontal for claw sharpening, ie, prefers a horizontal scratching area
  • Changes in litter box behaviour (missing the tray or using alternate sites)
  • Using steps to get to higher places, hesitation or refusal to jump up or down from places such a s a bed, shelf or chair are also hallmarks of a reduction in mobility associated with joint pain. Reluctance to go up or down stairs.
  • Vocalizing when picked up, or aggression towards the owner or other animals in the house may also be evidence of pain
  • Inappetence, loss of condition, dropping food, jaw chattering, pawing at mouth may be evidence of oral pain
  • Other clinical clues include areas of the body that are not being groomed, or areas that are being over groomed

The treatments for feline arthritis have improved markedly. The two most common medications are:

1. an anti-inflammatory called meloxicam has been registered for use in cats. Recent studies have shown its safety in cats with early kidney failure. Book an appointment with your veterinarian for an examination. If indicated, a blood test can be performed to check your cat’s internal health and results can return in as little as 10 minutes.

2. Pentosan injections have been used successfully in over 75% of feline arthritis cases as 4 week courses and ongoing chronic injection courses.

Practical meassures to aid your aging cat in the home include:

1. a home-made litter tray that is greater than 1.5 body lengths of the cat (considered to be the ideal litter tray length) and has low sides that allow easy access.

2. horizontal cat scratching boxes allow older cats to clear their sheaths from their nails without standing vertically with sore hips and/or spine.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!