Managing Arthritis in Cats

Arthritis is something that both humans and cats experience. Just as with human arthritis, in cat arthritis, the joints of a cat becomes inflamed, thereby leading to a painful experience. The problem with arthritis in cats is that the condition is chronic, which means that it can happen time and time again. The symptoms can just keep coming back, and each time they recur, they can be more painful.

Which Cats Are Likely to Get Feline Arthritis?

It is possible for younger cats to develop arthritis, but they are most common in cats that are older. The condition can be quite uncomfortable. Arthritis is generally painful, but there are cases wherein the illness becomes so severe that cats are left incapacitated.

Feline Arthritis Types

1) Progressive Polyarthritis – This type of feline arthritis can affect a few joints simultaneously. Symptoms can become worse over time, as the ailment develops. This can happen when the protective cartilage fails, leaving the bones exposed and unprotected. It is also possible for cats to develop feline arthritis from a congenital issue with their joints, which means that your cat may have a genetic predisposition to develop feline arthritis. Cats that are obese are also more likely to develop arthritis, as the joints get more impact than they can handle, from the surplus weight.

2) Osteoarthritis – This can be the result of impact and breaking down of the defending cartilages that keep the joint surfaces safe and protected. The condition is chronic and is a degenerative type of feline arthritis. When the cartilages (mostly of the elbows and shoulders) that serve to protect degrade, bones begin to rub and scrape each other. From this, infection can develop.

3) Traumatic Arthritis – This type of arthritis can begin from damage in the joints, or from a simple sprain; from falls, accidents, as well as impact from fights.

Symptoms of Cat Arthritis

By and large, the symptoms of arthritis in cats begin to show once the disease has developed. For this reason, it is not always easy to find out if or when a cat is in the process of developing arthritis. This is why it is good to remain vigilant for signs and symptoms, especially if your cat is beginning to mature. Most cats that suffer from feline arthritis are likely to exhibit stiffness in their joints. They will also begin to limp from place to place, and they are likely to be less mobile than usual. Cats that suffer from arthritis are also likely to hate being touched around their joints.

Cat Arthritis Treatment

It is not easy to stop the development of cat arthritis, especially if the contributing factors are weight, breed, genetics and age. The best thing to do is begin treatment as soon as possible. Among the available treatments for feline arthritis is an injectable treatment called Adequan, which is injected into the area that is affected. This brings cats relief, especially with advanced stages of arthritis. There are also NSAIDS, which are “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs”. These alleviate pain and inflammation in the joints.