Arthritis is certainly a painful condition that no human or animal would ever want to develop. It is a very painful inflammatory condition that makes the joints swell and ache. It often puts a strain on completing even the most basic and daily routine activities. In fact, did you know that arthritis in cats is much more common than one may think?!
As your cat ages, its not uncommon for the smooth layer of cartilage ontop of their bones to erode. Resulting in their bonespainfully rubbing together. This is often referred to Osteoarthritis (OA for short). What could make the situation any worse?The fact that cats in tune with their primal instincts areextremely good at hiding any signs of them being in pain. Making it difficult for any pawrent to detect that a problem exists in the first place.
Signs to Be Mindful Of
Even though it can be hard to pinpoint arthritic signs in your cat. There are a few clear indicators that arthritis is plaguing your precious cat:
- Refusing to jump up or down
- Only jumping on lower surfaces
- Legs seem or look stiff after waking up from a nap
- Reduced activity, more time sleeping
Grooming themselves lessfrequently
- Overgrown claws due to reduced activity
- More irritable and grumpy
If you are a cat owner who hasjust found out that your furry friend has been suffering, don't beat yourself up about it. Arthritis in cats is tough to self-diagnose. For instance, unlike dogs who tend to limp, swell, are become vocal about their pain, cats do not exhibit this. Cats generally do not develop odd walking styles, and even if they do, it can be very subtle and hard to notice.
The primary reason why cats are like this is because they arenaturally hardwired to hide their pain.Cats who are showing signs of distressare seen as weak, thus making them susceptible to predators. So, by nature, cats have evolved with this behavior and became master pain hiders. Though good in a wilderness setting, it can put a damper on their quality of life in a safe home environment. Often leaving their owners in shock when their local Vet delivers the bad news.
Managing Your Cat’s Arthritis
Even if your cat has had arthritis for years without itbeing noticed. You have plenty of options to ease their pain and to improve their quality of life. Here are a few tips to help:
Install ramps around your home to help your cat move aroundfreely;
Make sure their litter box iseasily accessible in the home
- Be diligent in grooming your cat as they may find certain movements difficult
- Talk to your Vet about natural medicinal treatments to combat pain and inflammation
- Encourage moderate exercise to help keep their muscles active, strong and healthy!
We would also encourage you to reconsider the way you feed your cat at home.Often at times eating from bowls placed on the floor puts enormous amounts of strain on their necks and joints. This is exactly why we invented the NibbleyPets Elevated Cat Feeder!
Our feederis designed with our cats in mind!With an elevated feeding platform and an ergonomic 12 degree tilt, it helps out cats eat in a natural upright position. It relieves strain on their joints, neck and bloating whilst, improving digestion!