Arthritis in Cats
Arthritis is not only possible in cats, but perhaps far more common than we know. In one study, over 90% of cats over the age of 12 showed signs of degenerative joint disease.
The problem can be caused by injury and trauma to a joint, wear and tear, normal aging, a congenital joint problem, injury, and obesity.
Cats are experts at hiding pain, and might keep the disease hidden for quite some times. Early diagnosis helps minimize pain and further damage, so watch out for these signs of arthritis:
- Difficulty walking or stiff gait
- Being less active
- Swollen joints, or avoiding to use a joint
- Avoiding climbing stairs or jumping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Decreased appetite
- Litter tray accidents
- Decreased grooming
- Lameness or limping
- Hair loss over joints (from excessive grooming of painful areas)
Multiple treatments are available to help alleviate the pain and discomfort that this progressive disease causes, so talk to your vet if you suspect something is wrong.