The focus for today’s Feline Friday Facebook post is arthritis, particularly topical just now as colder weather can really exacerbate joint pain and make our feline friends feel more fragile.
Arthritis is a common condition in cats – Cats Protection cite that over 80% of cats over the age of 10 years old suffer from some degree of the disease, and younger cats can also suffer from arthritis if there has been some trauma to the joint. In arthritic joints, the healthy fluid that normally lubricates joints enabling them to move smoothly is no longer doing its job, and instead the bones in the joint grate over each other causing pain and swelling.
There are lots of signs that can indicate your feline friend is struggling with joint pain. These can range from stiffness, difficulty jumping, limping, a reluctance to go up stairs and more prominent shoulder blades due to muscle wastage, to over-grooming (most often over sore joints), sleeping more and pain potentially making them more grumpy.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, please do get in touch with us as there are lots of ways we can help support your feline friend to improve their day to day wellbeing, from diet review, joint supplements, complementary therapies and mobility exercises to veterinary prescribed pain relief.
There are ways you can make arthritic cats feel more comfortable at home too:
Make sure your cat can reach their favourite sleeping place easily. You may need to fashion steps or a ramp up to higher spots, or move furniture around to help your furry friend reach that cosy bed!
Warmth helps ease joint pain. Keep sleeping spots draught-free and use cosy bedding. Heated pet beds can be good for easing joint pain, especially in the cold.
Raise food and water bowls as bending down to eat and drink can be painful. You can buy specially manufactured bowls or simply prop up bowls you already have. A pint glass filled with water could make a new head-height drinking station.
For cats that use indoor litter trays, choose one with a low lip as they are easier to manoeuvre into. High lipped litter trays may be a step too far.
Here’s to helping more cats feel even more in love with life!