Hello! Nigel, here!
Today, I am here to talk to you about a topic that many cat guardians are not aware of. We felines can get arthritis as we get older, just like humans. Because felines are not complainers by nature, well…most of us aren’t….we often don’t speak up and tell our human staff that we are uncomfortable. Here are some signs that you should watch for at your home, to make sure that your cats aren’t in need of help in this regard.
Signs of Reduced Mobility:
1. Reluctance, hesitance or refusal to jump up or down
2. Jumping up to lower surfaces than previously
3. Jumping up or down less frequently
4. Difficulty going up or down stairs
5. Stiffness in the legs, especially after sleeping or resting for a while; occasionally there may be obvious lameness (limping)
6. Difficulty using the litter box–Many cats stop using the litter box if they are arthritic, as it is hard for them to climb over the edge.
7. Difficulty going through the cat flap
Signs of Reduced Activity:
1. Increased time spent resting or sleeping
2. Not hunting or exploring the outdoor environment as frequently (if they go outside)
3. Sleeping in different, easier to access sites
4. Reduced interaction and playing less with people or other animals
Signs Related to Grooming Behavior:
1. Reduced frequency of time spent grooming
2. Matted and scruffy coat
3. Sometimes over grooming of painful joints
4. Overgrown claws due to lack of activity and reduced sharpening of claws
1. More irritable or grumpy when handled or stroked
2. More irritable or grumpy on contact with other animals
3. Spending more time alone
4. Avoiding interaction with people and/or animals–again, this is a change—if your kitty was already kind of a “people avoider” (which is perfectly understandable), than this does not apply.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your older cat, it is very important that you call Dr. S and Dr. J at For Cats Only and make an appointment for an examination. There are some supplements and medications that the doctors can suggest that will help your kitty feel young and spry again. You may be pleasantly surprised with how much of a change you see, when untreated arthritis is finally gotten under control.
Anyway, that’s all for now! I must be going as I have a lot of stalking and pouncing to get done today. Nigel, signing off. Meow!