- Symptoms of Cat Arthritis
- Difficulty getting up or climbing
- Stiffness in the joints
- Pain and discomfort while walking
- Depression and in certain cases aggression
Following are some home treatment options for cats with arthritis.
Cats that are overweight or obese experience a lot of discomfort, as excess weight increases the pressure on inflamed joints or muscles. The cat should be given an appropriate diet that will help maintain a healthy body weight. Weight loss has to be gradual for it to be safe for your pet.
Exercise is a good way to reduce your cat's weight without solely relying on the diet. Exercise will also prevent stiffness in the joints and keep the ligaments and tendons flexible. A good way to initiate exercise is to play with your cat indoors. Also, consider taking your pet for a walk with a cat harness.
Cold Climates and Providing Warmth
Since colder climates make the joints stiff, it's best to keep cats suffering from arthritis indoors. Warm towels can provide relief from the symptoms of arthritis pain. It's also necessary to provide pets with soft bedding that's comfortable for them to sleep in. Heated or soft blankets are good options.
The anti-inflammatory properties of fish oil or omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial to cats suffering from arthritis. The fish oil is commercially available at pet stores and should be mixed with the cat's food.
Glucosamine has properties that promote joint repair. Glucosamine supplements are available in both tablet and liquid form. The appropriate dosage should be administered as per vet instructions. The supplements can be mixed into wet cat food.
Adjustments in the Home
Cat litter boxes should be made more accessible for cats with painful joints. Cats with arthritis should be capable of easily entering and exiting the litter box. Arthritic cats will also find it difficult to stoop down to eat their food. Hence, water and food bowls should be placed at an appropriate height, best suited to your cat.
Cats that find it difficult to exercise should be gently massaged. This will bring relief to sore or aching muscles. Pet owners should become trained in the techniques used to massage cats with arthritis. Another technique that's used to manage feline arthritis is acupuncture. However, this technique has to be performed by trained specialists.
Apart from home treatment, pets diagnosed with feline arthritis are prescribed medication to reduce pain and discomfort. The medicines contain ingredients such as carprofen or tepoxalin. Pets might also be administered analgesic medication. The medication is known to cause side effects in most pets. Along with medicine, surgical intervention is necessary for certain cats with severe bone or ligament deterioration.
Proper medication, supplements and home care can reduce further damage to the joints and help cats carry out their daily activities without discomfort.