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Arthritis is one of the most highly prevalent ailments in senior cats. It causes changes to their joints that can be quite painful. The pain is the primary reason for most of the signs associated with the condition. Here are some of the most common signs:
- Limping – You might begin to notice your cat limping or favoring one leg over another, depending on which of his joints is arthritic. In certain cases, the limp might seem far worse when your pet rises and becomes less conspicuous as he begins to move around.
- Difficulty moving – Your cat might become reluctant to do some things that were previously much easier for him to accomplish. For example, your cat might find it much more difficult to go up and down the stairs. He will also stop jumping onto the perches, countertops and other high areas because of the discomfort and pain.
- Spinal issues – Arthritic changes affect not only the joints in the legs but also parts of your cat’s spine. These changes lead to a sore neck, an abnormally hunched posture, or lameness in the hind legs.
- Tiredness – Your cat will get tired more easily. This means that his walks will become shorter and more painful. He will spend most of his time resting or sleeping.
- Irritability – Arthritic animals are more irritable. They tend to bite or snap when they are handled or approached, particularly if the handling or petting takes place in a way that adds to their pain.
- Muscular atrophy – Since arthritic cats do not move around much, they often end up developing muscular atrophy due to inactivity and a decrease in the use of their muscles. If the muscles in your pet’s legs are atrophied, they will look much thinner than a normal leg.
- Chewing, licking and biting – Pets that are affected by arthritis tend to chew, lick at or bite at body parts that are painful. In certain cases, it leads to hair loss and inflamed skin over the affected areas.
Though arthritis cannot be completely cured, there are a number of procedures and remedies that can help ease your pet’s pain. Consult with the vet for advice if you believe that your cat is suffering from arthritis. Arthritis can be particularly hard to spot in cats. In most cases, the only sign of the condition is a marked drop in activity levels. Often, this behavioral change corresponds to aging and most pet owners tend to think that this change is normal when, in reality, they decrease their activity level because of arthritic pain. If obesity is the cause of arthritis in your cat, your pet will be able to recommend a specially formulated diet plan
to deal with the problem.