Osteoarthritis in Cats: Origin & Signs

The years have left their mark on your cat, too: When the once daring climber becomes more cautious and struggles to climb the sofa, the first signs of wear and tear on the joints have very likely set in. In order to accommodate the cat and enable it to lead a largely pain-free life, you need a combination of medical measures and prudent everyday help.

What causes joint problems in cats?

Osteoarthritis in cats is – as in humans – a comparatively typical disease of old age. Cat seniors over the age of twelve are usually acutely affected. However, in around 90% of cats over the age of nine, arthrosis damage is evident on X-rays, even if the animals do not show any symptoms. Osteoarthritis causes irreversible wear and tear on cartilage and joints, which is usually a sign of aging but is also promoted by factors such as being overweight, poorly healed injuries, or growth defects. Affected body parts are most commonly elbows and shoulders, followed by knees and hips. How severe and to what extent arthrosis occurs in cats differs from animal to animal. However, osteoarthritis pain is always chronic and reduces your cat’s quality of life. Osteoarthritis should therefore never go untreated. Have you observed the first signs of your cat? Before you head to the local veterinary office, you can book a hassle-free online appointment with Dr. to arrange a feeding bowl. The veterinarians will examine your cat via video chat and give you a well-founded assessment.

You can prevent joint wear and tear by avoiding obesity in young cats and by providing stimulation and exercise even for cats who are more relaxed. The fitter the cat is, the longer the condition of the joints will remain good. Also, keep in mind that arthrosis is a typical symptom of old age. Under certain circumstances, however, a younger animal can also suffer from joint wear and tear. The age of the cat is therefore not a reliable exclusion criterion!

What is the difference between Osteoarthritis and Arthritis?

Osteoarthritis as joint wear and tear can be clearly distinguished from what is known as arthritis. This is an inflammation of the joints that can be triggered by viral diseases, for example, regardless of age. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes damage to the articular cartilage due to excess bone tissue, thickening of the joint capsule, and qualitative changes in the body’s synovial fluid. This painfully restricts and changes the function of the joint – the animal moves more hesitantly to avoid pain. Arthritis, on the other hand, can be caused by infections such as Lyme disease or rheumatism, sometimes the cause is found directly in damage to the cartilage, with the organism interpreting released cartilage components as foreign substances, which, when combated, then causes inflammation in the joint. Osteoarthritis can trigger arthritis through acute damage to the cartilage and set a negative cycle in motion.

What are the symptoms of osteoarthritis?

Like many animals, cats avoid showing illness and pain to the outside world for as long as possible. If you observe your house cat carefully, you should also pay attention to small signs that indicate arthrosis or arthritis. You can find out what the signs are in the article below.

Advanced arthrosis is accompanied by impairments that can no longer be overlooked, such as lameness, limping, or limping. Especially when the cat has rested for a long time and gets up, the stiffness is noticeable.

What is osteoarthritis treatment for a cat?

In order to treat the cat’s arthrosis, the veterinarian will suggest various pain-relieving methods – joint wear and tear cannot be cured.

Attention: Never give your cat pain medication from the medicine chest: Substances such as those found in paracetamol are deadly for the animal!

The effects of joint problems can be mitigated by putting an overweight cat on a diet. For age-related arthrosis, there are special senior cat foods and dietary supplements such as green-lipped mussel extract. Commonly found as a supplement in osteoarthritis feeds, this contains natural glycosaminoglycans, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, which together provide an effect similar to that of anti-inflammatory drugs.

You can also help your handicapped house cat in everyday life: Make it as comfortable as possible by helping him with personal hygiene if necessary and making his favorite places in the apartment accessible without barriers – what speaks against a cat staircase to the sofa for your cat senior? A warm, comfortable place to lie down should also be available: heat relieves arthrosis pain. If there are several more lively members of the same species in the house, you make sure that the cat suffering from arthrosis has a quiet place to retreat to.

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