Many people do not realize that cats suffer from arthritis. We are used to our cats being very athletic and supple. However, feline arthritis affects 80 to 90% of all cats. About 33% of younger cats develop arthritis, so it is not limited to older cats.
Because cats can hide pain very well, it is prudent that a cat owner understand and look for the various signs that indicate your cat is developing or has arthritis.
Here are the warning signs:
- You cat cannot jump up or down or is reluctant to do it.
- General stiffness
- Difficulty getting up when they are laying down.
- Personality change such as not wanting to be held or petted like they used to.
- If your cat does not groom himself as much. This could be a sign that it is painful to reach parts of his body.
- If your cat tends to hide whereas he did not before. Pain can cause a cat to want to hide.
- Your cat may sleep more than normal.
- Loss of appetite.
- A cat may stop using the litter box because it is painful to do so.
- You may notice that your cats’ muscles are atrophied.
If you see any of the signs listed above, you must take your cat to your veterinarian for a checkup. Some of these signs could also be due to another type of illness.
Arthritis is not a clear-cut issue. There are different types of arthritis and they can have different causes, from infection to injury. Therefore it is critical that your veterinarian determines if your cat has arthritis, the type of arthritis your cat has and how to treat it.