Reducing Painful Symptoms of Arthritis in Cats
Arthritis is a relatively more common condition for humans, but arthritis in cats can still be pretty heartbreaking sight, seeing our feline companion of many years having a hard time with what was once their graceful bodies can be very sad for both the cat and even the owner. Fortunately, there are some things that we can do to alleviate or even avoid arthritis in cats.
Cause of Arthritis in Cats
Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease—an inflammation of the joints—that afflicts both humans and of course, cats. The difference between us and our pet cats is that they cannot tell you if they really are suffering from feline arthritis, so you as the responsible pet owner will have to look for telltale signs in your pet cat.
Arthritis in cats is primarily caused by aging and as the cat ages, the cartilage surface of the bones eventually thin and erode. The feline body will normally cope with it, healing the broken tissues. However, as cats age, their regenerative systems may not be able to cope properly, and the newly healed cartilage surface won’t probably be as smooth as the one before it, or may even heal incompletely altogether, causing irregularities. These irregularities cause joint pains and even inflammation.
Symptoms of feline arthritis in cats
Pain is a common symptom of arthritis in cats, and your cat may respond in various ways depending on the level of pain that it is experiencing. Unlike in humans where swelling is usually more common, a cat suffering arthritis will probably not have an inflamed affected area. The most important thing for cat owners to do is to watch out for any changes in your cat’s habits. Has he become more irritable as of late? Is she walking with a slight limp? Do they lick their joints more often than normal?
You might also do well to watch out for other symptoms of feline arthritis, such as:
- An altered gait
- Stiffness when getting up from rest
- Avoidance or complete inability to jump
- An overt pained manner when just walking
- Favoring a limb
- Reduction in muscle mass in certain areas near joints (like the legs)
- Continual behavioral shifts (unexplained irritability, excessive nervousness, aggression towards familiar people or other pets)
Remedies for arthritis
Even if your cat displays most of these symptoms it may not necessarily mean that he has arthritis. Feline arthritis or not, however, if your pet cat does exhibit such symptoms, then it really is best that she should be brought to the vet the soonest time possible for a proper diagnosis.
Your local vet will be able to give you different arthritis cats’ treatment, medicinal or otherwise. Treatments of various kinds are available, which may include corticosteroids. However, due to its controversial nature (and its ill side effects), corticosteroids are only given as a last resort. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) might also be used, but just like corticosteroids, its side effects, though milder, might also be cautioned against.
Another treatment is the administration of vitamin C for relief of arthritic pains. The problem is that not all cats may be receptive to vitamin C, especially those with urinary tract problems. Nowadays, the use of homeopathic remedies seems to be the favored arthritis cats’ treatment, as it is easier to administer at home and have preventative properties as well.
However way you approach the situation, just remember that arthritis in cats is a trying time for your pet cat, more so than you might tell. Giving your pet cat all the love and attention he needs in these trying times does make a lot of difference in helping your cat deal with arthritis better.
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You may benefit from reading this article about feline arthritis pain management for arthritis in cats.