4 Common Signs of Feline Arthritis

Just like in humans, aging cats are susceptible to arthritis and joint pain. In fact, 61% of cats over 6-years-old show signs of arthritis, according to a study from 2011. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms are difficult to differentiate from the normal behaviors one might expect in an aging feline. Fortunately, even though they can’t tell us with words, cats can communicate several types of discomfort through their behavior, allowing the informed pet owner to be address their pets’ needs in a timely manner. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to seek the advice of your veterinarian.


1. Hygiene Changes – Grooming and Litter Box

Let’s say, for instance, that your indoor cat of ten years has suddenly stopped using her litter box. Or your seven-year-old cat has recently started over-grooming by his back legs – or even a decrease in grooming habits causing matted hair. All of these changes in behavior could be easily attributable to irritation from feline arthritis.

2. Movement Difficulty

This is one symptom that is often misattributed solely to age, as we do see a decrease in mobility as pets get older. However, if your cat ever shows signs of being in discomfort or hesitation, especially when jumping and climbing (up or down!), arthritis is a distinct possibility.

3. Limping

A natural assumption, when your cat develops a limp, is that it has injured itself somehow – running from a dog, or jumping from a high branch to the ground. Limping is not necessarily attributable to a specific injury, but can also be a symptom of feline arthritis. Just like in humans, arthritis can impact one joint more than another, causing uncomfortable movement and limping.

4. Decreased Activity Level – Tiredness

Considering that most cats sleep between twelve and sixteen hours a day, noticing a decrease in activity level can be problematic. As a cat owner, you are familiar with your cat’s natural patterns. If you notice a trend of your cat not wanting to play, or an unwillingness to go outside, or a noticeable increase in nap times, arthritis could be the problem.

Although there is no cure for arthritis, there are treatment options for our feline friends, which can help minimize their discomfort and allow them to continue their daily life as naturally as possible. One form of treatment is medication. If you don’t want to go that route laser therapy may be an option for you and your pet. Laser Therapy requires no medication and is non-evasive. Also with laser therapy your cat avoids any unwanted side effects they may encounter with medication. What ever your decision know we are here for your pet, so don’t hesitate to call 417.358.1300 and make an appointment with us. Let us help you determine what treatment is best for your pet.

Central Pet Care is staffed by a team of healthcare professionals who are committed to continuing their education. Our unique approach brings multiple trainings in-house on a regular basis. But what makes us the best we can be is our culture of caring. You can be sure that if we recommend something for your pet, we would recommend it for our own. If you liked this article, be sure to share it with your friends.

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