yellow and white catHave you noticed that your beloved companion kitty has become slower in his or her golden years? It could be arthritis. Fortunately, there are things you can do to alleviate your senior cat’s pain. Here’s what you need to know.

What causes arthritis?

Just like in humans, cats have cartilage around their joints to cushion where the bones connect, and facilitate smoother movements. As they get older, this tissue begins to naturally degrade from use. Arthritis can also occur in younger cats due to an injury or infection. Some cats who are severely obese will develop arthritis due to the increased weight on their bones.

What are the symptoms

A cat with arthritis usually wants to minimize their movement to avoid causing themselves pain. You may see your kitty avoiding the litter box because it’s too difficult to climb inside. Likewise, he or she may hesitate to sit on the couch with you or jump onto the bed.

How is it treated?

If you suspect that your cat is suffering from arthritis, take your kitty in for a check up. Depending on the severity, your vet may perform a simple physical exam or take x-rays. Possible treatment plans include prescription pain medication, joint supplements such as Cosequin, or a weight loss regimen. There are also little things that you can do around the house to help your kitty, such as providing pet stairs, plenty of pet beds, and warm blankets.

Do you have adorable photos of your kitty curled up in a bed or blanket? We’d love to see them! Share them with us on Instagram!

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

Photo by Katzenfee50 on pixabay.