Just as is the case with humans, feline arthritis can be caused by injury, infection, autoimmune disorders or degenerative joint problems, and it can make it difficult and painful for your cat to move around.  Fortunately, there are things you can do to try and alleviate pain and discomfort so that your cat is able to experience a decent quality of life despite arthritis.

Signs of Feline Arthritis and What to Do About Them

Few cat owners recognize that feline arthritis is possible, and result in a big loss of muscle and functionality.  However, failing to treat this disease early on can result in far more extensive damages to your cat, so it is important to know and look for the signs:

1. Stiffness after exercise. If your cat seems to be walking stiffly after playing or running around, they may be suffering from arthritis.

2. Limited movement.  If your cat is suffering from arthritis, you may notice that they seem to be walking, running and moving oddly, as if their range of motion is limited.  You may also notice that they seem to have trouble getting up, lying down, walking, climbing stairs or jumping.

3. Joint swelling.  Arthritic joints tend to be perpetually swollen and sometimes even warm or hot to the touch.

4. A grating sound in the joints. Due to the effects caused by arthritis on the joints of the body, they lack the proper lubrication to move smoothly and therefore may have a sort of grating sound.

Your cat may not tend to complain much about aching joints, and you may attribute some of the above symptoms to the natural and normal aging process.  However, if your cat is displaying any of these symptoms you should have their veterinarian check them for arthritis.  If they are suffering from arthritis, there are several things you can do help, including:

● Help your cat maintain a slim, healthy weight to ease the stress on their joints.
● Keep your cat warm and dry, as cold and damp areas can aggravate arthritic joints.
● Provide your pet with soft surfaces to play and exercise on.
● Use warm compresses to soothe swollen and stiff joints.
● Massage your cat’s joints to increase their flexibility and circulation.
● Talk with your veterinarian about pain medication possibilities.
● Consider using glucosamine and chondroitin nutritional supplements that are designed for cats.
● Feline acupuncture may also help to relieve pain and inflammation naturally.
● Give your cat an abundance of comfort and love.