Cats and Painful Joint Disease

The vets at Cottage Lake Vet Hospital want cat owners to be aware that their faithful furry friends may develop painful joint disease as they reach their senior ( 7 years of age) and geriatric years.  It is important that cat owners understand the difference between “getting old” and “being painful”.

Chronic pain in the joints can affect your cat’s mobility and his/her ability to jump, access a taller litter box or failing when he/she does jump.  Cats with painful joint disease may apper clumsy or stiff in their movements and sleep more than they used to.  You may also notice that they sleep in different areas than they used to, choosing areas that they do not have to jump up to.

Due to the reduced physical activity cat owner’s may also notice that their cat’s muscle mass is reduced, that they do not groom themselves like they used too and become reclusive and not seeking out the owner’s attention.

If you have noticed any of these changes in your feline companion the veterinarians at Cottage Lake Vet encourage you to make an appointment for your cat to have a full physical exam that includes blood work, urinalysis and a blood pressure check.  This will help establish a baseline for your cat and also help the vet determine the safest course of treatment.

Treatments that may be recommended for a cat with chronic joint disease include:

  • Diets such as Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d which includes supplements to aid joint health.
  •  Supplementing their current diet with joint supplements such as Cosequin for Cats  from Nutramax alone or in conjunction with an NSAID such as Metacam manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim.
  • Provide easier access to the cat’s litter box, food and water as well as the cat’s favorite perch which will reinforce continuation of the cat’s activity.
  • Encourage physical activity with play, foraging and hunting for food in the house.
  • Weight loss if the cat is overweight.

Please contact Cottage Lake Veterinary Hospital to schedule an appointment to discuss your senior cat’s health and fitness program.

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