Cats are flexible animals that love to jump and climb, but this activity can lead to minor injuries, damage to the joints, and even arthritis – a common degenerative disorder that develops when the area in, or around, a joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.
Over time these minor incidents may damage the cartilage and soft connective tissues of the joints and eventually cause damage and discomfort that slows the cat down. Older animals may even develop arthritic back problems.
Displacement of the kneecap is a hereditary disorder caused by the abnormal development of the kneecap and is often associated with multiple deformities of the hind limbs involving the hips, joint, femur, and tibia. Hip dysplasia is a form of arthritis characterized by the abnormal development of the hip joint, and is a condition that is rare in domestic cats but more common in purebreds. Immune-mediated arthritis is caused by the body’s own immune system and can cause inflammation of the joints. In some cases, joint cartilage and the bone beneath the cartilage are also destroyed.
• swelling in multiple joints
• loss of appetite
Arthritis is a progressive disease that can impede your cat’s mobility and cause pain, swelling, and stiffness. To make your cat comfortable, reduce his or her exposure to places that are damp and cold and keep a ready supply of clean water and appealing food that may help stimulate their appetite. Many holistic vets recommend chiropractic and/or acupuncture treatment along with supplements. Do not give your cat non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, or acetaminophen without your vet’s consent, as cats do not tolerate these medications well.