Arthritis is a very common condition among middle-aged and senior cats. Some signs that your cat may be experiencing arthritic pain include appetite changes, seeking out warm or soft places, favoring a limb, difficulty standing up after lying down, licking or biting the painful area, an inability to jump, and urinating or defecating outside the litter box. If you notice appetite or behavior changes in your cat, take her to your veterinarian. If your vet diagnoses your cat with arthritis, there are many things you can do to make her more comfortable at home.
Give Him a Boost: If arthritis pain is affecting your cat’s ability to jump, help him out by providing him with pet stairs to his favorite places, such as his favorite windowsill and your bed.
Make the Litter Box Accessible: Some cats with arthritis pain have a lot of trouble getting in and out of their litter boxes. To help your arthritic cat, purchase a litter box with very low sides or a ramp. Make sure your cat’s litter box is somewhere easy for her to access. If your kitty spends most of her time on your main floor, make sure there is at least one litter box on the main floor instead of keeping her box in the basement or on the second floor of your home. Having more than one litter box in your home ensures that your kitty will be able to get to one of the boxes when she needs to.
Use Elevated Dishes: Purchase elevated dishes for your cat’s food and water. Using elevated dishes puts less stress on your kitty’s joints so that she can eat and drink without as much pain.
Weight Loss: If your cat is overweight, the extra weight puts unnecessary additional stress on your kitty’s joints, which causes him more pain. Ask your veterinarian what your cat’s ideal weight is, and work with your vet on a weight-loss plan for your kitty, if necessary. It’s important to involve your vet in this process to ensure that your cat loses weight at a healthy rate while still getting his nutritional needs met.
Provide Warm, Soft Places: Provide your cat with several warm and soft beds to sleep in and blankets to curl up with. Many arthritic kitties enjoy heated cat beds. Place the beds and blankets in your cat’s favorite places to hang out. Cold weather tends to make arthritic joints hurt more, so ensure that your home is adequately heated for your kitty, even when you’re not there.
Arthritis causes chronic pain in affected joints. Working with your veterinarian on a plan to manage your cat’s arthritis medically is important. Using these tips, you can also make your arthritic cat more comfortable at home.