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    Osteoarthritis in Cats

    Arthritis in cats, specifically Osteoarthritis (OA), is a common degenerative joint disease, especially prevalent in older cats. Studies indicate that over 90% of cats aged 12 and above show signs of arthritis on X-rays.


    Causes of Osteoarthritis in Cats

    OA can affect younger cats, particularly those that are overweight, have certain breeds or conformational abnormalities, experienced trauma, or engaged in high-impact activities. The disease involves joint swelling, cartilage destruction, and abnormal bone growth, impacting a cat’s mobility and causing discomfort.

    Risk Factors of Osteoarthritis in Cats

    Overweight cats face increased joint strain. Purebred cats may have breed-related joint conditions. Previous joint injury or trauma. Poor diet and genetic factors contribute.

    Signs of Arthritis in Cats

    Cats may subtly alter behavior when in pain, showing signs like reluctance to walk or play, difficulty grooming, increased sleep, stiffness, lameness, hesitance in jumping, defensive behavior, weight loss, and inappropriate elimination.

    Diagnosis of Arthritis in Cats

    Veterinarians assess a cat’s history, behavior, and perform a clinical examination. X-rays and blood tests may be needed to differentiate arthritis from other causes, ensuring an accurate diagnosis.

    Treatment of Arthritis in Cats

    Weight Management: A 10% reduction in body weight helps alleviate joint strain. Exercise Control: Minimize high-impact activities, encourage regular movement, and discourage excessive jumping. Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like Meloxicam and Solensia help control inflammation and manage pain. Other options include gabapentin or amantadine for severe cases. Alternative Treatments: Acupuncture, physiotherapy, stem cell therapy, and laser therapy can be considered based on a specialist’s recommendation. Home Remedies: Supplements: Joint supplements aid early-stage management. Hot/Cold Therapy: Application of warm and cool compresses eases joint stiffness. Hydrotherapy: Water therapy, if tolerated by the cat, can be beneficial. Comfort Measures: Soft bedding, ramps, and low-sided litter trays enhance comfort.

    Prevention and Prognosis

    Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet. Encourage regular exercise for joint lubrication. Start supplements early for preventative care. Provide easy access to favorite spots with steps or a ladder. Prognosis: With proper treatment, many cats with arthritis can lead a normal life for several years, especially if detected early. However, severe cases may result in loss of quality of life, prompting difficult decisions. Regular veterinary care and adherence to prescribed treatments are crucial. Understanding and addressing arthritis in cats involves a combination of medical treatments, lifestyle adjustments, and attentive care to ensure your feline companion enjoys a comfortable and active life. If you suspect arthritis in your cat, consult your veterinarian for guidance and a comprehensive examination.

    Concerned About Your Cat? Act now!


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