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Pet Blog

2 April 2024
Recognizing Chronic Arthritic Pain in Older Cat
As loving pet parents, it's our duty to ensure the well-being and comfort of our feline companions, especially as they gracefully age. One common condition that often goes unnoticed in older cats is chronic arthritic pain. Just like humans, cats can suffer from joint issues that can significantly impact their quality of life. Here are some important signs to watch out for and steps you can take to help your furry friend feel their best.   Subtle Changes in Behaviour: Cats are masters at hiding discomfort, but subtle changes in behaviour can be telling signs of chronic pain. Keep an eye out for decreased activity levels, reluctance to jump or climb, and changes in grooming habits. Your once sprightly cat may become less inclined to chase toys or may hesitate before jumping onto their favourite cat-tree.   Altered Gait and Mobility: Arthritis can affect a cat's gait and mobility, leading to stiffness and difficulty in movement, particularly after periods of rest. You might notice your cat taking shorter strides or favoring one leg over another. They may also have trouble using the litter box or accessing their usual spots around the house.   Changes in Appetite and Weight Loss: Chronic pain can impact a cat's appetite and overall demeanor. Keep an eye on their eating habits and weight. Cats experiencing arthritic pain may show a decreased interest in food or may have difficulty reaching their bowls comfortably, leading to weight loss over time.   Increased Irritability or Aggression: Cats in pain may exhibit increased irritability or aggression, especially when touched in sensitive areas or approached abruptly. If your usually docile cat becomes more vocal or defensive when handled, it could be a sign that they're experiencing discomfort.   Seek Veterinary Care: If you notice any of these signs or suspect that your cat may be experiencing chronic arthritic pain, it's essential to consult with your veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination, including X-rays if necessary, to assess the extent of the arthritis and develop a treatment plan tailored to your cat's needs.   Treatment Options: There are various treatment options available to help manage chronic arthritic pain in cats. Your veterinarian may recommend dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin, to support joint health. They may also prescribe pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate discomfort and improve mobility.   Provide Comfort and Support: Make adjustments around the house to accommodate your cat's needs. Provide soft bedding in warm, quiet areas where they can rest comfortably. Consider adding ramps or steps to help them access their favorite perches or beds without exerting excess strain on their joints.   Gentle Exercise and Physical Therapy: Encourage gentle exercise and play to help keep your cat's joints limber and maintain muscle strength. Interactive toys and games that encourage movement can be beneficial, but always be mindful of your cat's limitations and avoid activities that may cause undue stress or discomfort.   By staying vigilant and proactive in recognizing the signs of chronic arthritic pain in older cats, you can help ensure that your beloved feline friend enjoys a comfortable and fulfilling life well into their golden years. Remember, your veterinarian is your best ally in providing the care and support your cat needs to thrive. Together, we can make a positive difference in the lives of our cherished companions.    ☎️ If you would like to know more about Senior Cat Wellness Plan or if you have general inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact Veterinary Emergency Centre (VEC).General Hotline: 2334-233424-Hour Emergency Hotline: 6828-6620


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