How to Care for a Cat with Arthritis and Joint Pain
When cats get older, it’s not uncommon for them to develop arthritis or other joint-related health issues. Aging affects all of us, and our pets are no different. While we can’t stop the aging process, we can do our best to help kitties who suffer from arthritis or joint pain live comfortable lives. In this article, we’ll share some simple tips to help you keep your old furry friend active and healthy despite their joint issues.
Talk to Your Veterinarian About Treatment Options
While most cats with arthritis will do well on a diet of high-quality food and some kind of joint supplement, your veterinarian may recommend additional treatment. Talk to your vet about the best treatment options for your cat, based on its age and condition.
If you’re interested in exploring non-medicinal options for treating arthritis in cats, consult with your veterinarian first before trying anything new at home. Especially if it’s something like glucosamine, it sounds great but can cause problems if not taken correctly.
Consider a Diet That Promotes Weight Loss
Your cat has arthritis and joint pain, so you may feel like it’s not the best time to put pressure on him or her to lose weight. But losing weight is a crucial part of managing your cat’s health. A fatter cat will have a harder time moving around and be more at risk for developing other conditions like heart disease or diabetes.
If your vet suspects that your cat is overweight based on its body condition score, he or she can help you set up an appropriate diet that promotes weight loss while still providing all the nutrients necessary for good health. You can also find cat food specially formulated for arthritis and weight loss as well as arthritis medication or joint supplements on PetCareRx and other online pet stores.
Ensure Adequate Hydration by Providing Multiple Bowls of Fresh Water Around the House
Ensure adequate hydration by providing multiple bowls of freshwater around the house. Cats are very sensitive to thirst and can easily dehydrate, especially if they’re unable to get outside for a drink. Make sure there are plenty of water bowls spread around your home so you’re never more than a few feet away from one when you’re looking after an arthritic cat. Also, a cat won’t drink dirty water. So if you can afford it, invest in running water bowls, water fountains, or water bowls with a filter.
Play More Interactively and Let Your Cat Chase a Laser Pointer
When you play with your cat, you’re not just having fun. You’re also allowing them to engage in a natural behavior that can help ease their pain. Playing with your cat is good for both of you. It will keep them active and stimulate their mind, which has been shown to reduce stress in cats (and humans).
There are many ways to play with a cat that has arthritis or joint pain, including chasing a laser pointer instead of a ball or toy on a string that requires jumping. As long as you stay away from games that require running or jumping around, you can still get plenty of exercises while playing together.
You should also keep in mind that cats need mental stimulation every day too. Think about how they use their paws and body parts during hunting, now think about how much time they spend sleeping at night. It’s no wonder cats need some mental stimulation during the day as well.
Ensure Easy Access to All Favorite Sleeping Areas
Cats with arthritis and joint pain need to be able to rest comfortably. You can help your cat by providing a soft bed in multiple places throughout your home, including its favorite sleeping areas. Your cat may prefer a bed or even a soft tree branch to curl up on. There are also many types of cat beds available that offer comfort as well as warmth for winter months when the weather outside is cold.
If you’re buying an expensive new item for your pet, remember that it’s important for them to get plenty of exercise and movement, so don’t buy too big of a bed. The goal here is just enough room so they don’t feel cramped but not so much space that they feel like they have no place else to go once inside it. If possible try not buying any hard surfaces at all because these could hurt their joints even more than other materials would.
Schedule Regular Vet Visits to Monitor Progress
As with any chronic condition, it’s important to monitor your cat’s progress and make sure that the treatment plan is working. Schedule regular vet visits to keep track of this progress and make adjustments as necessary.
If your cat is overweight, ask your vet about a diet that promotes weight loss. If you’re concerned that the arthritis medication or joint supplements you’re using aren’t helping enough, discuss other options with your vet.
Even though it’s difficult to see your cat in pain, there are things you can do to help your pet. Your veterinarian may be able to offer different treatment options for your cat, and you can also make some simple changes at home to keep her more comfortable. As long as you follow your vet’s advice and follow these tips, your pet will be happy and healthy at home.
How to Care for a Cat with Arthritis and Joint Pain