Caring for an Arthritic Cat
As your cat gets older, cat arthritis might be a condition they struggle with. It’s difficult for them to get in and out of their bed, they can’t jump as high as they used to, and it’s tough for them to get their joints mobile/active first thing in the morning. As a cat owner, you want to take all the necessary steps you can in caring for your cat with arthritis. These are a few simple tips you can incorporate as a pet owner when caring for older cats with arthritis, and older cats in general.
Choose Dietary Supplements
You want to stave off using prescriptions as long as possible. There are dietary supplements that can help with joint mobility and health. Some dietary supplements you might choose to give your arthritic cat are
- Chondroitin sulfate
These OTC products are available as treats, in powder form, or as liquids. So, if you have a picky feline eater, you can find different ways to get them to take the OTC to help with their mobility and pain levels. What do these products do? They help lubricate the joints, making it easier for your cats to move around. It also helps with repairing cartilage and improves the quality of joint fluids. All of these things will help your cat move around easily, and help reduce the pain they experience as they’re getting older.
Dietary Sources – Cat Arthritis
A high protein diet is also a good way to help keep your cats active as they get older. Make sure they’re eating high-quality foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. To help treat the inflammatory pain they’re suffering from, you can also incorporate fish oil supplements. A high omega-3 diet will help reduce inflammation, stiffness, and pain.
Changes to help your cat with Arthritis
So, they’re eating a high-protein diet, with the best ingredients and they’re taking OTC supplements. What else can you do to treat cat arthritis and help improve your furry friend’s pain levels? Some additional things you might want to consider are
- Injections; ask your vet about Adequan or other injections that help with the inflammation if the omega-3s aren’t enough
- Consider changes to their environment
- Position pet stairs, stools, or pieces of furniture in a way that’s easier for your pet to move
- Use a low-sided litter box so it’s easier for them to get in/out
- Put food and water bowls in more than one area of the home, so they don’t have to walk as much when they’re feeling the pain
- Non-invasive cold laser therapy can also help with inflammation, swelling, and general pain
- Invest in a heated cat bed; the warmth helps with pain and swelling, and it’s also a warm resting place if you live in colder regions that your cat is bound to appreciate
Prescription and Pain Medication
Although you’ve been resistant to giving your cat a prescription medication, you might eventually choose to do so. Whether the inflammation, swelling, and pain have gotten to be too much for your cat, or they’re just not responding to the other dietary supplements, this might be a viable solution.
When caring for older cats, your vet might prescribe something stronger, which attacks their arthritic condition. And, in some cases, for cats with severe arthritis, your vet might choose to incorporate more than one supplement, medication, or prescription, to help treat the lingering pain they are experiencing on a day to day basis.
Every cat is different, so when treating cat arthritis, make sure you speak to your vet about viable solutions. In some cases, they might even suggest certain cat food brands to use (or avoid), to help with the pain.
In some cases, your vet might also suggest exercising or walking more, so that their joints don’t get too stiff. And, in the worst cases, you might want to discuss surgery with your vet, if your cat is having a hard time moving at all.
As you can see, it’s not a one size fits all solution as it relates to treating cat arthritis and caring for your cat. Consider a few of these alternatives in creating a treatment plan, and discuss with your vet to understand what your cat needs, and what the best options are for them.