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Could Your Cat Have Osteoarthritis?

Posted In: Feline Health & Wellness

If you have arthritis, or know someone who has, you know that chronic pain impacts quality of life, both physically and emotionally. The same is true for cats suffering from this degenerative joint disease.

Osteoarthritis pain can affect cats at any age. It has been seen in more than 60% of cats that are six years or older, and it is estimated that 90% of cats over 12 years old show evidence of degenerative joint disease. The most commonly affected joints are knees, elbows, hips, and ankles.

It isn’t clear what causes arthritis in cats but there are factors that increase the risk, such as genetics, injury, and excess weight.

Given that cats are really good at hiding their pain, it can be hard to tell if your cat is hurting. If your cat has osteoarthritis, he or she may have trouble or seem hesitant to jump, have a decrease in their normal activity level, stop grooming as frequently, and display behavior changes.  If left untreated, the pain can become worse over time.

The good news is that by identifying your cat’s condition, we can work with you to develop a treatment plan for your cat. This checklist will help our team identity activities and behaviors that might be signs of osteoarthritis.

The Animal Medical Center of Mid-America has veterinarians at two locations that can answer questions about your pet’s health. Call 314-951-1534 or click here to request an appointment online.