Arthritis in cats, also known as feline arthritis, is very common in cats, particularly as they get older.
The signs of arthritis can be very subtle and hard for us to detect.
Therefore, cat owners need to look out for the signs or symptoms so we can help our cats remain comfortable.
Feline arthritis is not dangerous or fatal but can be discomforting for your older cat.
Arthritis in Cats
Cats can develop arthritis in their hips, elbows, lower back and knees.
A normal cat has cartilage that acts as a buffer around each joint which creates a cushion around the bones that form the joint.
When the joint becomes damaged, the cartilage is destroyed and the result is the bones rubbing together since there is no cushion between the joints.
When this occurs, the cat will become arthritic.
Although less common in cats, when arthritis does occur, it tends to affect the elbow joint the most.
Symptoms of Arthritis in Cats
Cats that suffer from arthritis will demonstrate the following symptoms:
Causes of Arthritis in Cats
There are a few reasons why cats become arthritic:
Make sure to take your cat to the vet if you see any of the symptoms of arthritis.
Your vet will usually conduct a full physical exam, take radiographs and other diagnostic tests.
The tests will help your vet locate where the pain is in your cat and if the joints are inflamed.
Cost and Treatment of Cat Arthritis
Arthritis, once it sets in, is not curable but your veterinarian can give you some treatment options to minimize the pain such as:
If you want to make sure your cat exercises a little, short play sessions should be OK.
Any jumping or vigorous play should be avoided.
The on-going medication could cost anywhere from $25 to $100 a month.
In extreme cases, your cat might have to have surgery which could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000.
Cat Pet Insurance for Arthritis
While feline arthritis is not that expensive to treat, pet insurance can save you on your prescription costs as well as other non-invasive treatments like acupuncture and massage.
Healthy Paws, for example, includes alternative therapy treatments, in all their plans.
If your vet does prescribe pain medication, your cat’s blood and urine might need to be monitored to make sure that your cat’s kidneys and liver are still functioning properly.
These ongoing diagnostic tests can add up and pet insurance will offset the cost.
Make sure that you sign up with pet insurance before the arthritis is considered pre-existing.
In fact, pet insurance can help offset the cost of many common health conditions in cats.
If your cat has arthritis, there are many things you can do to make your cat comfortable:
While feline arthritis can be uncomfortable for your cat, it can be managed.
As always, if your cat is getting worse or shows more severe signs of pain, take your cat to the vet for further diagnosis.