Most people recognize arthritis in dogs. But what about your cat? Degenerative joint disease (DJD) is a very common but under-diagnosed condition in cats. Frequency among age groups was EQUAL from cats as early as 6 months to 16 years! Signs worsen with age.
Feline DJD is difficult to detect because of the cat’s ability to hide pain as a protective mechanism. Some breeds, such as the Scottish Fold, can have congenital DJD.
The primary sign of arthritis in cats is CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR! They may become more ‘grumpy’ with a house mate or the owner or be more clingy. They may stop jumping, they may hide, vocalize more, start house soiling, or just slow down. They may not groom as much or they resist being petted like they used to. Sometimes, aggression shown at the vet’s office can be because the cat is in pain! A thorough examination and radiographs help diagnose this disease.
A great visual to see cats that have arthritis can be found by googling feline arthritis videos.
Treatment consists of many different approaches. Medications, modifying their home environment to allow easy access to favored places, acupuncture, massage therapy and weight control are all important aspects of addressing this disease in cats! Talk to your veterinarian about assessing your cat for this disease.
We are still here for you at all our locations with normal business hours. For your protection and the protection of our dedicated staff, we are asking you to let us come to your vehicle and get your pet and also to deliver needed medications rather than having you enter our facilities. We will continue to provide your pets with the highest quality care you’ve come to expect, but follow the link below to read about our additional protective measures as this time: