Many pet owners believe it is normal for their older cat to sleep more and be less active, which is not the case. Osteoarthritis (OA), in cats is a very common condition with nearly 40% of all cats having clinical signs and greater than 90% of cats older than 12 years showing bone changes on x-rays. This condition is not exclusive to older cats, even cats as young as 2 years old can suffer from OA. However, the signs are usually not recognized by pet owners and the condition is underdiagnosed by the veterinary profession. In fact, only 13% of affected cats globally are being diagnosed. We understand that assessing cats for its presence and educating owners to recognize the signs is critical. Once the disease is identified the quality of life improves greatly because they no longer suffer from the pain and reduced mobility.
The most common signs are decreased agility and reduced mobility. Some behavioral changes are also common and usually associated with the cats’ decreased agility and reluctance to move around.
There are a few things that can be done to help your cat with OA. Including pain management, food supplements and specific diets, weight reduction if needed, environmental modifications, exercise/physical therapy, and surgery. There is a once monthly injectable that can help your cat get back to moving more freely again. It stops OA pain from disrupting the unique bond they share with you. It is easy to give and tolerated really well. If you think your cat may have OA pain please make an appointment and ask your veterinarian about this option.