Cats with arthritis find it difficult to jump up like they once used to. It’s pretty easy for a cat owner to know that their mobility is less to what it once was, although, by the time you notice kitty slowing down, they may have had their arthritis for some time.
A visit to the vet will confirm whether or not your cat does have arthritis or another condition.
What Is Feline Arthritis?
When feline arthritis occurs, it appears as chronic inflammation and pain in the joints. As with humans, arthritis tends to occur in older cats, but it can occur in much younger cats on occasion.
Arthritis usually affects the elbow, hip, and spine, but may affect the other joints as well. According to Pet Health Network, 12 million cats suffer from arthritis, but the majority of pet owners are not aware of it.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In Cats?
Some symptoms of cats with arthritis can include:
- Decreased level of activity such as being unable to jump up
- Whining or growling when being petted or picked up
- Struggling to find a comfortable position when sitting or trying to sleep
- Lame or stiffness in the affected joint or limb
- Sleeping more than usual
- Cats can also be less playful than they used to be or have less patience with kittens
- Some cats will change their litterbox habits, not for the better
Some cats may also start eating less than usual, which can also lead to weight loss. Unfortunately, you may not notice that your cat has arthritis until the symptoms are quite pronounced.
When my Burmese Jessie was nearing 18, she had a playful kitten Hollie to keep her company. When Hollie persisted in pestering Jessie, there was a noticeable sign that Jessie had had enough. Jessie would gently bite Hollie’s ear! That was always a sure sign that enough was enough.
Jessie had arthritis from when she was about 15 and found it hard to jump up too high anymore. She would cry when I picked her up.
How Do Vets Help Cats Who Have Arthritis?
Vets are trained to look out for signs of arthritis in mature cats, typically older than 7 years old. They check for pain, swelling, and general discomfort. They may suggest your cat having an x-ray to confirm their suspicions.
If the cat is overweight, they are likely to recommend dietary changes to help the cat lose weight. They may also suggest some changes be made around the home to make it easier for your cat to get around.
Some suggestions vets tend to make to help cats who have arthritis, is to ensure that they don’t have to strain jumping up. So for instance, is there an easier way to have the cat get up onto the couch with you – perhaps placing a footstool nearby would help. Also with the cat litter, ensuring that this is easy for kitty to climb into.
The most common form of drugs prescribed by vets to manage the symptoms of arthritis in cats is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). As with any medication, care should be taken to monitor for any side effects.
Some cats do not respond well to NSAIDs. As with all medication, side effects can occur, so if your cat is taking NSAIDs, then keep a close eye on them. Monitor for things like new skin conditions or unusual bowel movements.
Can CBD Help A Cat With Arthritis?
What’s so promising are the reports of CBD having helped cats with arthritis and inflammation. CBD seems to help with both inflammation and as a painkiller. There are
When giving CBD to your cat regardless of its condition, please always refer to safety guidelines, which include starting slowly and consulting your cat’s vet.
How Does CBD Help With Inflammation?
CBD is able to balance the endocrine system and has an impact on the endocannabinoid receptor activity. When the endocrine system is in balance a number of bodily processes work so much better, being in balance. This is true for arthritis – the CBD oil is able to work at bringing the Many cat owners have noted improvements with inflammation.
Studies have shown that cannabinoids also demonstrate dopamine-blocking and anti-inflammatory effects. The tests suggested an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency may be able to be treated with cannabinoid medicines.
In another study in 2016, transdermal cannabidiol was provided to reduce inflammation on rats. The transdermal CBD gel was able to significantly reduce joint swelling. They concluded that CBD does have therapeutic potential for relief of arthritis pain, and inflammation without evident side-effects.
How Long Can CBD Take To Work?
It normally takes one to two weeks to notice any improvement in your cat. Partly because you should be working up to the most suitable dosage for your cat SLOWLY. In the above study which we referenced, the time taken to notice improvements in cats activity levels when applying topical CBD for arthritis was in fact just four days. The gel was applied daily for four days.
Is It Alright For Cats With Arthritis To Exercise?
Cats with arthritis should have some gentle exercise as it is important that they continue to move so that their joints don’t completely freeze up. However, if cats are in pain then please try and ensure that they don’t overdo it. Try and keep them from being able to jump up too high or go leaping around the house or yard.