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How to Slow – or Help Prevent – Arthritis in Cats

April 5th, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

A cute cat pauses from playing. Staying active is a good way to slow down arthritis in cats.

While you can’t cure arthritis in cats, you can slow its progression

Our veterinarians are often asked: “Can my cat recover from arthritis?”

At this time, there is no cure for arthritis in cats. However, there are things you can do to reduce pain and inflammation, so your furry friend feels better.

Here are five tips to help you slow or prevent arthritis in your cat

#1) Manage your cat’s weight

Extra weight adds extra stress to your cat’s joints, and that can lead to arthritis in cats.

Our vets are happy to discuss diet and exercise plans for your kitty, so your cat can maintain a healthy weight.

Toby is an overweight kitty, putting him at higher risk for arthritis in cats.

If you want to help your cat be more active, it’s important to build up your cat’s exercise endurance over time — just like you would with human exercise. Start out slow and gradually increase your cat’s play sessions.

The trick is to find things your cat loves to do.

For example, if your cat likes to chase a laser pointer or a chase a string, start out for one minute of play per day. Then, gradually increase “play time” up to four or five minutes several times per day.

If your cat seems wiped out the next day and is reluctant to play, wait until your cat is interested in play again. Then, build up at a slower pace.

#2) Explore cat foods that help with joint health

Some senior cat foods and prescription cat foods contain special ingredients that help with joint health, such as:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Glucosamine joint supplements

If your cat is overweight, there also are diets that can help your kitty get down to a manageable weight. You can find options ranging from reduced-fat foods (available over the counter), to prescription foods for cats in need of greater weight loss.

At your next visit, ask our veterinarians about your cat’s options. We may have a cat food you want to try.

Sophia, a gray cat, munches on cat kibble.

#3) Check out laser therapy

Laser therapy can help with inflammatory conditions like arthritis in cats. With laser therapy, our veterinarians use light treatment to reduce inflammation and speed up healing in the joint areas that were inflamed.

The great news is that it’s non-invasive. It’s painless for your cat. And there’s no medication involved.

Find out how laser therapy sessions work

#4) Get your cat in for checkups, particularly as your cat grows older

Your cat’s annual exam is the perfect time to:

  • Discuss ways to treat or prevent arthritis in your cat
  • Address any concerns you may have about your cat’s health

Our vets also can stay on top of any signs of cat arthritis and help prevent your cat from being in a lot of pain.

#5) Consider giving your cat supplements and/or medications

While anti-inflammatory medications haven’t been studied as much in cats as they have been in people or dogs, new medications are becoming available. Depending on your cat’s needs, we may want to look into them.

You also can find a variety of joint supplement products on the market. Similar to the foods we discussed above, these products contain special ingredients to help with joint health, such as:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Many supplements are available in a treat form if your cat does well with treats. They’re also available in capsules and in liquid forms to put on top of food.

If you’re looking for ways to be proactive with your aging cat, joint supplements may be an option to consider. Our cat veterinarians are happy to discuss what makes sense for your cat at your next visit.

 Keep your cat happy and pain-free!

Call us at 303-688-3757 to book a checkup or laser therapy. You also can:

Book a visit here 

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on slowing or preventing arthritis in cats. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call.)

© 2018, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

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