5 Signs Your Cat is Suffering from Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis involves degeneration and inflammation of the joints, and it can occur in cats just as it can in humans. It's relatively common among older cats, and it can be caused by anything from poor nutrition to genetics.

This condition can cause significant discomfort, but most cats are unfortunately quite good at concealing their pain. As such, owners should familiarize themselves with the most common warning signs of osteoarthritis in cats so they can arrange a vet visit and start working on ways to ease the condition.

With that in mind, here are just five common signs your cat is suffering from osteoarthritis. 

1. Unkempt Coat

Cats are generally pretty fastidious about keeping themselves clean, so it should be a cause for concern if their coat starts to appear matted or poorly maintained. This is often a sign of osteoarthritis since your cat will no longer be able to groom every area of their body without experiencing significant discomfort.

2. Low Activity Levels

It's natural for cats to take things a little easier as they grow older, but reduced activity levels can also be a sign of osteoarthritis. If your cat starts to suffer from this condition, they will start finding it painful to move about, and they'll often become particularly averse to any movements that place additional pressure on their joints. If your cat is reluctant to jump, play or go up and down stairs, osteoarthritis might be the reason why.

3. Stiffer Movement

Even if your cat wants to stay as active as ever, osteoarthritis will often slow them down. You may notice they have trouble getting up and down, and they may seem to walk more stiffly than they once did. It's also common to notice that cats with osteoarthritis cannot jump as high as they used to, so you may find that they are unable to reach their old favourite hiding places.

4. Swollen Joints

Osteoarthritis often causes joints to swell, so you can always check your cat's joints to see if they feel any different. If you notice any signs of swelling or inflammation, or if your cat shows signs of discomfort when you touch their joints, you should arrange a visit with your vet as soon as possible.

5. Soiling Outside the Litterbox

The movements that cats go through while using the litterbox often cause pain when they are suffering from osteoarthritis, so it's relatively common for them to associate that pain with the box itself. In response, they may gradually start eliminating outside it.

Visit a vet clinic to find out more.