Cat Joint Care
It’s an inevitable part of life that our bodies begin to lose mobility as we get older. As with humans, a cat’s bone health deteriorates as they mature, although younger cats can also be susceptible to inflammation of the joints. Do you know the signs of joint problems in cats or the best preventative measures? Read on to find out how to keep them walking like all 9 lives are still intact.
The early years…
Considering your kitten is all brand new and bouncing off the walls, their joint health is probably quite low on your lists of priorities. However, following these simple steps will vastly improve their bone condition later on in life:
- Maintaining a good healthy weight
- Frequent but gentle exercise
- Provide joint supplements for junior cats, especially for bigger breeds
What causes joint problems?
Of course, this depends on individual circumstances but in most scenarios, age will play a part in your cat’s joint health. If your cat has incurred an injury, like a broken bone or damaged ligament that involves a joint, they could also be more susceptible to arthritic conditions. Also, too much or too little exercise can affect the development of the joints which may cause poor joint health later in life.
It’s worth remembering that particular breeds are predisposed to having joint problems, hip dysplasia or arthritis. Maine Coon, Scottish Fold, Persian, Devo Rex and Siamese breeds can be prone to poor joint health – this is mostly a trait of their genetic breeding and tending to put on weight easily.
Signs of poor joint health
Cats can be conniving creatures – but that isn’t their fault. The cat species is one of both prey and predator, which means they inherently hide any pain or illness. Of course, this is essential for cats in the wild but makes things tricky for domestic cat owners. Here are some of the key signs of arthritis in cats:
- Trouble jumping up or down onto surfaces or using the stairs
- Limping or stiffness when getting up
- Irritability, especially if you touch the painful area
- over-grooming – lookout for certain areas that may have saliva staining
- muscle wastage
Just as you should be brushing your cat’s teeth from a young age (or attempting, at least), it’s never too early to get them started on a joint support plan. It will make a vast difference to the health and wellbeing of their joints and therefore improved mobility. So, it’s never too early to get them started on a joint support plan.
Seraquin 2g is a joint supplement containing Glucosamine HCL and Chondroitin Sulphate. These are ingredients which are naturally occurring in the body, as part of the make-up of cartilage. Each tablet also contains turmeric extract (curcumin) for flavour.£46.37 £19.14
Another option is to try a mobility diet like the Mobility Royal Canin Veterinary Diet. The nutritionally packed diet is filled with high levels of fatty acids like green-lipped mussel – a natural remedy proven to help maintain healthy joints. Plus, there’s no need to remember supplements! It will make a vast difference to their health and wellbeing, meaning they can carry on scaling the kitchen worktops and shed rooftops as they get older.
With age, your cat will eventually have reduced mobility. So, when they think about jumping up onto chairs, running, jumping and skidding to a halt, as they did as kittens, they will often find it harder. This is another reason why weight control is essential as a heavier weight combined with impact will inevitably cause more wear and tear on their joint conditions over time.
As cats get into the later stages of life, an effective joint supplement is mandatory. A supplement such as Seraquin 2g contains naturally occurring ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin. Each capsule contains turmeric extract which is renowned for its inflammatory properties. While they may not show they’re in pain, the likelihood of joint issues negatively affecting their quality of life will be pretty high. Make sure you contact your vets as soon as you notice the above symptoms. They will also be able to suggest a recommended dosage based on your cats’ size and condition.
The article is an opinion and should only be used as a guide. You should discuss any change to your pet’s care or lifestyle thoroughly with you vet before starting any program or treatment.
If in doubt contact your veterinary practice
And always keep your vet's phone number handy - just in case!