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Arthritis is a fairly uncommon condition in cats. It affects about three in every ten cats. Arthritis may affect cats as they age due to disintegration of the joints. However, there have been cases where it has occurred in younger cats due to infection or trauma. It is important that you are aware of signs associated with arthritis so you can spot the same in case your cat develops the condition. While arthritis is a long-standing condition which does not have any cure once it has set in, given the right treatment, medications and a few lifestyle changes, you can contain the pain and discomfort that it is causing to your pet. Here are some signs of arthritis that you want to watch out for:
Finds it difficult to climb up the stairs
If you cat faces difficulties in climbing up the stairs or stops jumping onto perches and countertops all of a sudden, then it could be a sign of arthritis. Your cat may be hesitant about moving as freely as before due to the pain and discomfort.
Is not keen on playing
Cats with arthritis tend to tire much faster than when they were healthy. Your cat may show signs of lethargy, where it is not as keen on playing as it was before. You may find them sleeping for much longer than usual, and they may also show difficulty in finding a comfortable position to sleep in.
Limps when it walks
Does your cat limp when it walks? You will have too observe closely for this sign, as the limp may be conspicuous right after your cat gets up to move around, rather than a while after, when it is already warmed up.
Shows reduced grooming
Does the coat of hair on your cat appear unkept? Cats with arthritis have a tendency to not groom themselves, resulting in a disheveled appearance, but this is not always the case. Some other cats have a tendency to lick, bite and chew in areas that are causing pain. They may lick, bite or chew on the area till it shows up as some swollen skin or a bald patch.
Is easily irritable
Does your cat have a case of “bad moods” off late? It could be due to arthritis pain. Cats are wired to not show any signs of weakness or pain, so they can guard themselves in case they are attacked. So, what you are assuming to be as just foul mood could actually be as a result of painful joints. Cats may show their irritability by snapping or biting when you approach them or try to hold them, or if it causes more pain when you handle them.