Arthritis in Cats – How to Recognize the Different Signs of Arthritis in Your Cat

Sleepy Cat

Sleepy cat? —gintacat (

Cats can get arthritis too – cat owners get more and more aware about this fact and let their vet examine their pet, if they see weird behaviour or symptoms that are clearly making them suspicious that something is not right.

Still, diagnosing arthritis in felines is not always as straight forward as it is in other pets, such as in horses or dogs for example. These species show more explicit signs of pain and lameness than felines do.

How Can You Recognize Arthritic Pain in Your Cat?

Mostly you’ll see changes in your cat’s behavior, activity level, appetite and social interaction with you and other members of your household.

  • Some cats become less active and may sleep more than normal.
  • Other cats may become anxious and restless.
  • Some cats have difficulty finding a comfortable place to rest or a comfortable position in which to sleep.
  • Some cats become irritable and begin to avoid contact with family members.
  • Other cats become more social, seeking out more interaction with family members.
  • Cats with arthritis may be painful when handled.
  • Arthritic cats may have difficulty accessing the litter box and may urinate or defecate outside of the litter box.
  • Some cats with arthritis will stop grooming themselves, resulting in an unkempt hair coat.
  • The pain resulting from arthritis may cause a decreased appetite for some cats. This in turn may result in weight loss.
  • Lameness may be present but is often difficult or even impossible to notice. Some cats become quite good at hiding the symptoms of their pain.



Arthritic cat, Inside Bolli

Arthritic cat, Inside Bolli—Annie Mole (

What Can you Do Beside The Usual Treatment options for Your Arthritic Cat?

Among the things you can do at home is to keep the weight of your cat in a normal, lean range. This is especially important for cats kept strictly indoors and neutered individuals, as they may become less active and prone to put on weight.

Medical pain killers for felines are available, but before giving a cat a pain killing drug be sure to let your vet check her out and prescribe the correct drug and dosage.

Cats should never get an OTC painkiller used for humans or children, because their metabolism works very differently compared to other species and giving them medication that is fine for us or small dogs can be harmful and in some cases fatal for them.

Complementary therapies, like acupuncture for cats, homeopathy, physiotherapy, acupressure and even hydrotherapy can help to slow the degenerative process of arthritic joint disease down considerably and to give them a new and improved quality of life.

Cat acupuncture, Pinhead

Cat acupuncture—xueexueg (


10 Responses to Arthritis in Cats – How to Recognize the Different Signs of Arthritis in Your Cat

  1. MichaelRodd
    October 20, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    Cat really do suffer in silence, They also can get a bit grumpy with arthritis.

  2. Michael Rodd
    October 17, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Thank you for this post, i will share it on my site to inform people about arthritis in cats.

  3. SASH September 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    A cat that is arthritic may show many different symptoms. Essentially, arthritis causes pain. The symptoms that result from arthritis are a result of that pain. Sharing this informative article will really help.
    SASH recently posted…Animal Referral Hospital helps “Save A Life” with Animal Welfare League NSWMy Profile

  4. Liverpool Vet June 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Cats are silent sufferers that’s why you should go and see a vet right away if you suspect that the pet is having difficulty rising from laying down and cannot walk properly.

  5. Shannon Cole March 19, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    A bonded insured pet care service specializing in pets w/ behavioral problems, medical needs & senior pets. You may want to visit this site too!
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  6. Lakehaven March 7, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. Your senior cat may suffer the pain of arthritis without indicating it to you overtly. The earliest signs that your cat is feeling arthritic pain are often behavioral. This includes litter box avoidance because the box is difficult to get into and out of, lack of grooming herself because she can’t reach certain areas of her body (if her spine or hips are affected), and reclusive behavior. Cats in pain may also be more irritable.

  7. jason January 30, 2013 at 1:14 am #

    I learned the hard way, you have to get medical insurance for your cat because you never know. Our pets are part of the family and they deserve to be treated medically if they are in pain and so forth. Very informative article, I hope my cat doesn’t develop arthritis, I can’t imagine him going through that.
    jason recently posted…Why do Cats Have Whiskers?My Profile

  8. paigested December 23, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    Such a very informative post, thanks for sharing it, things to do also is to see your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has arthritis. Each cat with arthritis will need a management program specifically designed for her needs. Watch your cat and work with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your cat and this post seems very informative and helpful. Thanks again.
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  9. walterswan November 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    Arthritis occurs when the cartilage within the joint becomes damaged. In a normal cat, each joint contains cartilage that acts as a buffer between the bony surfaces. If you suspect that your cat has arthritis, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will be able to determine whether your cat has arthritis by performing a physical examination on your cat and by taking radiographs (x-rays).

    Campbelltown Vet

  10. erwin November 30, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    I never pay attention about this case before in my life. I think you really care about your pet. I learned a lot from you today, I hope my cat is fine.
    erwin recently posted…Philips HF3485My Profile

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