Winter checks for senior and arthritic cats
November 23, 2022
Just like in humans, arthritis in cats can be exacerbated by different factors, including cold weather. As the temperature starts to drop, it is important to look out for any changes in your cats health and behaviour, and if need be help them through the winter months.
The team at Clarendon Street Vets have some advice for cat owners on how to spot the signs that their cat may be struggling.
If you have any concerns about your cat’s health right now,
At what age do cats get arthritis?
Arthritis will affect 80% of cats over the age of 10, according to the charity Cats Protection. However, for many cats this will start to develop at a younger age, necessitating ongoing monitoring, care, and support.
According to Vet Patrick von Heimendahl, feline arthritis often goes undiagnosed because cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding pain. However, there are a few tell tale signs that observant cat owners may spot …
Common signs of aches and pains in your cat
- Depression and a lack of interest in usual routines and activities
- Behaviour changes
- Sleeping more
- Finding warmer spots in the house
- Not wanting to go outside
- Toileting around the house
- Struggling to jump on or off surfaces
Any of these signs may indicate that your cat is feeling stiff or painful and not wanting to be as active/interactive as they would normally be. When it’s cold outside (or even inside as many of us try and reduce heating costs) these signs may be more visible. Awareness of these factors can help you spot any issues early on ensuring your cat is a comfortable as possible as soon as possible.
How to keep your arthritic cat comfortable
Patrick has some simple tips for reducing your cat’s discomfort this winter:
- Make sure your cat has a choice of accessible, warm beds to sleep on – avoid beds with high sides that they may struggle to access
- If your cat is confined to a colder part of the house overnight, consider a small heat pad to keep them cosy
- Encourage regular, gentle exercise to keep the joints moving
- Ensure water and food bowls are low down to reduce the need for jumping
- Even if they usually go to the toilet outside, it may be worth introducing an indoor litter tray indoors in case they are struggling to get in and out
- Book a check-up with one of our Cambridge vets to see if your cat need medication or supportive therapies to reduce their pain as there are lots of good treatments available.
If you are concerned about any changes in your cat, it is best to get them checked by one of the vets at our 28 Clarendon Street surgery. We can help you keep your cat as comfy as possible until the spring sunshine arrives!