Many older cats have signs of arthritis that an owner may attribute to their cat “just getting old”. 90 % of cats over the age of 12 have evidence of arthritis.
Cats rarely demonstrate joint pain other than by moving about less or appearing stiff when moving. Observing lameness or appearing stiff is possible but usually difficult to notice in cats.
As in human patients, the only way to diagnose arthritis in cats is by clinical signs and radiographic (x-ray) changes in their joints. Several radiographic views may be needed to assess whether your cat has arthritic changes, be it in the fore legs, hind legs, or spine.
The primary clinical signs of arthritic pain in cats are decreased activity levels, hiding more, urination/defecation outside the litter box, decreased grooming, weight gain or in some cases weight loss.
Has your cat experienced changes in any of the following areas?
Activity level—such as difficulty going up/down stairs, walking, running, jumping up or down, walking on slippery floors, getting in or out of the litter box.
Stiffness—in getting up after lying down for a while
IF YOUR CAT HAS EXPERIENCED CHANGES IN ANY OF THE AREAS LISTED ABOVE, PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR VETERINARIAN ABOUT A CLINICAL STUDY TO EVALUATE AND TREAT PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH DEGENERATIVE JOINT DISEASE IN CATS.