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Arthritis in cats

Updated on September 11, 2012

Be aware.

Arthritis in cats in known as feline osteoarthritis, and it affects the cartilage around the cat’s joints rather than the joints themselves. It is the wearing away of the cartilage that allows the bones to rub together. Arthritis in cats is a progressive disease, and can start when the cats is around seven to nine years old.

As with arthritis in humans, the problems will start in a minor way. Unlike humans cats will be unable to articulate the slight discomfort they will suffering in these early stages: so it is important to look out for the tell-tale signs of arthritis developing.

Some signs.

Action needs to be taken if your cat begins to display any of the following symptoms.

A swelling appears around an affected joint.

Your cat may stop attempting any jumping or leaping.

Your cat may appear tetchy over minor things that in the past would not pose any problems.

During colder weather and winter months your cat becomes almost immobile.

Obesity: An overweight cat can sometimes be susceptible to arthritis.

If your cat is showing any of these symptoms, there options you can take to alleviate your cats discomfort.


Gentle playing with your cat, at least once a day will help keep your cats joints supple and limber. But be careful not to overdo the exercise regimes, so keep them short. Gentle exercise could also help your cat to lose weight, if obesity is a problem.


There are several supplements on the market that could ease the pain of arthritis in your pet cat.

Omega 3 helps lubricate the joints and increase mobility, as can cod liver oil, which you can add to your cat’s diet. But be careful of over dosing the cod liver oil. No more than a quarter of teaspoonful per day.

Glucosamine is an amino derivative found in animals and plants and can strengthen cartilage that surrounds joints. Glucosamine can be administered in two ways, injection or orally in pill or liquid form.

Chondroitin. This is often given in conjunction with Glucosamine and also protects the cartilage and promotes healing. Chondroitin aids Glucosamine absorption into the cartilage area.

Although both Glucosamine and Chondroitin are recommended both for cats and humans, some tests have been carried out that questions their effectiveness.

Consult your vet.

There are many supplements on sale, apart from the three listed above. However it cannot be stressed enough that should your cat show any of the many symptoms of the onset of arthritis you, must consult your local vet before you proceed with any treatments or supplements.


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