Tips for Detecting Cat Joint Problems
Cats are incredible active creatures when they’re awake. Though most felines are happy to spend the majority of the day dozing in cat naps, when they’re up and about, they’re often chasing mice, running around the home, or causing havoc in a crazy “half hour” of adrenaline. Unfortunately, cats, just like humans, can become susceptible to pain and injury around the joints.
From arthritis, to joint trauma, ligament tears, and hereditary disorders, it’s important to know which signs might indicate problems with your cat’s joints, and which behavior are normal for a healthy, growing feline.
Looking for Joint Problems in Kittens
Though kittens aren’t prone to arthritis, they can suffer from hip dysplasia and kneecap displacement. Kittens can also experience trauma to the joint if a limb is twisted. If your cat seems to be tottering around on unsteady legs- don’t worry. A lot of young cats take a while to gain their footing. However, if you notice that your kitten is avoiding activity, crying, or limping, then you need to have him or her examined by a vet as soon as possible.
Looking for Joint Problems in Adult Cats
Adult cats are susceptible to trauma in the joints, and the older cats get, the more likely they are to suffer from the discomfort of arthritis. Interestingly, while many cats feel joint pain, they simply don’t complain about their chronic aches to their human friends. If you find that your adult cat doesn’t race around the cat as frequently as he used to when he was a kitten – that’s nothing to be concerned about. Most cats slow down as they get older. However, if you notice your cat repeatedly chewing on her leg joint, hip, or ankle, this could be a sign that he or she is feeling pain in that area.
Looking for Joint Problems in Senior Cats
As you might assume, senior cats are the ones that suffer most from joint pain and the signs of arthritis. Vets will often ask owners about a senior cat’s ability to get around in the home and jump on things. You’ll find that frequent checkups will consist of your vet feeling around joints and manipulating limbs to uncover problems.
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Don’t worry if you notice that your senior cat is enjoying a slower pace of life. A decrease of activity as your cat ages is to be expected, and isn’t necessarily a sign that something is wrong. However, if your cat avoids activity entirely, or shows signs of pain when you pick them up or stroke them, then you may need to visit a vet as soon as possible.