90% of cats over 10 years old (that’s 56 human years) have Xray evidence of Degenerative Joint Disease – that’s painful joints and difficulty moving. And the kicker is that up to 30% of cats aged only 3 (that’s only 28 human years!) have signs of arthritis

Check out this checklist: www.zoetispetcare.com/checklist/osteoarthritis-checklist-cat 

Dr Kim strongly supports the concept of Cat Comfort Coming FURR-st.  

The simplest – stairs or chairs halfway up to jump on, heat pads  (electric and wheat packs are great) and igloos for warmth. Have a look at the comfort of these girls! (picture of towel igloos) Cats actually prefer the room temperature to be 30 – 38 degrees Celsius! No wonder they are such sun-seekers!

Then there are some really good supplements (including Hemp Oil!), Omega-3 fatty acids, Rosehip Vitale, Antinol, Glucosamine – not so much on its own, but combined with other things, especially green-lipped mussel extracts, can help, 4Cyte (cat version)  Seaflex.  The list goes on.  Different things work for different cats (every cat is an individual of course!)

Complementary: Aquapuncture: www.felinefriendlycare.com/for-vets/vet-videos/ and yes, many cats have benefited for between 6 months and 2 years from this procedure.

Nutrigenomics (you are what you eat!): Foods incorporating nutrients for joints (eg Royal Canin Mobility, Hills J/D) www.veterinarypracticenews.com/nutrigenomics-takes-you-are-what-you-eat-to-new-level

But when the joints are really getting past mending your cat will need medical rather than supplementary interventions: Cartrophen injections regularly can help restore joint surfaces, but the most effective pain relief comes from Meloxicam – a liquid mediCATion that ticks all the boxes – effective, safe and palatable (Dr Kim’s own cat won’t get out of bed till he has his dose!).  It is a non-steroidal drug (NSAID) that cats CAN take safely and long term.  There are a couple of other NSAIDs that cats can have – Robenacoxib, Carprofen and even low doses of aspirin, however Dr Kim reserves these for individual cats who have an intolerance to meloxicam.

So if your cat can’t jump 1 metre high in a smooth, elegant leap, finds steps (up or down) a chore, has gotten cranky about grooming, or has developed little knots or tufts in their coats, then speak to Dr Kim about arthritis.  It is a big part of a Senior Health Check!