Vital winter checks for senior and arthritic cats in Apex Vets
November 23, 2022
Just like us, arthritis in cats can be exacerbated by many things, cold weather being one of them. As the weather starts to change in the Forth Valley area, it is important to start observing your cat for any changes in their health and implement things to support them through the winter months.
The team at Apex Vets have some advice for cat owners on how to spot common signs their cat is starting to struggle at home in between annual and 6-monthly vet checks.
If you have any concerns about your cat’s health right now,
What age do cats get arthritis?
Arthritis will affect 80% of cats over the age of 10, according to the Cats Protection charity. However, many cats will start to develop this at a younger age and will need more monitoring, care, and support.
According to our vet Kelly, feline arthritis often goes undiagnosed because cats are masters of disguise when it comes to hiding pain. There are some signs cat owners can look out for at home though.
Common signs of aches and pains in your cat
Kelly lists common signs that may show your cat is in pain below:
- Depression and lack of interest
- 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, these signs may be more visible.
How to keep your arthritic cat comfortable
Kelly 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 they may struggle to get into
- Encourage regular, gentle exercise to keep the joints moving
- Ensure water and food bowls are low down to reduce the need for jumping
- If they are normally an outdoor cat for toileting it may be worth having a litter tray indoors in case they are struggling to get in and out
- Book a check-up with one of our vets to see if they need medication or supportive therapies to reduce their pain
By regularly checking over your cat at home and looking out for the above signs, you can help monitor for changes as the temperatures plummet.
If you do spot any changes in your cat that you are concerned about, it is best to get them checked by Kelly or any of the vets at our Denny surgery. The chances are it is something simple, but it is better to get it looked at and get your cat the treatment they need.