Just like dogs, cats can also develop degenerative joint diseases like arthritis as they age. Studies suggest that 45% of all cats and 90% of cats over 10 years of age have some arthritis.
Arthritis and other painful conditions in cats can go untreated because cats tend to be good at hiding pain, even chronic pain. Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a simple checklist for cat owners that can help them determine if their cat has arthritis.
Here are the questions:
- Does your cat jump up normally?
- Does your cat jump down normally?
- Does your cat climb up stairs or steps normally?
- Does your cat climb down stairs or steps normally?
- Does your cat run normally?
- Does your cat chase moving objects (toys, prey, etc.)?
An article on the checklist reports that it is a good first step for cat owners to discuss diagnosis and treatment options with their veterinarian.
“Owners are so important for cats – veterinarians don’t see them in settings where these changes are obvious,” says one of the researchers. “So owners have to understand what may be causing these behaviors, then see their veterinarian. It’s remarkable how much cats still want to do when pain is relieved. When you see them get a treatment that works, it’s amazing.”
Interested in learning more? You can read an article about how the checklist was developed using a study of several hundred cats with and without degenerative joint disease by clicking HERE.