Arthrosis in cats. Pained to the bone

A cat withdraws, no longer fit for games, or refuses to go up the stairs. These could be indications of arthrosis in cats, a chronic joint disease. Most animals will suffer in silence, but the pain puts them under permanent stress. This, in turn, leads to further consequences for the health and behaviour of an animal, as the specialists at Maxi Zoo know.

Joint wear is a typical age-related illness, as with us humans. It can set in due to abrasion or be induced or triggered by other factors such as a birth defect, a growth deficiency, an injury or a bacterial infection. Arthrosis can thus affect young animals but quadrupeds mainly suffer from it in their old age. The knee, and hip joints and the spine can be affected.

What happens with arthrosis?

Physicians talk of arthrosis where the disease of a joint is chronic. That means the cause of the arthrosis triggers a process whereby the body attempts to defend itself against the damage to one or more joints. Joints link bones together to make us flexible. The articular cartilage between the ends of the bones makes a vital contribution to this because it acts as a buffer against pressures and impacts. If an injury occurs in this area, inflammation is induced and a so-called “reactive effusion” (bruising) is formed. As a consequence this vital joint cartilage degrades and the organism tries to compensate for the missing buffer by forming new bone tissue. The affected joint is now permanently damaged and can only cause pain when pressure is put on it.

A sign of arthrosis in cats?

If the disease is chronic, this manifests itself in cats, as a rule, in their behaviour. It will scarcely be that your pet draws attention to itself by making noises. Signs of arthrosis in cats can be: she becomes quiet, scarcely invites you to play with her, no longer climbs as high, neglects her grooming, hides herself and licks the painful areas and sometimes acts aggressively to them being touched. Joint pains can also be responsible for a lack of appetite, or generally odd behaviour.

Easing the pain

Arthrosis cannot be cured but you can minimise the pain and other complaints with it. Once the pain has been eliminated, the animal’s musculature can be built up again through movement. Overweight cats should be given relief with the help of a diet. Food supplements can be given to prevent cartilage deterioration and inflammation or during the acute stage.

Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts