Could your cat be suffering from Arthritis and you don’t know it? YES
Cats by nature are athletic animals that are most happy when frolicking and playing. Unfortunately, this high level of activity promotes tremendous wear and tear on their joints. Inevitably joints, ligaments and bones are vulnerable to damage and this can cause them pain and discomfort. Arthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints, which impairs joint mobility and often results in chronic pain. In the normal joint, the surfaces of the bone that meet together are lined with a thin layer of cartilage, which acts as a shock absorber. The whole joint is enclosed in a membrane that secretes synovial fluid to help lubricate these surfaces. Gradually, wear and tear may erode the cartilage, so that the underlying bone becomes exposed, resulting in pain and reduced joint movement. Arthritis may occur later in life following injury to a joint in the past. Arthritic changes can be exacerbated by the excess forces on the joint, which result if the cat is overweight. The ‘major’ joints are most commonly affected: the hips, stifles (‘knees’), elbows and back.
Types of Arthritis:
There are several types of arthritis that can afflict cats of all breeds and sizes. The most common forms of feline arthritis are:
Osteoarthritis is a chronic, slowly progressing condition that is caused by the breakdown and destruction of your pet's cartilage. As that occurs, the bony structures begin to rub against one another causing pain and discomfort.
Degenerative Joint Disease involves some kind of a breakdown or destruction in portions of the joint, usually cartilage. Just as in the case of osteoarthritis, this condition does not necessarily mean that your pet is experiencing any inflammation.