Tips For Making Your Arthritic Cat More Comfortable At Home

Posted on: 14 June 2016

The limp when your cat walks and their reduced stamina has been diagnosed as arthritis. Your veterinarian will have some suggestions on diet changes and medication to ease the pain. There are also several ways that you can make your cat more comfortable at home. These tips help to lessen the aggravation of your cat's arthritic joints so they will continue to enjoy their time in your lap.

1. Follow the vet's diet recommendations.

The diet change will give your cat the energy they need while reducing the weight they carry on their joints. A high protein, low calorie diet will keep your cat lean. Foods enriched with omega 3 fatty acids have a slight anti-inflammatory effect on your cat's joints. Foods with added calcium give your cat more of the building blocks they need to replace bone worn away by the arthritis.

2. Move your cat's food dishes to make eating and drinking easier.

Your cat may have some spinal stiffness making it difficult to bend down to use dishes sitting on the floor. Raise the dishes so your cat can use them while sitting comfortably without bending over or stretching their neck.

3. Put your cat's dishes in a private place away from other pets.

Your cat may eat slower than the other pets and find themselves in competition for the last morsels in their bowl. Feed your cat away from the other pets so they have more time to finish their meal without the stress of having another pet raid their bowl.

4. Make the litter box more accessible.

Your cat may find it uncomfortable stepping up over a high edge to get into the litter box. If it becomes too painful, your cat may begin leaving you little "presents" outside of the litter box. Cut the edge down to the level of the litter to make it easier for your cat. If they are still uncomfortable, get a flat tray or cookie sheet and line it with newspaper and a layer of litter. Change the paper and litter every day.

5. Move napping areas to ground level.

As the arthritis advances, your cat will be reluctant to jump up to their favorite napping spots on your bed or sofa. Place cat beds and blankets in out-of-the-way spots on the floor so your cat won't have to aggravate their joint pain by jumping up onto and down from furniture.

6. Build ramps or stairs for the persistent jumper.

In spite of the pain, your cat may insist on jumping up onto the bed or couch. Make or buy a carpeted ramp on which your cat can walk to get up to their favorite spot. Tape boxes of different heights together to create a set of stairs that your cat can use.

7. Look for alternative pet therapy in your area to make your cat more comfortable at home.

Veterinarian clinics and private practitioners (for example, the Downing Center For Animal Pain Management) in your town may offer such services as acupuncture and massage therapy for your cat. These treatments increase the circulation in your cat's joints while reducing painful inflammation.