One of the main reasons for pain and irritability in older and aging cats is due to arthritis. Unlike dogs, recognizing the pain symptoms for cats can be quite difficult. They are disinclined when it comes to sharing their problems. A possible explanation is that in the wild, crying in pain or showing weakness makes an animal prone to being attacked and therefore a stoic behavior is more favorable for survival.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at a number of ways to ease your furry feline’s pain and irritability.
Understanding the Symptoms
As mentioned above, cats tend to mask their pain. Major injuries (mostly physical) are easier to identify yet other, more subtle ones, need a careful observation of the cat’s routine behavior. Your cat may start avoiding high jumps or leaps up to the sofa or windowsill. She may also prefer to stay on one level of the house in order to avoid using the stairs.
Some cats will sleep more than usual while others may find it hard to get into a comfortable position. Other symptoms include soiling the home and not using the litter box due to joint pain.
Arthritis in older felines leads to joint swelling, stiffness, lameness, discomfort, and lethargy. Arthritis that affects the elbow joints significantly limits the cat’s movement due to the degenerative part of the aging process. The cartilage acts as cushion between the bones that can deteriorate over time and reduce flexibility. Such problems can develop due to injury, infection or dislocation of the joint or the feline becoming overweight. Other signs to look for include:
- Avoid being handled
- Preferring seclusion
- Showing aggression when approached
- Increased grooming in specific areas or
- Decreased grooming
- Sudden personality changes
Easing the Pain
Similar to humans in old age, pain is impossible to completely eliminate in cats. However, steps can be taken to ease the pain and provide comfort for your feline companion. If your cat is overweight, consult your veterinarian for a suitable diet plan; being overweight can further complicate problems. Usage of nutritional supplements and vitamins can aid in replenishing the cartilage.
The most effective measure you can take is to give your cat hemp oil. These particular types of cannabinoids do not cause intoxication and are known to have no harmful side effects. Hemp oil is safe, potent, and not only eases from pain due to arthritis, but also combats muscle spasms and anxiety.
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