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Michael Dym, V.M.D.
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Dr. Michael Dym
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Joint Care for Senior Cats

Joint care for senior cats

Cats need more attention and care in their golden years. Typically, senior cats (or middle-aged cats) are around eight to 10 years old, while cats that are 12 years and older are considered geriatric. With the combination of good genes and excellent health care, a cat reaching 20 years of age is not unusual, but older cats are more prone to infections and injury than at any other point in their lives. Their mobility, flexibility, and activity levels usually decrease, and this could be due to a number of reasons. First, joints and muscles lose their resilience over time, making it difficult for your cat to engage in activities such as springing to a high perch or going up and down the stairs. Another common reason for decreased mobility is osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease in which the cartilage that provides support and cushion to the joints is constantly being worn out, causing pain in your aging cat.

Thankfully, there are products that can help provide comfort to your beloved senior cat. Here are a few that will help bring the spring back into your cat's steps:

Help your cat maintain healthy joints with supplements

Joint supplements, like Super Joint Enhancer Bite-Sized Chews and Cosequin for Cats contain glucosamine, a natural molecular compound that hydrates worn cartilage. These supplements can be sprinkled on your cat's food. Other supplements, like Glyco-Flex II Feline Bite-Sized Chews are available in a chewable tablet form.

Use ramps or steps to ease your cat's mobility

Cats like high perches. As they age, it might become harder for them to jump to their favorite resting places. An Indoor Pet Ramp can help your cat climb on and off furniture such as beds, tables, and sofas. With its low slope and soft surface, the pet ramp reduces the strain placed on your cat's joints. Other pet ramps and steps are also available for your cat.

Give your cat medication to relieve pain

Osteoarthritis can be painful. Your veterinarian can prescribe pain relievers such as Onsior for Cats to help your cat move around more comfortably.

Molly's Tip

Remember to tell your veterinarian if you are giving your cat any other medications before treating arthritis with a prescription medication, as there could be potential adverse reactions.

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