Cat’s are fascinatingly nimble creatures. They leap impressively, fall gracefully, and fit into spaces that seem impossibly small to us humans. As cats get older, though, their mobility begins to decrease. Whether this has to with age, injury, obesity, or a condition, it can greatly diminish their quality of life. Keeping up with your cat’s joint care is the best way to maintain their mobility.
By focusing on cat joint care from the time they’re a kitten, you can help prevent future mobility issues that will make their adult years more difficult. Read along to learn more about why cat joint care is absolutely essential.
Why is Cat Joint Care Important?
Cat joint care is so important because when a cat’s mobility is affected, their overall health is also impacted. Joint inflammation from arthritis or injuries can be incredibly painful, making it difficult for the cat to move around. This stagnation can quickly lead to obesity.
On the flip side, obesity can also strain the cat’s joints, causing pain and discomfort. It’s somewhat of a vicious cycle – obesity can cause joint pain, or joint pain can lead to obesity, which can then worsen the original joint pain.
Additionally, lack of mobility can greatly affect a cat’s mental health. Cats love to run, play, jump, and hide. If they’re unable to move around, and especially if they’re in pain, you might have a very moody cat on your hands. Cat joint care is crucial to maintaining a cat’s overall wellbeing.
What Can Happen if You Ignore Your Cat’s Joint Health?
Ignoring your cat’s joint care can lead to a whole host of mental and physical issues, as we mentioned in the above section. However, prolonged joint care neglect can lead to serious issues like joint pain.
If your cat’s joint pain has caused a lack of mobility that’s leading to obesity, they may be at risk for obesity-related illnesses, as well. Obese cats are at a higher risk for developing conditions such as:
- Heart disease
- Urinary bladder stones
- Increased stress on joints
Common Causes of Reduced Mobility in Cats
Just like obesity can cause joint pain and joint pain can lead to obesity, osteoarthritis can lead to joint pain/decreased mobility and joint pain/decreased mobility can lead to degenerative joint disease (DJD). DJD is the most common cause of joint pain in cats.
As DJD causes cartilage deterioration, the joint’s bones begin to rub against one another. This is extremely painful for cats – the cartilage was there as a cushion to specifically prevent this rubbing from happening. In its absence, it becomes increasingly difficult for a cat to move around.
Congenital conditions such as hip dysplasia can also cause joint pain and mobility issues. Hip dysplasia happens when the hip joint develops abnormally, causing more of that painful bone-on-bone rubbing. In severe cases, hip dysplasia causes osteoarthritis, worsening the condition.
Other conditions like infections, and stress can also impact a cat’s mobility. For some cats, declawing is a traumatic experience that leaves them feeling afraid and wanting to hide. If your cat’s mobility is declining, it’s probably not only because they’re getting lazier as they age.
Signs of Declining Cat Joint Health
Since many cats are elusive by nature, it can be difficult to discern if your cat is struggling with joint pain or mobility issues. Do your best to keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of joint pain – they may indicate a larger issue hidden beneath the surface. Some of the signs of cat joint pain are:
- Noticeably decreased mobility
- Difficulty/reluctance jumping onto high surfaces
- Loss of muscle mass
- Licking near the joints
- Leg lameness/favoring certain limbs
- Hiding behavior
- Weight gain
- Reluctance to be pet like normal
What Can I Give My Cat for Joint Care?
While your veterinarian will need to be involved if there’s a more serious issue at hand, there are many natural remedies for cat joint pain. Rather than forcing your cat to take a harsh medication, consider trying one of these fantastic, all-natural remedies at home.
CBD Oil or CBD Treats
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid extracted from hemp plants. It has therapeutic properties that work with your cat’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help reduce joint swelling, discomfort, and irritation! It can also help with digestive/appetite concerns and mood stabilization.
At HolistaPet, we have three CBD products that can help your cat’s joint pain: CBD oil for cats, CBD capsules for cats, and salmon-flavored CBD cat treats. The oil and capsules can be mixed into their regular food, or the treats can be giving as a calming, therapeutic, and enticing snack.
All of our CBD products are 100% organic, all-natural, non-GMO, and pet-safe. Plus, we ship across the United States! After eating some CBD, your cat should begin to feel more relaxed as it kicks in and alleviates their joint pain. CBD is such an easy, natural way to take care of your cat’s joints.
Boswellia is an ancient anti-inflammatory herb. Also called frankincense, Boswellia is another fantastic, natural way to care for a cat’s joints. When shopping, make sure to look for all-natural, high-quality Boswellia cat products.
Turmeric is another excellent anti-inflammatory herbal remedy that has been used for thousands of years. It’s given to all sorts of animals suffering from arthritis and has shown to effectively reduce painful joint inflammation. Like with Boswellia, look for organic, all-natural pet turmeric.
Tips to Improve Joint Health in Cats
In order to maintain proper joint health from kittenhood, focus on keeping your cat active and at an ideal weight. Try to choose high-quality, organic, all-natural cat foods that will supplement their overall health – maybe even look for food that contains anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Although many cats can do better puppy dog eyes than some actual puppies, do your best to refrain from feeding them scraps of human food. The occasional bit of fish or chicken is encouraged as a healthy treat, but constantly eating human foods (especially processed foods) is bad for their health.
If your cat seems to be gaining too much weight, take a look at its diet and playtime routines. You might need to scale back on the amount of food given at mealtimes. While you can’t really take your cat on walks, you can encourage active play with toys on a daily basis to keep them moving and healthy.
Frequent activity and a quality diet are essential for building strong, healthy bones and joints. Strong bones and joints mean a lesser chance for injury and deterioration. Keeping up with your cat’s regular veterinarian check-ups is also crucial for maintaining their overall health and mobility.
If your cat is suffering from intense joint pain, arthritis, or an injury, we encourage you to try our CBD cat products. Many cat owners have noticed major improvements in their cats’ mobility, pain levels, and overall mood. The other natural remedies we recommended also work well to inhibit joint pain.
When Should I Go to the Vet?
If your cat is gaining excessive weight despite your attempted intervention, or if they’re becoming increasingly immobile, it may be time to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian. Home remedies and lifestyle changes can help, but a veterinarian is the ultimate form of intervention.
Oftentimes, vets can detect cat pain more easily than most cat owners. While some cats may show clear signs of pain, others may not. The vet can diagnose exactly what’s going on and recommend treatment options. Those may involve medications, surgeries, and further lifestyle changes.
Final Thoughts – Cat Joint Care
Cat joint care is absolutely essential to a cat’s overall health. To help your cat grow up healthy, strong, and pain-free, pay attention to their joint care from the day you bring them home. Beginning preventative measures before any sort of problem arises decreases the chance that your cat will develop joint issues later in health.