According to several studies, more than 90% of cats over the age of 12 experience arthritis in at least one joint. Maybe you’re saying, “my senior cats have never had arthritis“, but don’t forget how stoic our cats are. We often don’t know that they are in pain until it’s very painful. Because of this, senior cat joint care should be taking in a proactive measure for cat parents.
Here are some tips on how to help avoid what seems to be the inevitable for our older kitties.
- Diet is key. Just like humans, as our kitties age their joints begin to break down. A cat that eats a high protein, species appropriate diet with little to no carbs is going to have much sturdier joints and muscles. Get rid of the kibble and feed your senior cat a balanced fresh food diet as soon as possible to help with joint care.
- Exercise your kitty! A body in motion tends to stay in motion, so your cat should be moving and playing, even in her older age. Cats that are not given reason to move often won’t after a certain age, so it’s our responsibility to give them incentive to exercise. Leash train your kitty and let him play outside. Build or buy vertical space to encourage your cat to climb. Get a wand toy and spend 20 minutes each day engaging in playtime with your kitties. All of these will help increase exercise, which is one of the best detoxifiers and helps with avoiding arthritis.
- Start early adding supplementation into your cat’s meals. We can’t stress enough how this has helped us avoid arthritis issues with our older kitties. Joint supplementation can help reduce inflammation, kill free radicals and repair damage done to your senior cat’s joints.
- Control your cat’s weight. Obesity is one of the leading causes of arthritis in cats, so keep an eye on your kitty’s weight. If your cat is eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking supplementation this shouldn’t be an issue, however, for some cats it still is so be sure to count the calories and feed appropriately.