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How long can cats live

How long can cats live

How long can cats live with arthritis? A few tips for a long, happy and healthy life for your feline.

In many cases, cats are affected by a condition known as arthritis. It’s a fairly common problem in older cats and those with joint or bone disease. Arthritis can be painful, and while there is no cure, there are a number of ways to treat the condition and keep your cat in good health and comfortable.

Arthritis is not the same as arthritis. The word means inflammation or pain in the joints, and usually refers to degenerative joint disease. Most cats affected by arthritis are experiencing arthritic pain with no structural cause, and can usually be treated with pain medication.

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What is arthritis?

Arthritis is a term that covers a number of different conditions in cats.

“Arthritis” means inflammation or pain in the joints, and usually refers to degenerative joint disease. It’s a fairly common problem in older cats and those with joint or bone disease. Cats affected by arthritis may experience pain with no structural cause.

This is called “osteoarthritis.” Arthritic pain may affect one joint, multiple joints or both.

It’s not the same as arthritis. The word means inflammation or pain in the joints, and usually refers to degenerative joint disease. It’s a fairly common problem in older cats and those with joint or bone disease. Cats affected by arthritis may experience pain with no structural cause. This is called “osteoarthritis.” Arthritic pain may affect one joint, multiple joints or both.

Osteoarthritis is a condition of the cartilage that acts as a cushion in joints. It causes the joint to become less flexible and increases the pressure on the bones and ligaments around the joint, causing pain and stiffness.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are a number of things you can do to treat the condition and keep your cat in good health.

What causes arthritis?

Arthritis is usually a secondary condition in older cats. There may be a hereditary cause.

A cat affected by arthritis is more likely to develop secondary conditions, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. Some of the more common causes of arthritis in cats include:

Age and diet

Aging cats can develop arthritis as they lose cartilage in the joints over time. Cats with arthritis may also lose weight because their body isn’t producing as much of the protein that’s necessary to build bone.

The loss of cartilage may be caused by a number of factors, including nutritional factors, injury and genetics.

When a cat eats an unhealthy diet or doesn’t get enough exercise, he or she can develop weight gain or obesity. Obesity can worsen arthritis by causing the cat’s body to work harder to move around, placing extra pressure on the joints.

Arthritis can also be caused by disease. Some diseases that can affect a cat’s joints and bones include:

Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

Calcinosis (hardening of the tissues)

Encephalitis

Hemangioma (tumor in the blood vessels)

Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph tissue)

Malignancy

Rheumatoid arthritis

Reactive arthritis

Sepsis

Spondylosis (degenerative joint disease)

There are a number of genetic issues that may cause arthritis. Some of these include:

A condition called polydactyly (extra digits) in which there are extra digits (limbs)

Dwarfism (growth of limbs)

Hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormones)

Mast cell disease

Polycystic kidney disease

Syndactyly (development of extra digits)

What are the symptoms of arthritis?

Arthritis is often a secondary condition in cats. The cat may not show any symptoms if arthritis is not causing him or her pain. In some cases, the symptoms may be a result of the primary condition that caused the arthritis in the first place.

In others, however, the cat may show a number of signs. They may be similar to those of other conditions, but if you see any of the symptoms listed below, it could be arthritis. If your cat shows any of these symptoms, it may be an indication of an underlying problem or a secondary condition, including arthritis.

Common symptoms include:

Lameness

Weight loss

Weakness

Difficulty breathing

Restlessness

Disinterest in normal activities

Loss of appetite

Lack of energy

Sneezing

Sensitivity to touch

In some cases, arthritis can cause joint pain and stiffness, particularly during periods of stress. Cats that show this type of behavior may not always have arthritis, however, so the signs need to be looked at in the context of the overall health of the cat.

Other symptoms include:

Dry, scratchy skin

Lack of appetite

Difficulty chewing and eating

Difficulty walking or climbing

In some cases, a cat may show more than one symptom, and if you see two or more of these symptoms, it’s important to have your cat examined by your vet.

How to prevent arthritis

There are a number of things you can do to keep arthritis in your cat in check.

Diet

It’s important that your cat eats a balanced, healthy diet. If you’re concerned that your cat isn’t eating properly, talk to your vet. He or she may have some recommendations for you.

A healthy cat can maintain a lean, muscle build even as he or she ages. That makes it less likely that