Your cat has been your companion for many years. Arthritis pain in its joints makes it move a little slower and less likely to jump up on your lap. Here are a few ways that you can help your feline friend to be more comfortable in your home.
1. Change their diet to reduce the pain.
Work with your veterinarian to identify the right diet for your cat. A low-calorie, high-protein diet will give them the energy they need while keeping them lean to reduce the stress on their joints. Cat food fortified with omega 3 fatty acids has a mild anti-inflammatory effect on the cat's swollen joints. Foods rich in calcium give your cat the minerals it needs to replace bone and cartilage damaged by the arthritis.
Food supplements may also help reduce the joint pain and stiffness. Glucosamine and chondroitin promote cartilage growth on the ends of the bones where arthritis has worn it away.
2. Rearrange food dishes to make it easier to eat and drink.
Your cat may have pain originating from bones in the spine, making it difficult to bend down or reach up to eat and drink. Raise their dishes off of the floor to a height that they can reach comfortably without stretching their neck and back.
3. Protect your cat's eating area from other pets.
If you have other pets in the household, consider feeding your arthritic cat in a quiet place in the house away from others. Your cat can then take their time eating without feeling rushed by the other pets trying to get after their food.
4. Make the litter box easier to access.
Your cat may have difficulty stepping up over a high edge to get into the litter box. If you start to see them hesitate to go in the litter box or they have little "accidents" outside of the box, change the box. If you can't find a litter box with a low lip to step over, use a cookie sheet lined with paper and litter.
5. Put favorite resting spots on ground level and out of the way.
Your cat may sleep more now with the joint condition. Make sure their cat beds are on the floor so they don't have to jump or climb to reach them. Put the bed in a quiet place where they won't be disturbed by other pets. In a closet, under the bed or behind a dresser may be the perfect spot for your cat to get the rest they need without being pestered by the other pets.
6. Put heating pads under favorite sleeping areas.
A heating pad set to low will create a comfortable place for your cat to sleep. The warmth from the heating pad will increase circulation in your cat's joints and decrease the painful inflammation from the arthritis.
For other tips on how to make your cat feel more comfortable despite its arthritic pain, talk to a veterinarian from a company like All-Pets Hospital.