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Signs Of Arthritis In Cats

February 17, 2022

Just like people, kitties are often prone to developing arthritis as they age. This painful condition develops when the tendons and ligaments that cushion and connect their bones and joints get worn out. Over time, those tissues thin and lose elasticity, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. While arthritis isn’t curable, it can be managed. Of course, treatments are generally more successful when an issue is caught and addressed early.

Here are some signs to watch for:

Trouble Jumping

When your pet is a kitten, she’ll be quite lithe and active, and may easily jump from the floor to the back of the couch. However, as Fluffy ages, she’ll become less bouncy. If arthritis sets in, you may notice her having trouble jumping onto things. (Tip: pet ramps or stairs may be helpful)


Joint pain can turn even the sweetest cat from a purring, cuddly snuggle bug to a hissing ball of rage. If your feline buddy is acting uncharacteristically aggressive, she could have arthritis.

Reduced Interest In Play

Kitties are very playful, which is always a delight to watch. However, joint pain can affect those frisky antics we all love.


Arthritis can seriously impact your feline freind’s mobility. Fluffy may seem stiff, especially when she is first getting up or down. She might also limp, especially when she first gets up.


With arthritic pets, sometimes one joint or area is affected more than others. Fluffy may react if you touch her on a sensitive area. She may also flinch, withdraw, move away, or even hiss or bite.

Sleeping More Than Usual

This one can be hard to spot, given that Fluffy spends so much time sleeping. However, if your cat seems even drowsier than usual, mention it to your vet.

Difficulty Going Up And Down Stairs

Stairs can be challenging for arthritic cats. If you think about it, many stairs are taller than Fluffy is! You may notice your kitty struggling to get from one floor to another. 

Unkempt Fur

Cats that have arthritis often have trouble bending and stretching to groom themselves. Fluffy may start looking rather unkempt. (Tip: groom your feline pal gently, using a soft brush.)

Keep in mind that many of these symptoms can be related to a variety of medical issues. Contact your vet if you notice any of these red flags in your kitty!

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