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6 Ways To Help Your Cat With Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is thought to affect a large number of cats.

It’s believed to be more common and severe in older ones.

This illness is a type of arthritis whereby the joint cartilage between bones wears away.

Consequently, the bones rub against each other when a cat moves.

Often this can be quite painful and uncomfortable. Some of the areas affected may be the hip, elbow, spine, and knee joints.

OA in cats might go unnoticed because some of its symptoms are often thought to be signs of old age.

However, this illness worsens over time, causing more decline in a feline’s quality of life.

6 Ways To Help Your Cat With Osteoarthritis

If your cat is sleeping longer, has swollen joints, or finds it hard to jump up and down, use the litter box, and move around, it may be time to visit the veterinarian for a check-up.

In such a case, your feline friend may be suffering from OA. 

Since OA is a chronic condition, there’s no cure for it.

However, there are a few things you can do to help manage the symptoms better and provide comfort to your beloved cat.

Take Them For Light Therapy

There are various forms of treatment you could try to manage feline OA.

For instance, you can consider light therapy for cats.

It involves exposing a particular body part to an artificial light source to reduce the inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.

A positive outcome may be achieved because light therapy is thought to improve blood flow.

As a result, affected areas will likely receive more oxygen and nutrients.

This way, the sick cat may get to experience muscle relaxation, reduced stiffness, and less discomfort after treatment.  

Gray cat being carried by vet tech

Try Acupuncture

Besides light therapy, another alternative treatment you could try is acupuncture.

Essentially, acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing practice that involves the insertion of needles on certain pressure points to relieve and treat pain.

This can also be applied to your feline friend.

This way, signals may be sent to the brain and spinal cord via the nerves and tissues.

As a result, this is believed to cause the release of substances like endorphins, thought to relieve the pain and discomfort your cat may be feeling.

Get The Necessary Medications

Something else that could help your cat with OA is providing them with the necessary medications.

It’s best to consult your vet on this matter.

Your vet can prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce joint inflammation and aches.

Besides that, they might also give your cat pain killers. 

However, there are certain side effects to expect with cat arthritis medications.

For instance, your cat might experience decreased appetite, diarrhea, sedation, or vomiting.

But in case of an overdose, your pet could sustain kidney damage or may even lead to a fatal outcome.

If you notice that your feline is reacting badly to a drug prescribed to them, call your vet immediately.

Female veterinarian sadly looking at cat holding x-ray, terminally ill pet

Ensure Everything They Need Is Easily Accessible

OA can make it more complicated and more painful for a cat to reach spots they did before.

Therefore, if your feline is diagnosed with this illness, ensure that everything they need is easily accessible.

This includes their food and water containers, litter box, and bed.

If your feline loves the sofa, a pet rump is recommendable. 

Change Their Litter Box

You could also help by changing your cat’s litter box.

If it’s smaller, buy a large one.

This allows them to turn around without touching the walls, which could be painful.

Also, ensure that the new sandbox has one lower side. This will provide easy access in and out.  

If your house is big, add more litter containers.

This way, your pet will get to one quickly and easily without straining whenever they need to.

Help Them Maintain Healthy Weight

If your cat suffers from OA, excess weight can stress the joints causing more pain.

So, to help manage this, consult a vet.

They can best provide an efficient weight-loss plan suitable for your pet.

They might also suggest ways to avoid being excessively heavy again. 

For instance, they may suggest a balanced diet, supplements, or exercises.

However, if your cat’s weight-loss strategy isn’t working, go back to the vet before considering another approach.

They can help examine what may be hindering their progress and provide more safe and effective solutions.

Closeup of gray cat with yellow eyes


If your cat is diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, it’s best to focus on managing their pain and discomfort, as this condition may not have a cure.

Get them the proper medications or try helpful alternative forms of treatments.

Also, make some adjustments at home to ensure they’re more comfortable.

Keeping the above tips in mind can be a good start in making your feline’s life less painful despite their condition.


Thursday 14th of September 2023

My sister's cat is getting monthly injections (something new for cats) and it's help her cat immensely

Antoinette M

Friday 29th of July 2022

Thank you for sharing this. My cat is 12 years old and I'm giving her a joint health supplement recommended by her vet.

Blake Marchand

Monday 25th of April 2022

sad when cats pass

Blake Marchand

Sunday 24th of April 2022

I miss Bast.

Brittany Gilley

Monday 11th of April 2022

thanks for the wonderful tips!

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