Sixteen year old Burmese Cleo was slow to jump down off the kitchen bench when caught out last week. She poured herself down the side, landed with a thud and looked stunned for a moment before moving off.
When we X-rayed her elbows we were horrified to find that she had severe osteoarthritis. She had been covering it up - as cats do - for a long time before we noticed she was having trouble.
We then noticed that she is also reluctant to jump very high. She uses chairs to get onto tables and has stopped leaping up to sit in the sun on the windowsill. Her painful knees make her hesitate before jumping and she then scrambles up rather than jumping. Unwilling to miss the electric blanket at night she pulls herself up on to the bed.
We've set up boxes as steps onto her feed bench and the bed. We also play gently with her by trailing ribbons and batting balls to strengthen her muscles. To reduce the strain on her joints we've restricted her food and watched her weight.
She makes sure that she sleeps in a warm, well-cushioned sleeping area - our bed!
Now she is also on pain medication and doing remarkably well.