Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Arthritis in cats

Sunday, August 18, 2019
     Isabella had a terrible time climbing up on the basin to supervise the morning wash today. She clambered onto the laundry basket and nearly missed the bench when she leapt over. She wasn't much better when it was all over and she had to run for her breakfast. After pouring herself carefully down the cupboard she landed with a plop and a groan.
At 16 years of age it's not surprising she has arthritis. Her back is not as flexible as it used to be and any leaping is difficult and painful.
Her elbows take a lot of weight when she jumps off anything. To reduce the impact - and the pain - she turns her elbows out and almost lands on her sternum.
We suggested placing a sturdy step near the bench so that she could climb up and jump down in smaller increments.
Joint foods and enhancers help many older cats but we will probably prescribe some pain relief for Isabella, depending on the health of her kidneys and liver. Then she can get back to work in comfort.

Suffering in silence

Friday, November 16, 2018

Is your cat in pain?

Friday, September 07, 2018

Is my cat in pain?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Because cats in the wild are preyed upon if they show signs of pain or illness cats will disguise pain until they cannot hide it for a minute longer.
Changes in behaviour are the most common early signs of pain. Contact us as soon as possible if you notice your cat:
  •  hiding or avoiding interaction with you or other pets
  • showing reduced interest in food
  • hesitating to jump or climb stairs
  • showing reduced activity or tiring rapidly during activity
  • having difficulty getting up, standing or walking
  • is not grooming normally
  • has changed urination or defecation habits
  • squinting
  • is hunched up or tucked up instead of curled up to sleep
  • is sensitive to touch, particularly if he or she vocalises when you pet
  • changes temperament eg becomes aggressive or crotchety

Stiff and sore?

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Sixteen year old Harry is having trouble jumping up on the table this winter. He circles it quite a few times before making the leap. His family also noticed that he is sleeping a lot more this winter and is reluctant to move when he first wakes up.

Cats don't usually limp unless their arthritis is severe. Their elbows, knees and backs are the most common sites for arthritis.

Harry's older brother Cino hesitates to jump down off the bed. He has also been toileting around the litter box instead of in it lately. His elbows were thickened and painful when he came to visit last week and Dr Kate found that his lower back was acutely painful. Harry's knees were his problem.

We've found a litter box with lower sides for Cino and have put a footrest near Harry's favourite perch to make access easier. Both Harry and Cino are trialing some arthritis meds and fish oil. Already their family has noticed that they are more mobile and interested in cuddles and household doings.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Cats are very good at hiding signs of pain and discomfort. Reluctance to jump, an unkempt coat, avoiding play and petting, and crankiness may be indicators of arthritis.

Check out this fabulous new website, Cats with arthritis, to help decide if your cat has arthritis.

                                         BIMET0003 Metacam Clinic Poster A5

Cats get arthritis too!

Monday, February 10, 2014

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.

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A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

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