Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
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(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm
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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

The unwell cat

Thursday, January 19, 2017

   Cats often don't give us many clues that they are ill. Perhaps they miss a meal or hide in the cupboard. Perhaps they look for a cuddle; or perhaps they want nothing to do with you. Some will vomit or have diarrhoea. The occasional one will show pain by hunching over or curling up and wanting to be left alone.

Many of these vaguely ill cats have pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas. The pain and nausea put them off their food. As cats obtain most of their fluids through their food rather than from what they drink they become dehydrated very quickly. The dehydration exacerbates the pain and nausea and so a vicious downward spiral continues.

Fortunately most respond to a drip to rehydrate them, and pain relief and anti-nausea medication. Within 2 or 3 days they are back to their normal selves. 

Pancreatitis is a very common complaint in middle-aged to older cats. If your cat doesn't seem to be her or himself call us sooner rather than later as cats often suffer pancreatitis silently.

Is my cat in pain?

Saturday, December 03, 2016

How can I tell if my cat has bad teeth?

Saturday, February 08, 2014
Cats are determined to hide any sign of pain or discomfort from us. The observant owner may notice one or more of the following if they are really on the ball:


    • not grooming properly, leaving coat matted, loose or scurfy
    • eating on one side of mouth or tilting the head to one side when chewing
    • resenting stroking around the face/jaw
    • not enjoying handling at all
    • keen hunter not interested in hunting any more
    • keen warrior not interested in fighting any more
    • not wanting to play with tug toys
    • throwing food to back of mouth to chew
    • bringing unchewed, unlubricated food up within 10 minutes of a meal
    • hesitating at food bowl even though clearly hungry
    • not crunching kibble
    • preferring moist to dry food when used to prefer dry to moist and vice versa
    • bad breath
    • eating only a little but going back to the bowl often
    • drooling
    • pawing mouth
    • swollen face
    • bleeding from mouth
    • grinding teeth


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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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