Feline arthritis occurs when the cartilage between a joint is worn away, and it can lead to pain and stress in your cat. There are many factors that can combine to see your kitty develop the condition, and it's often impossible for your cat to avoid arthritis if they are genetically predisposed.
However, you can take the following four steps to ensure that they enjoy a good quality of life.
1. See a Veterinarian
If you notice any signs that your cat might have developed arthritis, make sure you take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. A vet will be able to check for signs of swelling and take a radiograph to confirm the presence of arthritis. With a diagnosis confirmed, they will then be able to provide medication, usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and prescribe a specialized diet to help your cat cope with the issue.
2. Manage Their Weight
It tends to be older cats that suffer from arthritis. Unfortunately, older cats tend to like to sleep more and play less without any reduction in their food intake. This coupled with the fact that the condition itself will make your cat less willing to exercise, and it's easy for the weight to pile on. Make sure you avoid this by putting your cat on a diet if you notice any weight gain. Their carrying around more body fat is not going to help the situation.
3. Reduce the Need for Them to Jump
Cats love to jump around, but arthritis can make this painful. This means that you should reduce their need to jump. Start by moving any food and water dishes onto the floor instead of keeping them up high, and see whether you can place smaller pieces of furniture as steps up to areas they like to go, such as your bed or the sofa. You can also start incorporating fewer physical games and more mental ones to ensure that you'll still be able to spend plenty of time playing with your kitty.
4. Place Cushioning Around Landing Zones
Of course, you'll never be able to completely curtail your cat's desire to jump around, but you can continue to make things easier for them by identifying their most regular landing zones. For example, your cat might like to leap from the top of their cat tree. If you can't coax them into coming down more slowly, try at least placing a deep rug around the cat tree to help absorb the impact of their fall.