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Dogwood Animal Hospital

2050 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045

Signs Of Arthritis In Cats

March 15 2022

Did you know that, just like people, cats often develop arthritis as they age? This painful condition develops when the tendons and ligaments that connect and cushionFluffy’s bones get worn out. Over time, that tissue can thin and lose elasticity, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. While arthritis cannot be cured, it can be managed. However, treatments may be more successful if the issue is caught and addressed early.

Here are some early warning signs to watch for:


Arthritis can seriously impact Fluffy’s mobility. Your pet may seem stiff, especially when she’s first getting up or down. She may also limp, especially when she is rising from one of her many daily naps.


Unsurprisingly, joint pain can really interfere with cats’ moods. Arthritis can turn your pet from a purring, cuddly snuggle bug into a hissing ball of feline rage. If your kitty is acting unusually aggressive, she may have arthritis.


With arthritic pets, sometimes one joint or area is affected more than others. Fluffy may react if you touch her on a sensitive area. She could also flinch, withdraw, move away, or even hiss or bite.

Trouble Getting Up And Down

Fluffy will always be a kitten at heart, However, as your feline buddy grows older, she’ll become less bouncy. If arthritis sets in, you may notice your kitty having trouble jumping onto your bed or couch.

Difficulty With Stairs

Stairs can be very challenging for older cats. If you think about it, many stairs are taller than Fluffy! You might notice your kitty struggling to get from one floor to another. 

Reduced Interest In Play

Cats are very playful, which is always a delight to watch. However, joint pain can affect those frisky kitty antics we all love. Fluffy’s favorite catnip mouse may start gathering dust!

Unkempt Fur

Kitties with arthritis often have trouble bending and stretching to groom themselves. Fluffy may start looking a bit unkempt. (Tip: brushing your cat gently will help her out.)

Sleeping More Than Usual

This one might be a bit hard to spot, given that cats spend so much time sleeping. However, if Fluffy seems even drowsier than usual, mention it to your vet.

Keep in mind that many of these symptoms can be related to a variety of medical issues. Contact your vet if you notice any of these red flags in your kitty!

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