Have an elderly cat? Are you finding that they can’t do all the things they used to? It’s possible your cat has stiff joints and needs some extra help to support their mobility. Spot the signs and find out more about joint care for cats of all ages.
We love so many things about our cats – their independence, their zest for life, and their eccentricities. When that attitude changes it is worthwhile checking if your cat has stiff joints. As our cats age, their joints can become creaky, and that means they can’t move or behave in the ways they used to as kittens. Read on to find out what to look for.
Is your elderly cat more irritable? Stiff joints might be the reason
If your cat is stiff every time they walk, stretch or try to groom, they will almost certainly be more irritable. Look out for the following signs:
- Snapping when handled – you may be putting pressure on the joints when you lift your cat
- Refusing to come near you – if your cat is experiencing stiffness, they’ll avoid putting themselves in situations where that might happen.
Cat supplements, such as YuMOVE Cat, contain Green Lipped Mussel powder to soothe joints and maintain mobility.
Has your cat stopped grooming?
Cats are fastidious groomers, so we know something’s not quite right when they let themselves look a bit bedraggled. Stiff joints might mean your cat can’t raise their foot to scratch or bend round as easily to reach all the parts of their body they want to keep clean. You can help by:
- Investigating specialist joint care for cats - like YuMOVE Cat, which uses key ingredients like ActivEase Green Lipped Mussel, Glucosamine and Manganese, all of which work together to promote mobility.
- Helping your cat groom – brush them regularly to remove dirt and matting from their fur. If possible, take them to a cat groomer who can help keep things in tip-top condition.
Is your cat sleeping more than usual?
Cats love to sleep. In fact, cats sleep an average of 16 hours every day. So, you might be forgiven for not noticing when your cat is sleeping more than usual. But this can be a sign of joint stiffness, particularly in elderly cats. So why does this happen?
- More easily tired – living with stiff joints is a tiring business when you’re a cat. Your cat uses all their joints all the time and so will need to rest more.
- Overweight? If your cat is moving less, they might also be putting on weight. It is worth a quick weigh-in at your vets and a re-assessment of their diet to help them lose weight.
Has your cat stopped jumping up?
Cats are naturally nimble creatures and are used to jumping up and down from substantial heights. This takes a lot of joint strength so it’s not surprising if they’re finding it difficult when their joints become stiff. If you notice that your cat is reluctant to jump as high as they used to – or not able to jump at all, it might be because they’re stiff.
- Glucosamine for cats – Glucosamine is found in specialist joint supplements for cats, and is widely used to help aid joint stiffness in humans and animals. Along with natural Chondroitin, it helps to maintain healthy cartilage. We use both these ingredients in our specialist YuMOVE Cat, which helps to aid stiffness and support joint health.
- Climbing assistance – you can help your cat to climb without jumping by placing stools, boxes or other climbing aids near the places where you know your cat likes to be. Giving them some climbing supports will help them to get to their favourite spots again.
- Visit the vet – it can be tricky to spot the signs of stiff joints in your cat. If these ring a bell, spend a bit of time observing and recording your cat’s behaviour and visit your vet for a check-up.