Thursday, June 23, 2016

When Your Cat is Hurting...

As our companion kitties age, it's natural that they may develop arthritis or stiffness after getting up. However it's often difficult to tell if and where they experience discomfort. Lots of clients tell me their kitties sometimes favor one paw or have limps that come and go. Many cats go into "hunker down" mode when they go to the vet's office so guardians may need to video the movement or behavior they are concerned about to show the doctor. Given that cats in the wild are prey for many animals, it's instinctual for felines to hide illness and weakness. Here's a good resource to keep handy if you think your cat may be silently suffering:

How can you manage minor joint aches and pains at home? Many of my clients give their kitties a joint health supplement on their food. There are lots of websites to buy reputable veterinary supplements on. Cannabis supplements are also popular and these are often used for a variety of issues in addition to body aches, such as nausea and helping to increase appetite. Infra-red lights (reptile bulbs) can feel good during our dreary, damp days. These can be set up with a clip lamp or you can purchase a stand that holds the bulb at sufficient height for your kitty to doze under. (Only use these under supervision of course.) Heated beds are also soothing. Acupuncture and laser therapy may be recommended by your veterinarian. I prefer an acupuncture vet who makes house calls so that the experience is more relaxing for kitty. It may be helpful to keep a notebook of your kitties ups and downs so you can figure out the best treatment combination. The bottom line is that it may take some trial and error to help your kitty feel his best during his golden years. It's not uncommon for cats to thrive into their 20s with good genes and all the best care..

Sidney, obviously feeling relaxed, cozy and safe (showing his belly), taking his after breakfast nap.