Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition and can be a significant cause of pain. Osteoarthritis involves damage and loss of the cartilage that helps protect joints, thereby causing bone-on-bone contact. The causes of osteoarthritis in cats is are not as well understood as they are in dogs.
Signs of osteoarthritis can be non-specific. A reluctance to jump, decreased grooming, change in attitude/behavior and/or loss of appetite are among some of the signs you might see. Because of their limberness and agility cats can often tolerate a remarkable amount of orthopedic pain, making it very difficult to diagnose. If your cat is getting older, be on the lookout for mild behavior changes that could indicate discomfort, and include routine veterinary evaluation as part of his care.
Treatment for osteoarthritis in cats includes maintaining a healthy weight and body condition score (see here for cat body scores), safe exercise, providing soft bedding, locating food/water in easy-to-access areas, and implementing ramps or stairs.
Anti-inflammatory medication can help also, such as FelineActiv - found here on our store. FelineActive is an all natural, transdermal ear cream (very easy to administer), that reduces inflammation and promotes mobility.