Saturday, May 21, 2011

Helping an Arthritic Cat be More Comfortable at Home

Arthritis makes your kitty’s joints painful. In addition to treating your cat medically, there are things you can do at home to make your furry friend’s life more comfortable.

Beds: Arthritic cats may find it painful to lay on bare surfaces, so it’s important to provide him or her with soft, comfortable places to lay. Be sure your cat can easily access his or her resting areas. For instance, if you live in a two-story house, put bed on the ground floor so your feline won’t have to climb the stairs to find a comfortable resting place.

You could buy soft, cushy beds for your kitty at pet stores like PetSmart or department stores like Wal-Mart. Alternatively, you could lay soft blankets on the floor for your kitty. Carmine enjoys laying on my bed or in one of his soft kitty beds.

Litterboxes: It is also important to have a litterbox your arthritic cat can utilize easily. If your cat is having difficulty getting in and out of the litterbox, consider getting a pan with shallow sides. Additionally, the litterbox should be easily accessible. If you live in a multiple-story house, put at least one litterbox on each level to prevent your kitty from needing to run up or down the stairs to use the bathroom. If you have a large home, you may want to consider putting more than one litterbox on each floor so that your kitty doesn’t need to travel as far to use the bathroom as well.

Perches: Cats love vertical space; they feel safe and secure on perches at or above eye-level. However, it is often painful and difficult for a cat suffering with arthritis to reach high places. You can help your kitty access his or her favorite high spots by utilizing ramps. You could also use a series of smaller jumps to help your pet reach high spots. For instance, Carmine can easily access one of his favorite windows by jumping up onto my bed, then jumping into the window sill from there. He can manage these smaller jumps very easily. J

Food and Water: As with beds and the litterbox, your kitty needs to be able to easily access his or her food and water dishes. It is essential for arthritic cats to maintain a healthy diet and continue drinking water. Put your cat’s food and water dishes in a room where he or she spends most of his or her time. You may also want to consider slightly elevating your cat’s dishes so that he or she doesn’t have to bend down as far to eat and drink.

Along with medical treatment, making these simple changes at home can help your cat live a more comfortable, less painful, and happier life.

If you have other tips to share, please do so in the comments section. I would love to hear your experiences.

1 comment:

  1. These are great tips! Delilah has luxating patellas in her back legs, so we have to take these kinds of things into consideration for her. She is on an arthritis supplement, and we do our best to make sure she doesn't jump up and down on high places.
    Thank you for sharing this as part of #WobblyWednesday! We appreciate your support of our new idea!