Roughly 20% of cats experience osteoarthritis in one or more joints during their lifetime regardless of age or breed. Luckily, there are many ways to help manage this condition. Our Seattle vets discuss arthritis and how the food your cat eats can help manage this condition.
Arthritis in Cats
Cats are living longer than before which means vets are seeing more health conditions that are normally seen in older cats like arthritis. The problem with this is that the research into medications to assist cats with this condition is not as advanced as it is for other species.
The pharmaceutical companies can’t adjust the dosage as they do with some human or other animal medication to give to cats because the types of medications used for arthritis in humans and dogs are toxic to cats. There are drugs that can mask the pain but it is normally reserved for later in the condition. One recommendation for helping your cat with arthritis is to put them on a diet.
How Can I Manage My Cat's Arthritis With Food?
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. By putting your cat on a diet in an effort to reduce the weight that your cat has it is the hope that it will reduce the strain on their joints. It has also been shown that the extra fat on an obese cat namely the white fat can cause hormones to be released that cause inflammation. Anything that causes inflammation should be avoided because that is what arthritis is, inflammation of the joints.
The goal is to keep your cat on the lean side to avoid the above-mentioned issues.
What is the Best Diet if My Cat Has Arthritis?
Confirm with your veterinarian about a weight loss plan for your cat if they are obese. You want to have your cat on a diet that keeps them lean.
Your cat will need sufficient protein to maintain muscles that support the joints. The objective is to reduce fat on the cat not muscle.
Something that is recommended for joint issues is fish oil supplements. The omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to have a beneficial effect on joint health. The downside is it does add calories which can undo the desired weight loss in the diet. We recommend consulting with your vet to find the right nutritional balance to try and manage their condition.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition or boarding needs, please make an appointment with your vet.