Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
How do I alleviate arthritis and other old age conditions in my 15-year-old Himalayan cat? She’s moving very slowly and sleeping much more than usual. She stopped sleeping with me and going outside with me at night. I’ve never had a Himmy live this long so I’m feeling blessed to have her.
Siouxsie: The Himalayan is a very unique and beautiful breed — a cross between Siamese and Persian that produces a cat with elegant, long fur, a squishy little face, and colored heads, legs and tails.
Thomas: Since you say you’ve never had a Himmy live this long, I take it you’ve been enjoying the company of Himalayans for a long time — which means you probably already know about the diseases that can affect the breed.
Dahlia: First, Patty, we always recommend a visit to the veterinarian when your cat’s behavior changes. This is especially important as cats get on into their geriatric years.
Siouxsie: Who are you calling geriatric there, you little runt? I may be 15, but I can still kick your tail!
Thomas: Come on, Siouxsie, be nice to Dahlia. Besides, you know she means well.
Thomas: Anyway, Patty, your visit to the veterinarian will help you to know more about what’s going on as far as arthritis or any other age-related conditions that may be setting in.
Dahlia: There are some nutritional supplements you can give your kitty that might help to relieve arthritis pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin is a pretty well-known supplement that even humans use for that purpose. As an extra bonus, glucosamine-chondroitin supplements for cats usually come in very tasty forms.
Siouxsie: My favorite glucosamine-chondroitin treat is Zuke’s Cat Hip Action. It’s made in the United States and it comes in two flavors — chicken and salmon. Sometimes I need a little more help to ease the discomfort, thought, and that’s when Mama gives me a supplement called MSM (that’s short for Methylsulfonylmethane). Here’s more information about MSM and what it does.
Thomas: Another awesome way to help your achy kitty is to get her a heated cat bed. These come in electric (with a mini-heating pad inside), non-electric with microwaveable inserts, and non-electric with heat-reflective fabric. An electric bed will shut off when your cat isn’t in it, and warm up quickly when she curls up for a nap — but it won’t get so hot that it’ll burn her skin.
Dahlia: If your cat is having trouble hopping into your bed or up to her favorite perch, you can get stairs or ramps made just to help arthritic pets. These come in a wide variety of styles and price points, and they’re probably not too hard to make yourself if you have some DIY skills.
Siouxsie: Your cat is going to need more help than usual with her grooming as she gets sore and less flexible, so be sure to take as much extra time as you need to so you can keep her mat-free.
Thomas: If you want to know more about the special needs of senior cats, feel free to take a look at some of the other letters we’ve answered on the subject. And if you ever find yourself needing information that we haven’t shared yet, please feel free to write back!
MSM is wonderful stuff! All the cats at our sanctuary get some in their wet food and I take it as well. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory! More great advice from the Paws and Effect kitties!
Excellent post! I have used this product for Brighton and his urinary FIC even though studies don’t show perfect efficacy, it’s safe and he likes it. The orthopedic vets where Coco had her knee surgery like Dasuquin and Glyco Flex ii Soft Chews for cats, too. We also use Adequan at the cat hospital where I work and both Coco and Brighton get that once a month now. Oh, Coco and Brighton are now on Osteo Flex (to keep it simple) Brighton noms them right down, Coco I have to break them up and ‘pill’ her.
Oops, I meant to say I have them on Glyco Flex II, not Osteo Flex–that’s a human product, hahameow!
A great hip & joint supplement is Nuviflex for cats ( http://tinyurl.com/6rj287d ). They come in capsules that you can open up and sprinkle onto their food. It worked great on my 20 year old cat.
Another great, all-natural source of glucosemine comes from raw bone marrow, although I would definitely start with a small amount if your cat isn’t use to that sort of thing :)
-Mathew ( http://www.dogbar.com )
hello again. i am lucy..
The best thing to do is call and ask the vet. They might be able to prescribe him some pain meds. For now, I might suggest buying those pet stairs for the edge of your bed, couch, etc. Do anything you can do to alleviate stress on his joints (mainly by discouraging from jumping and running)
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My beautiful orange persian named T-Mow has had arthritis for a few years.
I’ve taken him to the doctors, taken the medicine, tried all the remedies. Drove me absolutely insane.
I swear, no one seems to care for our kitties like we do.
What I use, which helps a lot, is Pet Bounce.
Highly recommend using it.
I play with my kitty all the time now. He’s not perfect, but a lot better.