90% of cats over 12 have joint stiffness, and even in younger cats, over 60% are showing signs of slowing down once they hit 6 years old!
Check out our top cat owner tips for supporting healthy joints and normal mobility in your cat!
1. The perfect weight
It is estimated that almost half of all cats in the UK are overweight. Carrying extra weight has potentially serious implications for your cat. It increases their risk of heart disease, diabetes, and urinary tract infections and decreases their life expectancy. Those extra pounds also increase the strain on their joints, increasing wear and tear and putting them at risk of joint issues.
2. Come on down!
Cats love to be up high. We've all seen them peering down at us from their favourite hiding spot—it's a natural instinct that keeps them safe from predators and gives a great view for hunting. If your cat likes to take a giant leap up to their top spot and you've noticed they're reluctant to make the jump, rearrange your furniture. Give them platforms up and down, so they don't make the journey in one leap. Consider a cat tree—you can pick up a simple one in pet shops or build it yourself and let rip with your creativity!
3. Regular veterinary check-ups
Your cat’s annual vaccinations and parasite control keep them fit, healthy and protected. During regular check-ups your vet will also check your cat's joints during their physical examination—looking for signs of joint stiffness. Regular vet checks will help you track their mobility and identify if they need further help. This is especially important as your cat ages, but only about 14% of senior pets get a regular health check.
4. Keep happiness in motion with a joint supplement
Adding a high-quality joint supplement to your cat's daily routine will help maintain normal mobility and joint health. Keeping them active, with a spring in their step. Look for a supplement that is clinically proven to support the joint health and mobility of cats.
5. The indoor-outdoor debate
In many areas, it's not safe to let cats outside. It's too busy, or perhaps there is no safe outdoor space available. But cats require 30 minutes of exercise daily, and most outdoor cats achieve this easily.
Being outside is good for their overall health, prevents weight gain, and they can fully extend their joints through their full range of motion. This can be both good and bad. To some extent, moving their joints keeps them active, improves circulation, and prevents stiffness. But too much strain on the joints from lots of climbing and jumping up and down can also risk damaging the joints. But the positives of increased exercise and reduced obesity outweigh the extra joint use. So if it is safe to let your cat outdoors, they will love the freedom to let out their inner lion!
6. Pamper them with a cosy spot
Cats are pretty independent and would choose a cardboard box over the most expensive bed! But if you are worried about their joint health, soften up their favourite spot. A cosy orthopaedic cat bed will help them relax in comfort, easing the pressure on their joints. Look for supportive cushioning thick enough to protect them from the cold.
7. Route planning
Watch your cat's favourite routes around the house—to the water bowl or cat flap. How can you make the route simpler, with less climbing or jumping? Do they have to cross slippery floors? Hard floors look beautiful, but they take their toll on your cat's joints over time. Slippery floors are hard for cats to walk across—twists, trips, and slides risk joint injuries. Where possible, cover their favourite routes with a rug or mat to give them extra grip.
Life with cats is truly delightful. They give us so much. The least we can do is keep them happy and comfortable—even if that means rearranging the furniture. 🤦
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