Pet Education

Browse our veterinary-reviewed Dog and Cat Illness Guide to learn more about pet health. Always talk to your veterinarian if you have a concern about your pet's symptoms or health.
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Feline Arthritis

Arthritis is a condition where one or more joints become swollen or inflamed. It can affect the hips, elbows, knees, and neck.

There are two types of arthritis:

  1. Primary - Rheumatoid Arthritis: this is a progressive and uncommon disease where the immune system attacks healthy joints
  2. Secondary - Osteoarthritis: the cartilage around a joint gets damaged, so new bone forms around the joint. This has no cartilage protecting it and causes stiffness and pain


While arthritis normally affects older cats and worsens with age, cats of any age can have it.





To properly diagnose your cat with arthritis, your veterinarian will begin with the following:

Your veterinarian may also perform the following tests:


The course of treatment depends mainly on what is causing the disease.

If treatments are not helping the pain:


Sometimes arthritis can develop no matter what you do to try to prevent it. Some things can be done to lessen the severity of arthritis in your cat, such as:


There is no cure for arthritis, but your veterinarian can give you treatment options so your cat can live a comfortable life. You should pay attention to your cat's movements, as catching arthritis early leaves more options for your cat to live comfortably.

Medically Reviewed by Sara Ochoa, DVM

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