Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

Signs, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of arthritis in dogs and cats

Senior dog at the vet

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images


Learning the signs of arthritis in dogs and cats is the first step to recognizing the problem and helping your pet stay comfortable as they age. Learn about arthritis in dogs and cats - the signs, diagnosis, treatment options and ways to prevent further joint damage, including maintaining a healthy weight for your pet.

  • 01 of 08

    Causes and Signs of Arthritis in Cats

    Fat Cat
    Fat Cat. Getty - Moment Open/Nikki O'Keefe Images

    Arthritis is commonly encountered in cats, particularly in older cats. However, the signs of feline arthritis are often subtle and difficult to spot, even for the most dedicated of cat owners.

  • 02 of 08

    Causes and Signs of Arthritis in Dogs

    Beloved Companion
    Beloved Companion. Getty / Tetra images

    Arthritis is a disease that can affect any joint causing pain and discomfort. Dogs suffering from arthritis experience pain resulting from the damage within the joint. The symptoms experienced are a direct result of the pain but may be subtle, especially in the early stages.

  • 03 of 08

    Caring for Your Arthritic Cat

    Man Holding Cat
    Man Holding Cat. Getty - E+/knape

    Arthritic cats may not openly show their pain, but arthritis is a painful condition. There are several things a cat owner can do make the home more amenable to and comfortable for an arthritic cat.

  • 04 of 08

    Caring for Your Arthritic Dog

    Senior Dog
    Senior Dog. Getty - Moment Open/Arnthor Aevarsson

    Arthritic dogs need special care at home to make their lives easier and more comfortable. Find out what you can do for your arthritic dog.

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  • 05 of 08

    Treating Arthritis in Cats

    Sleeping Cat
    Sleeping Cat. Getty - Moment/Lawren

    Arthritis causes pain and relieving that pain becomes a major objective in the treatment of any arthritic cat. However, cats tend to hide the signs of their pain quite effectively, making it difficult to decide whether treatment is necessary. If you are in doubt about whether your cat is in pain, assume that he is and treat him.

  • 06 of 08

    Treating Arthritis in Dogs

    Senior Dog on the Couch
    Senior Dog on the Couch. Getty - ONOKY / Eric Audras

    Most of the symptoms seen in dogs with arthritis result from pain. As a result, treatment for arthritis in dogs is geared toward reducing pain and maintaining muscle mass and joint mobility. This is best accomplished by using a combination of treatments rather than relying on only one medication or treatment option.

  • 07 of 08

    Preventing Arthritis in Dogs and Cats

    Window Seat Cat
    Window Seat Cat. Getty - Moment Open/Marser

    Preventing arthritis from becoming a problem for your dog or cat may not an entirely realistic goal. However, there are a few things that a pet owner can do to at least help reduce the risk and even lessen the severity of disease if it does occur.

  • 08 of 08

    Readers Respond: Keeping Arthritic Pets Comfortable

    Cat Nuzling Dog Buddy
    Cat Nuzling Dog Buddy. Getty - Moment/Betty Schlueter

    Readers share what worked for their arthritic pet.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.