You can spot the changes that might mean your cat is in pain

You can spot the changes that might mean your cat is in pain

Maybe you've noticed that they've become less adventurous lately.

Are they spending more time resting or sleeping, not quite jumping or playing like they used to, or do they seem a bit more grumpy?

Changes in behaviour could be a sign of arthritis pain.


Arthritis affects up to 40% of cats globally1, but it can be hard to spot the signs as cats are naturally good at hiding pain.


It's not just older cats that are at risk - 61% of cats 6 years and older show signs of arthritis in at least one joint2.

Recognise the symptoms of arthritis

The signs of arthritis pain can be both physical and behavioural and our simple online assessment will help you determine whether your cat might benefit from a vet visit for diagnosis and a management plan. All you need to do is answer a few questions and then we'll send you a checklist that can help you have an informed chat with your vet.


What are the symptoms of arthritis pain in cats?

Many cat owners aren't aware that arthritis pain could be a problem in their cat. The symptoms can be quite subtle at first or attributed to old age. If you haven't already had the condition diagnosed by your vet, here are the things you should be looking out for:

  • Difficulty walking or running
  • Moving slower than normal
  • Appearing stiff when first getting up
  • Reluctance to play
  • Restless at night
  • Difficulty with stairs or jumping
  • Repeatedly licking joints
  • Changes in mood e.g. becomes more aggressive

My cat has already been diagnosed with arthritis

If your cat has already been diagnosed with arthritis then continue to monitor their progress. Pain management is advancing all the time and your vet will be able to recommend the best course of action available.


More useful advice

Learn more about giving your cats, dogs and other pets a healthy and enjoyable life.

An active cat is a healthy cat - how to keep a stiff cat moving

Cat arthritis pain symptoms are often subtle and cat joint pain often looks like laziness or old age to pet owners. Learn to spot the difference.


Cats with arthritis don’t always limp: a guide to spotting subtle signs of pain in cats

Cats hide pain, so even what we perceive as mild symptoms of joint pain, including slowing down, stiffness, or becoming grumpy, may need treating.


You might think your cat is inactive or slowing down – but could it be arthritis pain?

Cat joint pain is very common, but arthritis pain relief for cats isn’t just about medications for cats: some simple changes to the home make a big difference.


1. E.M. Hardie, S.C Roe, F.R Martin. Radiographic evidence of degenerative joint disease in geriatric cats: 100 cases (1994-1997). J Am Vet Med Assoc, 220 (5) (2002)

2. Slingerland LI et al, Cross-sectional study of the prevalence and clinical features of osteoarthritis in 100 cats, Vet J. 2011 Mar;187(3):304-9