Ruth Lacey, DVM, cAVCA
Addressing Arthritis Pain in Cats - Naturally at Home
Updated: Jan 24
Ruth Lacey, DVM, cAVCA January 24, 2023
Can cats experience arthritis pain? Yes, they often do. In fact, studies have demonstrated that 90% of cats 10 years of age and above have arthritis and that arthritis frequently occurs by 6 years of age.
How can we know if our cat is in pain or dealing with arthritis? It can be hard to tell. Pain in cats can be difficult to detect, and cats usually do not show a limp with arthritis. When cats do express outward signs of pain it can show up as things like being more reclusive / less social, not being as active, not eating as well, having constipation (painful to posture to defecate), eliminating outside the litter box (painful to get in and out of the box), over grooming an area (attention to a painful area), or conversely not grooming an area and having matted fur or a soiled anal and urethral area (cannot bend to reach areas to groom), having difficulty jumping, and losing weight. However, cats are master hiders of pain. We may not even know they are in pain until taking steps to mitigate any potential pain and then noticing an improvement in their disposition and behavior afterwards. For instance, once addressing potential pain in your cat, you may notice they are more social, active, have an improved appetite, or are jumping on the couch better.
Are there pharmaceutical options to treat pain and arthritis in cats? Yes, but not many. Cats have a unique physiology and liver function that makes a lot of pain and anti-inflammatory medications toxic to them. There have been several advances in the medical treatment of pain in cats, including a new drug that just came out this past year. However, the options are still limited. And I believe that the longer we can keep an animal off medication the better. Are there situations where medication is needed? Absolutely. Can an animal be better off with a natural remedy than a pharmaceutical remedy? Absolutely. After all, it has been said, “The best medicine is no medicine”.
So what can be done at home that is natural to help our kitties’ arthritis, muscle soreness, or other joint or spinal issues? We can give high-quality, effective, natural, supplements that decrease inflammation and improve joint health and function. My all-time favorite supplement for this comes from a naturally renewable source – deer antlers in the velvet stage, scientifically known as deer velvet antler or DVA.
Deer velvet antler naturally contains glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, growth factors, pilose antler peptide, and minerals. These compounds have several amazing functions in the body including: 1) Increasing the body’s hyaluronic acid (HA) production to lubricate the joints, 2) Supporting the development of tissue and muscle function, 3) Stimulating tissue growth, regeneration, and promoting tissue healing, 4) Reducing inflammation and supporting the immune system, and 5) Supporting bone, muscle, and nerve health. The highest quality of deer velvet antler that I have found is sourced in Dr. Buzby’s Encore Mobility supplement. Dr. Buzby also goes above and beyond and adds green lipped mussel to the supplement which is a shellfish rich in omega 3 fatty acids, also anti-inflammatory. In short, the combination of reduced inflammation and improved joint function means decreased pain and increased mobility and vigor for your cat.
I personally give Dr. Buzby’s Encore Mobility to my cat, Rena. She has a gimpy leg from a previous injury which healed misaligned sometime prior to when she was rescued and adopted. As a result her walk is changed, and she compensates by bearing more weight in the other limbs which can lead to stiffness and soreness. When I started giving her the Encore Mobility I noticed her moving around more peppy and faster and scampering sometimes like a kitten. I love to see that. You may notice that the Encore Mobility bottle labeling is currently geared towards dogs, but Dr. Buzby loves it for cats too. She recommends giving ½ chew daily in cats; either given as ½ chew once daily or ¼ chew twice daily.
This stuff comes from the highest quality source, which is in New Zealand, so you’re going to want to purchase it now while the shipment is still in stock. It is over-the-counter. And as always, remember to ask your pet’s personal veterinarian too before use. Learn more and view product options here: Dr. Buzby's Encore Mobility™ Deer Velvet for Dogs Joint Supplement (toegrips.com). Use discount code DRLACEY23 at checkout for 10% savings.
I also am a lover of chiropractic care to manage pain and help cats feel and be their best. If you are in the Dallas, TX area and would like to learn more, contact me directly at email@example.com or text / call 469-708-8899. If you are outside of the area, you can use this website to find a certified animal chiropractic provider in your area: Find a Doctor - American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) (animalchiropractic.org). Cats can also respond really well to acupuncture treatment. You can find an acupuncture veterinarian in your area using the following links: TCVM Practitioner Directory (watcvm.org) and VetFinder – Find a Holistic Veterinarian – AHVMA.
I hope the above information is helpful for you and your kitty! Let me know what other topics and information you would like to know more about in the comments below. Take care!
Deer velvet antler applications in the veterinary setting | IVC Journal
Deer Antler Velvet: The Science Behind the Supplement - Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips for Dogs
Deer Velvet Supplement for Dogs: One Veterinarian's Guide - Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips for Dogs
Deer Velvet Antler Extracts Exert Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Arthritic Effects on Human Rheumatoid Arthritis Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes and Distinct Mouse Arthritis - PubMed (nih.gov)
The contribution of deer velvet antler research to the modern biological medicine - PubMed (nih.gov)
Senior Dog Supplements: A Veterinarian's Guide - Dr. Buzby's ToeGrips for Dogs
Arthritis in Cats | VCA Animal Hospital (vcahospitals.com)
Osteoarthritis in Cats: More Common Than You Think | FDA
Osteoarthritis in cats - PubMed (nih.gov)
Cross-sectional study of the prevalence of radiographic degenerative joint disease in domesticated cats - PubMed (nih.gov)
Disclosure: The reader is recommended to discuss the information given in this blog with their personal veterinarian regarding their pet(s). This blog does not establish a Veterinary Client Patient Relationship (VCPR) with Dr. Ruth Lacey and the reader and their pet(s). This blog does not replace the VCPR between the reader and their personal veterinarian.