Spotting the Signs of Arthritis in Cats and Dogs

Spotting the Signs of Arthritis in Cats and Dogs

Spotting the Signs of Arthritis in Cats and Dogs

It can happen to people, and it can happen to pets. Arthritis is a condition that is common in middle aged and older pets, and it can also affect younger pets in some circumstances. It affects the joints and can cause significant discomfort but in some cases, will not be particularly obvious that arthritis is the problem. Here are some prominent indications that your pet may be impacted by arthritis.


Limping can be a big sign of arthritis, especially if it is more obvious in the morning when your pet first gets up and becomes less evident as they begin to move around. However, not all pets with arthritis will necessarily demonstrate this symptom.

Mobility Issues

Pets that are affected by arthritis will often show a reluctance to do things that will affect the joints. This can include finding it difficult to get up and down the stairs or to jump up onto fences, perches and counters. If you notice that your pet is hesitant to engage in these type of activities or has stopped doing them completely, speak to your vet about the possibility that they have developed arthritis.

If your pet is having issues with joints, there are supplements such as YuMOVE ADVANCE for cats and YuMOVE Active Dog, which promote mobility and help maintain active joints.


Pain and fatigue can mean that arthritic pets spend more time sleeping and are less inclined to exercise. Many cat owners simply assume that this is a consequence of their pet’s age and therefore do not associate their lack of activity with a condition such as arthritis. If your pet has started to become more sedentary, it could be a sign that they have developed arthritis – especially if this seems out of character compared to their previous behaviour.

Less activity and strained mobility could also be down to being overweight. It’s important you keep your cat or dog fit and healthy, on the correct level of suitable food and at a fit body weight. Our video below gives more information to cat owners.


Pets who are suffering from arthritis can be very irritable and prone to biting when handled or approached, particularly if it affects an area that is painful. If you have noticed that your pet appears to be acting more aggressively, it may be because of arthritis symptoms.

Muscle Atrophy

Arthritis impacts on the ability to be active, affected pets can sometimes lose muscle mass through lack of exercise. This can be subtle and may require palpation by your vet to assess, or in more obvious cases you may notice affected limbs looking less muscular than previously.

Over Grooming

Pets with arthritis will often lick, chew and bite areas that are painful.

What to Do Next

If you suspect that your pet is suffering from arthritis, speak to your vet. They can examine your pet and may also arrange for further tests to assess the situation. If arthritis is confirmed, they can then draw up a treatment plan to improve your pet’s well-being and quality of life.

[Photo Credit: b1ue5ky ]