Signs & Symptoms of Feline Arthritis

Cats are known to hide any symptoms of pain or discomfort, including signs associated with arthritis, so it is often difficult to recognize the condition. However, as a pet owner, there are a few signs that may indicate your feline companion is suffering in silence:

  • A marked stiffness in the legs, particularly after sleeping/resting
  • A reduced level of mobility and activity
  • Avoiding interaction with people and/or other animals
  • Change in grooming habits
  • Coat has a matted or scruffy appearance
  • Difficulty using the litter box
  • Displaying a change in behavior (irritability when handled or stroked)
  • Experiences difficulty going up or down stairs
  • Increased time spent sleeping/napping
  • Isolation or spending more time alone
  • Jumps up to lower surfaces than in the past; jumping up/down less frequently
  • Lack of socialization or reduction in socializing with family & other pets
  • Less frequently found exploring or hunting outdoors (if an outdoor cat)
  • May be found ‘overgrooming’ or excessively licking at painful joints
  • Occasional bouts of lameness or inability to walk regularly
  • Overgrown claws due to lack of activity; a reduction in sharpening of claws on scratching post, furniture etc.
  • Reluctance, hesitance or refusal to jump up or down
  • Showing signs of irritability around other animals
  • Sleeping in sites that are more easily accessible (i.e., lower to the ground)


Arthritis is all around us and here at St. Matthews Animal Clinic, we are joining the fight! We invite you to join our team and run or walk with us or simply donate to help us change lives.