Feline OA Pain Facts

  • Feline osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful medical condition. In cats, it can affect the hip, knee, hock, and elbow joints1
  • More than 60% of cats over the age of 6 are affected by OA2
  • OA can start in cats as young as 6 months of age3
  • It is a “progressive” disease—which means that without treatment, the pain will get worse. As the pain worsens, it limits a cat’s ability to move and the overall quality of life1
  • Currently, there is no cure for OA
  • It is often hard to tell when cats are in pain from OA. That’s because it’s their instinct to hide weakness. Do you recognize any of these behavior changes in your cat?4
    • No longer running or chasing toys
    • Hesitant to jump up or down
    • Breaks up bigger jumps into smaller jumps
    • Difficulty going up or down stairs
    • Less energetic or enthusiastic
    • No longer using the litter box
    • Less social or interactive

These may be signs of OA pain—and it’s worth a conversation with your veterinarian to find ways to help your cat.

cat on stairs
  1. Enomoto M, Mantyh PW, Murrell J, et al. Anti-nerve growth factor monoclonal antibodies for the control of pain in dogs and cats. Vet Rec. 2019;184(1):23.
  2. Slingerland L, Hazewinkel H, Meij B, Picavet P, Voorhout G. Cross-sectional study of the prevalence and clinical features of osteoarthritis in 100 cats. Vet J. 2011;187(3):304-309.
  3. Lascelles BD, et al. Cross-sectional study of the prevalence of radiographic degenerative joint disease in domesticated cats. Vet Surg. 2010;39(5):535-544.
  4. Feline Chronic Pain Pet Owner Teaching Tool. 2020 Zoetis Petcare.