Bean has always had kind of a funny gait and even as a young cat, her back legs always seemed kind of stiff when she walked.
Last month she seemed slightly stiffer. I also noticed that though she had no trouble jumping up on things like cat towers and the dining room table, she started hesitating before she would jump back down to the ground. Her twitchy moments caused by her hyperesthesia seemed to be more frequent, particularly in the morning, and these are often triggered by pain. All of this caused a little bit of concern for me, so we gave the vet a call.
When we took her into see Doc, I shared with her all of these behavioral changes I had recently noticed. As she examined Charlene and extended extended her back legs, she could feel that Charlene had developed some arthritis in her hip joints.
We talked about several plans of action and decided we would first try a weekly injection of a neutraceutical called Adequan, which is supposed to increase lubrication in joints, help repair cartilage, and inhibit further cartilage destruction.
We've been on this for month now, and we've seen some improvement, so we will continue.
We've adjusted her exercise program to "low-impact aerobics" and though we would love for her to lose more weight, we don't want to push her too hard right now.
I'm having a hard time believing it, but I guess our girl, who's turning 10 soon, really isn't a kitten anymore. She's starting to get some "senior cat" issues now.