Statistics on Aging and Arthritic Cats:
Osteoarthritis, otherwise known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD), is one of the most common causes of joint pain in animals and affects almost half of all U.S. pets.
Over the past decade, an increasing number of studies have found that older cats, especially 12 and older, have a high incidence of arthritis. A 2011 study using x-rays found that 61% of cats over the age of 6 had OA (osteoarthritis) in at least one joint, while 48% had 2 or more affected joints. A cat that was older than 14 had an 82% chance of having arthritis. One of the few signs of OA in cats is urinating or defecating outside a litterbox, especially if the box has raised sides, avoiding stairs, reluctance to jump on furniture or counters. (Please go to www.vetstreet.com to see a list of more signs.)
Statistics show that cats, like people are living longer, thanks to advances in veterinary science, nutrition and therapeutics. In fact, the percentage of house cats aged 6 and above has doubled over the last 25 years.
By age 7, your cat has entered middle age. By 12 years of age your cat is becoming a senior citizen, and by 15 he/she is considered “geriatric.” While the average lifespan for spayed & neutered house cat is 14-16 years, many felines are now living into their late teens and even in their early 20’s. (for more info, go to www.cathealth.com).