Would you recognise if your cat was in pain or discomfort? Cats, as they age, become very adept at hiding their pain, preferring to spend their day lying perhaps somewhere unseen, under the bed or sofa, and sleeping.

Cats are highly intelligent and they know that if they move around too much, their pain will intensify, so to eliminate (in their minds) the level of pain they’ll suffer, they prefer to ‘close down’ and just sleep.

Owners who are not at home all day with their cats will not realise that this is how their cat spends its day. But for those of us who are at home all day long, sometimes, even we don’t realise that our cats spend an inordinate amount of time sleeping, and moving about less. Perhaps we’re busy doing our projects or hobbies and just don’t notice that the cat has been ‘missing’ since breakfast time and it only resurfaces when its stomach tells it that it’s time to eat.

Sam is now deaf and he spends most of the day either asleep on the sofa, or in a hidey hole under my desk, or on cat flap duty ensuring that no masked marauders enter his kingdom. At 15 I’m not sure if he is displaying signs of senile dementia but he doesn’t to cry out too much (which is something Garfield did when he reached 18). I watch Sam as he walks up the garden and his stiff legged gait tells me that he does, perhaps, have the onset of arthritis.

There are a number of products available that can help ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis and one product that I used to give Garfield was Cold Liver Oil – in capsule form. I’d prick the end of the capsule with a sterilised pin and squeeze the contents all over his food and mix it in. Garfield loved it and over time there was a noticeable difference in his mobility. I also got him green lipped mussels and he would eat these off my hand.

Metacam is something the vets prescribe and a small dose each day on food does help. Its original use was for dogs, and in high doses it is very dangerous to cats, but in small doses cats do benefit from it.

My beloved Garfield who reached the wonderful age of 20 years and 3 months was suffering from arthritis and had severe problems bending down to eat his food. I asked a neighbour to make me a little table for him, at his shoulder height and it totally revolutionised his life. Within a very short space of time, he regained all the weight that he had lost and on his next check up, our vet was amazed at the radical change in Garfield’s behaviour, demeanour and general well-being.


  • Reduced mobility – hesitating or reluctant to jump
  • Reduced activity – sleeping more and moving stiffly
  • Changes in grooming habits – deterioration in cat’s appearance, e.g. matted or scruffy coat
  • Changes in temperament – more withdrawn – less tolerant of people and other animals

If you notice any of the above, then please take your cat to the vet for a thorough check up.



  • Play and maintain activity
  • Make access to food and water easy
  • Control weight
  • Consider joint supplements
  • Groom your cat more regularly


If you suspect your cat is in pain, speak to your vet about how they can help. Always follow your vet’s advice on medicine use. They should see your pet at regular intervals to check that the medicine is effective.

To see how to make Garfield’s table, click here:



A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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