Is your cat meowing all night? Leaving a few too many hairballs around the house? Fighting with other cats? Not to worry. Veterinarian Lena C. France has solutions to your most perplexing cat quandaries, from "surprise gifts" to aggressive behavior.
"My Old Cat Might Be in Pain"
"Ben, my beloved cat, is 20 years old, and I'm concerned he could have arthritis because of his age. Of course he can't talk to me, so how do I know if he's hurting?"
—Gail Neuman, 62, North Tustin, Calif.
Our lives would be a whole lot easier if we could understand meow-speak! The best thing you can do is take a close look at your cat's behavior. When cats have arthritis, they typically don't do as good of a job grooming (you might even notice an odor), in part because they can't contort their bodies as easily to lick hard-to-reach places. You also might find that your cat won't use his litter box because it hurts him to climb in. Have you picked up on a mood change? That could be due to arthritis, too, because petting might hurt him and make him grumpy. Finally, if your cat isn't visiting all his usual haunts, like a certain chair, arthritis might be preventing him from hanging out there. If you observe Ben making any of those shifts, take him to a vet, who might suggest a supplement to help support his achy hips and joints.