Humans are not the only ones who can develop arthritis. If your older cat has begun to appear a bit stiff and cannot jump up to high places as easily anymore, they are probably developing some arthritis, too. Take your cat to the vet to ensure there's nothing more sinister to blame. Then, use one or more of these strategies to help keep your cat more comfortable.
Treat your cat with firocoxib.
Firocoxib is an anti-inflammatory medication for cats and dogs. It works similarly to how Aleve works in humans. Most arthritic cats experience far less pain and stiffness when on this drug. Your vet will need to prescribe it for your cat, and you should provide only the dose recommended by your vet. As firocoxib can cause kidney issues in some cats, your vet may recommend periodic urine-analysis tests to ensure your cat's kidneys are functioning properly.
Feed your cat more omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their lubricating abilities in the body. Feed your cat more of them, and your cat's joints may feel less sore and stiff. Look for a food made specifically for arthritic cats; most have omega-3 fatty acids added. You could also give your cat a small portion of salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids, a few times per week. As salmon does not contain everything your cat needs to remain healthy, make sure you're feeding your cat the salmon alongside a well-balanced cat food from a reputable brand and are not providing salmon as your cat's sole food source.
Provide a heating pad.
You may notice that your cat spends a lot of time sitting in front of the heating vent. This is because the heat makes their joints feel better. But sitting in front of the heating vent can dry out your cat's skin and also irritate their respiratory tract. A better way to ease your cat's pain with heat is to place an electric heating pad on a chair and cover it with a cozy blanket. Your cat can rest on it whenever they want to.
Put all of your cat's things on one floor.
It's one thing if your cat feels like going up the stairs. It's another to require that your cat go up and down stairs to reach the litter box or food. Constantly having to traverse the stairs may make their soreness worse. So, put all of your cat's items on one floor, and consider carrying them up or down the stairs if they start down that path.
Contact a professional like Animal House Veterinary Hospital for more advice and tips.