Old age–and often, arthritis–comes for us all, especially if you’re a cat.
According to USA Today, arthritis is so common among felines that roughly 45% of all cats will get the disease. Those odds essentially double when cats turn 12, by which point 90 percent of cats experience arthritis pain.
And while there are ways to help ease your cat’s arthritis, including supplements, acupuncture/massage, and anti-inflammatory treatments, these options only provide temporary relief.
Moreover, anti-inflammatories can’t be given to cats with kidney disease, which is also common among older cats. This dilemma has left senior cats with few options for arthritis pain.
Thankfully, this may be changing.
According to USA Today, the FDA has approved its first pain treatment for arthritic cats. The new drug, Solensia, doesn’t treat or prevent arthritis (which is caused by deteriorating joint cartilage) but it eases the pain surrounding this condition–helping arthritic cats enjoy a better quality of life.
“This is absolutely groundbreaking,” said Dr. Duncan Lascelles, a professor from North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. “I have been in pain research for 30 years and this is the most exciting development that has happened.”
Lascelles described the new treatment–which will also be the first monoclonal antibody approved for American pets–as a “gamechanger” that could add years to an older cat’s life.
“Finally, for the first time ever in the U.S., there’s a highly efficacious treatment to manage joint pain in cats,” he said. “And therefore extend their life, extend their happiness, and extend that beautiful relationship between cats and their owners.”
The drug’s effectiveness was confirmed in two clinical trials that found arthritic cats were more active and mobile after taking the monthly injection, which will be administered by vets.
“To be able to be mobile is so desperately important to the quality of life,” Dr. Lascelles told USA Today. “Cats are described as needing 3D spaces. They need to move on the ground, but they also need to be able to get to elevation.”
Does your cat suffer from arthritis? How do you treat his or her pain?
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →