Our 13-year-old cat has suddenly started having problems jumping onto chairs and window ledges. Sometimes she does it no bother, but other times she is very hesitant or has to have a second attempt. I have been surreptitiously feeling her legs and back while petting her and she doesn’t seem to be in pain anywhere. Are there any underlying conditions that could cause this? I sometimes wonder if her eyesight could be an issue. Jean Paterson
Your senior cat might feel the early stages of arthritis or she might have injured herself in a jumping mishap.
If her hesitancy continues she should visit her vet, who, after ruling out injury, will likely suggest you start adding a joint supplement to your cat’s diet. The common active ingredients, glucosamine and chondroitin, have been shown to improve joint health.
Is your girl carrying some extra weight? That, too, can result in mobility issue and can be addressed with some diet changes.
And, like you pointed out, her recent lack of jumping confidence could be vision related. She might have an infection that can be cleared up or controlled with medication or she may have suffered a more serious eye injury.