Sometimes a normally active cat will develop problems that make exercise difficult for him.

Symptoms
Pain and discomfort during what should be normal exercise.

Causes
This is often a direct result of inflammation of the joints arthritis. Where a muscle is diseased for example with a bacterial infection, it is referred to as myopathy; where a muscle is inflamed, it is referred to as myositis.

What to do
Be very careful with regard to administering painkillers, unless under veterinary instruction. Painkillers can easily lull a cat into a false sense of security, causing him to use injured joints which will result in more damage.

Treatment
In cases of mild myopathy, for example where your cat develops a slight limp for 24-36 hours, simply resting him will probably relieve the problem sometimes it will be necessary to confine him to a limited space, such as a pen. If the limp persists beyond this time, veterinary advice and treatment should be sought. When a joint is damaged, the injury is referred to as a sprain, an may involve damage to cartilage and/or ligaments. While not dangerous in itself, the condition is painful. If not treated adequately a sprain may lead to osteoarthritis. Damage from osteoarthritis is usually permanent.