Mobility issues associated with aging are common in all species. Over time, the protective cartilage in our joints wears down and the joint lubricant may change, leading to bone rubbing on bone. This is where painful arthritis sets in.
Many senior and geriatric cats may be experiencing some arthritic discomfort. The only outward sign might be failing to take the stairs in the bounding leaps that they used to , or a slight hesitation before jumping (especially up).
Often you might see your friend rock slightly before "launching". Decreased muscle mass in the hind end may also indicate an underlying joint issue such as hip dysplasia or damage to the ligaments in the stifle.
A physical examination involving palpation of all four limbs and the back can be very revealing. Radiographs may confirm the presence of arthritic change.
Treatment may include: