Arthritis – especially the degenerative form of this inflammatory joint disease – is fairly common in domestic cats. Fortunately, arthritis is not particularly difficult to diagnose. In most cases, owners bring their aging cats to a veterinarian because they have noticed that they are stiff, reluctant to rise and are just generally starting to slow down. They may have problems jumping up onto furniture, grooming themselves or getting into and out of the litter box. The doctor will ask the owner about the cat’s general health, when its current symptoms started and whether they have waxed and waned, stayed about the same or steadily gotten worse. After taking a thorough history, the veterinarian will carefully examine the cat, paying particular attention to its limbs, back and joints. She will be looking for swelling, heat and signs of discomfort. A complete physical examination will help to localize the site of the joint inflammation. Usually, the cat’s history, presenting symptoms and physical examination results will point to a tentative diagnosis of arthritis.