Can cats and dogs get arthritis? Arthritis is common in both cats and dogs. Pets are experts at hiding discomfort and disease, but early diagnosis can help manage the pain as well as prevent further damage. Degenerative joint disease can be caused by wear and tear, normal aging, injury, and even obesity. Symptoms include: Difficulty walking, jumping, or running Avoiding stairs Not getting up into a favorite spot Favoring one leg over another Unexplained weight loss Diminished activity Decreased grooming Limping Litter box accidents Refusal to use the pet door Hair loss over joints from excessive grooming There are treatments and medications available. Talk to your vet – your pet might not want to admit there’s a problem, but there is help to get.