First, she didn't "knead" until she was about 4 months old.
Second, she doesn't clean herself, especially not on the rear area. <-- I'm most concerned about this one!
Is there anything we can do to help her?
Thanks for your help!
I'm not entirely sure a bath would be the best idea if she isn't used to them. You could try to slowly get her used to the process, but I'd be worried at her age of subjecting her to that kind of stress. Does she like to get brushed at all?
Something you could try instead of a full-on bath is Earthbath Grooming Foam. You just rub it on and then towel off, without having to immerse the kitty in water. I use this on my geriatric guy when he feels a little greasy. It makes his fur fluffy and soft, and it doesn't stress him out at all.
There are a few options for arthritis, like the usual glucosamine-based products (Cosequin or Dasaquin are good). Green-lipped mussel can sometimes be effective, and Adequan injections help many cats. I also recommend getting a heating pad made for pets (my cat LOVES his) and some pet-stairs to help your girl get on and off furniture or the bed or wherever she likes to hang out.
I take my cat for acupuncture and osteopathy treatments on a regular basis and they've definitely made a difference. Some vets also offer laser therapy. Would be good to talk to your vet about the various options, even pain meds (just not Metacam!!) if necessary. There are other conditions that can seem like arthritis (like low potassium, dehydration, neuropathy, etc) so it's a good idea to confirm that your cat does indeed have arthritis (although apparently 80-90% of cats over 12 have it to some degree).
I don't know if you're married or have an SO or anything. This will take two people. If you're only worried about cleaning your kitty's bottom......
Our Bridge Baby, Banshee, had some trouble keeping her bottom clean at times. We didn't know what else to do, so one night Rick I took her back to the bathroom. I held her with her bottom kind of "hanging out" and Rick gently washed her butt. We did use soap on a warm wash cloth (which became Banshee's very own washcloth!) and he cleaned her as best he could. She just flopped in my arms and allowed Rick to clean her....actually, she would lay there and purr. After he was done with the soapy cloth, he'd rinse her well with another cloth just in warm water. A quick dry off with a small hand towel (Banshee's very own hand towel) and she was done. (She was known as the Queen B....and believe me, she knew it.)
We adopted a kitten last night, and she is TINY. She was bought as a present for me from my boyfriend, and was done entirely through a friend, so we didn't get to meet her until last night. The woman we bought her from said she was 8 weeks old, but no way is she! I think she's more like 5 weeks, possibly younger, as she's still a little shaky on her feet.
The problem is that she's not cleaning herself after she goes in the litter tray. At the moment, my boyfriend's cleaning her up with a dry tissue, while I hold her. Is this in any way the right thing to do? She's only little and in a new house, so I don't want to give her a bath and stress her out!
Any help appreciated, thank you! <3
I totally second LDG's suggestion, CatzBcatZ. A reduction in grooming habits is a classic signal a cat isn't feeling well (unless, of course, the cat's too obese to properly groom, but that doesn't seem to be the problem here); I would take this sweet lady to the vet as soon as you can. Have you had a senior panel run on her lately? If not, I'd recommend one.
Hugs to you and Miss Pinka!
P.S. Love the quirkiness of Laptop's name!