As your cat gets older, you may discover that it begins to have certain medical issues. Cats are susceptible to all kinds of health problems in later life, and arthritis is just one of them. Weak joints are more common in cats than was previously assumed, given their lithe bodies and active lifestyles it was not well studied nor recognised – but being mammals like us they can encounter difficulties in the same way they can catch FIV or even have bowel problems.
Thankfully, as well as more holistic and physical remedies for your cat many companies have developed products which aim to ease their problems while having minimal impact on their lives. In this article, we will talk about the problems cats encounter regarding their joints, how you might recognize when your cat is suffering, what joint supplements are, and what the best joint supplements for cats are.
How to recognize when your cat has joint problems
One of the most severe joint issues a cat can have is arthritis. Up until it has been little-reported, but recent studies show that about 20% of the feline population either have or are at risk of this condition, the number increasing dramatically amongst elderly cats.
Arthritis, and even basic joint degeneration, despite not being such a surface-level condition, is fairly easy to recognize. Signs include: If you’ve noticed that your cat lies down and sleeps more than it often (admittedly, a harder one to confirm for some lazier kitties), or might be willing to jump less (say, up a cat tree, or while outside). They might also stop grooming themselves or change their pattern of urination. These last two are of particular concern; not only do they affect hygiene but may cause digestion problems which can lead to further complications down the line.
What are joint supplements for cats?
Of course, not every joint disorder is as easily recognisable as others; in fact it may take a consultation with your vet to properly diagnose. Certain symptoms that you may not be able to spot on your own include any muscle wastage your cat might suffer from, or even a grating sound in their joint itself. A cat’s weight will also be a factor in a joint’s health; an overweight cat will put more pressure on their joints, even more so when they jump around.
Even the best joint supplements for cats will not be able to stop the arthritis, but a good one should certainly deal with these issues, without affecting lifestyle or diet too much. Joint supplements for cats can come in many various forms: as powders, oils, or capsules which can be sprinkled on to food. The type you choose will depend largely upon the preference of your cat, how they ingest their food, and what kind of sensitivities they have in their diet (or how suspicious they are of foreign ingredients in their bowls!). In any case, joint supplements are a far preferable alternative to the anti-arthritic drugs intended for dogs, that some vets prescribe for cats despite the fact that they are more sensitive to (and potentially harmed by) the side-effects.
Having discussed just what they achieve, let’s have a look at some of the best joint supplements for cats currently on the market.
The best joint supplements for cats
These capsules from Nutrimax are designed to counter one of the main causes of joint problems in cats – cartilage breakdown. In supporting healthy cartilage, they contain a mixture of glucosamine, sodium chondroitin sulfate and magnesium. The part your cats will enjoy, however, is the fact that it is tuna and chicken flavoured – numerous reviews attest to the fact that felines will eat these gladly from your hands! Cosequin has also been proven to provide cartilage safely to cats.
A product designed both for dogs and cats, this could be the product for someone who has both animals which need a bit of mobility help. This powder formula is a little easier to administer, and also contains Omega 3 and Omega 6, as well as other vitamins. It can be given as a form of treatment in some cases, or as a preventative to younger animals to help stop them developing arthritis in the first place. Owners recommend this after seeing the difference in energy levels that their animals have.
Definitely one of the more intriguing offerings in terms of joint supplements, this is a bottle of salmon oil that can be added via a pump-dispenser to any food discretely. Thanks to its natural ingredients, it doesn’t contain any chemicals, but is still packed full of fatty acids. As an added bonus, this will help them maintain a shiny coat too, though it has to be refrigerated once opened – all this without a fishy odor too means it truly is one of the best joint supplements for cats.
Last but not least, the chew. Depending on what your cat likes to eat, and how, this may be the method of delivering them the supplements. A handy pet size guide will help you estimate how much to give (like any treat). OxGord claim their product has ‘extra strength’ which will help with not only the integrity of the joints, but also the connective tissue. An American-made product, it’s also unscented.
Final thoughts: best joint supplements for cats
In this article, we’ve discussed how you might tell if your cat is suffering from joint discomfort, or is in the early stages of arthritis. Be warned that that a cat may also try and hide it’s joint pain. We’ve also discussed what a joint supplement is and why you might give one. It’s tempting to try and give human painkillers, but be warned that these are incredibly bad for cats, and contain active ingredients that can be harmful to them. The best joint supplements for cats are ones that suit their diets, their eating habits, and any other digestive concerns they may have. Your best bet is to combine a supply of these with a healthy, active lifestyle, and to consult with your vet if you have any concerns.