If you pay attention to health news or are interested in natural supplements to help you feel your best, you may have already heard about glucosamine or a glucosamine/chondroitin combination. You may be surprised to learn that this helpful supplement also works well for pet cats. Once you understand what it is and what it can do, making the choice to include it in your furry friend's diet or health regimen makes sense.
What Is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is found in cartilage and shells of many marine creatures. This 100% natural compound has been used for many years to treat inflammation, osteoarthritis, and other joint problems caused by the destruction or thinning of cushiony cartilage over time. In supplements for human consumption, it is frequently paired with chondroitin, which is another part of cartilage.
How Can My Cat Benefit From Glucosamine Supplements?
People give glucosamine to their pet cats for the same reason they take it themselves. Joints in all mammals function the same way, and all have the risk of cartilage loss over time. Cats can get inflamed tissues and arthritis just the same as people can. Glucosamine has anti-inflammatory properties, supports the production of new cartilage, and reduces loss of existing cartilage to maintain joint health for longer.
In cats specifically, glucosamine has an extra benefit. It functions quite successfully as a healthy option to alleviate feline lower urinary tract disease or FLUTD. This painful syndrome involves inflammation in the bladder and other parts of the urinary tract partially caused by decreased amounts of glucosamine and chondroitin in the bladder walls. Your veterinarian will determine whether supplementation is a good idea for your cat.
What Is the Best Way to Give Glucosamine?
While there are many different glucosamine supplements on the market, using one specially formulated for cats makes more sense for dosage and ease of use. You can find them in liquid gels or capsules to puncture and squirt in their mouth, liquid form administered similarly or pored over their food, or as a powder easily mixed with their regular diet. In general, glucosamine has no flavor, your cat should not object to it when given with their meal or snack.
As with any supplement, speak with your veterinarian before deciding on a new regimen and the appropriate dosage. Things like your cats age, current condition, and weight all factor in to determining how much glucosamine to give daily. Because current studies show no or very few potentially harmful side effects, glucosamine is a good choice to support joint health and reduce inflammation.