As pet parents, we enjoy all the exciting moments we spend with our kitty but sad times creep in too when he or she feels unwell. We just wish they could talk and tell us what the problem is. It is on these rare occasions that our ability to analyze pet behavior matters a great deal.
Glucosamine is a natural substance in all animals. It is mostly found in vast quantities in the cartilage and is also present in shells of specific sea creatures. Glucosamine plays an essential role within the body and is generally produced in sufficient amounts during youth years. However, due to aging its production declines due to cartilage damage and that is why supplements are required.
Benefits of Glucosamine for Cats
This supplement is a neutraceutical that helps boost joint mobility. It also helps relieve pain and eliminate discomfort that comes in as a result of cat arthritis.
Older pets that suffer from arthritis typically experience damaged cartilage and joints, and this causes unbearable pain and discomfort. This in addition to the poor production of natural glucosamine worsens the situation. Supplementing glucosamine will ultimately help ease the pain and symptoms.
Glucosamine for Cats comes in three forms:
- Glucosamine Hydrochloride (GHI)
- Glucosamine Sulfate
Targeted Health Ailments
It mainly treats cat arthritis but also has other benefits. Studies have proven its efficacy in treating bowel disease and bladder disorders.
How effective is this Supplement?
Positive results of glucosamine for cats are portrayed within eight weeks of initial treatment. There is a clear improvement in the ability to walk and climb. Reliable studies have also demonstrated an improvement in pet ailments such as bladder disorders and bowel disease due to the use of this supplement.
Nonetheless, in some rare occasions, some pets may not show any positive results even after two months of using the supplement. In such a case further diagnostic tests and medication have to be undertaken.
Of the three forms of the supplement, GHI and glucosamine sulfate are the most effective. Some of the supplements available commercially include; Dasuquin for cats, Super Joint Omega, Cosequin for cats, and Joint Enhancer for cats. Another popular glucosamine based supplement for joint health is Flexpet. You can read my review of Flexpet for cats here.
Dosage and Administration
The typical kitty glucosamine dosages start at 120 mg up to 500mg each day. The proper amount of formulation may vary greatly, and that is why it is prudent to consult your veterinary health care provider.
You should also start with smaller dosages so as to allow the cat’s body to adjust and respond well to the supplement. You will also be able to monitor his or her reactions well.
Potential Side Effects
Even though your kitty may benefit from glucosamine supplements, there are exceptions where a pet vomits due to a gag reflex. Diarrhea is also a common occurrence in some pets. These side effects are more common when the supplement is administered in excessive dosages. Reducing the dosage will help eliminate the side effects.
Those cats that suffer from diabetes should be monitored for high blood sugar levels when using glucosamine supplements. This supplement has no drug interactions but if you notice any unusual reactions in your kitty seek immediate medical help. The supplement is administered as a lifetime supplement and symptoms tend to reappear when you discontinue its use.
Commercial Glucosamine for Cats
Glucosamine is available commercially in various forms and quality. Therefore, it is much safer to get a vet prescribed supplement for your kitty. Even though it is available without a prescription, the prudent owner should obtain approval from his or her vet as they should with any supplement for their cat.
The various formulations of the supplement include some ingredients such as chondroitin and fish oils. Furthermore, each individual dosage will vary with respect to the individual needs and thus you have to read and follow the instructions.
Glucosamine for cats should only be used after approval has been sought from a competent vet. It should never be used without approval and in place of other treatments. Studies have also not proven its use during pregnancy or lactation. There are minimal chances of overdose or toxicity.
Glucosamine for cats is a highly effective supplement. You should follow your vet’s instructions religiously and avoid self-prescription. You should also be keen on any abnormal side effects and seek medical intervention as soon as possible in case you notice any.