Felines suffering from arthritis or other degenerative bone disease benefit from taking glucosamine for cats as a dietary supplement. Glucosamine is a vital nutrient naturally synthesized in all mammals that contributes to cartilage, ligament and synovial fluid health. These three components are responsible for providing shock resistance, flexibility and elasticity to a cat’s joints. When affected by cartilage degeneration due to old age or genetic disorders, feline joints will develop stiffness, inflammation and pain that inhibits a cat’s ability to leap, jump, pounce and even walk if the degeneration is severe.
Cats over the age of eight are considered senior cats by veterinarians. Around this age, a cat’s body naturally produces less glucosamine and chondroitin, a substance that provides sufficient amounts of synovial joint fluid. This fluid is important to ensuring joint components remain lubricated and flexible. When an older cat’s joints start rubbing against each other due to degeneration of cartilage and lack of synovial fluid, osteoarthritis symptoms start to occur, necessitating supplements of glucosamine for cats for relief of pain and stiffness.
In addition to osteoarthritis, cats can suffer from another joint disorder called hip dysplasia, in which the hip joints fail to grow normally. As a result of abnormal development (specifically the ball and socket remains dislocated), hip joints experience on-going deterioration throughout the cat’s life and eventually stop functioning altogether without medical intervention involving glucosamine for cats, physical therapy or surgery.
Feline hip dysplasia can occur as a mild to severe deformity due to genetic vulnerability, obesity and poor nutrition. Veterinarians rely on X-rays and physical examinations to tell them whether a cat needs outpatient care in the form of physical therapy, dietary changes and supplements of glucosamine for cats, or if the dysplasia is severe enough to warrant surgery and/or hip replacement.
Other joint disorders and disease that may benefit from glucosamine supplements include acute traumatic arthritis, infectious arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory joint disease.
Cat owners needing to give their cats glucosamine for joint problems are usually prescribed the liquid form of the supplement which can be mixed with food. Some felines may experience minor side effects of glucosamine for cats such as vomiting, diarrhea and gas but these problems generally occur when the supplement is given without food.
Another problems with cats suffering arthritis or other illnesses is the exceptional ability for cats to hide the severity of medical conditions. Owners may not realize anything is wrong with their cat until the disease is in an advanced stage, making it even more difficult to treat the illness. Veterinarians will often advise owners of older cats to monitor the actions and behavior of their senior pet more closely in order to detect joint issues before they become untreatable.
Although noticeable improvements in the mobility of a feline taking glucosamine for cats may not be seen for four to six weeks, owners should be aware that joints in which cartilage and synovial fluid have moderately to severely degenerated may take some time to replenish low amounts of glucosamine. Therefore, it is important to continue administering glucosamine for cats supplements as prescribed by the attending veterinarian.