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posted: 9/24/2015 10:39 AM

Natural supplements can help cats with joint pain

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  • Suzy

    Suzy

  • Zeke

    Zeke

 
By Mary Hayashi
The Buddy Beat

Diet and nutritional supplements can help manage many medical ailments cats can suffer from. Today, I would like to discuss feline joint health.

The reality is, arthritis will become a problem for most felines as they age. Joint and pain issues, if addressed early, can be successfully managed with natural products instead of traditional, prescription pain medications.

Natural products are good since felines are unique in that there are no known nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that are safe for them. Under veterinarian supervision, a cat may tolerate aspirin on a short-term basis, but even Tylenol is not tolerated in the feline system.

Cosequin for cats is the most readily recommended product for feline joint and pain issues. This natural product is so tolerated that it has even been used in kidney therapy. With that said, just what is the composition of Cosequin?

Glucosamine and sodium chondroitin sulfate are the key components that will vary in milligrams product-by-product, depending on if you are looking at food, treats or supplements. You will need to discuss with your veterinarian the standard dosage and the source of the supplement.

These products are called natural because Glucosamine Hydrochloride is derived from shellfish and sodium chondroitin sulfate is derived from bovine cartilage.

If you are using capsules, the dosage is based on the weight of your cat. These can be given as a pill or may be sprinkled on food. This may not be so easy, as felines need to find their food palatable. They may detect a different smell or texture and refuse to eat what they deem to be tainted food.

You might try mixing the supplement in wet food to try to fool your fussy feline. If none of this works, you might be better off purchasing food or treats that already have the supplement incorporated in the diet. Read the labels to make sure the quantity of supplement is adequate to make a difference for your feline's joint health.

The sheer volume in which cosequin for cats is marketed is overwhelming as a first time consumer. Cosequin is so commonplace, not only is it available from your veterinarian, but also from dozens of websites, from 1800-PETMEDS, Amazon and even Wal-Mart. Before you purchase, you need to determine the accurate dosage your feline needs.

When might you decide that it is time to address your feline's joint and bone health? Signs of declining joint health can be obvious if you examine your cat's behavior and appetite.

It is up to the feline caregiver to notice subtle changes in our cats' routines, as our cats not only cannot tell us what is wrong, they are masters of hiding problems and illnesses from us.

Inactivity can be a sign of joint pain or loss of mobility. Is your cat avoiding the high jumps they used to do, or perhaps avoiding jumping at all? Maybe you notice a less lively gait when they are moving about the house casually

If you are detecting any of these signs, a complete veterinary exam is needed, which will include X-rays to determine the seriousness of joint problems or even deterioration.

The reality is cosequin is a regimen of maintenance and prevention, intended to promote good joint health. It is not a cure to avoid a serious joint surgery. If surgery is not an option because of other health issues, glucosamine may be the only treatment to attempt to strengthen the cartilage in the joints.

If your therapy is limited to natural supplements, you also need to ask yourself if your cat is weight appropriate. Perhaps a little less weight on the bothered joints may alleviate some of the pain associated with joint disorders.

Here, we may be discussing a diet specific for weight loss. We need to do whatever it takes to keep our felines as healthy and pain-free as long as they share their lives with us.

Featured felines

Suzy is a friendly female dilute torti. When she arrived at the shelter she looked as if her owner had given up taking care of her. She was very skinny, her coat was missing patches of fur, and it looked as if she had worn a too tight collar.

With a lot of attention she gained back her fur and some weight. She will be the first cat to greet you as you enter her room and begin rubbing against your legs, especially if you have food or treats. She likes the attention, but when she has had enough she will let you know.

Zeke is a very friendly, gorgeous cat with gray and white markings. He has adorable white paws that are declawed in front and a white chest. When you first meet Zeke he might strike you as a distinguished old English gentleman, but he definitely has a playful side.

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