Is Glucosamine Safe for Cats?
A Complete Guide to This Feline Supplement
Okay, we’ll admit it:
Cat people are kind of weird (and we’re counting ourselves in that number).
We choose to live our lives with creatures who would just as soon ignore us as acknowledge our presence. We dote on their every need, and in return… they might cuddle with us once in a while.
We don’t have cats. They have us.
It's a joyful lifelong servitude, from the time they’re kittens till they pass over the rainbow bridge.
And as our playful young kittens grow into mellow older cats, they start to need more — not less — from us.
Just like human joints become creaky and stiff with age, the same goes for cats.
Cats can suffer from degenerative joint disease (DJD), a condition similar to human arthritis.
DJD is more than just creaky old joints. It’s a serious health condition that can cause pain, stiffness, difficulty moving, and (obviously) a less satisfying quality of life. For more on this, read the article, Cat Arthritis: Symptoms and Treatment Options.
Recent studies have shown that degenerative joint disease affects 90% of cats over 12 years old (and a shocking 22% of all cats over just 1 year old)! DJD slowly and gradually wears away the cartilage in their joints, making normal movement stiff or painful.
Now you’re probably wondering: Isn’t there anything I can do to help my feline friends enjoy their old age? or What Can I Give My Cat for Pain?
As humans, we sometimes relieve our pain and discomfort with supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. And we can tend to our cats’ joint health the same way.
Today, we present your complete guide to giving the supplement glucosamine to your cat. We’ll explore and explain the benefits of glucosamine for cats, along with answering these common questions:
- What is glucosamine?
- Why is it best to combine chondroitin with glucosamine supplements?
- What does glucosamine do for cats?
- What is a safe dose of glucosamine for cats?
- Where can you buy a high-quality glucosamine product for your cat?
All set? Let’s go!
What *is* glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a substance that occurs naturally in the body — both human and animal bodies, in fact. It’s an amino sugar, which is a fancy phrase for “substance made with sugar molecules linked together”. And it’s a crucial part of the process of building and maintaining healthy joint cartilage.
It helps create the flexibility and ease of motion we so admire in our little house lions. Glucosamine is a necessity for healthy joints and pain-free movement, to fight DJD.
We humans need it. And our cats need it, too.
As they age, our cats may start having trouble climbing the stairs or hopping into the litter box. They may struggle to jump on the bed, or onto their favorite window perch. You may notice tenderness in the hip joint or shoulder area when petting or grooming.
These are all signs that your cat’s body isn’t making as much glucosamine as it should, leading to joint pain. Learn more about joint pain in cats and how natural remedies can help.
How do I give my cat glucosamine?
Glucosamine is available in supplement form. Most supplements for cats are made from shellfish. As long as they are advertised specifically for cats, those supplements are perfectly safe for your feline friend. Never give your cat a made-for-people product!
Giving your cat glucosamine can be done in a few ways. If you’re lucky enough to have a cooperative cat, administer the product directly into the mouth (allowing your cat to swallow in between dropper squeezes). Got a less flexible feline on your hands? Mix the recommended dosage into their wet food.
Later on, we’ll look at glucosamine supplements in more detail. But first, let’s look at chondroitin: an ingredient you’ll often see paired with glucosamine in over-the-counter supplements.
What’s chondroitin (and why combine it with glucosamine and MSM)?
Chondroitin is another substance that the body makes to build cartilage in joints. As we age, the production of chondroitin slows, just like the production of glucosamine.
Chondroitin’s chemical makeup also helps the body absorb and benefit from glucosamine, which is why they’re often combined into the same product: glucosamine chondroitin.
The same goes for the naturally occurring substance methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, which you’ll find in many glucosamine supplements. There is some evidence that when combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, the “time to benefit” (AKA the time it takes for cats or humans to feel relief) is shorter.
Alone, glucosamine for cats can help with painful joint symptoms. These three supplements combined, however, offer a more powerful treatment for joint pain.
How does glucosamine chondroitin help my cat?
Think of yourself for a second:
When your joints ache, you might reach for acetaminophen or ibuprofen — right? These medicines act as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), reducing pain and swelling throughout the body.
But neither of these painkillers should ever be given to cats. They are both toxic to felines, and can cause liver failure.
Though they’re not in the same class as NSAIDs, glucosamine and chondroitin both also offer anti-inflammatory properties, keeping pain and stiffness down while supporting the body’s natural production of joint-cushioning tissue.
Glucosamine and chondroitin also help prevent existing cartilage from breaking down — so your kitty’s knees, elbows, and shoulders can still absorb the shock from that wild leap off the top step. (Or that jump from the headboard into your gut in the early morning hours.)
What’s a safe dosage of glucosamine for cats?
Many veterinarians recommend giving your feline friend somewhere between 120 and 500 mg of glucosamine a day. They may recommend starting with smaller doses and giving more as needed.
The best way to make sure your cats are getting a safe, effective dose is to use a high-quality, carefully created and tested supplement like our Liquid Glucosamine for Cats.
This joint supplement is formulated to deliver a daily dose between 130 and 260 mg of glucosamine. The dosage depends on your cat’s weight, and is well within recommended guidelines.
With a product like ours, it’s almost impossible to overdose your cat on glucosamine. As long as you follow the directions on the bottle or the advice from your vet, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Side effects of giving glucosamine and chondroitin to cats are few, mild, and uncommon. They can include:
- Soft stools
- Passing gas
It can take 4 to 6 weeks to see any improvements resulting from giving your cat a glucosamine supplement product. If it does help your cat, you’ll need to keep him on that dose, and maybe more, for the rest of his life.
Our liquid glucosamine supplement for cats
You don’t have to hunt all over the Internet for a high-quality, effective glucosamine product to give your cat. We’ve got one right here at Paramount Pet Health.
Let us introduce you to our Liquid Glucosamine for Cats supplement product, which is manufactured right here in the U.S. to exacting standards supplied by the FDA.
(Not all pet supplement makers follow these rigorous guidelines, because they’re not usually required to. But we voluntarily adhere to stricter manufacturing practices because we want to be sure we’re making the absolute best product for your pets.)
You don’t have to take our word for it. Here are some reviews and testimonials from happy cat owners servants:
“Micah's limp appears to have stopped, which the vet said was due to arthritis… He still goes outdoors a lot and continues to catch rodents, so my guess is he's feeling pretty good. The glucosamine will no doubt help him navigate these final years. Thank you very much!”
“I have tried many products to help gain mobility in my senior cat with no joy! Paramount’s cat supplement glucosamine literally brought the life back into my old kitty. She can now go up and down stairs, jump on and off furniture and plays a bunch! All things my cat did not do prior to giving her this amazing supplement. My vet thinks it’s perfect and is also surprised at how well my cat is doing as a result of this supplement… You can see the life in her eyes glowing. She was limping before I gave this to her. Well not only did the limp disappear so did so many other lethargic behaviors...Don’t hesitate, your cat will love you for it! Worth every penny!”
“As a feral cat caregiver, I have cats inside and outside. Four of them have arthritis (2 inside and 2 outside) and giving meds can be difficult with ferals. I put this on tuna and they all eat it up! The difference has been amazing especially with one of the outside cats. She runs around like a kitten and has changed her attitude, loves to get petted. The 2 inside cats can jump up on the bed for playtime again, they leap around after feather toys. It has made a major difference in all their lives. Thank you so much!.... Even my vet is amazed at the changes in all of them.”
If you’re considering adding a joint-supporting supplement to your cat’s routine, we’d love for you to give Paramount Pet Health Glucosamine for Cats a try.