How Cat Joint Health Supplements Work
Posted by Dr. Roth on
Cats are agile creatures. They love jumping up onto high places to survey their surroundings or watch the world through the window. It can be difficult for a pet parent to imagine a time when their cat might struggle to get to the top of their cat tower or leap onto the sofa. However, as cats age, the likelihood of these situations increases.
Like humans, cats can develop problems with their joints. Over time, performing their typical behaviors can become a challenge. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for these issues. Even so, pet parents can improve their cat’s quality of life with joint health support.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint condition that occurs gradually, and it’s one of the most common chronic conditions that affects cats. Pet parents may also hear it referred to as degenerative joint disease or simply arthritis. Over time, the cartilage in the joints wears away. The condition can also lead to:
About 60% of cats over the age of 6 and 90% over the age of 10 have radiographic signs of arthritis. However, cats are near-perfect masters of hiding when they’re in pain, so pet parents might not immediately notice something’s wrong. There are a few signs that could point toward a potential joint issue, which include:
As cats age, their joints undergo regular wear and tear, leading to the thinning of the cartilage. There are a few other factors that can contribute, too:
There isn’t a cure for osteoarthritis. Pet parents can take several measures to ease the pain and help their cats live happier, more comfortable lives.
Being overweight can worsen joint issues. Joint issues can also lead to weight gain as a cat moves around less. Pet parents can work with a professional vet to formulate a plan that helps their cat maintain a healthy weight as they get older. That may involve changing food portion sizes and encouraging gentle activity.
A complete and well-balanced diet of meals rich in antioxidants and fatty acids can help support a cat’s overall health, including the health of their joints. Pet parents can consult with a vet for the best diet for their cat. In some cases, vets may prescribe a diet that’s specifically formulated for joint health.
Osteoarthritis can make activity more difficult and painful. However, a complete lack of movement may only make a cat feel worse. Gentle exercise in short sessions can help support joint health and help a cat maintain a healthy weight. Pet parents can use a laser or feather toy with their cat or hide treats around the house to encourage hunting. Some cats, especially those that are overweight, may benefit from hydrotherapy.
Pet parents can make small adjustments within their home to make it more comfortable and easier to navigate for their cat. Modifications may include:
Some supplements can help support a cat’s joint health:
Osteoarthritis may be a common issue, but that doesn’t mean pet parents have to sit back and watch their cat suffer. Weight management, gentle exercise, home modifications, and dietary supplements can help support a cat’s joint health, allowing pet parents to improve their cat’s overall quality of life as they age.