Felines are some of the most agile pets ever. Many of us are acquainted with seeing them leap effortlessly onto a high shelf and jump back down again just as gracefully. And because we get so used to it, a part of us thinks – or hopes, that it would be that way forever.
However, aging happens to be a fact of life for our beloved tabbies too. And one of the most common problems which follows in its wake is arthritis which often comes with painful joints, particularly at their knees and hips.
Watching our furry friends struggle to move about where once they were able to glide around gracefully can be heart-wrenching. But thankfully this is one issue which does come with a solution.
The key to it is Glucosamine and we shall be taking a look at what it is and why it’s so important to our tabbies. We shall also be examining a product which has garnered rave reviews and has been recommended by several happy and satisfied cat owners for its amazing results.
A Brief Introduction to Glucosamine
Glucosamine is a substance produced by mammals which can be found in cartilage and plays a key role in keeping it healthy. It does so by helping to develop and maintain this all-important shock absorber which is essential for reducing the friction between bones.
In addition to being a key factor in the development of cartilage, Glucosamine also helps in maintaining the health of tendons and ligaments too. Hence it plays a key role in the mobility of mammals.
The substance itself exists in three forms: Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Glucosamine Sulfate and N-acetylglucosamine. The first of the trio, Glucosamine Hydrochloride is known for its efficiency in assisting in cartilage production. In addition to being the variety produced by cats (and mammals in general), it also contains more Glucosamine than Glucosamine Sulfate and is the purest version of this cartilage building block.
When cats are youngsters, their bodies do a pretty good job of keeping production levels up at required amounts. And that’s the reason why our feline friends are able to leap about with boundless energy during kittenhood and their ‘teenage’ years.
The problem arises when they get older or even suffer from joint damage when they’re younger. In these instances, they need a bit of extra assistance in producing the Glucosamine required to keep their affected joints healthy.
Glucosamine for Cats
As is the case with pet remedies, options promising to provide affected tabbies with a much-needed Glucosamine boost abound. Hence special care must be taken to select the very best and safest for our feline charges. With that in mind I undertook a bit of research and discovered one of the most popular treatments hailed for its efficiency: Nodens Hip & Joint Glucosamine for Cats.
This is one product which starts off with bold promises from its manufacturers and so I was determined to take a closer look. The first thing I checked out were its ingredients to find out just how safe it was.
- 260 mg of GreenGrown Glucosamine Hcl US
- 120 mg of Opti-MSM
- 50 mg of Chondroitin Sulfate USP
- 1mg Manganese Chelate
- 10 mg Hyaluronic Acid
- 100 mg Taurine
How Effective Is This Product?
At first glance, Nodens Hip & Joint Glucosamine for Cats does seem to tick the right boxes in terms of highly beneficial active ingredients. There’s also its rather bold claim of being capable of producing results in just one week (according to VetInfo it takes two months for the results of Glucosamine treatments to show).
Customer reviews were highly positive with a number of pet owners stating that their cats were able to regain most of their agility following a week of administration – thus proving the one week claim right. Also particularly noteworthy was the fact that the product came in for high praise from customers who had pets that were fussy eaters and had previously refused other treatments as a result.
They praised its beefy flavour which their furry charges thoroughly enjoyed and which made administering (and therefore treating their arthritis) a lot easier. A number of pet owners actually admitted to wishing that they had started with the treatment earlier and advised against delaying doing so.
Overall, I came away pretty impressed with this product which seemed a tabby owner’s dream come true.
I was also reminded of another supplement, Cosequin for Cats which had also garnered rave reviews for its efficiency, and which incidentally, happens to contain Glucosamine Hydrochloride (a key ingredient in this product).
How Safe Is Glucosamine for Cats?
According to VCA Hospitals, Glucosamine is quite safe although the website does recommend an extra bit of caution in administering it to diabetic cats.
But what about Nodens Hip & Joint Glucosamine for Cats? How does it measure up?
A look at its ingredients shows that the manufacturers have placed the wellbeing of felines at the forefront. However, I was particularly impressed by what they had kept out of it too.
This product is free from salt, sugar, wheat, gluten, milk, soy derivatives and starch. The absence of these substances means that it comes free of concerns such as lactose intolerance, thyroid issues and serious illness, for example.
That said, I always recommend obtaining professional advice from your vet before administering any treatments to your cat. This also happens to be an outlook shared by the product’s manufacturers who particularly recommend doing so for cats which may be hyperglycemic, suffer from urinary tract stones or blood clotting disorders.
What Other Ailments Can Be Treated With Glucosamine?
Although Glucosamine is mainly used to treat arthritis and joint problems in felines (and also canines and equines, too), it’s also quite effective in treating bladder disease as well. One of the main kinds happens to be cystitis also referred to as urinary tract disease.
According to Pet MD the causes of this ailment are unknown. However, it happens to be triggered when tabbies experience stress which might be due to their dislike of another furry housemate, disruption of their daily routine or a failure to keep their surroundings clean and fragrant. Symptoms of cystitis include:
- Urinating frequently
- Difficulty in urinating
- Discoloured urine
- Blood in urine
Male cats affected by this condition may worsen if left untreated until they experience ‘blockage’, a grave condition in which they are unable to urinate at all.
Glucosamine is an excellent choice of medication in this instance due to its anti-inflammatory properties which ensure it will be able to heal the bladder of the affected pet.
What Side Effects Will Cats Administered Glucosamine Experience?
Pet Coach notes that glucosamine products generally come with few side effects but does go on to mention diarrhoea and vomiting as two of the main issues associated with treatments of this nature. According to the website, it’s possible to relieve these problems by reducing the dosage given to the tabby.
The manufacturers of Nodens Hip & Joint Glucosamine for Cats, however, recommend administering it to pets once they’ve eaten so as to reduce the risk of them suffering from an upset tummy.
It’s also worth noting that the few instances involving side effects which were observed with this product did include vomiting and diarrhoea.
Does glucosamine work? As noted by VCA Hospitals pets treated with it often show remarkable improvement. Hence it’s no surprise that it’s been one of the main nutraceuticals (a rather fancy term for dietary supplements), which has ridden a wave of popularity in recent years.
In terms of how beneficial it is to our feline friends, there’s the role it plays in cartilage regeneration as well as its anti-inflammatory properties which come in pretty handy for alleviating any pain and discomfort which often ails cats as they get older or experience injury. And as has been noted above, the latter property also means that it’s also an effective remedy for treating cystitis.
Nodens Hip & Joint Glucosamine for Cats seems to tick all these boxes, particularly in view of the care its manufacturers have taken to not only provide high-quality ingredients but to also eliminate harmful substances. The fact that they’ve also gone the extra mile to ensure it’s pleasing to the feline palate and therefore easy to administer is also an added bonus.
Given all these factors, I believe Glucosamine as recommended by a vet, is a great remedy for cats and that Nodens Hip & Joint Glucosamine for Cats is a product which is worth considering for any cat owner whose pet happens to be arthritic.