bag of cat joint supplements

These Are the 9 Best Cat Joint Supplements

Is your cat having a hard time making it to their favorite perch? It might be time for a joint supplement.
By Hilary Braaksma
May 25, 2021
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Our feline friends crave flexibility—literally. Cats thrive on being able to run, jump, pounce, and play to their heart's content. As cats age, their mobility can decrease and their cartilage can begin to break down. Joint pain keeps kitties from reaching their full potential in terms of mobility and quality of life, but a supplement can help. We talked to Dr. Georgina Ushi Phillips, DVM at Better With Cats, about how to choose the best joint supplement for your pet.

How to Tell If Your Cat Needs a Joint Supplement

"Cats are absolute experts at hiding their pain, and it can be difficult for anyone, including veterinary professionals, to consistently identify pain in cats without additional diagnostic tools like x-rays," says Ushi Phillips.

"That means it can be difficult for cat parents to just look at their cat and understand the degree of joint issues that they have. But a 2002 study found that 90 percent of cats over 12 had some degree of degenerative joint disease based on x-rays."

Since age is a major indicator, it's a good idea to ask your vet about joint supplements if your kitty friend is over eight years old. You should also talk to your vet if your cat has been noticeably struggling with jumping and running. Paying attention to possible signs of pain is a great way to get ahead of the issue.

"[Signs of pain] could be obvious like spending more time sleeping in spots that are low to the ground, but it could be more subtle like taking an easier route to the top of the cat tree," says Ushi Phillips.

How to Choose the Best Cat Joint Supplements

Ushi Phillips recommends looking for supplements with ingredients like glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), and chondroitin.

"[These ingredients] are found in most joint supplements and have been shown to work well for most cats," she says. "They help keep cats active and sometimes even pain-free by alleviating symptoms of osteoarthritis.  However, not every cat will respond to these ingredients, and some cats seem to have a very mild response."

"Omega-3 fatty acids, which are also commonly found in most joint supplements, have numerous studies supporting their effectiveness at reducing inflammation and increasing the comfort of arthritic cats," says Ushi Phillips. "Not every joint supplement includes Omega-3 fatty acids so either pick one up that does or consider adding these as an additional supplement for your feline friend."

Top Types of Supplements for Cat Joint Health

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