Protecting a cat’s joints is not as prevalent as it tends to be in dogs. As a result, it isn’t the first thing many of us think of when we consider the wellbeing of our cats. It should be!
When you bear in mind how active cats can be, and how much time they spend jumping or climbing, their joints deserve much more of our care and attention.
Even indoor cats that don’t have the free rein to climb of their outdoor counterparts are still impressively agile. Their inquisitiveness gives all cats cause to scale just about anything they find in the home or outside. It may be a sofa, a shelf or a wardrobe, but our cats are constantly on the move and love to view the world from high vantage points.
As with dogs, cats can be susceptible to joint complaints like arthritis as they age. Unlike dogs, however, cats display symptoms very differently and tend to be better at disguising it when they are in pain.
When you study your cat, rather than looking for obvious physical signs like lameness, you may have more success identifying subtle behavioural changes that may well signal a problem.
The sort of signs to watch out for to determine joint problems in your cat include:
- Any inability or reluctance to jump and climb
- Reluctance to move
- Hesitation prior to jumping
- Difficulty climbing stairs
- Over-grooming joints
- Increased sleep
- Sudden bouts of aggression.
Complaints associated with a cat’s joints and related to ageing typically develop gradually. Those caused by genetics, injury, trauma or everyday mechanical wear and tear may appear more suddenly. In general, joint problems are categorised as ‘developmental’ or ‘degenerative’.
Minimising risks to a cat’s joints
While all these issues are not preventable, we can do certain things to minimise risk and invest in the long-term health of our cat’s joints.
One way of doing this is by supplementing your cat’s diet with a joint supplement. Common ingredients for promoting healthy, functional joints include Glucosamine and Chondroitin as these provide the building blocks for cartilage, tendons, ligaments and synovial fluid.
Indeed, Chondroitin supports a cat’s joints by reinforcing the integrity of cartilage. It is considered a key component in joint structure. Other ingredients, such as Green Lipped Mussels and concentrated Omega oils, have anti-inflammatory properties.
Antioxidants like vitamins C and E are good at reversing harmful changes in the joints and are often included. There are numerous joint supplements for cats that are suitable for both youngsters and old stagers alike. They are recommended for your cat whether he or she is arthritic, convalescing or just getting on.
SimplySupplements Joint Aid Plus For Cats By VitaPawsTM is a UK product that is formulated to offer comprehensive support for all the tissues that make healthy joints.
One of the active ingredients is Celadrin which supports the lubrication of cell membranes. Another is hyaluronic acid to help replenish low levels of the synovial fluid that surround the cat’s joints. The formula promotes a soft cushion effect that supports healthy joint functions.
To fortify the joint structure, glucosamine, green lipped mussel extract and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) are included to offer nutritional build blocks. These ingredients provide heightened benefits when they are taken together.
The YuMOVE Cat Joint Supplement is another UK-made product that is a combination of high strength ingredients supporting joint function and promoting mobility.
If your cat has stiff joints then YuMOVE Cat may be for you. The Green Lipped Mussel ingredient offers a guaranteed and concentrated source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which helps your cat’s natural anti inflammatory action to further sooth and loosen stiff joints.
YuMOVE Cat capsules are a combination of high-strength ingredients that both support joint function and promote mobility. They are phosphate-free, fast-acting and easy to feed to your cat.