Cats grow old, and their physical prowess eventually drops off. Cats, like humans, sometimes suffer from joint pain in their old age. Pet stores often offer special glucosamine supplements for cats whose owners fear that they may suffer from joint pain.
Unfortunately, many of these supplements come in conventional tablets or chews. This means that the cat ingesting the supplement could be absorbing significantly lower amounts of nutrients than is listed on the supplement facts label. Liquid supplements, on the other hand, are highly absorbable and easy to administer, especially to picky pets. Thus, a liquid glucosamine supplement for cats may be the best option for cat owners. Let’s look at some of the ingredients that are most often featured in joint supplements for cats.
Chondroitin (formally known as chondroitin sulfate) is a complex carbohydrate and a major component of cartilage, the connective tissues that help keep bones together. Appropriately, chondroitin is often used to treat osteoarthritis. Though many European countries classify chondroitin as an over-the-counter or prescription drug, it is regulated as a dietary supplement in the U.S.
Hyaluronic acid is a complex carbohydrate found in various bodily tissues, including the skin. It is sometimes used as a tumor marker for breast cancer and prostate cancer. For osteoarthritis, hyaluronic acid can either be injected directly into the affected joints or taken orally.
Glucosamine is a specialized monosaccharide (simple sugar) derived from the exoskeletons of certain crustaceans, like shellfish, or from certain grains, like corn or wheat. Glucosamine is thought to support and strengthen joints, and many people with osteoarthritis use a glucosamine supplement to assuage their joint pain.
Taurine is an amino acid that, while not directly concerned with joint health, is nevertheless essential to a cat’s system, especially because cats cannot naturally synthesize it. Taurine plays a role in fat digestion, eyesight, and cardiac function.
Manganese is a trace mineral that is found in small quantities throughout the body. It plays a role in a variety of different bodily functions, including the formation of connective tissues and bones. Only a few studies have been specifically conducted on manganese’s intrinsic ability to treat osteoporosis or other health conditions, but some studies indicate that manganese may be effective when used alongside other pertinent minerals, like copper and zinc.