Glucosamine for Cats – Our Top 3 Feline Health Supplements

Glucosamine has been used to treat osteoarthritis in Europe for over twenty years, but it’s only recently that vets in the USA have begun to prescribe this product for their patients.

Glucosamine is proving to be one of the safest and best treatments for the crippling effects of osteoarthritis that affects millions of aging cats and dogs throughout the United States.

At the end of this article we’ve got our top 3 list, but here’s our number 1 Glucosamine Feline Health Supplement if you’re too busy to read the whole thing:

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Glucosamine: The Science

Many glucosamine supplements also contain chondroitin sulphate. Glucosamine is a precursor to chondroitin, which is typically more expensive and slightly less well-absorbed. Like glucosamine, chondroitin is also a glycosaminoglycan aimed at stimulating cartilage repair and reducing inflammation.

The use of glucosamine has been studied and proven effective for the healing of skin wounds, stomach ailments, and joint problems. Its main use is in the relief and healing of the symptoms of joint disease. There are many different joints that can be affected by osteoarthritis in the cat. Cats can develop hip dysplasia just like dogs.


This condition greatly exacerbates the normal wear on the smooth cartilage protecting the bony surface of the joint. When this cartilage wears away there is a bone to bone contact, which creates the pain seen with arthritis.

Glucosamine for cats

Is Glucosamine Safe?

Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body. Supplements are synthetic, however, and are often made from chitin, a substance found in the shells of crustaceans. While it is uncertain how much glucosamine is absorbed intact when given orally, some studies have indicated it is as much as 87 percent.

Injectable forms appear to have a significant benefit in reducing the manifestation of canine hip dysplasia in susceptible dogs when given early in development. Glucosamine is also a component of gelatin, and is likely to be ingested in quantity by animals consuming ground bones in frozen ground meat-based diets.

Does Glucosamine Work?

There are three forms of glucosamine: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride (a salt of D-glucosamine, which is eventually converted by the body into glucosamine sulfate) or N-acetylglucosamine.

Studies show that while all 3 forms of glucosamine are effective, glucosamine hydrochloride (which is a salt of D-glucosamine) and glucosamine sulfate were more effective than N-acetylglucosamine.

Results typically may take 4-8 weeks to develop, but may last for several weeks after glucosamine supplements are discontinued. Some patients experience a more rapid improvement and others show none at all.

Side effects when using Glucosamine for Cats

There are very few side effects when using glucosamine for cats. Millions of different brands of glucosamine products are sold every year and there has not been an extremely severe side effect or reaction reported. Occasionally, a pet will vomit or get diarrhea with this product. If the dose is reduced or given with food, the symptoms are usually alleviated.

Once a pet begins using the product, they must stay on it for the rest of their lives or the degeneration of the joint cartilage will return. Often, once the product has promoted healing for 8 weeks, the dose is reduced. The safety of this product is well suited for long term use. It can also be used with most other drugs and vitamins without any complication. If you want to add a glucosamine product to your pet’s regimen, please discuss with your veterinarian before doing so.

Success using glucosamine for the treatment of lameness shows variable results. Some animals respond exceptionally well, while others experience no improvement. Given that glucosamine is extremely safe and easily available, it should probably be a component of the first line of treatment for all arthritic conditions in small animals. Animals that don’t respond should receive more thorough evaluation.

Other potential indications for glucosamine include the treatment of intervertebral disk disease, recurrent cystitis, and severe inflammatory bowel disease. Disk disease is associated with abnormal compressive forces on disks, necessitating their remodeling and repair.

While many human forms of glucosamine are safe for your pets, please consult your veterinarian before using them. Aside from the fact that pet-formulated glucosamine will have appropriate dosages; they are also formulated to ensure that no ingredients that are harmful to pets are included.

Besides, many of them add tantalizing flavors to encourage your pet to accept them more readily then your fruit-flavored glucosamine tablet!

The Top 3 Glucosamine Supplements for 2018

Looking for the best Glucosamine for Cats? Here you will find various choices including chews, powder and liquid Glucosamine. We’ve been updating this guide for years, and several products have dropped off the list because of price hikes, formula changes and so on. The survivors are all worthy, but there can be only one number 1…

#3 – Ark Naturals Joint Rescue Super Strength

These have a great formula but the pills are so big! They’re crazy big! You’ll have to mash them up to disguise them among the rest of your kitty’s food.

They suit dogs, too, so if you have two elderly pets you can buy one product.

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#2 – VetriScience Laboratories GlycoFlex 3

This one is cat only, has a liver flavor, and is effective in promoting joint strength.

They work great, but as always, a tiny fraction of cats don’t like the taste. Oh, cats! Take your medicine!

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#1 – Nutramax Cosequin Sprinkle Capsules

Each capsule contains 125mg of the active ingredient, and cats love the chicken and tuna taste. The highest praise for this product is that some customers declared their cats ‘cured’, stop buying it, and quickly realised their mistake when their cats seemed to age again overnight.

This is a tremendous product.

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Hopefully you found this article about Glucosamine for cats useful. We have plenty of other health and food related articles about cats as well!