If your cat has trouble getting around or using the bathroom, ask his vet about glucosamine. Taking a supplement containing glucosamine sulfate could provide him some relief. Available over the counter, glucosamine helps rebuild cartilage, reduce pain from swelling and rebuilds the lining of the bladder and intestines.
What is Glucosamine?
Glucosamine is a compound made up of the amino acid glutamine and the sugar glucose. Glucosamine is naturally created in the body, but sometimes your cat may need extra glucosamine if he has joint or bladder issues. Synthetic glucosamine is derived from chitin found in the shells of crustaceans. There are three types of glucosamine: glucosamine sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride and N-acetylglucosamine. Glucosamine sulfate is a form of glucosamine that is easy for the body absorb. It can be given to your pet in a pill that is mixed in with his normal food.
If your cat has joint issues like arthritis, glucosamine sulfate can help rebuild cartilage, easing the movement of his joints. It is often combined with a similar substance, chondroitin, when used as a supplement for joints. Glucosamine doesn’t just help rebuild cartilage; it also helps reduce inflammation of swollen joints. If your pet has trouble getting around, glucosamine can help ease pain and give him back a greater range of movement.
Bladder and Intestinal Health
Glucosamine also helps keep your cat’s bladder and intestines healthy. Glucosamine is a type of glycosaminoglycan, or GAG. GAGs are chemicals found in the lining of your cat’s bladder and intestine. Supplementing your cat's diet with glucosamine can help strengthen and restore this lining. Glucosamine reduces painful urination associated with feline lower urinary tract disorder. Since they begin with a degraded intestinal lining, glucosamine can also help prevent ulcerative colitis and Chrohn's disease.
Glucosamine sulfate is available without a prescription and is considered extremely safe. Since it is a compound naturally found in the body, there is little risk of complications when taking glucosamine. Glucosamine contains the sugar glucose which could potentially cause a blood sugar spike. If your pet has diabetes, speak with his vet about testing his sugar while on glucosamine. Always follow dosing instructions exactly and buy a supplement designed for cats. Speak with your vet before starting your cat on a glucosamine regimen.