Feline arthritis treatment has come a long way in the past several years. Up until a few years ago, conventional treatment options such as pain reduction drugs like NSAIDs (like human ibuprofen or aspirin), could only be used for short periods of time. The good news is that advances in conventional and natural treatments can greatly improve your cat's quality of life and help to slow down the destruction of cartilage in the joints.
Conventional Feline Arthritis Treatment
NSAIDs are a class of drugs that are used in both humans and cats to reduce the inflammation associated with arthritis. A relatively new drug, Metacam, promises longer term treatment. The problem with any NSAID is that there are potential side effects such as vomitng and diarrhea. Other drugs like Metacam potentially have the same side effects.
This class of drugs work by blocking the release of harmful enzymes in the joints. Because of the unique nature of metabolism in cats, clinicians have had mixed results with this class of drugs.
Natural Cat Arthritis Treatment
Natural products, while having mixed clinical support, are seeing widespread adoption. Many clinicians believe they are of benefit for mild or moderate feline arthritis.
Nutraceuticals: These are natural products that usually contain both Glucosamine and
and chondroitin sulphate (found in cartilage) These work by helping absorb water into the cartilage, which is an important component of joint function.
Fatty Acids: Like nutraceuticals, there is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can help joint function. This can be found either in your commercial cat food or added as a supplement to your cat's diet. One good source is known as New Zealand greenlipped mussel (GLM: pema canaliculus).
Diet: There are certain fatty acids, nutraceuticals and vitamins that are associated with helping cat's with arthritis. These Prescription Diets are available from your veterinarian and may be of some help with your cat.
Homeopathic Medicine: There is a long history of natural products having a positive impact on joint and muscle health. Ingredients such as Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil's Claw), Arthrospira platennis (Spirulina) and Calcium fluoride (6cH), all have properties that can safely help your cat. It may be worth a try.
Other Approaches to Feline Arthritis Treatment:
There are a few things you can do in your home to help your cat. These include:
Ramps: Cat's like to perch in high places and observe her surroundings. By providing a ramp for going up stairs and onto couches you can reduce the strain on your cat.
Weight Loss: The weight of your cat's body puts strain on the joints. Helping your cat down to a normal weight can reduce this strain.
Exercise: Keeping your cat moving cat help your cat. Either walks with a cat harness or playing with new toys such as those that contain a treat or catnip (Kong Toys), can help.
Cat arthritis treatment has come a long way. New conventional treatments can now help your cat for a long time to come. Using natural approaches and making your cats environment a bit easier on the joints can all lead to a happy quality of life for your cat.