Natural Remedies for Feline Arthritis
Because cats love to jump and run – sometimes even for no apparent reason – years of stress on the joints may cause problems as your kitty gets older. Small injuries that may not have been noticeable when they were sustained at a young age may actually begin to become noticeable over time as these little traumas begin to add up. Cartilage and soft connective tissue within the joints can become damaged, and this will inevitably cause your cat pain, discomfort, stiffness, and an inability to move about like he used to.
Because conventional remedies for feline arthritis are limited and corticosteroids that are often prescribed may cause severe side effects in the long run, you can do more by taking an integrative approach. Work under a holistic vet who can provide you with a variety of natural options that may bring about some much-needed relief to your ailing cat, especially when combined with the latest and greatest conventional medications made specifically for felines.
Chondroprotective nutraceuticals, also known as nutritional products, are basically compounds that will protect the cartilage in your cat’s body. They may even help to rebuild and repair the cartilage naturally, which is something that harsh corticosteroids cannot do. And, on top of having cartilage-building capabilities, these may also help in reducing inflammation and pain. The most commonly prescribed are glucosamine and chondroitin. Chondroitin sulfate, in particular, may even work to inhibit the enzymes that destroy the joints.
In addition to giving your cat remedies that work from the inside, there are also external therapies that you can implement into his treatment plan. Acupuncture is one of the most popular forms of natural healing because it can have profound effects upon a pet’s health and wellbeing, especially when the sessions are scheduled regularly. It may bring greater mobility back to your ailing feline, as well as reduce pain and inflammation. And it may reduce muscle spasms around effected joints and improve circulation to affected areas as well.
Ayurveda, like Traditional Chinese Medicine, is an ancient healing modality that uses only natural herbs and remedies that are derived from the Earth to help patients heal and to bring the body back into a state of balance. Indian frankincense, also known as boswellia, and winter cherry, also known as ashwaganda, are the best-known Ayurvedic herbs for pets when it comes to providing relief from arthritis.
Boswellia provides anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce stiffness and pain. It can increase the blood supply to arthritic joints and restore areas damaged by inflammation. Ashwaganda also provides anti-inflammatory benefits while strengthening muscles around joints and counteracting the negative effects of stress on the body. When given at the appropriate dosage, improvement can be seen within weeks or months, but working under a trained holistic veterinarian is imperative.
Sea cucumbers are marine animals that are related to urchins. They contain nutrients, such as mucopolysaccharides and chondroitin, as well as vitamins and minerals, that strengthen and maintain healthy cartilage. For cats with arthritis, products containing sea cucumber, like SeaCuMax, can have anti-inflammatory effects that reduce pain and improve mobility.
If you notice that your older cat is no longer able to move like he used to, have him examined by a veterinarian to determine if arthritis may be the cause. In the event that your feline friend is suffering with this condition, the key will be to reduce the inflammation and provide relief from the pain and stiffness that is keeping him from being comfortable and enjoying mobility. By combining the best of conventional and holistic medicine, you can find the remedies that will work on your particular pet so that he can have the highest quality of life.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.
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