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7 Best Cat Joint Supplements of 2022

Cat being held by owner on a cozy couch and about to have a cat joint supplement
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If you’ve ever come home to find your cat perched on top of your bookcase or doing zoomies around your apartment, you probably already know that your cat loves to jump, climb, run, and otherwise be mobile—when they want to, of course. (Cut to: your cat snoozing by the window as you read this). 

But cats, like people, can develop joint pain and stiffness, which can make them uncomfortable and irritable. That’s why some pet parents look to cat joint supplements to help support their cat’s mobility, protect joints from wear and tear, and manage pain and inflammation, if and when it starts. Here are some of the best cat joint supplements you can find to help your feline family member. 

Best Cat Joint Supplement: 7 Top Picks

All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Best Cat Joint Supplement Capsules

Our pick: Nutramax Cosequin Chicken Flavored Capsules Joint Supplement for Cats

Nutramax Cosequin Chicken Flavored Capsules Joint Supplement for Cats

Made with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to help your cat’s body create cartilage and slow down joint deterioration, this brand of supplement is veterinarian recommended. It’s been studied in clinical trials and found to be effective in helping cat’s joints. It’s also easy to administer, even if your cat is picky: all you have to do is sprinkle a capsule or two of this chicken-flavored supplement over their food once a day for a month. Then, once the month is up, you can just give it to your cat every other day. 

Highlights

  • Contains glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to protect joints
  • Chicken-flavored capsules that can be sprinkled onto your cat’s food
  • Available in three bottle sizes
  • Shown to be effective in published, controlled studies
  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Might help with bladder health, too
  • For cats of all sizes

Things to Consider

  • Some users didn’t find it worked as well in the maintenance phase
  • Some cats avoid food with supplements sprinkled in, even when flavored

Best Cat Joint Supplement Chews

Our pick: VETRISCIENCE Laboratories GlycoFlex 3 Hip and Joint Supplement for Cats

VetriScience GlycoFlex III Chicken Liver Flavored Soft Chews Joint Supplement for Cats

These chicken liver-flavored chews are extra strength to give your cat extra joint support and contain three beneficial ingredients: glucosamine, MSM, and green lipped mussel (perna canaliculus). Other active ingredients like grape seed extract, L-glutathione, and selenium help your cat’s body better absorb nutrients, which improves their immune system as a whole. 

Highlights

  • Veterinarian recommended
  • Chicken liver-flavored
  • Contains high levels of three beneficial ingredients for joint health
  • Also has ingredients to help nutrient absorption
  • Easy to find the correct dose
  • Safe for cats of all ages

Things to Consider

  • Not for pregnant cats
  • Treats are large and hard, so some cats struggled to chew them

Best Cat Joint Supplement Powder

Our pick: VetClassics ArthriEase-GOLD Hip & Joint Support Powder

VetClassics ArthriEase-GOLD Hip & Joint Support Powder Dog & Cat Supplement

If you’re looking for a supplement you can sprinkle on your cat’s food without having to break open a capsule, this is a good option to consider—though it is on the pricier side. However, if you’re a multi-pet household, the price might be worth it because you can give this supplement to both cats and dogs. Veterinarian recommended, made in the USA, and clinically tested, this powder supplement is designed for pets that have more serious joint problems and contains several effective active ingredients, including glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, green lipped mussel, and hyaluronic acid. Plus, if you don’t see results in your pet, you can get a full refund because the product comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. 

Highlights

  • Veterinarian-formulated and clinically-tested
  • Safe for cats and dogs
  • Available in two sizes
  • Four active ingredients for joint health
  • Made in the USA
  • 100 percent satisfaction guarantee with a full refund

Things to Consider

  • Pricey
  • Not for pregnant cats
  • Dose according to instructions
  • Also available in chewable tablets and soft chews

Best Liquid Cat Joint Supplement

Our pick: LIQUIDHEALTH Joint Purr-Fection Cat Glucosamine

Liquid Health Pets Joint Purr-Fection Cat Supplement

Containing glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, MSM, and hyaluronic acid, this supplement helps protect your cat’s joints without being difficult to administer: you can just add a few drops to their food, and chances are, they won’t notice. But to make it even easier, this supplement is beef gravy-flavored to appeal to your cat’s picky palate. Plus, it also has taurine, which is vital for their overall health, and it’s free of sugar, starch, wheat, gluten, yeast, milk, or soy derivatives. 

Highlights

  • Contains four joint health ingredients
  • Easy to administer
  • Beef gravy-flavored
  • NASC quality seal of approval
  • Safe for cats of all sizes
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • Not for pregnant cats or cats with clotting disorders, diabetes, hyperglycemia, or a history of urinary tract stones

Best Fish Oil Supplement for Cats with Joint Support

Our pick: Zesty Paws Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats

Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Liquid Skin & Coat Supplement for Dogs & Cats

While this fish oil supplement is positioned as a skin and coat supplement, it packs plenty of other perks, including joint function, heart health, and immune system support. It boasts 850 mg of omega-3 fatty acids per teaspoon, mainly in the form of EPA and DHA, which are known to help reduce joint inflammation. Plus, since it’s salmon oil, your cat will likely not mind the taste when you add a few drops to their food. This formula is free of artificial flavors and preservatives and it is safe for your dog, too. 

Highlights

  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) for joint health
  • Comes in a large 32 oz bottle
  • Good for joints, as well as heart, immune system, skin, and coat health
  • Safe for dogs, too
  • Easy to administer, thanks to pump bottle
  • NASC quality seal
  • Made in the USA
  • No artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors
  • There is a bundle available that comes with Zesty Paws hip and joint mobility bites

Things to Consider

  • Pricey bottle
  • Begin with half the suggested amount, and gradually increase to suggested daily amount
  • Take into account any fish oils already in your cat’s diet

Best Budget Cat Joint Supplement

Our pick: Pet Naturals Hip + Joint for Cats

Pet Naturals Hip + Joint Cat Chews

Made with four ingredients known to support hip and joint health—glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, and green-lipped mussel—these treats are safe to give to cats of all ages, including kittens, to help ease their joint pain and stiffness. They’re made in the USA, veterinarian-formulated, free of artificial ingredients, wheat, and corn, and they’ll appeal to any cat that enjoys fish or chicken flavor. Plus, the company has a veterinary review board.

Highlights

  • Contains four effective ingredients for hip and joint health
  • Made in the USA
  • Veterinarian-formulated
  • Fish-flavored or chicken-flavored treats
  • Affordably priced

Things to Consider

  • Not for cats that are pregnant
  • For cats only, so store away from other pets

Best Daily Cat Vitamins with Joint Support

Our pick: VitaPet Senior Daily Vitamins Plus Glucosamine

NaturVet VitaPet Senior Daily Joint supplement for cat

If you live with a fussy senior cat that could benefit from a joint supplement and other vitamins and minerals for health, this is a convenient option to consider. These chews are veterinarian formulated to support senior kitties, but you can give them to any cat over the age of 12 weeks. Each one is formulated with eight vitamins that cats need, as well as glucosamine to help their joints. This soft, wheat-free treat is manufactured in the U.S. and safe to give every day.

Highlights

  • Affordably priced
  • Made in the USA
  • Veterinarian formulated
  • Soft chews are easy for senior cats to chew
  • Contains eight essential vitamins for cats and glucosamine for joint health

Things to Consider

  • Pay attention to dosage and keep out of reach of cats and other pets to keep them from eating too many
  • Some reviewers said their cats didn’t like the taste

Cat Joint Supplement Buyer’s Guide

Cat looking to owner and playing in the home

Common Cat Joint Problems

One of the most common cat joint problems is osteoarthritis, a painful joint disease that gets worse over time. Aside from age- or activity-related wear-and-tear, other risk factors for developing the disease may include genetics, being overweight or obese, or previous joint injuries. When a cat develops osteoarthritis, the cartilage cushion that protects the bones and absorbs impact starts to deteriorate. This causes the bones of the joint to rub against each other, which leads to pain. You may start to notice a change in the way your cat jumps or climbs stairs, or they may be less active than usual. 

“Cats with osteoarthritis are reluctant to play and move around, show…stiffness after exercise or prolonged rest, and show irritable behavior when they’re approached or touched,” explains veterinarian Dr. Jonathan Roberts. 

Cats may also suffer from orthopedic conditions that can increase their risk of developing osteoarthritis, such as patellar luxation, where the kneecap “slips out” (dislocates) when the cat is walking or running, and hip dysplasia, an abnormal formation of the hip joint that causes looseness (laxity) in the cat’s joint. 

If your cat has one of these conditions—or is at risk of developing one—cat joint supplements might help. “Not only can these daily supplements potentially alleviate a cat’s discomfort when they have already been diagnosed, but they can be used as a preventive measure in high-risk cases,” explains Amber LaRock, a licensed veterinary technician. 

Dr. Michelle Burch, a clinical veterinarian, agrees. “Cat joint supplements can help decrease inflammation in the joint, which will reduce pain,” she says. “Supplements can also help encourage cartilage health to decrease the rate of degeneration in the joint.” 

Cat Joint Supplements: Beneficial Ingredients

Cat taking a supplement from owner

“Most joint supplements will have a combination of ingredients, as this allows them to work together to achieve adequate joint support,” LaRock says. 

Some of the common beneficial ingredients to look for in cat joint supplements include:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is an essential chemical compound that’s found naturally in the body, but it also comes in supplement form to help the body repair and produce healthy cartilage and synovial fluid (a slippery fluid that lubricates the joints). It’s often paired with chondroitin. Together, glucosamine and chondroitin are considered the “building blocks of cartilage and help maintain healthy cartilage and slow the deterioration during osteoarthritis,” says Dr. Roberts. 
  • Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). MSM is a natural source of sulfur that prevents further destruction of cartilage and decreases inflammation. It has even been shown to decrease pain and arthritis. 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are often found in fish oil and can help reduce inflammation. 
  • Perna canaliculus (green-lipped mussel). Green-lipped mussel extract “can provide anti-inflammatory effects resulting in mild pain relief,” Burch says. However, it might take a few weeks before you see the effects once you start giving a supplement with this ingredient. 
  • Creatine. Creatine improves muscle health, not the joints directly, but if your cat has muscle loss, it will put less stress on their joints. 
  • Avocado-Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU). ASU is a “relatively new kid on the block, but this ingredient partially blocks the inflammatory process from starting and prevents deterioration of sensitive cells within the joint,” Roberts says. 

What to Look for In Cat Joint Supplements

Owner holding cat looking at cat joint supplement products on her laptop

When it comes to shopping for cat joint supplements, there are a few things to consider. 

First, joint supplements can come in a variety of forms, including chews, powders, pills, and liquids. There is no “wrong option,” as long as the ingredients are safe. 

However, “cats are generally considered picky and fussy eaters,” Roberts reminds us. “For this reason, I would always recommend either a highly palatable powder or liquid supplement to place over their food. Tableting cats is always a challenge—even for professionals.” 

Flavored treats might also work well, as long as your cat likes the particular flavor. 

It’s also important to remember that supplements for cats are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration or another oversight committee, Burch says. “Due to the lack of regulation, supplement labeling can be misleading or false,” she says. “I recommend using products recommended by your veterinarian or having a quality seal by the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).” 

Companies that have a NASC Quality Seal have passed an independent third-party audit and demonstrate ongoing compliance with certain criteria to ensure quality and safety standards for your cat, as well as labeling requirements. 

You can also look for a product with a lot number on the packaging, because this likely means that the company has a quality control process in place. 

Burch also recommends looking for products that are made by companies that have their contact details easily located on the packaging so that you can ask questions or request additional information about their research, safety, and testing company practices.

Precautions When Giving Cats Joint Supplements

Make sure you start by reading the packaging before giving a joint supplement to your cat. “While it is very difficult to overdose on feline joint supplements, it is advisable to always stick to guidelines,” says Roberts. Signs that your cat consumed too much could include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and flatulence.

Be sure to also run the supplements (and their ingredients) by your veterinarian if your cat already takes a prescription. Some supplements could interact with their medication.

Remember too that supplements can help, but if your cat has severe osteoarthritis or chronic joint pain, your veterinarian will develop a full treatment plan that may include pain medication and other therapies to manage your cat’s condition. 

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