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C2009-19

Dear Christopher Cat

Morgan, my 13-year-old cat, was diagnosed with arthritis and prescribed Metacam. Is there anything else I can do to help him feel more comfortable?

Christopher Responds

Arthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), is common in older cats. In one study of 100 senior cats, 90 had DJD.

I, too, am 13, and my DJD makes it hard for me to jump as high as I once did.

But it’s not just elderly cats who suffer from the condition. My family's current foster cat is Adam, a young adult with severe DJD of one hip.

Adam and I take Metacam plus two supplements you can buy for Morgan without a prescription.

One contains glucosamine and chondroitin, which nourish the joint fluid and protect the cartilage. Two popular brands are Glyco-Flex for Cats and Cosequin for Cats.

The other supplement is fish oil with omega-3 fatty acids that help suppress joint inflammation.

Soon I’ll add acupuncture to my regimen. It diminishes the pain of DJD and improves joint function.

Something else you can do is help Morgan lose weight, if he’s overweight. Extra pounds add stress to already compromised joints.

However, don’t give Morgan acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, because it’s deadly to us cats.

 

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