What is Cosequin for Cats?
Cosequin is a supplement that is often used to help improve and maintain the health of joints. Cats with joint pain may get a recommendation from a vet to use Cosequin. But as with anything, it’s important to also consider any potential side effects as well, and to weigh them up against the possible benefits of using Cosequin.
Cosequin is often used as a prevention measure; that is, to help prevent cats experiencing pain in their joints. Joint pain leads to difficulty in movement and reduced activity, putting your cat at risk of other health issues like obesity.
What are the ingredients in Cosequin?
There are two main basic active ingredients in the supplement:
However, Cosequin is a patented formula which means it’s entirely unique to this product. The exact ingredients are listed as a more specific type of the above. The precise ingredients in Cosequin are:
- TRH122 chondroitin sulfate
- FCHG49 glucosamine
- Manganese ascorbate
While each ingredient alone is unable to be patented and is widely used in different products (at varying quality levels), Cosequin is patented based on this specific combination.
This particular combination of ingredients has been used in clinical studies on human health in the area of knee osteoarthritis. In the study Efficacy of a combination of FCHG49 glucosamine hydrochloride, TRH122 low molecular weight sodium chondroitin sulfate and manganese ascorbate in the management of knee osteoarthritis by Das A Jr and Hammad TA, the combination of FCHG49 glucosamine hydrochloride, TRH122 sodium chondroitin sulfate and manganese ascorbate was “found to be effective for the treatment of radiographically mild to moderate OA (osteoarthritis) of the knee” across 93 people with known knee osteoarthritis.
Although you’d need a good understanding of chemistry and biology to comprehend exactly how it works, it’s important to note the specific type of ingredients used and why. Low molecular weight sodium chondroitin sulfate, used in Cosequin, is considered much more effective than regular chondroitin sulfate becase that molecule is particularly large and not as easily absorbable by the digestive system. This makes the low molecular weight chondroitin sulfate ingredient in Cosequin more bio-available to a cat.
What is it used for?
Joint health is the most well known use for Cosequin. But it has another use as well: bladder health.
This isn’t just a random coincidence, but because the bladder wall inner lining contains a protective layer that contains some similar compounds to cartilage – which is what Cosequin helps with: maintaining the strength and structure of cartilage and helping to prevent its breakdown.
People do have a lot of more specific questions about what Cosequin can or should be used for though. The first thing to keep in mind however is that your cat should always have a doagnosis from the vet.
Treating a bladder or kidney health issue (or any health problem) purely by guesswork is not what we should be doing as caring cat owners.
So before using Cosequin, make sure your cat sees your vet and that you follow his or her treatment recommendations. Many vets go on to recommend Cosequin, depending on the health status of your cat.
Does Cosequin For Cats Have Any Side Effects?
Cosequin is an all natural supplement, but that doesn’t mean it comes without the risk of side effects.
On the positive side, the known side effects of Cosequin are quite rare. There have been some reports a small percentage of cats experiencing gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea. If this happens then a cat should clearly be taken off the supplement until you speak to your vet.
This is a risk with any type of supplement, and is the reason that you should speak to your vet before giving a supplement to your cat. Some animals react to different ingredients – just as they do with food.
A cat with any underlying health issues can be at a higher risk of experiencing side effects. An unhealthy or very elderly cat should not be put on any supplements without consulting your vet.
The ingredients in Cosequin are all natural compounds.
How Fast Will Cosequin Start Working?
This is a natural supplement, not a harsh medication, so results are seen gradually. Once a cat starts taking Cosequin regularly, you should start noticing over time his movements becoming more comfortable when it comes to walking, climbing stairs and ideally eventually: jumping like a healthy cat. The severity of your cat’s joint condition and her age will of course play a major role in the effect that Cosequin has. Very senior cats are not going to ever be bouncing around like a 3 year old, but if you can get them comfortably walking and climbing pain-free, the benefits to their quality of life is massive.
Exercise and Joint Movement
Unlike dogs who are considerably easier to encourage exercise with (well, most of them), getting our cats to move around is a little more challenging.
But the best result with Cosequin isn’t going to be seen in a cat that hardly moves. Understandably, a cat who is in pain or discomfort is reluctant to move much (heck, even the most healthy cats are often reluctant to move) but getting those joints moving and blood circulating is absoultely vital if your cat is going to build on the processes that Cosequin encourages in the joints. Hills has some good advice and ideas here about encouraging senior and arthritis cats to move around – gently and at their own pace.
What are sprinkle capsules? These are capsules that can easily be split open, so the contents can be sprinkled on to your cats food.
Giving a cat a tablet by mouth can be stressful, difficult and exhausting (and potentially dangerous if they get really angry!) – sprinkle capsules let you avoid this unpleasant task.