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Joint Supplements for Cats: Does My Cat Need One?

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Cats are natural daredevils. Climbing to height and jumping down? No problem! Well, sometimes jumps don’t go as planned…

From ambitious jumps to epic strides across the floor to chase a mouse toy or a rogue bottle cap, your kitty can get into a wide range of sticky situations that can affect their joint health.

Cats actually have two different types of joints:

  • Hinge joints, which are similar to human elbows, are located on each front limb.
  • Condylar joints, which are similar to human knees and are located on each back limb.

The combination of these two different joints allows them to move effortlessly and have awe-inspiring agility. Cats can jump five to six times their body height thanks to their unique joint structure and (hopefully) elegantly land on their feet due to their ability to turn on axis during free fall to right themselves.

Cats may seem like they have superpowers (they probably think they do), but the truth is that these circus-like feats can be tough on their joints over time. Even if you have a chill indoor cat where their greatest trick is jumping from the top of the cat tree to the floor, every cat can benefit from taking cat supplements to help protect their joints.

In this article, we explore more about why you should give your cat a joint supplement, arm you with the knowledge to choose a great cat joint supplement, and provide some recommendations for great joint supplements you can give your cat.

Why Do You Need Joint Supplements for Cats?

Aside from providing additional support for your active kitty, joint supplements are beneficial for cats to support their joints as they age. When your kitty becomes a senior cat, the cartilage production in their joints slows down, meaning that degraded cartilage from all that wear and tear on their joints can’t repair itself as well as when they were young. This results in less cushion for your kitty’s joints as they move around, potentially causing pain.

An often-cited study from 2002 that looked at 100 cats found that 90% of those cats suffered from some sort of degenerative joint disease (DJD). Another study published in 2020 that looked at radiographs of 101 cats over a year old found that slightly over 74% of them had signs of degenerative joint disease.

Given how common joint disease is in cats, especially as they age, giving your kitty’s joints the support they need with joint supplements is important.

  • TRI-ACTA is a great joint supplement that you can give your kitty to help prevent joint pain as they age, even if your kitty doesn’t currently have any joint issues. It contains 100% natural ingredients, including glucosamine and chondroitin (helps with cartilage repair and joint lubrication) and Methylsulfonylmethane (often abbreviated to MSM, a natural anti-inflammatory), with no fillers, additives, or preservatives. It’s also approved and regulated by Health Canada as a veterinary health product.
  • TRI-ACTA H.A. is Integricare’s extra-strength version of TRI-ACTA, including all the same ingredients as the regular strength version but including hyaluronic acid. This essential ingredient improves the viscosity of the synovial fluid in your kitty’s joints, helping them heal better from a joint injury while at the same time providing maximum joint protection if they have a chronic joint condition like cat arthritis.

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.


How to Tell if Your Cat Needs Hip and Joint Supplements for Cats

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your cat is in pain because they will instinctively try to hide it. This is a survival instinct left over from being in the wild since injured or weak cats naturally attract predators, potentially causing danger to the rest of the pack. Hiding their symptoms or hiding away in a safe location until they heal is just something that cats will do to protect themselves.

Because of this natural instinct, it’s important to keep a close watch on your cat’s behaviour so you can spot when their joints are causing them pain:

  • Hobbling, skipping, or limping is common in cats that are feeling joint pain, as they want to reduce the pressure on the limb hurting them as they move. If your kitty is holding up a paw or back leg as they move, that’s a sign that their joints could be causing them pain.
  • Hiding away is another sign that your kitty’s joints could be bothering them. If they are normally out and about but suddenly decide to stick to a dark spot out of sight, then it’s time for a checkup at the vet.
  • Sensitivity to touch is another telltale sign of cat joint pain. Some kitties don’t like to be handled or picked up, but if your kitty winces, whines, or yowls when you touch one of their limbs, then they could be experiencing a problem with one of their joints.
  • Overgrooming or under-grooming can be another sign that your kitty has pain in a certain area. Depending on your kitty’s personality, they may overgroom the limb in pain to soothe it or ignore it completely.
  • Increased meowing, hissing, or growling, especially when you try to touch the affected limb, is another sign that your kitty could have joint pain. Cats have learned that vocalizing with us is the best way to communicate with us—so be sure to listen to your kitty!

One of the ways that you can help your cat cope with joint pain is by giving them a joint supplement. Your vet may also recommend Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) specifically formulated for cats as well. However, NSAIDs can potentially cause nasty side effects like kidney and liver problems, especially in senior cats, so they are typically only prescribed for a short period of time.

Thankfully, joint supplements like TRI-ACTA H.A. (recommended for cats that are suffering from joint issues) can be given to your cat alongside NSAIDs. Giving both simultaneously for a while should eventually result in your kitty not having to take as high of a dose of NSAIDs or getting them off the medication altogether. Continuing to give your kitty TRI-ACTA H.A. after they recover is important to help prevent future joint issues or to help them cope with the symptoms of a chronic joint condition.

Powder vs Liquid Joint Supplements for Cats

If you’ve ever tried to give your kitty medication, you likely know how difficult it can be. Joint supplements are available in various forms, like chewables, capsules, powder, and liquid, the latter two of which are the most common. Chews usually contain more fillers and additives because they need to masquerade as a palatable treat for your cat. Capsules are probably the most difficult to administer to a cat, so they are a rarer option, as being difficult to give isn’t a strong selling point.

If you want to avoid fillers, additives, and preservatives, choosing powdered or liquid joint supplements for cats is best.

However, choosing between powdered or liquid joint supplements for cats can be challenging: which is the best option? It might come down to your cat’s preference, but powdered hip and joint supplements for cats tend to win out when compared.

Powdered Versus Liquid Joint Supplements for Cats

Powdered Joint Supplements

Liquid Joint Supplements

  • Easy to administer—usually comes with a measuring scoop that can be used to simply sprinkle the product over your cat’s regular food
  • Lasts longer than liquid supplements when sprinkled on dry food, as dry food will absorb the liquid supplement and become soggy, with may not the appealing to your cat
  • Comes in tasteless or flavoured variations
  • Has a long shelf life
  • Easy to get every last morsel of supplement out of the container
  • Usually needs to be administered via a syringe directly into your cat’s mouth or onto your cat’s food; getting the product out of the bottle and into the syringe can be difficult, as well as the process of getting it into your cat’s mouth (if they won’t eat it when squirted onto food)
  • Comes in tasteless or flavoured variations
  • The shelf life for liquid supplements is usually shorter compared to powders
  • Not as easy to get every last drop out of the container

How Do You Select the Best Joint Supplements for Senior Cats


When it comes to choosing the best joint supplement for senior cats, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind:

  1. Is the joint supplement for cats made by a reputable company? Since joint supplements for animals are not regulated in the USA or Canada, pet owners need to do their due diligence when choosing a product. Be sure to read reviews, research the company online, and even ask your veterinarian their opinion on your chosen product. Integricare’s TRI-ACTA products are approved by Health Canada as veterinary health products, meaning that the ingredients are consistently regulated, and pet owners can be sure they’re getting what’s stated on the label.
  2. Does the joint supplement contain therapeutic levels of ingredients? Different joint supplements for cats will have different levels of key ingredients, like glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Some supplements may have more fillers and additives than active ingredients, meaning you have to feed your cat more of the supplement for it to have a benefit. For example, with glucosamine for cats, you should aim to give them about 120 to 500 mg daily, so you should look for a supplement that provides glucosamine in that range. The exact amount you should give depends on your cat and your veterinarian’s recommendation.
  3. Are there minimal fillers, additives, and preservatives? Aside from the fact that if joint supplements for cats have more fillers than active ingredients, you have to feed your cat more, which makes the supplement less cost-effective, additional unnecessary ingredients can also cause allergic reactions, stomach upset, and other issues for your kitty. If your cat has a sensitive stomach, limiting fillers and additives is important, as these could aggravate their condition. In addition, fillers and additives can contribute to stinkier bowel movements, as they are tougher for your kitty to digest. Nobody likes a stinky litter box!

Are Natural Joint Supplements for Cats Most Recommended?

Joint supplements for cats made with natural, active ingredients are recommended over supplements with less active ingredients. The key word here is “active” rather than natural.

Some supplements may advertise as being natural or organic, which may make you think they will be better for your cat, but don’t contain therapeutic levels of active, joint-healing ingredients.

The key is looking for joint supplements for cats with as many active ingredients as possible. Additions like blueberries or pumpkin may be great for digestion and anti-oxidant purposes, but they don’t help your cat’s joints.

What Ingredients to Look For in Joint Health Supplements for Cats

In general, cat joint health supplements should contain several key ingredients: glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Some joint supplements for cats that are geared more toward senior cats or cats with joint conditions like arthritis will contain hyaluronic acid as well.

The essential ingredients that you should look for in joint supplements for cats are outlined in the table below, along with their benefits:

Cat Joint Supplement Ingredient


Glucosamine Sulfate

Sulfur is an essential component of joint tissue, so the inclusion of glucosamine sulfate in a joint supplement for cats means that you’re providing your kitty with this component should their body need it.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride (HCL)

This type of glucosamine is more stable than glucosamine sulfate, as it doesn’t require salt to be a stable ingredient. This may mean that it’s more bioavailable (your cat’s body may absorb it easier)


When included in joint supplements for cats alongside glucosamine (either form or both), the combination of chondroitin and glucosamine helps repair degraded cartilage in your cat’s joints and muscle and ligament tissue.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

A naturally occurring anti-inflammatory that is already produced by your cat’s body. By providing additional MSM, your cat’s body gets more anti-inflammatory power.

Hyaluronic Acid

Improves the viscosity of synovial fluid in your cat’s joints, which helps them move more freely and reduces friction that can cause pain.

4 Best Joint Supplements for Cats

The best joint supplements for cats include the right combination of ingredients. Our top picks are outlined below.

1. Integricare’s TRI-ACTA Products

triacta joint supplement for cats

There are several reasons why we recommend TRI-ACTA products, and it isn’t just because they are developed by Integricare. These days, it can be difficult to find pet supplement products that you, as a consumer, can trust. Integricare has been in the pet supplement business for over 20 years, and the founder specifically developed this product alongside experts to use with his own pets.

One of the standout features of TRI-ACTA products is that they include two different types of glucosamine—HCL and sulfate—which both have different benefits for your cat. Sulfur is essential to joint tissue, so including it in the joint supplement ensures your cat gets enough of it. Glucosamine HCL is a more pure form of glucosamine, which may mean it gets absorbed by your cat’s body better. Together, these ensure your cat gets the maximum value that glucosamine can provide.

We recommend TRI-ACTA joint supplements for cats because they contain 100% active ingredients. That means no fillers, additives, or preservatives that get in the way of the therapeutic ingredients that the supplement contains, and it also means that you need to feed your pet less—so it’s easier to administer and easier on the bank account.

The ingredients in TRI-ACTA are also approved and regulated by Health Canada, meaning that the ingredients are independently batch-tested to ensure that they meet the strict approval process so that TRI-ACTA can be listed as an approved veterinary health product.

TRI-ACTA for Pets

A proactive approach for developing and younger adult pets to maintain optimal joint health mobility, minimize inflammation and fend off age-related ailments.


Starts at $23.99 CAD for TRI-ACTA and $27.99 for TRI-ACTA H.A. (60g container). Pricing as of June 2023.

2. Thrive Joint Support



As another Canadian option for joint supplements for cats, Thrive is an approved veterinary health product, and contains minimal filler ingredients (less than 1% of the supplement is rice hull and mineral oil, which are likely included as binders).

While dosages are quite small, indicating a good level of therapeutic ingredients, Thrive only includes one type of glucosamine, HCL, which means your cat could potentially miss out on the benefits that glucosamine sulfate provides. 

$29.99 CAD for a 300g container. Pricing as of June 2023.

3. Pet-Tek Re-Gen Max Therapeutic Formula Joint Care Supplement for Pets (Powder)



Pet-Tek is an extra-strength joint supplements for cats option that has 100% naturally occurring ingredients, including glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. This supplement would be suitable for senior cats, cats that have just undergone joint surgery, or cats with chronic joint issues.

It does contain therapeutic levels of glucosamine and other active ingredients, just like the other joint supplements for cats on this list, but it should be noted that this supplement only contains glucosamine HCL and not sulfate. Pet-tek also offers this product in liquid and tablet form.

It doesn’t appear that this product is certified by Health Canada.

$69.99 CAD for a 363g container. Pricing as of June 2023.

4. Omega Alpha GlucosaPet Liquid Hip & Joint Supplement for Dogs and Cats



This liquid cat and dog joint supplement is an approved Canadian veterinary health product. It obviously contains glucosamine, specifically glucosamine sulfate (and not HCL) at therapeutic levels, as well as MSM, chondroitin, and a few other ingredients. These other ingredients include Harpagophytum procumbens (also known as Devil’s Claw Root), Boswellia serrata (Frankincense Resin), Ledebouriella divaricata (Siler Root), and purified water, Benzoic acid, Critic acid, and Potassium sorbate.

Devil’s Claw Root, Frankincense Resin, and Siler Root all have anti-inflammatory properties. However, these ingredients do not naturally occur in your cat’s body like MSM, so they may cause adverse side effects. Devil’s Claw Root, for instance, may cause stomach upset in animals, including cats.

Starts at $8.99 CAD for a 120ml container. Pricing as of June 2023.

Summary joint-supplements-for-cats

When it comes to choosing the most effective joint supplements for cats, it’s important to do your research first. While we have a ton of options these days online for joint health supplements for cats, not all of them contain therapeutic levels of ingredients, and some may contain fillers, additives, and other ingredients that can cause stomach upset, allergic reactions, and other issues for your kitty. Reading joint supplements for cats reviews and ensuring that you research the company you’re planning to purchase from first are two best practices you can follow before handing over your hard-earned cash.

As a recap, joint supplements for cats should contain therapeutic levels of the following ingredients:

  • Glucosamine
  • Chondroitin
  • MSM
  • Hyaluronic acid (optional, but great for senior cats or cats with chronic joint issues)

If the supplement you want to buy contains more than these ingredients, chances are they are filler or additives. While your kitty may be perfectly fine with some additional ingredients, fillers and additives don’t provide any value for your cat’s joints, so you’re essentially paying for ingredients that your cat doesn’t need.

Consider TRI-ACTA or TRI-ACTA H.A. next time you’re looking to purchase a cat joint supplement, as they do not contain any fillers or additives—only the good stuff for your kitty!

TRI-ACTA H.A. for Pets

Our maximum strength formula is optimally designed to accelerate the formation of cartilage, minimize inflammation, expedite the healing process, and improve joint conditions.