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Cosequin for Cats

By | Last Updated : 4th January 2018

What is Cosequin (glucosamine, chondroitin)

Cosequin, manufactured by Nutramax Laboratories, is an oral health supplement used for the maintenance of joints and cartilages [1, 2], as well as for improving mobility in joint conditions like osteoarthritis [5, 7].

Available in chicken and tuna flavored capsules [7], Cosequin has moderate anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for relieving joint pain [8].

Since glucosamine, one of its active ingredients, aids in protecting the lining of the urinary bladder, Cosequin may also be given to cats prone to urinary tract diseases such as cystitis [9].

Can cats safely take Cosequin

The FDA does not register or regulate the use of nutraceuticals (a nutritional supplement with curative properties) like Cosequin [3] but veterinarians may recommend it for use in cats in specific cases [1].

Quick Information


Cosequin for Cats

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Generic name

Glucosamine, chondroitin [2, 5]

Brand name

Cosequin®, Cosequin® DS, Cosequin® ASU, Restor-A-Flex® [4, 5]


Nutraceuticals [5]

Active Ingredients

Glucosamine hydrochloride, sodium chondroitin sulfate [6]

Is it approved by FDA

No [3]


Over-the-counter [5]

Who can take it

Dogs, cats, rabbits, horses [5, 6]


Sprinkle capsule, chewy tablets, powder [1]

How does Cosequin work in cats

Glucosamine, one of the primary constituents of Cosequin, controls the production of collagen (a structural protein providing firmness, strength, and elasticity to bones and joints) in cartilage [2]. On the other hand, chondroitin prevents enzymes like metalloproteinase, cathepsin, and serine protease from degrading collagen and inducing destruction of joints and cartilages [2, 10]. These two ingredients play a major part in the synthesis of proteoglycans and glycoaminoglycans, the building blocks for cartilage formation [2].

Cosequin dosage: How much to give to cats

Follow the dosage as prescribed by your vet. It usually varies according to factors like the size, weight, and age of your cat:

For cats below 10lb (5kg) 1 capsule daily (can be given at once, or divided into two doses, given every 12 hours) [6, 8]
For cats over 10lb (5kg) 2 capsules daily (1 capsule every 12 hours, or both given together once every 24 hours) [6, 8]

The powder content of the pill may be mixed with a small amount of wet food to make sure your cat takes the entire amount [8]. Otherwise, you may also sprinkle it over dry cat food.

After the initial period of 4-6 weeks, if your cat feels better, your doctor might reduce the dosage to every alternate day for maintenance on a long-term basis. However, the number of pills depends on your cat’s response to the supplement [8].

Cosequin gradually starts working in cats within 4-6 weeks, but some individuals may respond sooner [11].

What to do if you miss giving a dose

Give it as soon as you can, or skip it and resume the regular schedule if it is time for the next dose. Do not administer a double dose, as it increases the risk of side effects.

Cosequin side effects

Cosequin, being a natural supplement, rarely causes any side effects in cats [12]. However, some may experience:

  • Diarrhea (loose, frequent stools) [7]
  • Nausea (drooling, smacking of lips, swallowing, trembling) [7]

These symptoms may also occur in case of an overdose [7].

If your cat shows any of the signs listed above, contact your vet immediately.

Contraindication: When not to give Cosequin to your cat

Speak with your vet about any health conditions your cat is having. Cosequin should be used with caution in cats with diabetes as intake of glucosamine supplements may raise blood sugar levels in diabetic cats [14]. However, there is a lack of enough evidence to support this theory and several clinical trials have given conflicting results [13].

Cosequin is not known to have any drug interactions.


    1. Cosequin DS Maximum Strength Plus MSM – Drugs.com
    2. Glucosamine and chondroitin use in canines for osteoarthritis: A review – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    3. Arthritis in Dogs – Websterlakevet.com
    4. Cosequin ASU – Drugs.com
    5. Glucosamine and Chondroitin (Cosequin®) – Petplace.com
    6. Cosequin® for Cats – Drsfostersmith.com
    7. What is Cosequin for Cats – Pets.thenest.com
    8. Cosequin For Cats – 1800petmeds.com
    9. Glucosamine for Cats With Urinary Problems – Pets.thenest.com
    10. Mechanism of joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    11. Cosequin Frequently Asked Questions – Cosequin.com
    12. Side Effects of Cosequin for Cats – Vetinfo.com
    13. Glucosamine: Some Value, Little Risk – Vetrinarypracticenews.com
    14. Side Effects of Glucosamine for Cats – Vetinfo.com


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