As your cat ages, they are more susceptible to injuries, diseases, and general impairments of everyday functions. Unlike many other pets, cats are very good at hiding their pains and disabilities making it hard to notice something is wrong until it has potentially become a severe issue. Because the diet of a cat is complex, it makes it hard to know if or when something is missing from their diet. We trust the food companies out there that our feline friends are indeed getting a “complete diet” when it sadly isn’t always the case. There is one mineral I recommend supplementing in any cat’s diet, especially older cats, and that mineral is MSM.
What Is MSM?
Methyl Sulfonyl Methane, also known as “MSM” is an oxidized form of an organic sulfur compound from lignan. That’s a mouthful, right? This is actually a mineral that all plant, animal, and insect life thrive on. It is created in nature and comes from the oceans. The compound itself is secreted by plankton and then bonded with oxygen to form “sulfur dioxide”. From there, it gets absorbed into the atmosphere and eventually released back in rainwater. Then, it is absorbed into plant life and soils to feed them. Herbivores get their sulfur from eating plants and carnivores get their sulfur from eating herbivores. The circle of life!
What Does Sulfur Do?
Sulfur is known as the “miracle mineral” because it does so much for the body. One of the main reasons you want to supplement it is because it works in conjunction with glutathione to help detoxify the body. When levels are low or non-existent in your cat’s body, the detoxifying process is hindered. As you can imagine, this leaves them susceptible to a lot of health problems.
Sulfur also plays a key role in the health of skin, bones, cartilage, and fur. For joints and cartilage alone, it is important to make sure your cat is getting enough sulfur in their diet to help prevent fractures, bone injuries, and arthritis. MSM is used not only to reduce joint pain but even treat arthritis.
There are studies linking sulfur deficiencies to Alzheimer’s disease as well as other cognitive issues in both humans and pets. Some findings are even linking sufficient sulfur levels to a healthier heart. Humans and pets who have heart disease typically have very low levels of sulfur in their bodies.
Why Supplement It?
Sulfur is one of the most abundant minerals in a mammal’s body and levels have decreased over the years for our domesticated or semi-domesticated friends. The lack of sulfur in soil with the use of commercial and industrial pesticides has decreased the amount of sulfur found naturally in food sources. Increased use of corn and grains has also been thought to decrease these levels even further. Sulfur is similar to vitamins like vitamin C in that it is not actually stored in the body but rather used and flushed out daily. For cats, especially seniors, this can be an issue if they are not getting enough in their diet.
Key benefits to supplementing MSM in your cat’s diet:
• Reduces age-related injuries to the bones and joints
• Reduces overall inflammation and pain in the body
• Keeps skin and fur healthy and strong as they age
• Helps detoxify the organs and tissue
• Keeps the digestive system strong and protected
• May reduce or eliminate cognitive decline
• May prevent heart-related issues such as heart disease
MSM can been used to treat such issues as:
• Eye Inflammation
• Hair/Fur Loss
• Digestive Issues
• Oral Infections
• Poor Circulation
• Yeast Infections
• Nerve Damage
If you would like to supplement your cat with MSM, you can buy brands specifically for cats or you can use human grade. You could opt to use the MSM marketed for horses as most pet stores carry it and it is cheaper in bulk. It’s all the same and will do the same thing. As for dosage, you can give your cat 500mg for every 10lbs of body weight. I recommend starting with 100mg and working up to 500mg+ over a week to prevent any kind of digestive discomfort.
We recommend using Now Food’s MSM 1000 mg capsules. Half of one capsule is a daily dosage for the average cat (8 to 14 lbs)