Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for Cats

Last Updated on September 18, 2020

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?

Methylsulfonylmethane, 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 of supplementing MSM in your cat’s diet:

  • Reduces age-related injuries to the bones and joints
  • Keeps skin and fur healthy and strong as they age
  • Reduces inflammation and pain in the body
  • 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 also be used to treat such issues as:

  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Constipation
  • Eye inflammation
  • Hair 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)

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9 thoughts on “Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for Cats”

  1. Just take 1/8 tsp of MSM (sulphur) crystals (from ANY brand that uses the trade name/product of OptiMSM, I use MSMPure) and dissolve it in 10 droppers-full (from an empty and cleaned dropper bottle), of DISTILLED water. Distilled water is very important because sulphur helps all substances get into and out of cells. It’s a VERY good transporter…and you do NOT want to be transporting chlorine and other nasty molecules from tap water into the cells. Chlorine, for one, is toxic to cells. That TOTAL mixture is 500mg…so 2 droppers-full = 100mg.

    This way you can work up slowly to the 500mg. I plan on giving my cat 100 mg 2 times a day to start, along with some food or a treat just before or after. LATER, I will mix the mixture stronger, so that 2 dropper-fulls will equal 500 mg. The stuff is bitter! Ugh! I use it myself. But…I just tried it on my cat and she didn’t even fuss when I quickly sneaked the dropper into the back of her lips/throat with a little bit of a tilted head. I am going to trial it for my cat’s pain and arthritis. MSM works wonders for me on pain!! P.S. OptiMSM is THE purest sulphur. Many companies use it in their product. It should have NOTHING but MSM in it. I have no connection to any company…use whichever one you want…as long as it has OptiMSM which is third party tested I believe, and last I looked was the purest out there.

    • “…The stuff is bitter! Ugh! I use it myself. But…I just tried it on my cat and she didn’t even fuss….”

      Cats do not have the ability to taste bitterness, and MSM has no odor, so cats don’t have a way to detect MSM’s presence.

      If dosage is upped slowly enough I read that a body will be able to just eliminate the excess, whereas if too much is taken too quickly it will cause diarrhea. So there’s no benefit of giving an excess amount. It will just make more work for the cat’s body in having to get rid of it, or, risking becoming dehydrated & loosing nutrition due to diarrhea. Do NOT use nutrients like drugs! The body only needs so much MSM & will be stressed one way or another with more than that.

      My cats get just less than 1/32 teaspoon of dry powder MSM, 2x daily, added to their moist meals. Any more MSM than that & they get the runs. The smaller ones get a bit less than the larger ones (they are 9-11 lbs).

  2. Hi, I have 11 cats and 1 dog and i want to give them the MSM powder. I have read conflicing info on dosage and i wondered if you cold shed some light on it for me.

    I am putting it in their water, whcih is filtered first. I am currently putting in 1 teaspoon per 1 litre of water and. I have three 1 litre bowls around the house. Do you think this is okay and if not what should i be doing and what dose per litre of water should i be workihng up to please.

    Many thanks

    • Thanks for your comment Tania. As mentioned above, you want to give your cat 500mg for every 10lbs of body weight. I am not sure what the milligrams are of the powder you use.

    • Tania, MSM is is pretty bland. Why not try to mix it into their food? That way you can get a better handle on exactly how much they’re getting. Also, I’m taking MSM for myself. I noticed it caused nausea on an empty stomach but doesn’t when taken with food. MSM will probably be easier on cats with food as well I imagine.

      • MSM is bitter- I take it myself every day. I can’t imagine cats eating food with MSM in it. Do they really put up with the bitter (to them odd) taste?

      • As mentioned before, MSM *is* very bitter, but strangely, mixed with water there is no taste whatsoever. I take it daily. I’m considering giving it to my elderly cat. I’m going to mix some in maybe pudding or apple sauce for myself and see if that takes the bitterness away like water does, and if so, I’ll mix it into his food. Otherwise, I’ll put it in the water bowl.

    • I put MSM in my 5 cat’s food. Each cat may not need the same amount, & too much causes diarrhea . . . so I started with a low dose & slowly worked up (but not very far). They are between 8.5 & 11.5 lbs & none of them get more than 1/32 of a teaspoon 2x daily in their food.


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