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The effect of dietary long-chain omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on owner’s perception of behaviour and locomotion in cats with naturally occurring osteoarthritis


R. J. Corbee, Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 108, 3584CM Utrecht, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 30 253 19 29; Fax: + 31 251 81 26; E-mail:


The aim of this randomized, double-blinded, placebo–controlled, cross-over designed study was to demonstrate the clinical effect, registered by a survey, of a 10-week period of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation of the diet (1.53 g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 0.31 g DHA, both per 1000 kcal ME, equivalent to the complete diet) of 16 cats with radiologically documented, naturally occurring osteoarthritis (OA), in comparison with a 10-week period of supplementation with corn oil (0.00 g EPA and 0.00 g DHA, both per 1000 kcal ME). Cats on the fish oil revealed higher activity level (p = 0.07), more walking up and down the stairs (p = 0.07), less stiffness during gait (p = 0.03), more interaction with the owner (p = 0.07) and higher jumps (p = 0.03) compared to those on corn oil supplementation. In conclusion, supplementation of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids changes the owner’s perception of some aspects of behaviour and locomotion in cats with naturally occurring OA.