Owner evaluation of quality of life and mobility in osteoarthritic cats treated with amantadine or placebo

Hilary Shipley, Kristi Flynn, Laura Tucker, Erin Wendt-Hornickle, Caroline F Baldo, Daniel Almeida, Sandra Allweiler, Alonso Guedes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to determine if amantadine improves owner-identified mobility impairment and quality of life associated with osteoarthritis in cats.

METHODS: Using a blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover design, 13 healthy client-owned cats with clinical and radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis and owner-identified mobility impairment were studied. Cats received 5 mg/kg amantadine or placebo q24h PO for 3 weeks each with no washout period in between. Locomotor activity was continuously assessed with a collar-mounted activity monitor system, and owners chose and rated two mobility-impaired activities using a client-specific outcome measures (CSOM) questionnaire on a weekly basis. Locomotor activity on the third treatment week was analyzed with two-tailed paired t-tests. The CSOM scores were analyzed using a mixed-effect model and the Bonferroni post-hoc test. Owner-perceived changes in quality of life were compared between treatments using the χ 2 test. Statistical significance was set at P <0.05.

RESULTS: Mean ± SD activity counts during the third week of each treatment were significantly lower with amantadine (240,537 ± 53,880) compared with placebo (326,032 ± 91,759). CSOM scores assigned by the owners were significantly better with amantadine on the second (3 ± 1) and third (3 ± 1) weeks compared with placebo (5 ± 2 and 5 ± 1, respectively). A significantly greater proportion of owners reported improvement in quality of life with amantadine compared with placebo.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Amantadine significantly decreased activity, but improved owner-identified impaired mobility and owner-perceived quality of life in cats with osteoarthritis. Amantadine appears to be an option for the symptomatic treatment of osteoarthritis in cats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-574
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Issue number6
Early online dateOct 28 2020
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Small Companion Animal Research Grants, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Degenerative joint disease
  • analgesia
  • chronic pain
  • musculoskeletal


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