September 06, 2023 | Cat

What is Metacam for cats?

Metacam is an incredibly useful medication that most pet owners at some point will use in order to help treat their pets. Many people will have heard of this particular medication, but not many people will know what it is that they do, and how they help your cat. In this article, we will explore what Metacam is and how it can help to treat different conditions in cats.

What is Metacam for cats used for?

Metacam is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, which is often shortened to NSAID. Primarily, Metacam is used to reduce pain and inflammation in cats. It is usually prescribed to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis and pain felt after surgery. It can also be used to manage pain associated with chronic conditions such as cancer. It should be noted that Metacam should only be used under the guidance and supervision of a vet.

Can Metacam for cats have any side effects?

The most common side effect of Metacam usage in cats is an upset stomach. This can lead to vomiting or diarrhoea. Other possible side effects include decreased appetite, weight loss, and dehydration. Some cats may also experience changes in behaviour including restlessness and drowsiness. It is important to point out that in rare cases, in cases of long-term use, or for those using high doses of Metacam, side effects can be more serious and can include liver or kidney damage, or bleeding disorders.

What dosages is Metacam for cats available in?

You can purchase Metacam for cats online from UK Pets. The strength that this Metacam will come in is 0.5mg/ml. The Metacam you purchase for your cats comes in liquid form, so the strength is 0.5mg of medication per millilitre of liquid. You can purchase different bottle sizes of Metacam that contain different volumes of liquid ranging from 3ml to 30ml. 

What form does Metacam for cats come in?

The most common form of Metacam that will be prescribed for your pets is liquid. Whilst there may be other forms of the medication, the liquid is the most common and often the easiest for pet owners to use. The oral suspension version of the medication is easy to use and does not require you to mess around with any fiddly tablets. 

Is Metacam for cats suitable for short-term usage?

Metacam is generally considered to be safe for short-term usage in cats provided that it is used at the appropriate dosage and under the appropriate guidance of a veterinarian. Metacam is typically used to manage pain and inflammation associated with acute injuries or surgeries and this can be short-term relief. Metacam can only be used by those that have a valid prescription.

Is Metacam for cats suitable for long-term usage?

In some cases, cats could require long-term use of Metacam in order to effectively manage chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis. In these cases, a vet will closely monitor your cat's response to the medication and may adjust the dosage as they see fit. You must follow the vet's instructions for administering Metacam and you should ensure to report any changes in your cat's health or behaviour.

How do cats show that they're in pain?

Unfortunately, cats cannot vocalise to us when they are in pain. When we feel pain we can just say so and get ourselves treated, for cats, they do not understand why they may be feeling pain, and may just accept it. There are some signs you can look out for when you think your cat may be experiencing pain, these include:

  • Posture changes - Cats in pain will often hold their posture differently

  • Changes in grooming habits - Cats that are in pain may stop grooming themselves and can appear more dishevelled

  • Changes in eating habits - Cats that are suffering from pain may be more reluctant to eat

  • Changes in litter habits - Cats suffering from pain may change where they go to the toilet

Could my cat be in pain if they seem reluctant to move around?

Yes, a cat that seems more reluctant to move around can be experiencing pain. Pain can affect a cat's mobility which can make them less willing to engage in activities that they previously would do including jumping, climbing or playing. If a cat is in pain it may also find it difficult to get up, climb stairs, or jump onto furniture.

Could my cat be in pain if there's been a change in their appetite?

Changes to your cat's appetite and eating habits can be a sign of pain, but could also be a sign of other conditions and should be noted. Cats in pain may lose their appetite, which can lead to weight loss and muscle wasting. Pain caused by dental problems, mouth pain, or pain associated with the jaw can also make it difficult for cats to eat. It should also be noted that cats experiencing gastrointestinal pain or nausea may not feel like eating.

Could my cat be in pain if they're grumpier than usual?

Cats suffering from pain can become more aggressive and irritable, which could seem to as them being grumpy. Pain can cause changes in a cat's behaviour which can make them more irritable, short-tempered, or unresponsive to affection. If a cat is being handled or petted in areas where they're feeling pain then they may react aggressively. Always remember, other factors such as stress, changes in the environment or routine, or other medical conditions can also lead to a cat being grumpier than usual.

Feline Arthritis

How does Metacam help cats suffering from feline arthritis?

When a cat has arthritis the joints will become inflamed and the cartilage that cushions the joints gradually wears away. The bones in the joint will rub up against each other which will cause pain and further damage to the body. Metacam works by reducing the production of inflammatory molecules in the body and by blocking the action of specific enzymes that contribute to inflammation, this helps to treat the symptoms of arthritis.

What are the signs of arthritis in my cat?

Again, it is hard for a cat to vocalise when they are suffering from any chronic pain conditions including arthritis. There are some signs that you can keep an eye out for that could be signals of arthritis in your cats. Firstly, it is important to note that arthritis is most common in older cats, so if you have a relatively young cat, the chances of them having arthritis are low, not zero, but low. The signs of arthritis you can spot are similar to the signs of your cat experiencing pain, however, they more than likely are struggling with mobility and stiffness the most.

Is reduced mobility in your cat a sign of feline arthritis?

Reduced mobility in a cat is a typical sign of feline arthritis.  Cats with arthritis may have difficulty jumping, climbing and running, They may also develop a distinctive "bunny hop". When they run they may lift their hind legs, much the same as a bunny hop motion. They may also have difficulty getting up from a resting position or climbing stairs. It’s important to remember that reduced mobility can also be caused by other conditions including obesity, other joint diseases, and other forms of chronic pain.

Is a change in your cat's grooming habits a sign of feline arthritis?

A cat that is suffering from feline arthritis may change their grooming habits due to their condition. If a cat is suffering from joint pain caused by inflammation then they are less mobile and may find it harder to groom themselves as they normally would. If your cat appears to be not as groomed as they used to be this could be because they are struggling to tend to themselves.

Is a change in a cat's temperament a sign of feline arthritis?

When a cat is suffering from pain or discomfort it is only natural that their temperament would change. Cats that are suffering from feline arthritis may become more aggressive, anxious, or timid. It depends on the severity of the pain they are feeling, where they are feeling their pain, or their temperament before they started showing signs of pain.

What are the common causes of arthritis in my cat?

There are many reasons why a cat may contract arthritis. Some of the main causes of arthritis in cats include:

  • Age - Arthritis is most commonly caused by old age.

  • Injury - Cats that have suffered injuries to their joints may have a higher risk of getting arthritis.

  • Obesity - Obese cats have added stress on their joints which can lead to the development of arthritis.

  • Congenital conditions - Some cats are born with joint structures that increase the risk of arthritis.

  • Bacterial and fungal infections - Bacterial and fungal infections can lead to joint inflammation and arthritis.

When should I see a vet about arthritis in my cat?

You should take your cat to see a vet when you begin to notice any of the signs of arthritis for a sustained period of time. If your cat is limping or if they seem stiff for a short period of time then this may be down to other causes. You could use an online vet, such as those at PocketVet, to discuss your cat's condition to determine what the best course of action could be. 

What questions will a vet ask me about osteoarthritis in my cat?

Being prepared for what your vet may ask you before you visit them is always a good idea as it gives them all of the information they need to correctly diagnose and treat their condition. Some questions that your vet may ask you when you take your cat to see them include:

  • How long have you noticed your cat’s symptoms?

  • Have you noticed any changes in your cat’s behaviour?

  • Has your cat lost any weight recently? (They will usually weigh them but could ask prior to doing so)

  • Has your cat ever had a joint-based injury?

  • How much exercise does your cat usually get?

  • Has your cat displayed any signs of pain and if so what are they?


Who is Metacam for cats manufactured by?

Metacam is manufactured by German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim. Boehringer Ingelheim produces other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pets including Rimadyl and Dermamaxx. 

Who are Boehringer Ingelheim?

Boehringer Ingelheim is a global pharmaceutical company based in Ingelheim, Germany. They are well known for producing a variety of prescription-only and over-the-counter medications for both animals and humans. In addition to its headquarters in Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operate in more than 150 countries around the world. 

FAQs about Metacam for Cats

Can Metacam be given to cats with their food?

Yes, Metacam can be given to cats by mixing it into their food. Mixing the medication in with your cat's food will help to ensure that they have their full dose, as long as they eat all of their food. Giving oral suspension medications to your cat can be difficult, especially if they are not keen on swallowing liquid without food. This is why having the ability to mix it with food is good. 

How quickly does Metacam for cats take effect?

Typically it will take around 24 hours before your cat starts to feel proper relief from Metacam. Whilst some cats may show signs of improvement a few hours after their first dosage, they will not see the full pain-relieving effects of Metacam until around 24 hours after. The effect will usually last for between 24 and 48 hours which is why it is generally administered on a daily basis. 

How often should Metacam for cats be given to your cat?

The frequency at which Metacam is administered to cats will depend on their individual condition and what your vet recommends. Generally, Metacam is given to cats that need it once a day, this is because the effects of the medication will usually last for around 24-48 hours.

Is Metacam not suitable for any cats?

Generally, Metacam is considered to be safe for the majority of cats however, there are situations in which Metacam would not be considered to be the best treatment for your pet. Cats that are known for having bleeding disorders, or cats that have had an allergic reaction to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs previously will not be given Metacam as it is considered to be a risk. 

Is it safe to give Metacam for cats to my cat if they take other medications?

It is generally safe to give Metacam to your cat if they are using other medications. You should always disclose to your vet what medications that your cat is taking, although they should be able to see from their medical history and should be able to make a decision based on that. Sometimes, your cat may not be suitable for Metacam if they are using blood-thinning medications including aspirin and warfarin, or if they are using medications that are to treat conditions relating to the liver or the kidneys. 

Where can you buy Metacam for cats?

You can purchase Metacam for cats online from UK Pets. You will require a prescription from your vet in order to purchase your medication. 


Medically reviewed by:

Miss Joy Sarah Helen Howell

DipAVN(Surgical) RVN EA SQP