a cat lying comfortably on a bed

Surgery and acute musculoskeletal pain

Cats, just like people, experience short-term (acute) pain after surgery or an injury.

To keep this pain under control your vet has prescribed Metacam® oral suspension. Metacam® oral suspension is an easy-to-give liquid which helps control pain during recovery from surgery or an injury. It is important that you give Metacam® according to your vet’s advice.

If your cat has had a general anaesthetic then the after-effects (e.g. unsteadiness and drowsiness) normally wear off in 24 hours. If you have any concerns about your cat while he or she is recovering from surgery or an injury you should contact your vet for advice.

Cat sitting comfortably on a chair

Chronic pain and arthritis

Cats are natural athletes but over the years all that activity can take its toll.

According to veterinary experts, many older cats suffer from arthritis. Vets class all cats over the age of seven as ‘mature’, and as arthritis is more common in older cats, cats should have regular check-ups (at least once or twice per year) for signs of arthritis from the age of seven. In cats, the hips and elbows are the most commonly affected joints.

Because cats are relatively small and very agile they can hide and cover up mobility difficulties caused by arthritis. Unlike dogs, cats with arthritis don’t generally limp.

Instead, affected cats are more likely to show subtle changes in their lifestyle or behaviour. Because you know your cat best you are well placed to keep an eye out for the signs of this painful condition.

cat sitting on the stairs looking at the camera
cat sitting nervously under a bed


Change of temperament

cat sleeping in a cat bed


Sleeping more and stiff after waking

cat weary of jumping off a chair


Reduced jumping ability

cat looking weary on top of stairs


Difficulty with stairs

cat grooming it's back


Grooming less

cat turned away from it's litter box


Inappropriate toileting

Cat looking away from it's food bowl


Loss of appetite

Cat looking cosy cuddled up to it's owner
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Oral suspension with dosing syringe

Metacam®oral suspension can be added to food or given directly into your cat’s mouth, making it very easy to give. In fact, Metacam® oral suspension for cats has been awarded International Cat Care’s Easy to Give Award.

The Metacam® dosing syringe is used to accurately control the dose of Metacam® administration you give your cat. See below for oral suspension instructions.

three packaging boxes of metacam cat medicine

Metacam dosing for Cats

  1. Before administering Metacam® shake the bottle well. Remove the cap and attach the dosing syringe to the top of the bottle.
  2. Once the syringe is attached to the bottle you can turn both the bottle and syringe upside down. Pull the plunger out until the black line is aligned with your cat’s weight in kilograms.
  3. Then turn the bottle the right way up and twist to separate the syringe from the bottle.
  4. Push the plunger to empty the syringe onto your cat’s food. Alternatively, empty the syringe directly into their mouth.
  5. For small cats weighing less than 2 kg, the dropper on the bottle itself can be used. After shaking the bottle, simply turn it upside down, and without squeezing the bottle, allow the prescribed number of drops to fall onto your cat’s food.
dogs metacam application video thumbnail

Keep them at a healthy weight

  • As your cat can’t control what they eat and drink at home, make sure you keep them at a healthy weight to avoid extra strain on their joints.
  • If they have stiff or painful joints, they may not be able to lose weight through exercise, so less food is usually necessary.
  • Your vet can help you plan a weight reduction programme, if this is required.
  • When your cat is approaching the mature stage of their life (from 7 years old), speak with your vet about starting them on a life–stage appropriate diet. Your vet will be able to recommend a diet which is specifically designed to support your cat’s joints.
cat eating cat food from a bowl

Keep them comfortable

  • Ensure your cat has a soft, warm bed to rest on.
  • Let them use ramps instead of stairs where possible – you may even want to put in a ramp up to their favourite area, such as a windowsill.
  • Make sure they can get to their food and water easily.
  • Consider getting them a low-sided litter tray for easy access.
  • Make sure you groom them regularly, gently clean around their eyes and trim their claws, as they will find this difficult if they have stiff or painful joints.
cat cosy under duvet

Provide regular, gentle exercise

  • Regular, gentle exercise prevents joints from stiffening up so your cat can remain active.
  • Playing with them and giving them toys to encourage movement can help.
  • Your vet practice will be able to help with more suggestions.
cat climbing on a cat tree

Consider other therapies

  • Other therapies, such as acupuncture could be considered.
  • Your vet will be able to discuss which therapies will be most appropriate for your pet and where you will be able to find them locally.
a cat receiving acupuncture treatment

FAQ – Metacam® for cats

What is Metacam®?

Metacam® is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), which is a type of painkiller used for the treatment of arthritis, musculoskeletal or surgical pain in cats. Metacam® is the UK’s No. 1 medication for pain and inflammation in cats1. Therefore, it plays a vital role improving quality and enjoyment of life for cats with arthritis.

1 = MAT value, Kynetec Jun 2023

Where can I buy Metacam®?

Metacam® is only available with a prescription from your veterinary surgeon.

How does Metacam® work?

Metacam® works by relieving pain and inflammation (swelling) associated with arthritis, certain types of injury and surgical pain.

How is Metacam® given?

Metacam® oral suspension can be added to food or given directly into your cat’s mouth, making it very easy to give. Metacam® oral suspension for cats has even been awarded International Cat Care’s Easy to Give Award.

Always use the dose that your vet prescribes.

What is the dose of Metacam®?

Your vet will prescribe the dose required by your cat, so always follow their instructions carefully. If you have any questions relating to the dose of Metacam® please contact your veterinary practice directly.

What is the flavouring in Metacam®?

Metacam® oral suspension has a tasty honey flavour.

How long will my cat require treatment with Metacam®?

The use of Metacam® for the treatment of arthritis will generally be for the rest of your cat’s life. Treating arthritis will generally involve life-long therapy for your cat. Following surgery or an injury your cat will likely be prescribed a short course. Always follow your vet's instructions on how long the treatment should be given. Your vet will advise how long the treatment course needs to be following surgery or an injury.

What if I forget a dose of Metacam®?

If you forget a dose, do not give an extra dose or a larger dose; simply give your cat the usual dose at the next scheduled time. This may mean missing a daily dose.

Does Metacam® have any side effects?

Normally, cats tolerate Metacam® very well. If your cat becomes unwell or you are worried at all, you should contact your veterinary practice immediately. You should stop giving Metacam® until your vet advises that you can continue using it. This is because in some cases, Metacam® and other medicines like it can cause side effects, so your vet needs to ensure any changes that develop in your cat are not related to the medicine they are taking. Very rarely, side effects such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, blood in faeces, unusual tiredness or problems with the kidneys have been reported in cats receiving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These signs are very rare, but if you are concerned about your cat for any reason, please discontinue treatment and contact your vet for advice.

Will my vet need to see my cat regularly?

When Metacam® is being used for arthritis, as with any long-term medicine, your vet is likely to want to see your cat regularly to ensure they are in good health. The frequency of visits will depend on a number of things, such as whether your cat has any other illnesses and their age. Vets may recommend performing blood and/or urine tests to check your cat’s health status when they see them. When Metacam® is being used after surgery or for an injury, your vet will be able to tell you how often you will need to visit.

What sizes of Metacam® are available?

Metacam® oral suspension for cats is available in 3 ml, 15 ml and 30 ml bottles.

How long will a bottle of Metacam® oral suspension last my cat?

Size of cat (kg)

Metacam® oral suspension for cats bottle size

3 ml

15 ml

30 ml

Length of treatment at maintenance dose


Approx. days

Approx. weeks

Approx. weeks

























What if I accidentally give too much Metacam® or another pet eats the Metacam®?

If you think your cat has had too much Metacam® (an overdose), or another pet has taken it when it wasn’t prescribed for them, you should immediately contact your veterinary practice for advice. Tell the veterinary surgeon the full details of how much was ingested and when.

I have lost my Metacam® cat dosing syringe, how can I get a replacement one?

Your vet will be able to supply you with a new Metacam® cat dosing syringe; ask them to phone Boehringer Ingelheim to request additional dosing syringes.

Is there anything I can do to help support the health of my cat’s joints?

With some small changes to your cat’s lifestyle, you can help support the health of their joints. As your cat can’t control what they eat and drink themselves, make sure you keep them at a healthy weight to avoid extra strain on their joints. Regular, gentle exercise through playing with your cat can prevent their joints from stiffening up so they can remain active. Your vet may also suggest that you give your cat a joint health supplement, such as Seraquin®. This is a nutritional supplement containing glucosamine, chondroitin and curcumin; all of which help support the normal function of your cat’s joints.

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