5 Best Cat Arthritis Pain Medications of 2021

Guide to Cat Arthritis Pain Medications

Arthritis is a common problem for older cats. Medications are available to control the pain, but be aware that there can be serious side effects if you don’t administer them properly.

There are three major types of arthritis in cats

Degenerative joint disease, which most commonly affects hips and knees; osteoarthritis, which is associated with weight gain; and traumatic arthritis (inflammation caused by chronic or sudden trauma), such as hip dysplasia or ruptured cruciate ligaments.

Cat Arthritis Causes The exact causes of arthritis in cats are not completely understood, but factors seem to contribute to their development in cats.

These include heredity, being overweight, stress or injury to joints, and environmental factors such as cold weather.

Symptoms of Arthritis in Cats The most common symptoms of arthritis are

” Difficulty getting up after a nap or sleep, lameness in the leg(s) that is affected with arthritis. ” Decreased activity level.  Cats with arthritis often have difficulty jumping up onto high surfaces or climbing stairs.  A cat with significant arthritis may appear to be crippled by stiffness in his legs when rising from rest.  This is referred to as “stargazing”.  It can help to place an easy-to-reach scratching post next to the resting area where your cat likes to sleep. ” Joint pain or stiffness that can improve with exercise.  Exercise is very important for cats with arthritis.  It helps maintain normal muscle mass, which in turn can help support the joints and lessen pain.

” Decreased appetite or weight loss due to physical limitations caused by arthritis. ” Hiding, lack of desire to interact with family members, depression, irritability.

Arthritis Medication Options Deciding whether your cat needs medication depends on the severity of his symptoms and how they affect him at home.

If your cat struggles to get up from a prone position or becomes irritable when it’s time for his daily exercises, he may benefit from medication.  Many medications are available either as oral medications or as injectable formulations.

Best Cat Arthritis Pain Medications – FAQ

What can you give cats for arthritis pain?

There are a few different treatment options available for cats with arthritis:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Pain management medication.

Injectable joint protectants.


Cold laser therapy or photobiomodulation (PBMT).

What can I give my cat for arthritis pain over the counter?

Turmeric. Turmeric is one of the best natural pain relief forms for cats. It will not only naturally reduce inflammation, but it can calm symptoms caused by issues such as arthritis and cancer. Turmeric can also work to improve blood circulation and improve your cat’s liver function so they can stay healthy.

What painkillers can I give my cat?

Other Options
Opioids. These include codeine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, morphine, and tramadol and are used for severe discomfort.
Amitriptyline. An antidepressant in humans, it can help with nerve pain in cats.
Buprenorphine HCl.

How can I treat my cat’s arthritis at home?

For older cats, a heated bed or blanket or even a hot water bottle may provide relief from the pain and stiffness of arthritis. It may take some coaxing, but once your cat is acclimated to the heated bed, it should be a source of comfort. If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately.

What can I give my elderly cat for joint pain?

Living with an Arthritic Senior Cat
Joint supplements containing glucosamine and/or chondroitin can help some cats.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve pain from arthritis and other causes.

Adequan is an injectable product that can be used to help relieve arthritis pain and is effective for many cats.

What is the best anti-inflammatory for cats?

Only two NSAIDs are FDA-approved for cats: meloxicam (sold under several brand names) and robenacoxib (sold under the brand name ONSIOR).

How can I ease my cat’s pain?

Pain relief medications that can be used on cats include:
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Used to treat mild to moderate pain.

Used to treat cats with severe pain, for example:

What OTC meds are safe for cats?

Cranberry juice concentrate.
Hydrogen peroxide 3%

How do you reduce inflammation in cats?

How to lower your cat’s risk for inflammation
Minimize your cat’s consumption of highly processed meats and carbohydrates.

If they eat dry food, try gradually switching them to a wet or raw diet with high protein content.

Try supplementing their diet with omega-3 fatty acids using fish or krill oil.

How can you tell if a cat is suffering?

Behavior signs of a cat in pain
Reduced appetite.
Decreased interest in positive things like playing, social interaction, and exploring outside.
Being withdrawn and hiding away.
Appearing lame and experiencing increased sensitivity to touch in specific areas of their body.
Reduction in movement and activity.

What human medicine is safe for cats?

Other OTC antihistamines may also be effective for allergic reactions in pets, but Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin are most commonly recommended.
Be warned: Some pets will feel the sedating effects more than others, especially those who are also taking mood-altering drugs, certain pain relievers, and seizure medications.

Will a baby aspirin hurt a cat?

If you want to relieve pain in a cat, the dose is a little bigger (10-25 mg/kg), and the timing is perhaps more frequent (24-48 hours).
Aspirin in high doses gives cat hepatitis, gastric irritation, and respiratory problems.
Basically, giving a cat aspirin is very risky.

How can I help my old cat with arthritis?

How to Help Your Senior Cat Cope with Arthritis
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Take extra precautions when interacting with your senior cat.
Use heat to naturally soothe your kitty’s sore joints.
Use a joint health supplement to slow down joint deterioration.
Offer natural pain relief.

How Long Can cats live with arthritis?

Although there’s no cure for arthritis, by working closely with your vet, there are lots of ways you can control the symptoms and keep your cat comfortable.
With long-term management, most cats will have a good quality of life for many years, and for a lot of cats, well-controlled arthritis won’t shorten their lives.

Does fish oil help cats with arthritis?

Fish oil decreases the production of potent prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation in the joints. Arthritic dogs and cats given fish oil are more comfortable and agile than those not supplemented. Improves neurologic development and cognitive function.

When is it time to euthanize a cat with arthritis?

Persistent and incurable inability to eat, vomiting, signs of pain, distress or discomfort, or difficulty in breathing are all indications that euthanasia should be considered. You and your family know your cat better than anyone else, so try to make a reasoned judgment on the quality of life.

How quickly does gabapentin work for pain in cats?

Gabapentin takes effect quickly, typically within one to two hours, and improvement in clinical signs should soon follow.
The medication has a short half-life of about two to four hours.
The use of gabapentin to treat pain and seizures in feline patients is ‘extra label’ or ‘off label’.

What over counter anti-inflammatory is safe for cats?

What About NSAIDs That Are Made for Cats

Does CBD oil help cats with pain?

It has the potential to boost immune support, provide relief from chronic pain, assist with joint mobility, and provide anti-inflammatory support.
Plenty of anecdotal evidence demonstrates that cats benefit from CBD when regularly provided with the right dose.

Does catnip relieve pain in cats?

8 Medicinal Uses for Catnip