Meloxidyl for Cats?

My new vet prescribed the Meloxidyl oral suspension for my 16-year-old cat who he diagnosed with arthritis. The info he gave me and other info I’ve found online is very confusing to me. So I came here to ask other cat owners about it.

What do you think of it? What do you know about it? According to a couple of websites it is approved for cats in almost every country except the US (they didn’t say why). The US sites say it can cause acute renal failure and death in cats.

So why does the rest of the world approve it, and why did this vet prescribe it, and why, after one dose, did my cat apparently feel better and eat such a big breakfast this morning?

She has been hobbling a little on a few mornings, which is one reason we went to the vet in the first place.

Cats are particularly susceptible to many NSAID and pain therapeutics.

Toxicity is in , for the most part, the dose. But genetic or species specific genetic differences can influence how drugs are processed ( cleared, converted etc)

That said the FDA is clear that they do not approve for oral repeat dose.

Personally I would be fairly cautious and would hold off giving this drug by rote. How is your friend going to be monitored? Has it been suggested that renal function testing been done. A kitty , at 16 yo, should be considered to be renal impaired just by virtue of their age. For kidney values to show up in blood work means there is already significant function loss before those blood levels show up altered. Personally I would heed the FDA®%20Oral%20Suspension%20is,in%20an%20extra-label%20manner.


Thank you for the link and your reply. I was astonished that this vet did not do the bloodwork I had requested. Our previous vet started doing annual blood work when my kitty turned 15; this vet said he does not like to do blood work on a senior animal the same day he does the rabies vaccination as it is too stressful for the animal. (This after he had scraped the tarter off her back teeth!).
I only picked him because he is the only vet in town who was letting owners enter the building with their pets; and that policy had changed by the time we got there.

I appreciate your info about the dosage effects of Meloxidyll. I had not planned to give it unless needed. They told me over the phone that they would do a urinalysis as well as blood work; when we got there they said they would not.

I think I am going to try to find another vet!


My situation is a little different than yours but our vet prescribed meloxicam for our senior kitty who was just diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma. She is healthy otherwise, blood and urine tests all WNL, but is uncomfortable due to the large infected lump on her jaw. The thinking behind prescribing these controversial NSAIDs is undoubtedly that the cancer will kill her (or we will euthanize) before the renal failure does. She is also on gabapentin. In her case, these are end-of-life drugs, so no concerns about potential side effects.

In your situation, it does seem a little excessive to prescribe that just for arthritis… I would absolutely get a second opinion and explore alternatives to managing that kind of pain.

1 Like

yes this is a reasonable use Sadly there is little to be done for your friend but to keep her comfortable.

1 Like

I think you have little choice but to find a new vet. The idea of a vaccine + blood draw = stress is twaddle. There is nothing immediately stressful for a vaccine and I suspect this vet has a questionable skill set. I work in vet clinical for 20 years and the last in feline only internal medicine practice and blood draws are a key and vital part of care. Personally I would never vaccinate an animal that is having pain or ambulation issues , some cats get injection site pain and the blahs. Furthermore, movement issues in an elderly cat can be a sign of electrolyte imbalance that can be due to renal dysfunction. For a Super Geri like your friend twice a year blood is not unreasonable <3

1 Like

I asked the vet about not vaccinating an older cat but in my new apartment building we not only have to show proof of vaccination when we move in, the manager keeps the proof on file and “reminds” us when the vaccination expires. This is the same manager who told me before we moved in that they provided transport to vets; after we were here they said they did not.

I am going to try to find another vet to get her blood draw sometime before Christmas. There isn’t much choice in this small town – just 4 clinics – and I only picked the one I picked because they were allowing owners to come in with their animals. Then they “had” to stop doing that. I was hoping to put off her vaccinations until the covid restrictions were lifted but who knows when that will happen?

I miss the vet we had before we moved! :cry:

1 Like

There is one “alternative” vet not too far from here. He does acupuncture but I don’t know what other alternative treatments he offers; he also does traditional “medical” veterinary treatments. I thought about CBD oil, for my kitty and for myself, but my pharmacist recommended against it for both of us.

managing elderly cats is challenging. This is not the time to concern about vaccines, I agree. I too live in an apartment complex that requires for all animals years. I pointed out to the management that my state is a three year state and the dictate comes from the national office, which is located in a 1 year state. Needless to say I did not booster the vaccine yearly. I think blood work is the way to start making sure any locomotion issue is not metabolic, which it can be with kitties. True arthritis in cats is not that common. Sorry your Pharmacist recommended against CBD ( I use it occasional and I like it) < though if you are on RX medications for managing disease and conditions, there is little research about co-use and I would avoid it as well.

It might be helpful, if your kitty starts showing locomotion issues, that you get a video. When they are at the vet, unless it is a severe lameness, those issues can disappear ( adrenaline)

and not to open a can of worms, ask them about the possibility of Toxo. In elderly kitties this condition, which has been there all along, can flair up as immune systems weaken and cause brain and vision dysfunctions that can show multiple signs.

I wish my old boss ( feline internal medicine) was still practicing and near you.

1 Like

Thank you, hoopoe.

We went to a different vet today for blood work and a urinalysis. I did not want to wait another year for blood work.
This vet and I talked about Meloxidyl and she prescribed .2 ml once a day (the other vet said to give by body weight, a much larger dose). We also talked about the effect of NSAIDS on the liver and stomach, and I thought about my own liver and stomach and I would rather risk that than be in pain – but I’m making the decision for myself. Huge responsibility to make it for my cat! But I don’t want her to have any pain or even discomfort.

FWIW, if it’s any comfort, Metacam (same drug IIRC) is one that I keep in my “home pharmacy” on my very good vet’s advice. We go by weight and if I ever give it without her prior knowledge, I call to let her know why and book an appointment if it’s not for something like a vaccine reaction. For instance, old guy got the crap beat out of him a year or two ago and needed to see the vet for various punctures, but it was not a 10pm emergency, so he got Metacam by weight to ease his discomfort over night and then got his antibiotic shot at the vet next day and a recommendation for how many additional days to dose with Metacam.

Always remember to give it with a meal or snack!

1 Like

Thank you, sascha. I am sorry your old guy got beat up but I’m glad you had something to give him! I wish I could give this to my girl only as needed but I don’t know if I’d always know when she needs it. I take ibuprofen or acetaminophen only when I need them but that pretty much works out to at least 1 a day anyway.

As far as arthritis, the vet said that the fact that my cat obviously can groom herself all over means she isn’t in any or much discomfort. Apparently an ill-kept coat is a sign that the cat just can’t reach everywhere anymore.
But sometimes I ask myself whether it’s worse to be in pain or feel sick to my stomach from pain meds.

any chance that a medication might interfere with a cats eating, I yield to eating.

Cats can too quickly get into issues with their liver and eating regular is vital.

Usually with a chronic medication you get to know the schedule they can support. Keep notes and see if every other day 2 on 1 off, whatever, is what is the best balance. Less of any medication is always best. For our old friends it is always a fine balance


Another thought on long term arthritis treatment is Cartrophen (Adequan for the small people). The crap beat out of him was our first sign that old guy wasn’t as fast or able as he used to be. He was still grooming himself and the rest of the herd at that time. Cartrophen has seemed to help a few of my old guys over the years.

And then there’s also the try it because it can’t hurt - B12 injections. Super easy to give and it helps with appetite for sure … and this may sound cray cray but I have one whose heart murmur resolved on B12.

Anyway, a few things to ask when you get in to see new vet. Good luck!


Thank you! :slight_smile:
I did think about Adequan after the first vet visit (I didn’t realize it had a different name for the small ones. Thanks). I didn’t think about it at the second vet visit because I was just too stressed out with the crowd in the parking lot, and distracted. I should have put it on my listof questions.
The B-12 remark is interesting. My neighbor gets one of those once a week I think, as did my mother at the same age (ca 80s). But that would still mean a vet visit.

After one .2 ml dose this morning with breakfast I haven’t seen any difference. She is still getting around fine, still sleeping a lot, still eating well. …

1 Like

If you can needle a horse, you can give B12 shots to a cat. The dose is crazy small and goes under the skin. Once a month I draw up 4 (I have 4 on it right now) insulin syringes of B12, get dinner ready, and then inject them as they start eating their dinner. They mostly don’t even notice. Super easy. You might even be able to get it from a phone consultation with your vet. Same with the Cartrophen. It is also a very small dose that goes under the skin. They do tend to feel that a little, but more like a very brief “WTH? Some bug just bit me!” than any real complaint. I also give that during a meal so it’s just a bug bite during dinner rather than a production that they might get wise to :wink:

1 Like