Metacam (Meloxicam) is a medication prescribed to treat various conditions in both dogs and cats. While the medication was originally approved for dogs only, Metacam in the injectable form has been recently approved by the FDA for use in cats as well.
Metacam is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It therefore reduces pain and inflammatory conditions in cats.
Metacam comes as a solution to be injected in cats as a one-time dose by veterinarians prior to surgery. However, an oral suspension may be available as well, but it is not currently approved for cats.
Cats undergoing orthopaedic surgery, ovariohysterectomy and castration may benefit from a one-time Metacam injection. In Europe, where the oral version of Metacam is approved for cats, it is mainly used for arthritis relief (see Resources).
After Metacam is injected, its effects are estimated to last a minimum of 24 hours. The maximum effect is generally felt after eight hours.
Regardless of the fact that the oral version of Metacam is not approved for cats, some vets may still prescribe it "off label." However, the medication has a narrow safety margin, and there have been various cases of cats developing serious side effects and even dying from the medication (see Resources).
Owners of cats prescribed the oral form of Metacam should carefully monitor their pet. A vet should be consulted immediately should the cat develop any of the following symptoms: vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, loss of appetite and behavioural changes.