Cats are notorious for hiding pain. It is a part of their nature, going back to the “jungle cat” mentality, where exhibiting any weakness in the wild would make them natural prey to other animals. It is, therefore, difficult to determine pain in cats because they are masters at hiding it! It is an astute pet owner that notices early symptoms such as not jumping on counters, not joining in the “fun” and indeed even going off their food. While it is the pet owner’s desire to help immediately – and answer the question “what can I give my cat for pain?” – the remedy is not easy.


Cats have very few options for safely controlling pain, and certainly at no time should human medications be shared with them without the expressed approval of a veterinarian. A cat’s makeup is very delicate and implication to the liver and kidneys is always a risk.


When a pet owner notices signs of pain in their animal, the first call needs to be to the veterinarian to discuss symptoms and potential treatment. Signs of pain can be related to much more than old age, or joint disease, and only a complete exam can help determine the cause and avoid missing potentially serious underlying issues.


NSAIDs are usually the first choice for assisting in pain management for felines, but regrettably, there are no long-term drugs that are FDA approved, making it difficult to provide relief. Certain NSAIDS are cleared for short-term use in cats, such as the pill Robenacoxib/Onsior, or the oral liquid drug Meloxicam. Opioids are often prescribed by the vet for severe discomfort and most usually given post-surgery, or for chronic conditions like arthritis or cancer, but as with all meds feline, a watchful eye is required. Controlling pain in cats is a difficult, almost impossible feat.


Pet owners often ask if they can give their cats Aspirin. The answer is “only if your vet agrees.” Cats do not have the liver enzymes to break down aspirin, and while it might provide short-term relief ( ¼ of a baby tablet given every 72 hours), the unintended side effects can be serious.


Veterinarians frequently prescribe the Assisi Loop for the control of pain in cats. The tPEMF (targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy) uses low levels of electromagnetic energy to relieve pain without the threat of side effects. When discussing your cat’s pain, ask about the Assisi Loop.