Cats, Pain and Metacam....

This forum is for cat lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your cat.


I get cuddles- 'on tap'......
Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 5:55am PST 
Dear Ones....Hi..Hallo.....it is me, Janet, here....the Meouwmy of four cats, including the Auntie Miss Lillie......and I would like to talk to you about two aspects relating to the pain that cats can experience....and ask you to write to me about your own experiences with your cats in this regard...

Here we go....

Miss Lillie is about 12 years old...a dear old, loveable old kittyperson....she adores the humans of her family and the other cats of her family....she is a wonderful old soul....

Lillie has, over the years, been getting into worse and worse pain because of arthritis....I have been giving her 'Cosequin' for some time to try to ease it...but the poor little thing has been getting worse and worse...she started walking like a 'tin soldier' some time ago....and then...(now this is at the heart of both things I want to talk to you about)...she pulled out most of the fur on her back end...I suppose, more or less, from the middle of her tummy to the end of her tail she was bald.....

I took her to vets two, three times....'Flea allergy, Flea allergy' they kept saying...and I did what they told me and Miss Lillie's fur still did not grow back.....THEY WOULD NOT BELIEVE ME that her fur-pulling was a 'displacement activity' because she was in pain.....and I felt that they must know more than me, so I shut up....

Eventually, I decided that I would have to put her on Metacam because she was in so much pain....(and, meanwhile, I was STILL trying to get rid of the 'so-say flea allergy' in order to try to make her fur grow)....

I had her kidney's tested...they were functioning well...and onto the Metacam she went.....!! What? a month? two months? ago.....and now I have actually seen her stretch...!! Something she never dared do before...AND ALSO....BUGGER ME....HER FUR HAS GROWN BACK.....!! She is as beautiful as she always was (although some of the fur is ginger...well, who cares?)

SO...two things:

(1) On the top of my Catster page, here, is a notice saying 'Catster Tips' about Cats and Pain...by Janea Kelley...it is really good and helpful (I always read her articles) BUT...Janea...I THINK you missed out one pointer to their pain (although my vets would not agree with me)....'pulling fur out as a 'displacement activity''.....

Has anyone come across this 'displacement activity' before? Please write?

(2) Metacam....yea, it is freaky, frightening and horrible....but I THINK it is not as terrifying as it has been made out....ESPECIALLY NOT FOR SHORT TERM USE.....provided your cat has healthy, functioning kidneys there is no problem....for short term use....

I had Auntie Miss Lillie's kidney function tested before I put her on Metacam... (her kidneys are well and happy...!!) and I am keeping her on as low a dose as possible.....she still walks like a 'tin soldier'...but she stretches - a little....and her fur has all grown back.....and she is a happy little creature and licks and kitty-kisses everyone (especially Jim)....

Her life-span will probably be shortened by the Metacam (kidney function)...but...so what? Her quality of life has improved dramatically....'short-and-sweet' or 'long -and-painful'.....what would YOU CHOSE...?

Please write.....

Miss Maxi

Always a- pleasure, never- a chore.
Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 8:25am PST 
Dear Jan, I have no experience (yet!) of my own cat, Miss Maxi, needing Metacam, but my sister and brother-in-law's cat lived well on Metacam for some 6-7 years - he eventually died of old age at around 18 years old.
I am also not able to confirm the 'displacement' behaviour, but understand that the vet would first assume it was a flea allergy - one year Miss Maxi had a severe outbreak of fleas, and over-preened her back until it was bald, but I could tell it was a flea issue due to all the 'flea dirt' in that area. For this, Frontline worked at that time, but this is probably not relevant to you as flea's are not the issue, but I understand why the vet may have reached that assumption first.
I think you have done the right thing having her kidney function tested, and putting her on Metacam - if it means she has her full coat now, and can stretch a little further than she used to, then I think we have to choose 'quality of life' over 'quantity.
With love wave
Miss Maxi and Miss Hannah

Miss Maxi

Always a- pleasure, never- a chore.
Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 9:05am PST 
I came across this useful link recently...
I hope this is of some use to you,
With love,
Hannah and Miss Maxi


Mrs Foodie
Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 10:18am PST 
My Rescue female rogue also pulls out her fur around her back in relation to pain, and we discovered it was because of a cist under her leg,all of our kitties are regularly treated with frontline and the is not a single flea apon her fur,she never displayed any ohter sypmtoms, she ate well, played socialised etc but when she started pulling at her fur i noticed the cyst hidden under her leg. Hope you are all well now, ive had to use metacam on two occasions on cats under a year olds, but i limited it to a few doses so cannot comment on long term, the only thing i can say is that if it is improving the quality of life then i see no other option, you want your kity to be happy, and sometimes, risks dont always matter as MUCH when it comes to giving your cat comfort and mobility. Hope you are both well. Roguey Puss, Batfink, Gizzy xxx


I will- survive!!!
Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 12:55pm PST 
Hi Jan, well all I can say is that I have 4 cats and they have all been on Metacam at various stages throughout their lives, and there have never been any ill-effects with any of them. My oldest cat is 16 years old now, and despite being a natural fighter, who was always getting abscesses and needing pain relief (Metacam) when he was younger, he is doing pretty well now despite his age. His big brother passed away in February (aged 18) and his kidney function was checked as normal just a week before he died from a sudden heart attack. He had also been given his fair share of Metacam over the previous years. I trust my Vet implicitly - if she prescribes Metacam I will always go with her choice and judgement. I'm sure all will be fine. And I agree that quality is always better than quantity!

As for the "displacement activity" - I've never come across it myself, but I do not discount that it may be possible.

Love from Rose, Princess Liljana and her brotherssmile

Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
Purred: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:46pm PST 
This is Delyte. Jan and Miss Lillie know me and my experiences with fur pulling, which might be similar to Miss Lillie, as I have arthritis too. I had pretty much denuded my back and legs last year. I had no fleas or flea dirt on me. I can't tolerate most kinds of oral medications, so I haven't been able to take anything for my arthritis, and my person feels badly that she can't help me with my pain.

But for some unknown reason I stopped pulling the fur out, and it has all grown back. I am not as nice and glossy as I was before, but everything is covered. We have no idea why that happened. I am still stiff, although I am not as stiff as Miss Lillie, but I am five years older than she is.

We kitties are mysterious creatures, and vets do not know everything there is about us! And when something happens to an animal or a person, there is usually more than ONE answer!

Giant purrs to Miss Lillie, Colin, Jimmy and all of her family from all of us! wave


I get cuddles- 'on tap'......
Purred: Thu Sep 20, '12 9:58am PST 
Hallo.....Hi.....It's Janet again, on behalf of Miss Lillie.....thank you so much for your responses, but I got a bit confused, especially after Shelley and Delyte wrote and Shelley said that Delyte's fur grew back....but just grew back, ANYWAY....and not to do with taking metacam....!! So I thought I would just wait and see what happened (if anything) re: Lil's fur.....before I replied to you all.....

So I am replying now....AND she has started taking her fur out again...!! Is it because I am only giving her a very small dose of metacam each day now and she needs more(to stop the 'displacement activity)? Or is it because she has the fleas? I de-flea-ed her this morning and I am going to watch her carefully, for, indeed, I do not WANT to give her a higher dose of metacam each day, if I can help it.....(sigh)...

(Dear Shelley and Delyte, I think of you everyday - I did write a little while ago, but perhaps you don't want to write any more? If you do....give me your telephone number again, please?)