Treat Cancer Pain In Cats

Cats that experience pain from cancer may be lethargic.

Cats with cancer often hide their pain well, though many animals do experience pain from cancerous tumors and related treatments. They may become lethargic, develop inappropriate urinary and bowel habits and eat less. You can help ease cancer pain in your cat by making home and lifestyle modifications and by talking to your veterinarian about medical treatments for pain to help maintain your pet’s quality of life as it goes through treatment. (See Reference 1)


1. Provide a comfortable and quiet place for your cat to rest. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can make your cat overly tired and weak. A soft bed in a quiet place where the cat can rest undisturbed can help it heal and keep pain to a minimum.

2. Feed your cat a nutrient-rich cat food and provide plenty of fresh water several times a day. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation for a cat food that will meet your pet’s dietary and medical needs.

3. Ask your veterinarian about prescribing prescription medications to help relieve your cat’s cancer pain. Veterinarians often prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to ease swelling and discomfort. Opioid painkillers such as codeine and morphine can help relieve moderate to severe pain. Fentanyl patches provide pain relief for up to 72 hours, and the medication is 75 times more potent than morphine, according to Gregory K. Ogilvie, DVM and director of the Angel Care Cancer Center at California Veterinary Specialists in San Marcos, California. Fentanyl patches cause less side effects than potent opioids. (See Reference 2)

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