2024 ISFM and AAFP consensus guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats

summary of:
2024 ISFM and AAFP consensus guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats
Cat sitting on owner's lap
Taylor, S., Gruen, M., KuKanich, K., Lascelles, B.D.X., Monteiro, B.P., Sampietro, L.R., Robertson, S. and Steagall, P.V.
Published in:
April 2024
Type of access:

Open access

In our edition of: Jun 2024
In our categories of: small animals

our summary:

Taylor, S. et al. (2024) 2024 ISFM and AAFP consensus guidelines on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 26 (4).

The aim of these consensus guidelines is to provide veterinary practitioners with information on the appropriate use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the management of chronic pain in cats. They are based on the available literature, and the opinions and experiences of a panel of experts brought together by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). None of the authors received any financial support for the authorship or publication of these guidelines

The guidelines include discussions on the mechanism of action of NSAIDs and their use in cats, including indications for long-term use for feline lower urinary tract disease/feline idiopathic cystitis, dental disease and neoplasia; as well as in the management of chronic pain. There are also sections discussing the assessment of chronic pain including physical examination, behavioural signs and indicators for chronic pain; long-term NSAID therapy and monitoring; NSAIDs and comorbidities; adverse effects and contraindications; alternatives to NSAIDs, and cat-friendly techniques to reduce chronic pain.

The section on practical long-term NSAID therapy includes discussion on patient assessment, with a suggested screening protocol provided, and the importance of supporting caregivers in medicating cats is emphasised. The guidelines include specific recommendations on the use of NSAIDs in cats with chronic kidney diseases and for long-term NSAID therapy after surgery.

Supplementary material includes a range of resources to support caring for cats with chronic pain including ‘Changes to the home environment for cats with muscle/joint pain or mobility problems’ and ‘Encouraging your cat to drink’

Limitations of the guidelines include the lack of an explicit statement of the methodology used to compile the guidelines or any explicit grading of the published evidence. The guidelines would also benefit from clearer signposting of the recommendations.

Take Home

These consensus guidelines provide practitioners with an overview of current knowledge on the long-term use of NSAIDs in cats as well as a range of supporting material for clients. The guidelines emphasise the importance of a multi-modal approach, use of validated tools to assess chronic pain and of the inclusion of the caregiver as part of the team.

The following may also be of interest:

inFOCUS: 2022 AAHA Pain Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats [RCVS Knowledge] [online] Available from: https://infocus.rcvsknowledge.org/jc_2022-aaha-pain-management-guidelines-for-dogs-and-cats-2/ [Accessed 24 June 2024]

inFOCUS: 2022 ISFM Consensus Guidelines on the Management of Acute Pain in Cats [RCVS Knowledge] [online] Available from: https://infocus.rcvsknowledge.org/2022-isfm-consensus-guidelines-on-the-management-of-acute-pain-in-cats/ [accessed 24 June 2024]

inFOCUS: Chronic pain in cats: Recent advances in clinical assessment [RCVS Knowledge] [online] Available from: https://infocus.rcvsknowledge.org/chronic-pain-in-cats-recent-advances-in-clinical-assessment/ [accessed 24 June 2024]

Claiming CPD for reading inFOCUS articles

Reading and reflecting on articles can count towards your CPD, and we have a template to help you with the process.

Image copyright attribute: serezniy

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.