One reason we love cats is for their playful nature — you may adore watching your cats leap, pounce, and chase their toys. But cats might experience pain that can stop them from doing these things.
The good news is that veterinary scientists have developed a medication that can help. Solensia (frunevetmab) is an FDA-approved injectable medication that can help cats with chronic pain. Let’s discuss what Solensia is and what it could potentially cost you.
What Is Solensia for Cats?
Solensia is a medication developed by Zoetis and is the first of its kind. It can be used to help control pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) in cats and is given as a monthly injection at the veterinarian's office.¹
Solensia contains a sterilized chemical called frunevetmab.2 Frunevetmab is a type of anti-nerve regulating agent that binds to nerve growth factor (NGF) in cats and blocks their pain signals. The goal is to reduce pain and allow the cat’s body to better manage the effects of OA.
How Much Does Solensia Cost?
Since this is a newer product on the market, there isn’t reliable pricing available yet. But there are some things that can influence the cost like:
- Where you live
- The type of vet you see (clinics vs. hospital fees)
- The cost of labor of the vet
- The dosage your cat needs
Take a moment to shop around for a vet that fits your budget if your cat needs Solensia so you can save on monthly vet visits. Cat insurance may also help cover the cost of Solensia injections and other pain relief treatments.3
Pain Relief Doesn’t Have to Cost a Lot
What Is Osteoarthritis in Cats?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage — the smooth, flexible tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint.4 As the cartilage breaks down, the bones may rub against each other. This bone-to-bone friction can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
OA most commonly affects the feet, hips, knees, and spine in older cats. But keep in mind that OA can develop at any age, especially if there’s been a previous injury or trauma to the joint.4
How Do I Know My Cat Has Osteoarthritis and Needs Solensia?
A vet can formally diagnose your cat with OA, but there are signs you can look for. Symptoms of OA can include:4
- Decreased activity or reluctance to move
- Limping or stiffness
- Difficulty jumping or climbing
- Irritability or aggression, especially when touched
- Licking or chewing at joints
- Changes in grooming behavior
Pet parents who notice these symptoms may want to schedule an exam with their vet. Cats will likely need X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans to identify which joints are inflamed.
It may take several tests and exams before your vet can confidently create an arthritis treatment plan for your cat. OA is a progressive disease that can’t be cured, but is typically managed with a combination of medications (that could include Solensia) and physical therapies.
What Should I Expect When My Cat Uses Solensia?
If your vet prescribes Solensia, it might be because other pain management methods haven’t worked for your cat. You may see results quickly, with noticeable increased mobility after one treatment. In fact, over 77% of cat owners whose pets were given Solensia saw improvement in mobility after one injection compared to cats who received a placebo.1 If your cat hasn’t been able to move around or play like they used to, Solensia may help them get back to life with decreased pain.
However, unlike insulin injections , you can’t administer the Solensia injections at home. Pet parents will have to visit the vet monthly for the medication to be administered.
Are There Any Side Effects for Cats Taking Solensia?
Like any medication, there are some side effects your cat may experience. Commonly reported Solensia side effects can include:2
- Pain and redness at the injection site
Speak with your vet if these symptoms persist for more than 3 days or get worse. Severe allergic reactions, like anaphylaxis, to Solensia are rare.1,2 If your cat is showing signs of distress, it may be a good idea to take them to an emergency clinic for evaluation.
Cats who are allergic to frunevetmab and cats who are breeding, pregnant, or lactating are advised to seek other medication.2
Does Your Cat Need Solensia? MetLife Pet Can Help
As cats age, moving around can become difficult or even painful. Solensia is a medication that could provide a better quality of life for cats with OA. To help make Solensia more affordable, consider investing in cat insurance with MetLife Pet.3
1 “Solensia (Overview),” Zoetis
2 “Solensia Prescription Information (PDF),” Zoetis
3 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC. “Osteoarthritis in Cats: More Common Than You Think,” Federal Drug Administration
4 “Osteoarthritis in Cats: More Common Than You Think,” Federal Drug Administration
Coverage underwritten and issued by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 or Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations. Application is subject to underwriting review. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC for details. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator for this coverage. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).