Osteoarthritis is a chronic, painful condition that is now recognised as affecting a large proportion of cats. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have proven efficacy in dogs and humans but there are limited published data on the use of NSAIDs in the long-term management of this condition in cats. This prospective study aimed to assess the long-term safety and palatability of oral meloxicam and its efficacy in treating osteoarthritic pain in cats when given at a dose of 0.01-0.03 mg/kg once daily. Forty cats diagnosed with osteoarthritis completed the trial with a mean treatment duration of 5.8 months. Gastrointestinal upset in 2/46 (4%) cats was the only adverse effect noted. No deleterious effect on renal function was detected in cats studied. Owners subjectively assessed treatment efficacy as good or excellent in 34/40 (85%) of cases. The results of this study showed oral meloxicam to be safe and palatable long-term treatment for osteoarthritis in cats when given with food at a dose of 0.01-0.03 mg/kg.