The ability of two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to modify the clinical manifestations of pain associated with locomotor disease was assessed. Sixty-nine cats with acute or chronic locomotor disorders were recruited from 14 first opinion UK veterinary practices and randomly allocated to one of two treatment groups. Group A received meloxicam drops (0.3 mg/kg orally on day 1 followed by 0.1 mg/kg daily for four more consecutive days) and group B received ketoprofen tablets (1.0 mg/kg orally once daily for five days). Each cat underwent a full clinical examination before treatment, 24 hours after initiation of treatment and 24 hours after completion of treatment. General clinical parameters (demeanour and feed intake) and specific locomotor parameters (weightbearing, lameness, local inflammation and pain on palpation) were scored using a discontinuous scale scoring system. The two groups did not differ in terms of age, weight, gender distribution or duration of clinical signs; nor did they differ in terms of general clinical or specific locomotor scores pretreatment. Both treatment regimens resulted in a significant improvement in demeanour, feed intake and weightbearing, and a significant reduction in lameness, pain on palpation and inflammation. No significant difference was observed between the two treatment groups with respect to any of the parameters measured and both treatments were associated with minimal observed side effects. Meloxicam and ketoprofen were found to be effective analgesics and well tolerated in cats with acute or chronic locomotor disorders when administered for short-term treatment (five days) in such cases. However, meloxicam was assessed to be significantly more palatable than ketoprofen.