Data allowing rational use of analgesics in cats are limited. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of fentanyl were studied in cats. Plasma fentanyl concentrations were measured using radioimmunoassay in a crossover study in six cats after 10 μg/kg (i.v.) or by application of fentanyl in pluronic lecithin organogel (PLO) to the inner ear pinna. On a separate occasion thermal thresholds were measured after i.v. fentanyl (10 μg/kg) or saline. Plasma fentanyl concentrations reached 4.7–8.31 ng/mL 2 min after i.v. administration and were undetectable after 95 min. Fentanyl was not detected in plasma at any time after PLO use. Thermal thresholds did not change following saline administration but were increased above baseline from 5 to 110 min after i.v. fentanyl. In this model a plasma concentration of >1.07 ng/mL was required to provide analgesia. Plasma concentrations were measured in additional cats after intranasal or oral dosing (2 μg/kg) and after 30 μg/kg in PLO gel. After oral and nasal dosing, Cmax values were 0.96 and 1.48 ng/mL at 5 and 2 min, respectively. Plasma fentanyl was not detected after application of the higher dose of fentanyl in PLO.