The purpose of this study was to assess the clinical effects of dexmedetomidine, both alone and combined with pethidine or butorphanol, in cats. A prospective randomized blind study was performed. Thirty cats were randomly assigned to three groups of 10 animals: D: dexmedetomidine (20 μg/kg IM); DP: dexmedetomidine (10 μg/kg IM) and pethidine (2.5 mg/kg IM); DB: dexmedetomidine (10 μg/kg IM) and butorphanol (0.4 mg/kg IM). Quality of sedation, analgesia, muscle relaxation and the possibility of performing some clinical procedures were compared using a multifactorial scale. Sedation, analgesia and muscle relaxation increased progressively over time and did not differ in the three protocols. The three protocols facilitated the completion of several clinical procedures. The clinical variables studied showed a similar behaviour in the three protocols and remained close to the baseline, except for a drop in heart rate in protocol D. In conclusion, dexmedetomidine, either alone or combined with pethidine or butorphanol, offers suitable sedation, analgesia and relaxation to perform various clinical procedures in cats.