Cats are infamous for hiding things (and their feelings). Recognizing and identifying signs of discomfort and pain in your cat can be quite an uphill battle to fellow cat parents alike.
For centuries and centuries, wild felines have masked and hidden their pain and distress, to keep predators from seeing them as weak or vulnerable.
Although kittens have become domesticated and pleasured, they still hold onto their desired and boldness to maintain a brave and fierce demeanor.
Thus, it can be super challenging to manage and see your cat’s pain, not to mention which medication to give them for relief.
How to Tell Your Cat is in Pain: The Signs
Even though you may not know or understand every meow and whimper, it’s important to know your cat’s health history and daily behaviors. If and when there is the slightest change you’re aware of it and are ready to pounce.
Being able to recognize and report any and all minor changes in your cat’s behavior or history can help your veterinarian identify the pain and create a management and treatment plan.
Here are just some of the most common pain signs you can look for that might give you a bird’s eye view of your feline’s pain:
- Reduced mobility
- Difficulty walking
- Reduced grooming
- Excessive grooming
- Loss of appetite
- Fast-paced breathing
- Hunched sleeping posture
- Increased purring
- Tail flicking
- Squinting eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
- Sensitive to tough
- Depressed or angry
Being able to read your feline’s behaviors and body language may indicate a lot!
A helpful pain scale created by the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh may help you in your cat’s home assessment of their composure.
For instance, ears down with a tense muzzle may indicate painful expressions.
What Causes Pain in Felines?
Pain, in a general sense, can be classified into three different categories: acute, chronic, persistent.
1. Acute or Short-Term Pain
Acute pain may come on suddenly and is typically short-term in regards of duration. Acute pain exists during inflammation and healing periods. It’s typically brought on by the following:
- Surgical recovery
- Feline dental disease
- Urinary tract infections
- Acute medical diseases or conditions
- Ear infections
- Kidney stones
- Urethral obstructions
2. Chronic or Long-Term Pain
Chronic pain may continue past the expected time period of healing or recovering. Chronic, long-term pain needs careful oversight and management.
Chronic pain may include:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Degenerative joint disease osteoarthritis
- Feline aortic thromboembolism
3. Persistent Pain
Persistent pain in felines is pain that can be described due to a non-response to treatment.
Palliative care can help improve comfort, even if the pain associated with the illness, is incurable.
Palliative care is often incurred at the end of the cat’s life. This can include medications as well as non-pharmaceutical options, to help put your cat at ease and make them as comfortable as possible. This type of care can include acupuncture, massage, laser, and more.