How Do I Know If My Cat Is In Pain?
Read more for the top 5 symptoms your cat may be in pain and how you can help them.
What Signs Can I Watch For That Might Indicate My Cat Is In Pain ?
While it can be fairly obvious to recognize severe pain, it is much more difficult to detect low grade pain. Cats are very good at hiding discomfort instinctually, especially in a multi-cat household... they wouldn't want to appear weak to the others.
Animal Hospital of Cambridge Is A Cat Friendly Practice - GOLD status
Top 5 Signs Of Pain
The top 5 signs indicate severe pain:
• Appetite Decrease
We all know most cats LIVE to eat ! If you are noticing they are not eating as much or no longer come running to the sound of a can being opened or kibble hitting their dish.... be concerned. They could be experiencing dental pain.
FREE DENTAL EXAM AVAILABLE
• Lack of Grooming / Over Grooming
Cats who may be arthritic may have difficulty grooming hard to reach areas. You make begin to notice their fur looks oily, has dandruff flakes, or becomes matted.
Some cats will over-groom the area on their body where they feel pain, often to the point of ending up with a bald patch.
If you reach to pet your cat or pick them up and you hear them growl... you will know something is up. This is especially something to note if this is not part of their regular personality.
Excessive meowing, or unusual vocalizing can also indicate something is wrong.
• Urinating / Pooping Outside The Litter Pan
If you find your cat has been urinating or pooping outside of the litter box, this could indicate your cat is in pain. They may have a bladder infection, urinary crystals or be constipated.
If your cat is experiencing pain while voiding in the litter box, they may associate the box with the pain and begin to look for alternate places to go.
• Eyes closed
If your cat is reluctant to move and is keeping their eyes tightly closed, they are definitely experiencing pain.
Other Signs To Watch For:
• Hunched up posture
•Lameness, limping, or abnormal gait, shifting of weight
•Difﬁculty jumping up on furniture or their favourite cat tree
•Reluctantance to move
•Withdrawing from their regular environment or hiding
•Playing less, or overall decrease in regular activity patterns
•Less interaction toward their favourite people
•Change in overall mood or temperament
Behavioural changes, such as irritability, tend to be seen with more long-term (chronic) pain. Some of the other signs can be observed with less intense pain. Either way, you should consult your Veterinarian.
Animal Hospital of Cambridge is a Cat Friendly Practice - GOLD status
What if you see these signs of pain in your cat?
Owners may mistakenly attribute behavioral changes, such as absence of grooming or playing less, sleeping more, as signs of aging; however they can actually be signs of pain.
The presence of any one of these signs can mean pain is present. If you see any of these signs in your cat, see your veterinarian right away. Your cat may have been hiding the issue longer than you are aware until they can't.
Also remember that the absence of a sign does not mean your cat is no pain, especially in our senior cats. Cats will hide pain and illnesses very well.
Keeping a log of these signs may help both vets and cat pet parents better assess the pain status of cats in their care.
Cat Friendly GOLD Status Means We Care
Animal Hospital of Cambridge - GOLD status achieved
Cat Friendly Practice means Cats have their own :
-Reception Check-in / Check-out desk
-Examination rooms complete with "Kitty TV"
-Staff trained in Cat Friendly handling techniques
-Cat treatment room
-Kitty Relax Packs provided for cats who need them
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian.
We are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
If you feel your cat may be in pain, call us at 519-624-9760 to book an appointment.
How Can We Help You Get Your Cat InTo See Us For An Appointment?
If your cat gets stressed out coming to the vets or going in the car - please be sure to call us for more information about picking up a FREE "Kitty RELAX Pack" before your appointment with us.
KITTY RELAX PACK includes :
•Information on the use of a relaxing pheromone " Feliway" in the cat carrier, on clothing and in the vet office
•Gabapentin capsules to provide a gentle sedation (given 3 hours before your appointment)
•Kitty treats to reward
•Crinkle Toy for Distraction
•Cat Nip Knotty Knot Toy for Distraction
Some Cats Need House Calls
House call Service Available - call to book an appointment 519-624-9760
Animal Hospital of Cambridge
If you feel your cat would do better with a home visit, we do offer house calls. (additional fee applies) Please call to arrange a suitable date and time by calling 519-624-9760.