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Signs of Pain in Cats & What Can Help

Signs of Pain in Cats & What Can Help

As pet owners, you must be aware of the subtle signs that your feline friend is in pain since cats are known for concealing their discomfort. Our vets in Franklin his sharing insights into the symptoms and indicators of pain in cats, along with tips on how you can assist your furry companion.

How to Tell if a Cat Is in Pain

Determining whether a cat is in pain can be difficult as it varies based on the cat's personality and the type of pain they are experiencing.

While acute pain from an injury or accident is usually more noticeable, chronic pain like arthritis or gum disease can be harder to detect.

Cats tend to hide their pain, so it's important for pet owners to monitor any unusual behavior, changes in personality, limping, or changes in appetite.

Signs That a Cat Is in Pain

If your cat is in pain, you may observe one or more of the symptoms below:

  • Frequent meowing or howling
  • Not using their litterbox
  • Tail flicking
  • Won't eat or reduced appetite
  • Poor grooming, scruffy looking
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive hiding
  • Limping
  • Avoiding being handled
  • Behavioral changes
  • Irritability
  • Uncharacteristic hissing/growling/spitting
  • Unusual vocalizations
  • Excessive grooming
  • Panting
  • Patchy fur

How to Identify Pain in Your Cat's Posture and Body Language

Cats tend to exhibit changes in their body language when they are experiencing pain. These changes may be quite apparent at times, while at other times, they may be more subtle. Our veterinarians suggest that you keep a close eye on your cat's general behavior, posture, and movements so that any deviations from their usual behavior can be detected early on. 
Some common changes in a cat's body language that could indicate pain include:
  • Tense-looking body
  • Crouched or being hunched over
  • Head lowered

Pain Expressed on Your Cat's Face

While many cats show little or no change in their facial expression while experiencing pain, some cats are very expressive. If your cat is in pain, they might:

  • Squint or close their eyes tightly
  • Flatten their ears so that they are pressed to the sides or back of their head
  • Project an overall facial appearance of tension with a tight mouth

When to Seek Veterinary Care

Often signs of pain in cats are missed until the cat's condition is advanced. When it comes to your cat's long-term health, it's always best to err on this side of caution.

If your feline friend is displaying signs of pain, contact your vet right away to schedule an examination or seek emergency veterinary care. Pain management and treatment of painful conditions early are essential to help preserve your cat's good quality of life.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you concerned that your cat is showing signs of pain? Contact our Franklin vets today to have your feline friend cared for.

New Patients Always Welcome

Pet Vet is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Franklin's companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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