How do cats act when they are in pain?
It’s a fair question that usually crops up when people notice their cat friend is exhibiting unusual behaviors. Cats are not always easy to read, so it can be hard to know for sure how they’re feeling. There are signs to look out for though!
Here is a list of four signs which may mean that your cat is suffering from pain:
1) Restlessness or inability to relax
2) Abnormal appetite
3) Excessive grooming or hair loss
4) Sudden change in behavior such as aggression, hiding, or withdrawal from owners.
As you can see, pain can be hard to detect and evaluate. This is why it is important to understand the signs that your cat gives off in order to know when it is in pain and what needs to be done in order for it to feel better.
A cat suffering from pain can display abnormal behavior patterns such as hiding, aggression, or even refusing food. This is a natural attempt of the feline body to mask his true condition.
Do not try to repress these symptoms because this will only make matters worse. If your cat is displaying any of these signs, there are steps you can take in order to help it recover.
What are the signs of pain in cats?
Lethargy – The most obvious sign is that your cat will be lethargic, weak, or tired. When they normally eat, play, and clean themselves they won’t want to do these things as much if they are in pain. It’s an easy sign to spot, but sometimes they can hide it well!
Vocalization – Sometimes when cats feel uncomfortable they will make a noise letting you know. They might meow to be picked up and held, or they could growl if someone gets too close to their tail or paws. If a cat is in pain they are also more likely to yowl, scream or make other strange noises that sound like they’re in distress.
Behavioral Changes – When cats are in pain they are likely to be more aggressive and or defensive. They may hiss at their owners, swat at them or jump upon them to get away. They will also be less likely to play with you and not want attention.
Voiding Incontinence – This is a common symptom of urinary tract infections (UTI). If your cat starts urinating outside of the litter box then they may have a UTI. It’s not always easy to tell if your cat has a UTI, and a visit to the vet will be necessary for further testing.
Some common causes of pain in cats include:
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
- Allergic Reaction to Food or Outdoor Allergies
- Bacterial / Viral Infection
- Neoplasia (Cancer) Neuromuscular Pain from Arthritis or Other Causes Tooth Pain from a Loose Tooth Glandular Pain from Thyroid Disorders Intestinal / Stomach Pain due to Inflammation or Irritation Back or Spinal Pain due to Spinal Problems Foreign Objects stuck in the Mouth Flea B.E.S.T. (Biting Everything Small and Tiny)
- English bulldog – painful symptoms
How do I treat my cat’s pain?
It depends on what is causing your cat’s pain and how severe it is. There are a few things you can do to help them through it though.
The first step is to make sure your cat is receiving adequate medical attention. Pain can be a symptom of several medical conditions, so if you know that your cat has been injured or has some other health issues, check with his veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment options.
Second, feed your cat regularly and try to keep his diet consistent. Meal timings are not crucial (although it may help), but providing him with a nutritious and healthy diet will reduce pain. A high fiber diet is also beneficial for cats with pain because it will keep them feeling full for longer and prevent them from grazing on anything in their vicinity.
Dental hygiene is also important. Poor teeth can put undue pressure on the soft tissues in the mouth, causing discomfort or even pain. You can invest in a pet toothbrush and some special pet toothpaste, or you can try using a human toothbrush. Dental care is very important for feline health, so this is one way to help your cat feel better soon.
You should also take note of the types of surfaces and beds you offer your cat. Hard surfaces such as tile or wood are good for cats because they will make it easier for your cat to get up if he tends to fall asleep while resting on his front. Soft surfaces such as carpeting or fabrics are not ideal because cats may be reluctant to get up and walk around in case of a fall. It is a good idea to invest in felted mats, towels, etc.
If your cat is displaying any of these signs, you have the chance to help it recover and prevent further pain from occurring. If your cat has been formally diagnosed to be in pain by his veterinarian, you can keep him healthy and happy by providing frequent check-ups and administering the correct medications.
Other key points on how to treat my cat’s pain
Frequent walks – This is a proven way to help cats deal with pain and keep them active. They are generally more relaxed after their walk, and it allows them to get more exercise as well as helping them to feel better. You should take your cat out for walks every day if they don’t already have one. Even when they’re feeling strong enough, this can help with any cough, cold or sniffles that they have.
Treats – Most cats love treats and will be really grateful for them when they are in pain. The more variety you give them the better. Some cats like salty foods, so you could try chicken or fish mince with added salt, or maybe some tuna fish to make it tastier.
Physical Therapy – If your cat is in a lot of pain it may help to give them some massage therapy. Try gentle massage with a chilled paw balm or warm water on affected areas. Some cat owners use ice to help the pain, but it’s not recommended if you don’t know the cause of it.
Add some extra TLC – It’s important to try and reassure your cat when they are in pain, as this can help them to feel better. Give them plenty of affection – be there for them when they need you, pet and comfort them when they want it. This will help them relax, and who knows you might find out what’s actually wrong.