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Signs of Pain in Cats

Signs of Pain in Cats

Pain management is a high priority for veterinarians in caring for their feline patients. Your veterinarian can diagnose the cause of your cat’s pain and help to treat it.

The signs of pain in cats can be subtle. They evolved to hide symptoms of illness or disease from predators. Watch for changes in your cat's activity level and behavior as these are the best indicators of pain.

Consult your veterinarian if your cat is not acting normally or is showing any of these signs:

  • Trauma or injury
  • Lameness or abnormal gait
  • Difficulty jumping
  • Reluctance to move or jump
  • Withdrawn or hiding
  • Straining to urinate
  • Decreased appetite
  • Changes in feeding behavior
  • Excessive drooling
  • Playing less
  • Less rubbing on people
  • Mood or temperament changes
  • Squinting or closed eyes
  • Hunched up posture
  • Abnormal sleeping habits
  • Abnormal reaction to petting
  • Absence of grooming
  • Licking a specific body region
  • Unusual growling or groaning
  • Tail flicking

How Veterinarians Alleviate Pain in Cats

  • Treat the illness or injury that is causing pain
  • Prescribe pain medications appropriate for cats
  • Recommend weight management and/or a special diet
  • Suggest changes to the home environment
  • Acupuncture
  • Laser therapy