Signs a cat could be in pain

Author: Amy Holloway

Let’s face it, pain is pretty miserable whatever the cause, but especially if you don’t do anything about it. Undiagnosed pain in cats is a common problem, mainly because they’re predators by nature and naturally try to hide pain so as not to ‘become the prey’. Clent Hills Vets’ head vet Alun Edwards has some advice for owners on cats in pain.

Call us on 01527 889810 if you think your cat is in pain.

Obvious reasons for pain might be from trauma following an RTA or other accident, or sometimes post-surgery. In both cases, a vet may prescribe medication and a combination of complementary therapies for pain relief and to aid recovery.

Arthritis is a common cause of pain, particularly in older pets but it might not be that easy to spot in cats thanks to their exceptional pain hiding skills.

10 signs your cat could be in pain:

  1. Avoiding climbing or jumping
  2. Unable to settle in a comfortable position
  3. Restlessness and difficulty sleeping
  4. Withdrawal from family-time and a change in personality
  5. Starting to soil outside of the litter box
  6. Resisting being handled or picked up
  7. Unexpected reaction when touched or aggressive when approached
  8. ‘Letting themselves go’ so to speak – decreased grooming or matted fur
  9. Over-grooming in specific places – look for saliva stains on their fur
  10. Constant or intermittent stiffness or limping

It’s a good idea to carefully observe your cat’s behaviour before visiting the vets. A diary, or even better a video showing recurring unusual behaviours, will help the vet understand how your cat is behaving in their home environment, which is typically different from how they will behave in a vet consultation.

Depending on the reason for your cat’s pain, it can be treated in a number of ways including pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication, joint supplements if it’s arthritic pain, surgery could be an option, and complementary therapies such as laser therapy, acupuncture, and even hydrotherapy if your cat will tolerate them.

Talk to Alun or any of our vets if you’re concerned that your cat could be in pain. Our team can also suggest changes you can make at home to make your cat more comfortable.

Contact us if you have questions.