Recognition of Pain in a Cat

Minor Trauma

  • Flinching
  • Vocalisations
  • Attempt to escape
  • Aggression sometimes

Severe Injury

  • Hissing
  • Spitting
  • Aggressivity
  • Vigorous attempts to escape

Continuing Pain after trauma

  • Withdrawn and immobile
  • Rare vocalisations – occasional low growls
  • Tense demeanour
  • Distant demeanour
  • Possible hissing and spitting depending on the individual cat
  • Rapid breathing possible
  • Non-stop purring
  • Hunched back and other abnormal body positions

Later on after trauma

  • Attempts to hide
  • Reduced appetite

Chronic Pain (long term pain)

  • Cats try and hide the fact that they are not 100%
  • Alteration of behaviour
  • Reduced activity
  • Sleeping a lot
  • Hiding
  • Decreased interest in surroundings
  • Wanting to be left alone
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Signs are similar to those caused by diseases
  • May react when touched or handled
  • Irritability

Localised Pain

  • Abnormalities in posture
  • Lameness
  • Stiffness
  • Reluctance to do certain physical actions (jumping)

Links on Pain Relief

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Comments

Recognition of Pain in a Cat — 6 Comments

    • Thanks Ruth. Pain in cats is hard to spot. You know I still feel bad about my Binnie. I still wonder if she was feeling pain in the last few months of her life. I hate to think that. Based on this page, it seems that she was.

  1. This is very iuseful Michael – thank you – it’s something I always try to tell people when I encourage them to look out for their cat’s health. I always say that they dont show pain and to look for other signs.

    I will bookmark this page.

    • Thanks Marc. I thought I’d just do it nice a simple because people speed read everything these days especially on the internet. There is an advantage to simple to-the-point articles.

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