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  • Withdrawn and immobile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

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

6 thoughts on “Recognition of Pain in a Cat”

  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.

    • 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.


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