HomeCat Healthpainhiding painThree Ways To Tell Your Cat Is in Pain


Three Ways To Tell Your Cat Is in Pain — 14 Comments

  1. its a small world jennifer. Its amazing as such dedicated cat carers how you always known when ur pets or children are in pain and not doing so well you always know when something is not right. I think intuition and sensing comes alot into it. Love this article as i do every article as you really use common sense and i agree totally with you.

  2. A solicitor? Isn’t that a lawyer? If so we have more in common than I thought. I am a legal assistant. The legal field is what I left my tech job for many years ago. I had married an attorney and we ran a Law Office for many years. I no longer work as a legal assistant because of my photography and I am no longer married to the attorney either. LOL 🙂

  3. Working as a tech for so many years , unfortunately, seeing cats in pain was something I had to deal with on a daily basis. Michael you are right on in this article. It really is about knowing your cat. Veterinarians often feel that cat pain is one of the more difficult areas of veterinary medicine and they rely a great deal on what the owner has witnessed in their cats behavior. I know personally, I look for pain in their eyes, they tend to squint with a pain that is reoccurring. When cats have stomach pain or mouth pain they have been known to walk backwards trying to ‘get away from it’. Also , hovering over a water bowl can be a sign of or heartburn or tummy ache.
    I know of a great vet and her name is Doc Truli, she wrote a page on this subject and she actually posted some photographs on her site that show what a cat looks like in pain. It’s not graphic, but so informative. Here is the link…


    • Thanks Jennifer. I was just basing this on my experience really and I wanted to simplify the process and provide some general guidelines. Apparently, as well, cats can use head pressing (pressing their head against an object) to ease the pain. All in all, though, it is ultimately about a change in behaviour or a cat doing things which looks different and are perhaps somewhat strange perhaps, which is based upon observation ultimately.

      • Michael, your vet must love you and your cats too. 🙂 You pay attention, that is so important. Your observations are right on, I’m totally impressed and this article could be used as a tool for many cat parents.

        • Thanks Jennifer. I can be a little bit too talkative with my vet. I can be a bit too forceful and I do not mean to be. It is because I used to be a solicitor for quite a few years before I retired and that toxic job left me different to the way I was before I started it 😉 I used to be a mild mannered, quiet sort and I ended up….. well, it is quite hard to describe how I ended up! And of course I know quite a bit about cats having run the site for about seven years non-stop. My vet might consider me to be a pain in the backside.

  4. Than I am very impressed Michael, and apologise for thinking you’d researched for this article. I did say they were wise words and I am proved correct 🙂

  5. Wise words, well researched. The thought of our cats being in pain is awful, but it’s right that by knowing them so well and keeping a watch over them we should have an idea when all is not well, it’s a sort of instinct isn’t it, there’s just something subtly different but it hits you in the eye when they are not well

    • I think you are right, Barbara, that the better we know our cats more instinctively we understand whether something is wrong or not and we do that by picking up subtle changes in behaviour. As it happens, everything on the page came straight out of my head! It had to because even using the best book on cat health that one can buy there is no reference in the index to how a person knows if a cat is feeling pain. There are articles on the Internet about it but they are rather vague and I thought I would try and approach the matter from a different angle.

  6. A very informative article Michael. Yes a cat has a sort of frown when in discomfort but the main telling point for me is the hiding away from your attention, cats just don’t want you to know when they are in pain, they hide it for as long as they can.
    We were relieved when our very old cat Ebony was deciding to leave us that she wasn’t in pain, we watched her closely in readiness to make the decision for her, but she didn’t hide away at all. In fact she chose to leave us minutes after Babz came from work, I do think that was her being the wonderful little soul she always was, a no fuss get on with it sort of cat.
    Still missing her almost 7 years later.

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