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10 Signs That Your Cat may be in Pain


If an adult is suffering pain, medical personnel ask them how bad the pain is based on the 1 to 10 numbered pain scale. With kids, they instead might use a type of scale that features varying expressions on faces so a small child can manage to explain their pain level better. It’s vital to know quickly just how much pain someone has, where the pain is at, etc., so the doctor can diagnose and treat the pain.

But cats can’t talk or show a doctor where they have pain or tell them how bad it is. They can’t even use pictures like a human child could. So it’s vital for owners to watch for physical signals, behavior changes, personality differences, or anything different in their routine that seems alarming.

The following are ten signals a cat could be suffering from pain. It doesn’t include everything, but it will at least help you start looking more strongly to find out if your pet is suffering pain.


10. Vocalization increases, or changes in pitch

Cats are vocal normally, however, if you suddenly see changes in the way they vocalize or it the pitch of it, then there could be a problem. It may seem more like a cry or it could be more often. Do not ignore this and think the cat is just needy.


9. Licking a Specific Part of their Body

Cats are known for being groomers, however, if your pet is seemingly licking a precise spot on their body constantly, it may show they have pain in that area. Plus you may notice the area is getting bald due to the excessive licking.  Or the licking could cause excessive hairballs. Be sure to pay close attention to these possible problems.


8. Changes in how a cat’s eyes look

Owners could see that the nictitating membrane of the eye is suddenly noticeable. It’s a thin layer of film covering their eyes or perhaps visible in part. If a cat is painful, it may keep its eyes closed or start to squint.


7. Hiding from everyone and Withdrawing

If suddenly a cat gets withdrawn or hides from you, they may be suffering pain. This is true especially if your cat is normally a social pet. If they hide normally, you may not notice this as much. But if they don’t want to be petted or don’t want to sit on your lap, and like to remain in a dark room, this spells trouble!


6. Breathing with the mouth open or Panting

Cats don’t breathe like this normally, so never ignore it if they start doing so!


5. Becoming irritable, grumpy, or other changes in mood

Your cat could get grumpier, more irritable, and aggressive when you touch them. If suddenly you can’t pet somewhere on their body that you have always been able to touch before, then this is a sign of possible pain. This is especially true if they moan or growl at you if you touch them there. But some cats show less obvious signs and may merely seem moody or have a change in their personality so watch carefully for such changes.

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4. No Appetite

If you do free-feeding you may not notice this as fast as if you feed your pet based on a schedule. However, watch for appetite changes. Plus if you have several cats, each should have their own bowl so you know which one has a problem. This is hard to tell if there is just one giant bowl for all. You need a way to see which animal is eating the most, which is losing or gaining weight, etc.


3.Changes in Cat’s Attitude or in their movements

If a cat is usually very active and plays a lot, but suddenly they are uninterested in moving or playing then there could be a serious problem. If they don’t want to climb their cat tree or do other things they have always done, it’s a warning they are possibly in pain. Are they hunched up? This too shows pain but could be subtle if you aren’t always aware of how they stand or walk. Do they shift their positions a lot? This too is a sign of pain. They may be trying to find a way to get rid of the pain by changing positions. If they don’t want to move at all, it is very serious and you need to get to a vet fast.


2. Litter Box Habit Changes

If a cat suddenly makes either less or more litter box trips or seems to go a lot but you don’t see anything in the box, then that is a problem. They could meow or cry out while trying to use the box, which shows pain and a problem. You need to know how your cat normally acts when they go to their litter box so you are aware of potential issues. Does it sound like they are hurt? Are they missing the box and going outside it or in other places? If so, your cat should be seen by your vet right away.


1. Being more needy or clingy

Lot of cat are quite affectionate normally while others just want a quick pat or pet once in a while. Be sure you know how your cat acts in this regard. If suddenly things change and they want extra attention or if they do the opposite and want no attention, there could be a serious issue at hand that needs to be checked out by a vet. They could be looking to get pain relief and seeking you out for that fact.


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