Recognizing Pain in Cats

Photo courtesy of Megan Mackowiak

We all wish our pets could tell us what they are feeling, but since they are unable to speak we have to learn to recognize the signs when they are not feeling well. Often times when our cats are in pain, the subtle changes to their behavior may sometimes be overlooked or mistaken for other issues. Also, cats do not like to show there are in any pain or discomfort – this trait has been passed down from their wild ancestors to avoid appearing vulnerable to other predators. You will know your cat’s behavior best, so being cognizant of any behavioral changes can be a sign your cat is sick or in pain.

If your furry family member displays any of these following symptoms, we recommend contacting us at Blum as soon as possible:

  • Decreased appetite or not interested in food
  • Hiding
  • Reduced movement or mobility or reluctance to jump or walk up/down stairs
  • Lessened exercise tolerance and overall activity
  • Difficulty getting up, standing, or walking
  • Decline in grooming
  • Changes in litterbox use or in urination/defecation habits
  • Hunched or tucked-up when sleeping, instead of curled-up
  • Sensitive when being pet or vocalizing when touched
  • Sudden behavior changes such as aggression or wanting to be alone

After the veterinarian at Blum has performed a thorough physical exam on your cat, a course of treatment can be determined to help them be more comfortable. This may include medication or physical therapy. One of the main reasons why we recommend annual exams for felines is so the doctor can detect any changes in your cat that may be cause for concern. We recommend cats over 8 years of age come in bi-annually since issues can arise quicker for senior pets.

Your pet’s health and well-being are our top priority, so please contact us at: (773) 327-4446 with any further questions or concerns.

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.