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Signs of Pain in Cats

As pet owners, you must be aware of the subtle signs that your cat is in pain since cats are known for concealing their discomfort. Our vets in Rock Springs his sharing insights into the symptoms and indicators of pain in cats, along with tips on how you can assist your furry companion.

How to Tell if a Cat Is in Pain

It can be challenging to determine whether or not a cat is in pain because this can depend on the cat's personality as well as the specific type of pain that they are going through.

Chronic pain, such as that caused by arthritis or gum disease, can be more difficult to identify than the acute pain that is typically more obvious after an injury or accident.

Because cats have a tendency to conceal their discomfort, it is essential for owners of cats to keep a close eye out for any strange behavior, changes in personality, limping, or shifts in appetite.

Signs That a Cat Is in Pain

If your cat is in pain, you may observe one or more of the symptoms below:

  • Frequent meowing or howling
  • Not using their litterbox
  • Tail flicking
  • Won't eat or reduced appetite
  • Poor grooming, scruffy looking
  • Lethargy
  • Excessive hiding
  • Limping
  • Avoiding being handled
  • Behavioral changes
  • Irritability
  • Uncharacteristic hissing/growling/spitting
  • Unusual vocalizations
  • Excessive grooming
  • Panting
  • Patchy fur

How to Identify Pain in Your Cat's Posture and Body Language

Cats' body language often changes when they are in pain. These changes may be obvious at times, but they may also be subtle. Our veterinarians recommend that you monitor your cat's general behavior, posture, and movements so that any deviations from their usual behavior can be identified early on. Some common changes in a cat's body language that may indicate pain include a tense appearance, crouching or hunching over, and a lowered head.

Pain Expressed on Your Cat's Face

Many cats' facial expressions change very little, if at all, when they are in pain, whereas the expressions of other cats, particularly certain breeds, can be quite expressive. If your cat is in discomfort, they may:

  • Squint or close their eyes tightly
  • Flatten their ears so that they are pressed to the sides or back of their head
  • Project an overall facial appearance of tension with a tight mouth

How can I help my cat?

First, it's important to observe your cat's behavior closely to determine the source of the pain. If you suspect your cat is in pain, it's best to take them to the vet for a thorough examination and appropriate treatment. Remember not to give your cat any over-the-counter medications without consulting a professional first, as some human medications can be toxic to cats.

Would acupuncture be able to help my cat?

Veterinary acupuncture can be a beneficial treatment option for cats experiencing pain. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to help alleviate discomfort and promote healing. This alternative therapy has been shown to be effective in managing various conditions such as arthritis, musculoskeletal issues, and nerve-related pain in felines.

It is important to consult with a licensed veterinarian who is trained in acupuncture to determine if this treatment is suitable for your cat. The practitioner will conduct a thorough evaluation of your cat's condition and medical history before creating a customized acupuncture plan.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you concerned that your cat is showing signs of pain? Contact our Rock Springs vets today to have your feline friend cared for.

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