Identifying whether a cat is in pain can be very tricky. After all, thousands of years of evolution have made them experts at masking pain. This is to protect them for would-be predators who would like to take advantage of their weakened state, and to attract (or fend off) potential mates.
The only time pain becomes noticeable in cats is when it’s become too excruciating. People usually notice it when it’s already too late, and you wouldn’t want that. To help you spot that your cat is in pain, we’ve prepared some tell-tale signs that could mean they’re in pain.
Difficulty in Moving
Cats that suddenly stop moving around, or hasn’t been playful that much, is to be considered a red flag. If they’re displaying trouble jumping, or lameness, then you should definitely have a vet check on them. Although it could simply be a minor injury, there’s also a possibility that the feline could be suffering from more than just that. Make sure they’re safe by consulting a vet, so they could be examined and diagnosed properly.
Declining Appetite and Activity
Is your cat spending more time hiding than playing and eating? Then this could mean that they are probably experiencing some kind of pain. Just like how humans lose appetite and tend to stay in bed when they’re sick, or experiencing discomfort, cats eat and play less too. You might notice that they tend to stay in places where they can remain hidden, or they tend to sleep more than usual.
No Longer Cleans Themselves
Our feline companions love to clean themselves, and most of them even do so after every meal. They like to lick their paws, clean their furs a bit, and lie down after. However, a total absence of grooming, or focused grooming of a specific area, is considered as a sign of pain. Observe your cat’s behavioural pattern, and if you see a change in this, then it’s best to consult a vet.
A Switch in Litter-Box Habits
Most of the time, cats are pretty consistent when it comes to their litter-box habits. A change in their routine about this can either mean two things: The litter-box needs to be changed, or they’re experiencing some kind of discomfort that forces them to change habits. For example, cats that are straining to urinate could possibly have an inflamed bladder, or a urinary tract obstruction.
Unusual Change in Mood or Behaviour Towards People
Anything out of the ordinary, in terms of mood or behaviour (especially towards people), should be discussed with a vet. Your cat could be experiencing something they can’t tell you, and their change in temperament is the only way for them to cry for help.
Don’t ignore these simple signs and shrug them off as nothing. Keep in mind that some of the most serious illnesses start out as minor ones that dangerously escalate to a life-threatening level. Notice these early signs of pain, and help your cat find a cure for it.