Many people are attracted to classic cat behaviors; though they need help in survival and our care, they are more self-sufficient than some other pets. This independence and their notorious lack of outward expression (again, when compared to other pets) can make some things difficult, however. For example, how do you know if your cat is in pain?
It’s not just a lack of expression that makes detecting pain in your cat tough; they are generally very resilient creatures. So, if you’re not watching carefully, or you don’t know what you see, you may not see anything until the problem is extreme; after all, a cat is a small animal and it’s natural instinct is to not appear weak if a predator is nearby.
When is my cat in pain?
Pain means more than “hurt” to a cat; it also encompasses general distress. This means that, for them, pain is complex – it’s physical and emotional (not so different from humans). Many members of feline vets and scientists agree is that close observance and understanding of your individual cat’s behavior is the best way to determine if something is wrong. Like many animals, yours is an individual with her or his own personality; so, only you can know if something is wrong.
There are some easy-to-see signs if you’re paying attention, like limping, difficult jumping or an unwillingness to jump when they normally would, unusual sensitivity to touch, excessive scratching, unwillingness to eat or drink, odd or lack of bowel movements, etc.
Other signs need more work on your part. Irregular heartbeats, for example, can only be noticed if you hold your cat close. Slight mood changes can sometimes go unnoticed, especially if they happen irregularly. You might not see slight squinting, extra sleeping or how often your cat closes her eyes.
Overall, you have to pay close attention to your cat. Even if the sign is slight, it’s worth calling your vet at the minimum, or taking her in. Bring your cat to Pet Vet Hospitals anytime. We’ll not only help with the obvious things, but we’ll help you figure out how to notice the little things, too, and keep your cats at their healthiest.