25 Signs Your Cat is In Pain

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Though not always the case, cats have a reputation for being aloof animals. Their ability to mask their true feelings is an instinctual adaptation that has aided their survival. Animals exhibiting signs of pain are easy targets for would-be predators, so a cat’s apparent poker face is an asset in the wild.

While the ability to conceal pain may have served our feline friends in the past, it can be detrimental to domesticated cats as pet parents are often unaware when they are experiencing pain. Luckily, a pair of researchers from the University of Lincoln recently set out to crack the code of cat pain. With the help of a team of veterinary scientists, they put together a comprehensive list of subtle signs of cat pain.

25 Signs Your Cat is In Pain:

  1. Absence of grooming
  2. Lameness
  3. Difficulty jumping
  4. Abnormal gait
  5. Reluctant to move
  6. Reaction to palpation
  7. Hiding
  8. Playing less
  9. Appetite decrease
  10. Overall activity decrease
  11. Less rubbing toward people
  12. Change in general mood
  13. Change in overall temperament
  14. Hunched posture
  15. Shifting of weight
  16. Licking a particular body region
  17. Lower head posture
  18. Blepharospasm (involuntary blinking or spasm of the eyelids)
  19. Change in form or feeding behavior
  20. Avoiding bright areas
  21. Growling
  22. Groaning
  23. Eyes closed
  24. Straining to urinate
  25. Tail twitching

If your cat is demonstrating any of these signs, there is a good chance he or she could be in pain. Ultimately, a pet parents intuition may be the best indicator that something isn’t right. If a marked change in behavior in your cat is causing concern, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your vet.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Eden Winderman November 16, 2016, 3:59 pm

    I was referred by my veterinarian for hospice care for my 15 year old cat. He has been diagnosed with ibd and probable small cell lymphoma and has gone from 12 plus lbs to 9.75 lbs. latest blood work indicates his kidneys are operating at 25%. We have put him on hospice. He is in need to fluid therapy for kidney failure. I’d like to provide this at home as part of hospice with eventual at home euthanasia. Please advise if you can help me with his hospice.

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