Unfortunately, cats can be very good at hiding their pain. So it may be difficult to spot they are suffering. If the reason for your cat’s pain isn’t obvious like a limp or a cut, your furry friend may suffer for weeks before you even notice it and try to help. That’s why you need to learn to notice the subtle clues that indicate pain and take action as soon as you do.
We’re used to thinking that purring means our cats are enjoying themselves. However, purring may not stop even though they are in pain. It can even be related to pain, which means your cat will purr more as the pain gets worse.
2. Loss of energy
This is a pretty revealing sign of something wrong because cats are usually active and playful, running and jumping around. If your cat is usually like that, and she suddenly stops her usual habits, it could be a sign of pain. She could also become grumpy and sleep all day long, but these changes in behavior are all clear signs that something is wrong with your cat. Moreover, cats that suddenly start hiding around the house, choosing to spend their time under the furniture, inside closets or other dark and secret places, are likely in pain.
3. Grooming changes
As you know, cats are very meticulous when it comes to grooming. However, if they get sick, they may start doing it far less than usual or stop it altogether. Don’t overlook this as it is likely that pain is stopping your cat to take care of herself. But they may start excessively lick one area on her body which is hurting. This can get so bad that they lick all the hair off the area. There’s no need to say that you should take a cat that’s behaving like this straight to the vet.
4. Litter box habits’ changes
If your cat is tidy and uses her litter box regularly but suddenly starts changing this behavior, it’s a sign of trouble. This may be because the pain is preventing the cat from getting into the litter box or if she can’t hold the appropriate positions for physiological needs because of the pain in her hips, knees or other parts of her body. Don’t punish your pet for being messy all of a sudden, because there just may be a reason for it.
5. Eye changes
You can tell a lot about what’s going on with your cat if you just pay attention to his or her eyes. If your pet is in pain, her pupils may be dilated due to agitation. This usually happens if the pain isn’t located in the eyes themselves. In that case, your cat may be squinting a lot, or the pupils would be smaller or larger. But any kind of change in the eyes or an absent-minded look can mean something is bothering your cat and it deserves attention.
6. Strange body positions and movements
This is a dead giveaway that something is wrong with your pet. You should pay close attention to any unusual positions your cat is taking. The most obvious one is with the feet tucked under the body and head on the floor, but there are other, more subtle positions. This could also be seen during sleep, if your cat is only taking certain positions for sleeping, it could mean that some other parts of her body are hurting. Also, if your cat is moving less, or moving slower, this could be an indication of something, while a limp is a clear sign of pain and should be treated immediately.
7. Antisocial behavior
Cats like attention, and like to be touched. When this changes, it could just be that your cat is currently grumpy. But if she or he continuously rejects your touch and starts growling when you try to stroke it, it could be because of pain. Moreover, if you start touching the painful area, or if your cat feels you might, she will try to prevent it by scratching and biting. Once again, this unusual behavior isn’t a sign of bad temper, but of pain and should be treated as such.
8. Eating habits’ changes
Finally, another clear sign that something is irritating your cat is the change in her eating and drinking habits. She may eat less or stop eating altogether which could lead to serious problems. Or, if the cause of her pain is in her mouth cavity – teeth, for example – she may try to eat but drop the food out of her mouth shortly after.
It goes without saying that you should take action as soon as you notice some of these signs. You should immediately take your beloved pet to the vet instead of giving it medicine yourself. Bear in mind that you can bring more harm than good if you decide to skip the vet and provide your pet with the best care it can get.