12 signs that your cat could be in pain

September 21, 2022

Did you know that September is Animal Pain Awareness Month? In this article, our Head Vet Richard Black is examining a firm favourite of our pet-loving nation – cats. Keep reading to understand why spotting pain in cats can be tricky, and the tell-tale signs to look out for that show your cat needs veterinary attention.

If you have any concerns about your cat after reading our article, book a consultation at our Rouken Glen Road vet practice.

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Cats are amazing creatures and have adapted in ways that can hide the most painful feelings they experience. Because of the ancestry of cats, showing pain or weakness in a wild environment could leave them vulnerable, so they would hide these feelings.

Now, obviously pet cats do not live in the wild, but they still express many of the same behaviours. As a nod to Animal Pain Awareness Month, Richard and the team at Rouken Glen Vets want to help pet owners understand how to identify pain in their cats.

How to spot pain in cats

When humans are in pain or discomfort, we can verbalise and show physically what and where the problem is. Cats are limited in these ways and given their nature are less inclined to draw attention to pain. Therefore, many signs and symptoms can be difficult to spot because they don’t want you to know!

Richard and our Giffnock clinical team have pulled together a list of:

12 signs you may see in your cat that can indicate pain

  1. Increased vocalisation
  2. Behaviour changes
  3. Lameness/subtly shifting weight onto other legs
  4. Biting the area or overgrooming
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Lethargy
  7. Lack of interest
  8. Reluctance to interact
  9. Reluctance to be touched
  10. Swelling/redness
  11. Sleeping more than normal
  12. Not wanting to move much

There are many different types and causes of pain. Some pain can be more subtle, chronic pain can gradually increase, and then there is more intense acute pain. If you notice any of the above symptoms it is important to speak to your Vet to make sure your cat is not quietly suffering in pain.

We are here if you need us. Contact us to book a cat check-up with Richard or another of our highly skilled Vets as soon as possible.

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