Pain in Cats
Can be extremely difficult to detect as cats are masters of covering it up

Pain in cats can be very difficult to detect, as most cats for whatever reason, will instinctively hide their pain.

The signs that your cat is experiencing pain may be very subtle, but they will be there if you watch and listen to them.

However, there is a misconception that cats will vocalize their pain. Cats vocalize for a lot of reasons including anxiety, fear, agitation, hunger, or a very severe pain.

In most cases, your cat will not vocalize pain as it is developing and may only do so if it becomes very severe. But by no means should this be taken as a sign that you cat is not in pain.

If fact, if they suddenly become very quiet; listen to this quiet sound, and then watch their actions very closely as they will start to show you several signs.

Cats are legendary in their ability to tolerate pain perhaps more than any living entity.


Pain in cats is best described as some form of an unpleasant sensation that develops in your pets pain receptors, which are highly technical and sophisticated sensory nerve endings.

It is a form of defensive mechanism that will cause your cat to react in some way or move away from the source that is stimulating the pain.

Pain in cats is most often the result of some type of damage either internally or externally.

It could also be an irritation, or an inflammation of tissue or structures that stimulate your cats pain receptors.

These receptors are present in several of your cat’s tissues.

This includes their skin, the linings of the bones, the walls of their arteries, and the surfaces of their joints.

It also includes the lining of the tissues in your cat’s abdomen and their chest, the tissues around their eyes as well as the cornea, and the meninges of your cat’s brain and spinal cord.

There are several factors that can stimulate these receptors such as stretching that may pull the tissues, tearing, as well as fracturing of the tissue.

However, pain in cats can also be caused by what is referred to as thermal stimuli; which is a reaction to cold or heat or some type of a chemical reaction in your cats system.

In the vast majority of pain in cats, it is this chemical reaction that actually stimulates the receptors when body tissues are damaged or become inflamed.

These chemicals include serotonin, histamine, prostaglandins, and several others, all which cause inflammation to occur.

Once the receptors are stimulated, they report immediately back to your cat’s brain, where it is processed. Your cat has both fast and slow pain fibers located throughout their tissues.

If it is a fast fiber that is affected, it will very rapidly warn your cats system that there is about to be an impending intrusion to some part of their body and they will react quickly.

Deep blue eyes in catsThe first sign of pain in cats is a sudden change in behavior

However, if it is a slow transmitting fiber, it allows the actual sensation to continue setting the stage for a chronic form of pain.

All cats will have a different set of thresholds for pain, and this will be determined by the actual sensitivity of the pain receptors.

, they will show you some signs and it will be critical to watch for these signs as cats are almost legendary in their ability to tolerate pain.

If your cat shows any signs at all of pain, it must be addressed and treated as quickly as possible.


Pain in cats usually shows one very distinctive sign in the very early stages, but it not what you would expect. The first signs they will show will be an altered behavior.

This change in behavior may be very subtle, or it may be quite drastic, but it is the sign that you really need to watch for.

Your cat may become much quieter than normal, or they may suddenly start to avoid everything and everyone.

They will also start to hide. If your cats suddenly hides from you and they have not done that before, they are most likely in pain.

It is almost like an honor thing with cats, they do not want to show weakness. They may also become aggressive and bite for no real reason.

Do not become angry, but rather listen to what they are communicating to you in the only way they know how.

Pain in cats will also cause your cat to become very restless, and as a result, they may start to pace. Or, they may do just exactly the opposite and be reluctant to move at all.

If this happens, watch again very closely as they will most likely show a slight lameness, a stiffness in movements, and may even appear to be wobbling.

They may also start to develop an increased respiratory as well as a heart rate.

Vocalization may or may not play any role at all, and in most cases, it may be the sign that you need to listen for even closer.

A normally vocal cat that is in pain may do just the opposite, and actually quit purring or meowing.

But if you are patient and listen, the normal purring will most likely be replaced by a very slight groan or a moan. The signs will be there if you listen.


Pain in cats will have several different causes and will affect several different organs.

The most common form of pain will be a fracture, a sprain, or a dislocation that has been caused by some type of accident.

In most cases, you will have no idea, unless you listen to your cat.

It may also be caused by a muscle tear your cat has experienced or from an infection caused by inflammatory agents.

However, it may also be caused by elements.

The pain may be the result of heat exposure, some type of a burning object your cat has come into contact with, or from hot water.

Cold exposures would of course include frostbite, but it can also be exposure to a cold surface or cold water.

Cats are very sensitive to both heat and cold extremes, especially if they are indoor cats.

It may also be the result of tissue that is dying as the result of the loss of blood to the tissues.

Or, it may be the result of stretching of your cat’s tissues in round or hollow organs, or muscle spasms that your cat is experiencing.


Pain in your cat will need to be treated as quickly as possible.

The alleviation of the pain will be the first concern and is usually treated with analgesics, as these numb the pain receptors in your pet.

Most of these will be inject able forms but they should be used very cautiously and you should always get a second opinion as most cats are very sensitive to these drugs.

Anti-inflammatory drugs are also very effective, but they can be dangerous if there is no inflammation.

Aspirin may be used in your cat, but it should never, under any circumstances, be given without the direct supervision by your veterinarian.

The doses will be much lower than even baby aspirin and only a professional should make the decision of the dosage as well as the weekly amounts.


Pain in cats can be extremely difficult to actually spot, as cats have a very unique way of protecting any signs of pain.

It is almost like they do not want anyone, including you, to know that they are in pain.

However, there is no one on this earth that knows your cat better than you. If you listen to them, you will hear them communicate and call to you for help.

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