Call Us! Button

Call Us! 713-893-0285

Request an Appointment Button

Book Now!
6 Signs Of Pain In Cats
September 1, 2023

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month. This is a very important topic for cat owners! If you spot something obvious, such as limping or a visible wound, then you’ll know right away that something is wrong. However, sometimes the signs are more subtle. It doesn’t help that kitties instinctively try to hide signs of illness or injury. A Bellaire, TX vet lists some red flags in this article.

Unusual Vocalizations

Kitties all have their own unique personalities. Some are furry little chatterboxes, while others just don’t have much to say. Any changes in the way Fluffy usually vocalizes can be a warning sign. For instance, a normally-quiet cat that is suddenly meowing incessantly, or a sweet kitty that suddenly hisses when touched, may not be feeling well.

Litterbox Problems

Pay attention to what you find in your feline pal’s bathroom. Changes in the amount, color, smell, texture, or consistency of Fluffy’s waste would all warrant a call to the vet, as would straining or avoiding the litterbox. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are essential to maintaining your cat’s health and catching issues early. Learn more about our ‘Veterinary Wellness & Pet Vaccinations’ services to keep your pet in top shape

Reduced Appetite

Our feline overlords are known for being a little—or a lot—finicky. To be fair, Fluffy does have a good reason for this. Cats that hunt for their dinners always and only eat their prey fresh. Kitties will instinctively refuse anything that smells even a little off. However, if your furball doesn’t like what’s in her bowl, she should still be interested in food, and meowing to demand that you provide something more to her liking. A kitty that isn’t interested in eating at all isn’t feeling well. While monitoring your cat’s health, it’s also fun to learn more about their behaviors and traits. Check out these ‘Fun Facts About Kittens‘ to better understand your feline’s early life stages.

Withdrawn/Antisocial Behavior

While some cats are more sociable than others, even aloof kitties generally like hanging out with their humans. If your furry friend has withdrawn to a hiding spot and just doesn’t want to emerge—even for meals or playtime—she may be sick.

Poor Coat Appearance

Cats are very clean, and they’re usually pretty good about keeping their coats well-groomed. If your feline buddy doesn’t feel well, she may neglect her fur. Before long, she’ll start looking greasy and unkempt. Bald patches are also a red flag.


We know, it may not always be easy to spot lethargy in a furball that sleeps up to 20 hours a day. However, Fluffy should emerge between naps, bright-eyed, bushy tailed, and frisky. 

Our Advice on Signs Of Pain In Cats in 2024

Are there any non-verbal cues or body language changes that can indicate a cat is in pain?

Cats often hide their pain, but certain non-verbal cues can be telling. Changes in body language, such as limping, reluctance to move, or a hunched posture, are key indicators. Pay attention to grooming habits; a cat in pain may neglect its coat, leading to a greasy or unkempt appearance. Facial expressions can also reveal discomfort; flattened ears, squinted eyes, and an overall tense appearance are red flags. Additionally, if your cat is hiding more than usual or becomes unusually aggressive or withdrawn, it might be experiencing pain.

What are some of the potential long-term consequences of untreated pain in cats?

Untreated pain in cats can lead to several long-term consequences. Chronic pain can cause behavioral changes, such as increased aggression, anxiety, or depression. Cats may also suffer from reduced mobility, leading to muscle atrophy and decreased quality of life. Persistent pain can negatively impact their appetite, resulting in weight loss and malnutrition. Additionally, untreated pain may cause cats to avoid using the litter box, leading to hygiene issues and potential secondary infections. Over time, chronic pain can significantly diminish a cat’s overall health and well-being.

How can cat owners work with their veterinarian to develop a comprehensive pain management plan for their feline companion?

Cat owners should collaborate closely with their veterinarian to create a comprehensive pain management plan. Start with a thorough veterinary examination to identify the pain’s source. Discuss various treatment options, including medications, supplements, and lifestyle changes. Your vet may suggest pain relief medications, such as NSAIDs or opioids, and consider complementary therapies like acupuncture or physical therapy. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor progress and adjust the plan as needed. Additionally, ensure a comfortable home environment with cozy resting areas and easy access to essentials.

Are there any alternative or complementary therapies that can help alleviate pain in cats?

Yes, there are alternative or complementary therapies that can help alleviate pain in cats. Acupuncture is one such option, providing relief through targeted stimulation of specific points. Physical therapy, including gentle exercises and massage, can improve mobility and reduce discomfort. Laser therapy is another effective method, using light to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Additionally, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine can support joint health. Always consult a veterinarian before starting any alternative therapies to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your cat’s specific needs.

What steps can cat owners take to prevent painful conditions or injuries in their cats?

To prevent painful conditions or injuries in cats, owners should ensure regular veterinary check-ups to catch early signs of health issues. Providing a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight helps prevent joint and mobility problems. Keep your cat’s living environment safe by securing windows, eliminating toxic plants, and removing small objects that can be swallowed. Regular grooming and dental care also prevent painful conditions like matting and dental disease. Additionally, providing stimulating toys and activities can prevent boredom-related injuries and promote overall physical health.

If you notice any of these and/or anything else that seems unusual for your cat, contact us right away. As your Bellaire, TX veterinary clinic, we’re always here to help!