While most cats experiencing severe, short-term pain will be more likely to show they are in pain, they can sometimes mask their discomfort for long periods of time (which happens more for cats with chronic pain symptoms). So you might not realize that Cat is in Silent Pain.

Cat is in Silent Pain
Cre: Anel Rossouw

Fortunately, there are many signs that your Cat is in pain. So what you need to do is recognize these signs early to prevent your Cat from suffering in silence.

1. Why do cats hide their pain? 

When it comes to hiding their discomfort, cats are “masters of disguise”. Cats are animals that have existed for a long time in the wild before being domesticated. Cats in the wild, when injured or in pain, tend to try to hide it because they don’t want to be seen as weak; Meanwhile, the weak appearance can make cats a prime target for predators and put them at risk of being bullied or abandoned by their own group. As a result, hiding pain has become an instinct for cats. And maybe, cats have been deeply adapted to that instinct until now!

Although today’s domestic cats usually don’t have to worry about falling prey, they may view other household pets – or even other people – as “rivals” in a competitive relationship to obtain resources such as food and water. Cats worry that signs of pain will cause them to lose to a more deserving animal. So they hide their symptoms as a habit. If your Cat meows in pain, his condition could be pretty serious. 

2. Behavioral Signs That Cat is in Silent Pain

  • Reduce cravings

Some cats in pain will stop eating or won’t eat as much as usual. It may be because they are in pain and do not want to get up to go to their food bowl. A sore mouth or toothache can also be another reason your cat avoids eating.

  • Refuge

When a cat is in agony, he or she will seek refuge under the bed, couch, or even the closet. Or, you may notice that they are quite restless and have a hard time settling down somewhere.

  • Reduce movement and activity.

Reduced movement is a common side effect of pain. Most cats with pain will generally be less active; they will sleep more instead. Besides, you may no longer see your cat doing what they normally do because they know or think those activities will cause them pain.

  • Increased irritability.

When your cat is in pain, it may show hostility when approached or stroked, in addition to deliberately avoid humans by hiding. A cat in pain will not want to be touched, which often leads to aggressive behavior such as scratching.

  • Frequent making unpleasant sounds such as whining, hissing, growling.

If you notice that your cat is making annoying sounds like whining, hissing, growling, and other signs, it’s a sign that your cat is in pain.

  • Reduce grooming or groom more but in a specific area

You may notice a drop in self-grooming in a cat that is in pain or has a systemic illness. That is frequently due to a lack of energy or the risk of injury when performing these normal duties. However, cats with wounds may also over-groom the area, which will cause further injury and damage.

3. Signs of body language

Cats in pain not only have behavioral changes, but they can also have gradual or sudden changes in posture and body language.

Cre: Kristina Yadykina

Some cats may exhibit noticeable facial changes when in pain, for example:

  • Ears: facing forward, slightly stretched, or ears are folded and turned outward
  • Eyes: pupils constricted, eyes wide or partially open, or squinted
  • Muzzle: gradually stretched to the sides into an ellipse, different from normal
  • Mustache: soft and curved, slightly curved or straight and directed forward
  • Head: relaxed over the shoulder, aligned or tilted below shoulder

Posture: Unlike a happy cat with comfort and fun rolling around, a cat in pain will usually sit in a stooped, protected position. Their muscles can be quite tight.

Breathing Rate: Never ignore changes in breathing rate such as wheezing, tachypnea, hyperventilation, and hyperventilation. If your Cat is not breathing normally, it is best to go to the emergency room.

Swelling: Swelling in any area of ​​the body should not be ignored. It could be a wound that has turned into an abscess or could even be a tumor.

Discharge from the eyes or nose: This can happen if your Cat has an upper respiratory infection.

Debris or fluid in the ear could mean your Cat has an ear infection or even a parasite like ear mites.

4. Additional medical changes

There are specific discomfort indicators that only your veterinarian can detect (although you may notice amiss). Increased heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, or blood pressure are examples. To accurately measure these things, you’ll need expert assistance. As a result, it’s critical to take your cat to the veterinarian anytime you see something unusual.

In conclusion

While the Cat is in Silent Pain is a regular occurrence, there are ways to prevent your Cat from suffering in silence by following the signs I mentioned above. Early recognition of your Cat’s symptoms of pain is essential so you can adequately care for your Cat when it needs it most.

However, the above signs are not all! Each Cat will display a particular set of symptoms to indicate that they are in pain. So it’s essential to be aware of any small changes in their behavior or body language, which could be Ways your Cat can ask you for help

Any change in your Cat’s routine could be a clue. Take your pet to the vet if you detect any unusual behavior in your Cat. Your doctor can help you figure out whether these changes are due to pain or disease and then work with you to manage them.

Try to notice and find out why the change happened so that your Cat stays healthy and happy!


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