Cats and dogs are similar in many ways, but they are different in a few fundamental ways that might not be readily apparent. Most dogs will show that they are in pain, either to get help or simply because they don’t tend to hide it from members of their family. Cats, on the other hand, will almost always try to hide their pain. This is a strong instinct in cats as their solitary predatory nature makes showing weakness in the wild a deadly mistake. In nature, solitary animals that look vulnerable tend to get targeted by other predators. That means your cat will almost always do her best to hide an injury, even from you.
So, the question is, how do we help our cats to cope with pain?
Pain Management for Cats
Many times, injuries or other sources of pain will be obvious. The animal will favor a broken leg, or you’ll see a wound. If the pain a cat is experiencing comes from the development of an internal condition, or from an injury that is not readily apparent, it can be difficult to notice.
The key is to know your cat well. Know how she moves, what her habits are, and how she tends to behave in certain situations. For example, how does she sit while eating? What is her favorite relaxation position? Where are her favorite places to sleep? What times of day does she tend to nap and for how long? Other signs to watch for are changes in eating habits. If she is eating much more or less than usual, it can be a sign of hidden trouble.
Of course, there is no guarantee that we as cat owners will spot the signs. So, we should also watch for specific behaviors, such as:
- Being resistant to being held
- Withdrawing from socialization, hiding
- Becoming unusually aggressive when being held or petted
- The formation of mats in the hair, unusual or reduced self-grooming activity
- Limping or stiffness
- Unusually slow movement
- Unusual reactions to being touched
- Personality changes
If you detect any of these signs, or if your cat starts behaving in ways that are unusual for her, it’s always a good idea to bring her in to be seen by a veterinarian.
Here at A Cat Hospital in Las Vegas, our professional pet care experts and veterinary staff have seen and successfully treated many types of cat injuries, hidden and otherwise. You are your feline friend’s best chance at a full recovery because she will do just about anything to conceal her pain.
Call the experts at A Cat Hospital today. Our number is (702) 454-4400.