Vet Blog

Caring for Kitty

July 13, 2023

As cat owners, we all want our feline friends to live happy, healthy, pain-free lives. Of course, that’s not a reality for any creature, so the next best thing is to pay close attention and help our kitties any time they’re suffering. This may be harder than you might think because cats instinctively hide the pain. While you will notice if your pet is limping or bleeding, it’s trickier to notice more subtle causes of distress. How can you tell if your cat is in pain? And when is it time to call for a cat doctor? Pet Doctor of Chandler has some tips for recognizing when your kitty is in distress.

Common Signs of Pain in Cats

First, why would cats hide their pain? It is an instinct, based on self-preservation. In the wild, a cat in pain would be seen as weak, and crying out might attract a predator. Of course, we only want the best for our pets, and there’s no need for them to take these self-protective measures, but your cats don’t know this. That is why common signs of pain or illness include:

  • Hiding or acting withdrawn
  • Sleeping more than usual, especially without changing positions
  • Lack of grooming
  • Reduced appetite or changes in food preferences
  • Constant purring
  • Restlessness
  • A reduction in mobility or agility

Some of these may be hard to notice, or even counterintuitive. After all, cats often hide, and you might not notice right away if your cat is sleeping a lot. And why would a cat in pain purr? We associate purring with pleasure, but the vibrations from purring act as a natural healing process. There is evidence to indicate that purring can bring pain relief, help heal wounds, and strengthen bones to promote bone repair.

Understanding the Causes of Cat Pain

What causes a cat to be in pain in the first place? And how do you know if your cat just needs some extra rest or requires advanced vet care? Cats, like humans, experience both acute and chronic pain. Acute pain can be the result of bone fractures from an accident, trauma after surgery, wounds from fighting with another animal, eye injury, or dental issues. It can also happen because of something less obvious, like a kidney infection, bladder obstruction, lower urinary tract disorder, or pancreatitis. Chronic pain is often difficult to identify and can be the result of a serious health condition like cancer or arthritis.

Addressing and Managing Cat Pain

Because a cat’s pain can often be overlooked or misunderstood, it is important to be proactive about vet care. Pet clinic visits are important for preventive care, so make sure you are taking your kitty in for wellness checks regularly. When you keep up with veterinary care for your cats, your vet will often be able to catch illnesses and ailments early, treating them before they begin to cause pain.

If your cat is in pain, however, do not hesitate to bring him or her to the vet. Your vet can run diagnostic tests to determine the exact source of pain, whether it is an illness or injury. From there, the vet can develop a treatment plan to address the underlying issues, along with a pain management plan to help your cat feel better. There are many different treatments available to help cats in pain, and your vet may recommend therapeutic treatment, prescribe medication, or recommend dietary changes to treat the problem. It is important to take a suffering cat to the vet, though, rather than taking matters into your own hands, because sometimes home remedies can do more harm than good. Never treat your cat with human medications, because these can often be lethal to pets. Even something that might seem like it would be helpful, like antibiotic ointment from your first aid kit, can often cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in cats.

Get Expert Care at Pet Doctor of Chandler

If you suspect your cat is in pain, and you are looking for excellent care for your well-loved kitty, Pet Doctor of Chandler is here for you. At Pet Doctor of Chandler, we believe in providing quality veterinary care, with all-inclusive pet care services at affordable prices. We know you have many different options for veterinary care, so we provide comprehensive services, with a focus on compassionate care. Our friendly team is well-versed in all sorts of pet care, and we want to help your furry family members live their best lives. For veterinary services in Chandler, AZ, including spay and neuter services and dental care. To request an appointment or learn more about how we can help your pets lead healthy, happy lives, call (480) 681-6866 or contact us through our website.