How to Understand if the Cat is in Pain?

Cat in pain
If you are a cat owner then it is crucial to know whether your cat is in pain or not. This is important for the well-being and health of the cat. We know that sometimes it is hard to tell whether your cat is in pain or not despite different trials. This doesn’t mean you are a bad cat owner. Cats hide their pain and discomfort instinctively. Their ancestors used to hide their pain from predators, so they didn’t seem vulnerable and get attacked by them. This is why your cat is lowkey regarding their pain as they have adopted the same behavior and traits. You must be then wondering, How to Understand if the cat is in pain? Here we have listed some ways on how to know the physical condition of your cat.

Ways to know if the Cat is in Pain

There are different things to take into the note to determine the physical condition of the cat. Certain changes in their habit, their posture, their activity level, and many more helps determine the physical condition of the cat.

Detachment from Owner

When the cat is in pain, they isolate themselves from the people and also the owner. Like they won’t come to cuddle or sleep with you like they used to. Your cat also might stop following wherever you are going. This also can be the early indicator of pain in your cat.


Cats tend to express themselves through vocalization. They meow, purr, hiss, and growl. Based on their mood, they produce different sounds. Producing those sounds is normal for the cat. The only time you must be cautious is when your cat meows more than how it used to normally. The cat might growl or hiss at family members when they approach it. This might be the sign that your cat might be in pain or discomfort. Your cat might have an injury or it might be in mental distress.  Cat prefers to isolate themselves whenever they are in pain.

Changes in Daily Habits

Another thing to look for to know whether your cat is in pain or not is by studying its daily habits. If you notice some changes in the daily habit of your cat then your cat might be in pain. You might notice your cat staying away from any human interaction. They do not hang around the places which are crowded and run away when approached by any human. The feeding habit of your cat also changes, you might notice decreased appetite on your cat. They won’t eat as much as they used. They also drink less than the usual amount. Cat also fail to use the litter box, as they might feel pain and discomfort when going in and out of the little box. Your cat finds it hard to maintain that squatting position. So, it tend to hold their pee and urinate in unusual places. The pain and discomfort also cause your cat to groom less or it won’t groom at all. If your notice your cat dirty and untidy then know that your cat has some problem.

Change on Sleeping Habits

It is unusual for your cat to change its sleeping habits. If you notice changes they keep in mind that something is wrong with your cat. Your cat may sleep less or more. Like when they are in pain, they may not be comfortable in the sleeping position, this causes them to sleep less. You might notice them sleeping and laying a lot of the time in elevated places or warmer places. When in pain they need a lot of energy to regain their energy. So they sleep more than they usually do.

Unusual Facial Expressions

Another way to know whether your cat is in pain or not is by observing its facial expressions. If you notice your cat showing expressions like grimaces., furrowed brows, vacant stare then something is up with your cat. They might be in pain. You also might notice them wide-eyed and sleepy. They also have flattened ears most of the time and continuous panting even when they are resting. These are the signs that your cat is either sick or in pain.

Self Protection

Cats are cautious animals but when they trust a human being they tend to let their guard down. What if your cat is showing the behavior of self-protection more than it usually does. Like protecting a certain part of the body, not letting you touch or hold them. When walking you might also notice your cat limping. They do this to not put weight on the limb. These are the signs that your cat is in those protected areas. So you need to carefully examine those areas and provide an immediate solution.


When in pain even a friendly cat might show unexplained aggressive behavior. They might scratch you, hiss at you, or bite you whenever you go near them. You might notice your cat is acting out of character. You might also notice your cat’s ear pinned back. Usually, the cat does this to be prepared for a fight and ready to attack. So, be cautious when approaching your cat when you notice their ears pinned back.

Abnormal Posture

Normally cat lays by stretching out its leg but when they are in pain they stay in this abnormal posture. Your cat might lay with feet underneath and its head hunched lower . You may notice your cat’s abdomen curved higher than normal.

Decrease in Activity Level

The energy level of the cat decreases as they age or when they are in pain. You might notice them restless and difficulty in moving from one place to another. Your cat might repetitively change its position like getting up than lying again and again. When performing any physical activity, it might tremble or shake. When in pain your cat also can,t leaps as high as it used to. So, if you notice your cat most of the time in lower places than the higher places then it is probably because your cat is unable to go to higher places.

Helping a Cat in Pain

If you notice this behavior in your cat then take the required measures to treat comfort your cat. If possible find the root cause of your cat’s pain. Also, be aware of your cats’ symptoms to prevent any health complications in your cat. Here are some ways to keep your cat comfortable in pain. – Provide pain medication safe for the cat to elevate a certain level of pain. – Encourage your cat to stay hydrated by drinking enough water. – Keep your cat in a quiet and warm place for enough rest. Sometimes the pain goes with the time passing by but it can be severe. Do not give medication yourself without consulting the veterinarian. Different types of pain require different types of treatment. So it is best to take your cat to a veterinarian rather than diagnosing your cat’s pain yourself.


Cats are good at masking their pain but it is not impossible to know whether they are in pain or not. You need to be aware of the above-mentioned behavior and changes in your cat’s behavior. The symptoms can differ depending on the cat’s problem. So be cautious and provide the required care for your cat. This way you can be the best owner for your cat. Consult with your local veterinarian on how to provide proper care for your cat. This way you can help your cat whenever it is in pain. How Many Kittens Can a Cat Have in its Lifetime?
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Arun Sapkota

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