10 Signs of Pain in Cats

We often think that cats are very resistant animals. Many of us almost attribute supernatural powers to them, such as saying that cats have seven lives, yet the reality is very different: cats are masters at the art of concealing the signs of pain. Because of this peculiarity, it is difficult to see that the felines are suffering.

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This article by YourCatCareguide aims to guide the time to recognize pain in cats, although as in all animals, will always vary from cat to cat. Keep reading and find out these 10 signs of pain in cats .

It may also interest you: 5 signs of pain the dog

Signs of pain associated with arthrosis

One of the main causes of pain in cats is osteoarthritis, a condition that, as with humans, consists of a wear and tear of the articular cartilage. If the cat has it, it will show the following signs of pain:

  • Reluctance to move (not wanting to move): Many cats that are sore from muscle and skeletal problems avoid moving as much as possible. But with a certain age, the tendency to move enough may be indicating that the cat suffers from arthrosis and not that it is something “apathetic”. Unlike cats, dogs “tell us”, since they accompany our walks, at which point any discomfort when walking is evident. Cats choose to suppress what causes them pain, not rising to their favorite furniture, for example, and limit their daily roaming.
  • Depositions outside the sandbox . Those who deal with cats in a habitual way associate this with a punishment in the face of our absence or change of furniture, for example. But sometimes our cat can not get access to the sand box because of the pain. That is why a physical review of the cat is imperative, before thinking that changed his behavior just because yes.
  • Prolonging of rest times . The last of the signs of pain in cats related to arthritis is that they settle for long periods of time in their beds. It is customary not to give importance to the subject if we have elderly cats, because we think that they are a certain age and that always liked to take their naps. It is important to emphasize that they spend between 14 and 16 hours a day resting, but if they do it in moments that they did not before it could be a sign of pain.

How do I know if my cat has osteoarthritis pain?

Podemos saber isso principalmente observando o seu comportamento atual e avaliando se mudou alguma coisa, desta forma consegue obter muitas pistas. Por exemplo, se o gato costumava saltar para a mesa assim que via comida, saltar para o arranhador ou correr todas as noites pelo passeio um bom bocado e leva algum tempo sem o fazer, será o momento de recorrer a uma revisão veterinária.

When a cat feels discomfort, one of the daily routines that is most affected is undoubtedly its hygiene. However, it is not the only thing we have to pay attention to ascertain if the cat has any kind of pain.

  • Lack of cleanliness . There are cats more meticulous than others in their daily hygiene, but if our cat used to spend a little time cleaning up and if lately it is kind of careless in this aspect, it can be a sign of discomfort. The hair is slightly glossy, bristly, and even a little rough.
  • It does not mark territory . Mark daily territory, such as sharpening the nails and rubbing the jaws, is one of the habits that can be affected or suppressed if the cat feels some pain.

Protrusion of the nictitating membrane (we see a white membrane in the eye)

Cats and dogs have a whitish membrane that we can call the “third eyelid”, although its name is nictitating membrane. Normally we can not see it, but when the cat is apathetic, sore or feverish , we can see it in the cat with open eyes, these symptoms being clear signs that something is not well.

Sialorreia (excess of saliva)

Often the pain in cats is related to changes in the mouth and although the cat maintains a more or less normal attitude and is interested in food, it is impossible for him to swallow. This causes constant saliva and constant pilgrimage to the feeder, although it can not feed properly.


It can also be common in behavioral or stress problems , but some cats react aggressively to certain stimuli as a sign of pain (for example, affection), manifesting behaviors that appear to attack.

If your cat used to be affectionate and docile and now has a blunt attitude when trying to interact with him, go to the vet to rule out any health problem.

Excessive vocalization

There are more “talking” cats, for example the Siamese , but if the cat mia more often than usual and for no apparent reason, it could be a warning that something is happening. It is usually a sign of emotional pain , but on some occasions it may be related to physical pain.

Anti-pain postures (positions that decrease pain)

It is not unique to dogs, although it is in them and in other animals that we see them. Ps cats are more discreet in all that refers to expressing signs of pain, but when it reaches more intensity, we may find our cat curved, or on the contrary, stretched with the front paws as if it were a continuous awakening. Just as when humans feel cramp in the abdomen we tend to shrink, we may find our feline adopting the same positions. They are usually visceral and the changes in this case are usually noticed before the feline has to adopt these postures.

These easy-to-observe details can help us identify the signs of pain in the cat . As always, every cat is a world, and just as there are no equal humans, there are no two equal ways of manifesting pains in felines or in some other being.

With this brief advice from the Expert, and the data that can be collected on a daily basis (lack of appetite, trouble urinating, etc.), the veterinarian can define the appropriate examinations so as to relieve the pain in the cat.

This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you would like to see more articles similar to 10 signs of pain in cats , we recommend that you enter our section on Other health problems .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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