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Signs of Pain in Cats & What Can Help

Signs of Pain in Cats & What Can Help

If you have a cat then you might know that they often won't show us when they are ill or injured. This can make it difficult to know when they need help. Our vets share the signs of pain in cats, what you can do, and how veterinary acupuncture in Los Angeles.

Pain & How It Affects Cats

While each cat will respond to pain or illness in different ways, all cats tend to hide these signs until the issues are well advanced.

Signs of acute pain can include limping or refusing to use a part of their body. Chronic pain, like gum disease or spine pain, is a bit trickier; they might hide from you in your home if they have pain like this because they're unsure what to do about it or how to signal what they're feeling.

This makes it very important that you always keep an eye on the changing behaviors of your feline friend, watching for any potential signs of pain.

What are the common signs of pain in cats?

There are a great number of signs that can point to pain in cats. Some of these signs and symptoms of a cat in pain include:

  • Frequent or ongoing meowing or howling
  • Litter box accidents, urinating outside of their litter box
  • Tail flicking
  • Won't eat or reduced appetite
  • Poor grooming, scruffy-looking
  • Reduced energy, lethargy, or lack of interest in play or going outside
  • Hiding, no interest in spending time with you or other family members
  • Limping
  • Avoiding being handled, picked up, or petted
  • Behavioral changes such as refusing to jump onto a bed or furniture that they typically love to be on
  • Irritable mood, short-tempered with people or other pets including
  • Uncharacteristic hissing, growling, or spitting
  • Unusual vocalizations (meowing more than usual, crying)
  • Excessive grooming
  • Panting
  • Patchy fur

How Pain Affects Behavior in Cats

One of the most obvious areas that you may notice changes is in your cat's body language or behavior. Our vets recommend always monitoring your cat's overall demeanor, stance, and the way they walk so that any changes from their normal will be easily spotted. Changes can be subtle or more obvious.

Some of the typical signs of pain that appear in body language are:

  • Tensed body
  • Crouching or being hunched over
  • Lowering head

Facial Changes in Cats Experiencing Pain

While many cats show little or no change in their facial expression while experiencing pain, some cats are very expressive. If your cat is in pain they might:

  • Squint or close their eyes tightly
  • Flatten their ears so that they are pressed to the sides or back of their head
  • Project an overall facial appearance of tension with a tight mouth

When to Visit the Vet

Often signs of pain in cats are missed until the cat's condition is advanced. When it comes to your cat's long-term health it's always best to err on this side of caution.

If your feline friend is displaying signs of pain contact your vet right away to schedule an examination, or visit your local after-hours animal hospital. To help preserve your cat's good quality of life pain management, and treatment of painful conditions early are essential.

Animal Acupuncture in Los Angeles

Acupuncture is used for pain management and to promote healing within pets. This can make it a good choice for cats living in pain.

This ancient form of medicine is based on the philosophy that illness is caused by an imbalance of vital energies in the body. In modern terms, acupuncture can help by improving blood flow, which boosts oxygenation in tissues.

At Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital, we offer acupuncture to help supplement the traditional treatments and therapies performed by our team.

When is veterinary acupuncture used?

We may recommend acupuncture to help pets experiencing a number of conditions or physical concerns including:

  • Pain Management
  • Musculoskeletal Issues
  • Dermatology & Skin Issues
  • Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Respiratory Issues

What are the benefits of acupuncture for pets?

Veterinary acupuncture and other traditional Chinese treatments are believed to produce a number of health benefits while avoiding the negative side effects that can be brought on by some conventional medications and treatments. Benefits of veterinary acupuncture for pets include:

  • Stimulating the release of endorphins, which are the body's natural pain relievers, and anti-inflammatory substances.
  • No negative side effects on internal organs, as can occur with some prescription medications.
  • There are no adverse interactions with other medications or supplements, making acupuncture a safe treatment for animals undergoing conventional treatments.
  • Acupuncture treatments are believed to create elevated blood flow and increased oxygenation as well as improved metabolic and toxic waste removal.
  • Localized pain relief may be achieved at the site of needle insertion due to the relaxation of the muscles in that area.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you suspect your feline friend is in pain? Contact our Los Angeles vets right away to book an examination so we can diagnose and treat your kitty.

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