Cats are silent sufferers, which makes it nearly impossible to know when your cat first starts feeling ill.
As a good pet parent, it’s your job to take care of your fur baby. Keep an eye out for these critical signs of pain so you can get your little loved one help before the problem gets out of control.
Unlike other animals that may cry out or show obvious signs of being ill - humans included - cats are naturally programmed to hide their pain. It’s an evolutionary defense mechanism that has carried through to our domesticated feline friends.
In the wild, injured cats are more vulnerable to predators and other cats who may try to infringe on their territory or resources. To protect themselves, cats go above and beyond to hide any signs of internal illness or injuries.
Understanding this natural inclination is the first step in learning how to tell if your cat is in pain.
Changes In Mood
Cats have a lot more in common with us humans than you might think. When you’re sick, you have very little patience and may be more irritable than when you’re healthy, right? Your cat’s the same way.
If your usually-friendly kitty suddenly starts nipping, scratching, or avoiding you, take notice. Out-of-the-ordinary behavior can be a sign that your cat isn’t feeling well. It doesn’t mean your cat doesn’t love you anymore. Rather, it’s a natural defense that means “Leave me alone. I’m not feeling well.”
But don’t listen to your cat. Pay attention to his behavior and habits. Take special notice if your cat seems annoyed or aggressive when you touch him in a particular spot, which may indicate tenderness or pain. Then call your vet.
Breaks In Routine
Cats are highly routine creatures. One of the best signs that your cat is unwell is changes in his routine. Things like eating less, drinking more water, or refusing to play with his favorite toy can be a signal that your cat isn’t feeling his best.
It’s also important that you maintain your routine with monitoring your cat’s health. If you’re using PrettyLitter and your cat has been leaving healthy yellow or olive green deposits for quite some time, don’t get complacent.
Sometimes we take our pets’ healthy status for granted and assume everything’s OK. Keep checking your cat’s litter. If you notice red, blue, or bright green stains, take your furry friend to the vet as soon as possible.
One of the symptoms of pain your cat might show is avoiding certain places that he associates with pain, like the litter box. If your cat is suffering from a bladder infection, blockage, or struvite crystals in cats, he may have trouble urinating or experience painful urination.
After a few attempts, he’ll assume it’s his litter box that’s causing the pain. As a result, you may see that your cat leaves unwelcome presents - like urine stains or feces - around your house in places where he thinks he’ll be more comfortable.
This is a serious sign of trouble and should be dealt with as quickly as possible.
Now that you know what to watch out for, you may be asking, “What can I do?” The answer is simple: call your vet.
While knowledge + PrettyLitter can alert you that your cat may be facing a health battle, only a trained veterinarian can diagnose your feline friend. Talk to your vet, share your insight, and let the pros treat your fur baby knowing that you’ve done your job.