Signs of pain

Worried about your cat's health? Take a look at our advice on spotting signs of pain in your cat.

Spotting signs of pain in your cat

Cats are particularly good at hiding signs of pain. They're much more likely to show slight changes in lifestyle or behaviour than they are to show a limp, for example.

There are many different issues that cause discomfort and pain in your cat - take a look at our guide on common cat illnesses for more information. It is important to keep a close eye on your cat and if you notice any change in their behaviour, take them to your vet for a health check.

Common signs of pain in your cat

There could be many signs that your cat is in pain, so it's well worth noting any behaviours that seem out of the ordinary.

Signs of pain include any of the following:
  • becoming more withdrawn or hiding more than usual
  • sleeping more than usual, or slowing down
  • becoming less tolerant of people
  • becoming more reluctant or hesitant in jumping down from furniture or going through the cat flap
  • being stiff after resting, or using a particular leg when going up and down stairs
  • crouching in a hunched up position with squinty eyes
  • reduced eating or drinking
  • increased anxiety or fear
  • sleep disturbance
  • pacing, circling or restlessness
  • a scruffy or matted coat
  • vocalisation, especially when moving or using the litter tray
  • over-grooming
  • some cats will purr in pain

If you suspect your cat is in pain

If your cat's behaviour has changed, or they display any of the symptoms outlined, you'll need to arrange a visit to your vet to get a health check.

Even if your cat doesn't show signs of pain, it is important for your cat to receive regular health checks alongside the usual vaccinations.

You can find out more about your relationship with your vet, and how to find one in our guide: Veterinary care

Related topics

Finding a vet - Topic

Managing cat behaviour - Topic

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