From jumping to and from the bed to smashing the wall hangings on the floor, cats have done it all. They’re the most happening thing in your house, keeping you busy all the time.
If you’re a cat owner, you’ll probably relate to what I just mentioned about them, but what you’re most like to ignore is a cat’s sickness. I’m not judgemental about your relation with the cat, but this is the most common scenario. Since it is in the nature of a cat to hide pain, it becomes difficult or impossible to understand when a cat needs attention. However, before you start making conclusions about your cat, you need to understand these points mentioned below.
#1. Why cats hide their pain
Cats are hunters by nature, and their tendency to disguise discomfort is an evolutionary holdover from their days in the wild where injury or illness paints a target on their back to nearby predators. The appearance of weakness would make a cat vulnerable or put her in danger of being bullied or abandoned by her group. Even though domestic cats have nothing to worry about becoming prey, they may still view other pets in the house or even other people as their competition. Even if you’re extremely overprotective of them, there are chances you still might not be able to spot when your kitty is masking her pain symptoms.
#2. Recognizing the symptoms of pain in cats
A cat who’s experiencing pain will often show changes in behaviour that are accompanied with mood swings. As a cat parent, you need to spot when you cat is not in a mood to mingle with anyone in the family and doesn’t show any signs of being right or wrong. Mentioned below are the few behavioural changes among cats when they’re in pain:
- Sitting still and hunched up
- Loss of interest in people, other pets, or even activities
- Neglecting to groom themselves, or even over-grooming in one spot
- Purring, excessive meowing, or unusual vocalizations
- Restlessness or aggression toward friendly surroundings
Other than these behavioural changes, a cat in pain will lose appetite all of a sudden. You might as well witness unusual vomiting. When cats suffer chronic pain, such as arthritis they might stop using the litter box or stop climbing objects in the house because it’s too difficult for them to climb.
#3. How your vet can help
Any abnormal behaviour from a cat should mean an immediate visit to her veterinarian. Instead experimenting with her supplements and medicines, it is best that you take her to the vet, who can then determine whether these changes are due to pain or illness. Depending on the reason for the behavioural change your vet will then treat the underlying cause. The vet will help with pain management – which includes the prescription of pain medication, heat therapy, physical rehabilitation and even massage. If the cat is suffering from chronic joint pain, the vet will put her on weight management food and sometimes recommend changes in her diet.
You might have to visit the veterinarian several times a month until your cat shows normal behaviour once again. Do not hesitate in taking some time off your busy schedule to take her to the visit, remember each visit will help your cat live longer and healthier.
#4. How you can help
The only things your vet can do is prescribing her right medication and seeing her time to time, but you still have a bigger responsibility to handle. Remember to spend a lot of time with her; she might not ask for it, or sometimes even avoid the love you shower on her, but she needs it the most. You can consider relocating her bed, food dishes, water bowls and litter box, so they’re easier for her to locate. Make sure the litter box is simple enough for her to climb effortlessly. In case you’re living in a big family, remember to keep children away from her. While she might escape it herself, you don’t want her to lose trust in people while she’s recovering.
Your cat is certainly an important part of your life and even if you’re worried about her health, remember she is a fighter. Just don’t forget to give her all the love and attention that she’s been avoiding for a while. And once she’s okay she’ll be the same little purr-ball that she always was, the one who’s smashed things on the floor and jumped from one corner of the house to another.