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Trust Your Instincts. If you think your cat is in pain, it probably is. Minimizing animal pain, wherever possible, is important both ethically and legally. Consult your vet as appropriate.

Signs to Look for:

Some Changes in Appearance

  • Apprehensive facial expression
  • Creased forehead
  • Ungroomed appearance

Some Changes in Behavior

  • Crying, yowling, growling, or hissing if approached or made to move
  • Hiding or separating itself from other cats
  • Seeming unusually quiet
  • Incessant licking
  • Lack of appetite

Some Changes in Posture or Movement

  • Limping or holding up a limb with no attempt to use it
  • Stiff and abnormal posture, varying with the site of pain:
    • Pain is in the head or ears can cause a cat to tilt its head toward the affected side.
    • Generalized pain in the thorax and abdomen might cause a cat to appear crouched or hunched.
    • If the pain is thoracic, a cat might extend its head, neck, and body.
    • A cat with abdominal or back pain might stand or lie on its side with its back arched or walk with a stilted gait.