Any cat owner will tell you that cats make some of the best pets. Cats are constant companions, sticking by our sides through thick and thin and always there to comfort us without judgment. They’re also good workers, helping to keep unwanted residents out of our homes and asking for very little in return.


That’s why when our feline friends feel less than their best, we want them to get better fast. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell when your cat is feeling under the weather.


In this post from the Edina veterinarians at Normandale Vet Hospital, we’ll share some signs your cat may be in pain to help you keep your cat healthy and happy.

Why Cat Pain Can Be Hard to See

When our human loved ones feel bad, they can let us know with words and nonverbal cues. However, it is often said that cats “hide” their pain when they aren’t feeling their best.


Unlike people, cat symptoms can be difficult to identify. As natural predators, showing pain would have made their ancestors vulnerable in the wild, which is why biologists believe cats adapted to appear fine even when they are not.


That’s why it’s important to know what to look for to get your pet treated immediately. The earlier you recognize your cat is suffering, the better off she’ll be.

Signs of Pain to Watch Out For

So, let’s look at the signs of pain to watch out for in your cat.

Changes in Behavior

A change in your cat’s behavior is sometimes an early sign of pain. It’s obvious that something is wrong if your usually loving pet starts spending all of its time cowering beneath the bed. Cats and their owners develop great bonds, and many enjoy engaging with their owners in their daily activities.


In addition, your cat may be in discomfort if they stop snuggling up to you at night, following you into the kitchen, or greeting you when you return home from work.


You may also notice some unusual aggression from the cat if your cat is in pain. For example, even the friendliest of cats can suddenly turn cold or bite when in pain. So, if you notice these changes, get in touch with your vet.

Changes in Grooming

If you notice that your cat is beginning to groom less than it used to, it could result from pain. Cats are careful cleaners that often only alter their routine when something goes wrong. Keep an eye on your cat’s coat if you don’t see them grooming frequently. It could be trouble if it looks unusually greasy or messy.


Increased grooming may also indicate pain. Your cat may be attempting to relieve a sore area if they spend more time brushing a particular area of their body, particularly if they are doing so to the point of baldness or wounds.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

Your cat’s sleeping habits may also change as a result of pain. They can have a hard time finding a comfortable position to sleep in, or you might find them sleeping in odd areas. Pain might cause cats to sleep more or less than normal.


Cats in discomfort might also look for warmer resting spots, such as a sunny window or heating pad. Cats love elevated resting places and hardly ever nap on the floor. Observing your cat lying in lower spots may also be a red flag.

4. Sudden Changes in Litter Box Usage

Cats don’t abruptly quit using their litter boxes. Although there are several reasons a cat may stop using the litter box, pain is the most common.


It may hurt for your cat to enter and exit the box if they have problems in their knees, hips, elbows, or spine. Similarly, this pain might make it difficult to assume and maintain a squatting position. This could lead to frequent constipation in cats because bowel movement causes them discomfort. On the other hand, they might keep it for a few days due to the severe difficulties in pooping.


Other than the situation above, the use of the litter box might also be impacted by other uncomfortable medical conditions. For instance, if your cat feels pain while urinating, they can quit using the litter box since they associate the pain with it.


Regardless of the circumstances, a cat that starts eliminating outside the litter box is letting you know that something is wrong.

Edina, MN Veterinary Medical and Surgical Care

With all your cat gives you, keeping her healthy and safe is a top priority. If you notice your feline friend behaving differently, getting her on the road to healing is important.


At our caring Edina veterinary medical and surgical care facility, your pets will be in good hands. Give us a call to schedule an appointment for veterinary services at 952-831-8272 or visit our contact page to speak with a veterinarian today.