Cats are mysterious and delightful creatures. To know them is to love them. To understand them is nearly impossible. When it comes to concealing pain from disease or injury, most cats are capable of an Academy Award-winning performance! The most troubling difference between cats and many other animals is that cats hide their pain, and they’re very good at it!

Research shows that cats suffer from pain in nearly the same way we do. Unlike humans, cats behave overall rather normally when they are in pain. In the wild, a sick or injured kitty is vulnerable to attack, so survival can depend on their ability to maintain the appearance that everything is fine even when something is terribly wrong. To make matters worse, many studies have shown that cats will fake wellness to please us, and then quiver in misery after we leave the room, as suggested by hidden camera technology.

So How Can You Tell If Your Cat Is In Pain?

Changes in a cat’s normal routine often are the first sign that something isn't right. You'll need to closely, critically observe your cat’s behavior. Some behavioral changes are commonly mistaken for grumpiness or laziness, and it may not be obvious to humans that they’re signs that kitty needs help.

If you notice that your kitty seems to be sleeping more than usual and/or sleeping in only one position, has stopped grooming, lacks interest in food or water, growls or hisses when stroked, touched or moved, or generally wants to be left alone you should consult your veterinarian right away. Other signs of pain include nonstop purring, licking a particular area, abnormal body positions, (such as a hunched-back poisture), reluctance to jump to favorite spots (such as window sills and beds), and hiding or isolating oneself.

Never, ever, give human pain medication to your cat without consulting with your cat's doctor. A wide variety of medications and treatments are available to alleviate cats’ pain and help them feel more comfortable, but it's important to note that many over the counter human medications are deadly to cats.