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How Can I Tell if My Cat is in Pain?

Just like humans, cats can experience different levels of pain.  Although cats cannot talk to us to let us know they are experiencing pain, they are always communicating with their behaviour, body language and facial expressions. 

Owners at home may notice a difference in their cat’s interactions with family members and eating routines, but not realize that these could potentially be signs of pain.  Being able to identify different levels of pain can be easy if you know what you are looking for.  You can use this chart to help aid you with recognizing the signs of pain in your cat.

0 Cat exhibiting normal play behaviour
  • Exhibits normal play behaviour and is interested in surroundings
  • Normal eating habits
  • Content and quiet

 

1Cat not as interested in play or surroundings
  • Signs can be subtle at this stage some owners may notice their behaviour is “off”
  • Not as interested in play or surroundings
  • May be less interested in food

2

Seek veterinary care

Cat sitting all curled up with legs under them, tail curled around, shoulders hunched, head hanging lower than body
  • Quiet, eyes seem dull
  • May be hiding or not interacting with family as much
  • Sits all curled up with legs under them, tail curled around, shoulders hunched, head hanging lower then body
  • Eyes dull, hair coat appears rough
  • Less interested in food or not eating
  • May be licking or excessively grooming at areas that are painful

3

Seek veterinary care

 Cat hissing
  • Hissing, yowling or growling when alone
  • May try to bite owners when approached
  • Biting at areas
  • Stays in one spot for long periods of time

 

4

Seek veterinary care

 

 Cat lying down
  • Flat out
  • Unaware of surroundings or unconscious
  • Doesn’t respond to family
  • Will allow owners to touch or care for them when they normally wouldn’t

Written by West Hill Animal Clinic

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Last updated: December 17, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective September 28th, 2020 we have made some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Friday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED

5. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at West Hill Animal Clinic