Is My Fur Baby in Pain?

While the humans in our lives have various means of telling us they’re in pain, it’s often harder to detect pain in our four-legged family members. Unfortunately they can’t just use words to tell us. But perhaps even more importantly, their survival instincts compel them to hide their pain. Most animals in pain alter their behavior in some way, though the signs may be quite subtle. Just like in us, the causes of pain can be quite diverse.

Here are some signs of pain to look for:


  • Whimpering or unusual vocalizing
  • Being withdrawn or inactive
  • Uncharacteristic aggressions
  • Holding ears flat against the head
  • Increased licking of a sensitive area
  • Decreased appetite
  • Reluctance to engage in activities
  • Limping or stiffness
  • Lagging behind during walks
  • Unusual reactions when touched
  • Changes in personality


  • Hiding
  • Sitting hunched without moving
  • Showing little interest in interacting, playing or eating
  • Reduction in grooming or excessively grooming
  • Purring or other vocalizations
  • Restlessness or aggression
  • Not using the litterbox
  • Just seeming “off”

If you notice these signs, get help from your vet. There are ways to manage pain with medications and other treatments. Do not use over-the-counter pain medications without a vet’s approval as some cause internal organ damage, especially with cats.

For more info, check out:

Pain Management for Dogs

Pain Management for Cats