As pet parents, the natural immediate reaction to your cat being in pain is wanting to do all that you can to make them feel better. Unfortunately, the answer as to what it is exactly that you should do is difficult to find an answer to. Finding ways to treat your cat’s pain at home is one of the best ways to make sure that they are perfectly comfortable by relieving the pain they’ve been feeling.
Whether it’s from a pre-existing condition, recent surgery or your cat is just starting to get older, being able to identify and properly address when your cat is in pain is a skill that will not only make your cat’s life easier but will make you feel more equipped and capable to care for them. If you want your medicinal questions answered, or to feel ready to treat your cat when it’s experiencing pain, this article is for you.
In this article we’re going to discuss:
- How To Tell If Your Cat Is In Pain
- What You Can Give Them and What You Can’t
- Prescription Medication
- General Overview
How To Tell If Your Cat Is In Pain
Signs to watch out for if you think your cat is hurting
If your cat is exhibiting any of these behaviors then they may be experiencing some form of pain:
- They’re reluctant to play
- Exhibiting trembling or seem unsettled
- Crying, growling, or hissing
- Licking a specific region of their body
- Moving around less than normal
- Reduced appetite
- Showing a change in mood
- Tail glitching
- Change in their gait or posture
- Avoids being petted, groomed, or handled
- Rapid and shallow breathing
- Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping more)
- Closed eyes or involuntary blinking
- Changes in their stool or toilet habits
If you notice your cat exhibiting these behaviors, it’s very important that you contact a veterinarian. There could be more at play than what you can see with the naked eye. These behaviors could mean any number of things from arthritis to other more harmful diseases such as certain cancers.
That being said, if your cat has just undergone surgery or your cat’s vet has alerted you of the underlying conditions your cat may have it’s important to do what you can to alleviate some of that pain and discomfort. As long as you remain attentive to your cat’s behaviors it should be fairly easy to pick up on whether or not something is causing them pain.
What You Can Give Them and What You Can’t
What pain medications are safe to give to your cat?
When it comes to treating your cat’s pain it’s of paramount importance that you steer clear of NSAIDs, or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. While these drugs may be the ones you reach for when you’re sick or have a headache, you should NEVER give them to your cat for any reason. NSAIDs consist of drugs like aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, and any other similar pain-relieving drugs that can be found at your typical drugstore.
Your cat is a member of your family, and that means that checking to make sure that the medications you administer to them are safe is absolutely necessary to ensure their safety. Another option you could try for relieving your cat’s pain is CBD oil. As of late, CBD oil has been receiving lots of praise from both pet owners and veterinary professionals. It comes from the flowering on hemp plants and works to relieve your cat’s pain with ease. While it’s free of the psychoactive ingredient THC, it’s still very important that you know the correct dosage to give your cat, and how to use it.
Another route you can take to help your cat overcome pain is changing your cat’s diet. Adding a hearty amount of omega-3 fatty acids is a good way to address some existing problems that may be causing your cat pain. This can be especially helpful for senior cats who may have more joint problems.
Your vet can help you out with this one
While many of your typical over-the-counter medicines are unsafe for cats, there are a number of other medications that your cat’s vet may prescribe that are perfectly safe to use. Opioids such as fentanyl, codeine, morphine, and hydromorphone, are often used to treat cat pain after surgeries and procedures. Before using these types of medicines to treat your cat, it’s always a good idea to consult a trusted veterinarian on the proper doses to ensure your cat’s safety.
Your cat’s vet may also recommend medicines that help to reduce inflammation and pain such as dexamethasone, prednisolone, or other corticosteroids of a similar type. Again, asking your vet about how much to administer is extremely important to make sure that you don’t cause harm to your kitty.
Easing your cat’s pain as best as you can
Depending on your cat’s condition, or the procedures done on them, there are many different options you can choose from to free them of pain and make them feel more comfortable. For example, opioids as well as CBD oil help to target chronic pains, whereas, corticosteroids aim to alleviate arthritic pain. Essentially, what’s really important is keeping an open channel of communication between yourself and the veterinarian to have an educated understanding of what your cat truly needs. At the end of the day, it’ll be your cat that thanks you for proceeding with caution when making decisions about their care.