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How Do Cats Feel Pain? All You Need To Know!

Cats may be quite stoic creatures. We've all witnessed our cats hiding when they're sick instead of alerting us so we can assist them.

Have you ever pondered why they do it? It's because pain makes them appear weak, which makes them easier prey for predators (albeit there aren't any likely predators in our homes; we can only blame their basic impulses!).

You may have also asked how cats experience pain. Is it similar to what we do? It is! We both have receptors in our skin and other tissues that signal to our brains when we come into touch with stimuli, allowing us to biologically process and feel pain in the same way.

For more information, following us in "How Do Cats Feel Pain? All You Need To Know!" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

What Kinds of Pain Do Cats Feel?

Due to the similarity of our nerve systems and brains, cats experience the same forms of pain as humans: acute, chronic, and inflammatory.


Acute pain is the type of agony you feel when you tread on a nail or when you slam the door on your fingers. That is the sort of agony that causes one to exclaim, “Ouch, that truly hurts!” It is intended to protect the body by decreasing the amount of harm that may be done, which is why, following an accident, one begins to limp or hold their fingers very still.


Chronic pain is discomfort that persists for at least three months. Consider the agony of arthritis or tendinitis; similar conditions.


When the immune system is engaged, chemical and physiological changes in the tissue result in inflammation. This can occur in reaction to an accident, bacterial or other illness, surgery, or even when there is nothing wrong.

How Can I Tell My Cat is in Pain?

Since our feline companions tend to hide when they are in pain, it is important to know what symptoms to look for in order to get them to a veterinarian. Here is what you should be on the lookout for:

  • Alterations to their everyday routines

Your pet may move the position of their afternoon snooze since the previous spot is no longer comfy. Maybe you may see that your cat is no longer as playful with you or other household pets as they once were.

Your cat may also begin to avoid climbing stairs, furniture, and cat trees because they are too tough to ascend. Some daily habit changes to watch out for include less interaction with the family, altered eating, hiding more frequently, sleeping more, and defecating outside the litter box.

  • Leaning or adopting other odd positions

If your pet’s feet, legs, or hips are causing discomfort, they may limp. They might also adjust the way they sleep or move in order to prevent putting pressure on a painful location.

  • They became more louder

Your cat may start meowing more frequently or even snarl suddenly at family members.

  • Aggressive conduct.

There is a significant likelihood that your pet is in pain and does not want to be handled if they are suddenly hissing or snarling to individuals they adore or clawing and scratching when someone attempts to handle them.


As described in “How Do Cats Feel Pain? All You Need To Know!” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), similar to humans, cats experience pain in a similar fashion.

Because our nerve systems and brains are almost identical, this is the case. Hence, cats can experience acute, chronic, and inflammatory pain similar to humans.

As cats try to conceal when they are in pain, since their instincts warn them that doing so will make them appear vulnerable to predators, it is up to humans to determine whether or not they have sustained an injury.

There are a number of indications that your feline companion is in pain, including hostility, vocalization, and strange behavior.

If your cat’s behavior deviates from the ordinary, it may be time to take them to the veterinarian to check they’re in excellent health.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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