Is my Cat in Pain? 7 Signs to Look Out For

Cats can be really stoical, and it can be hard to know if your cat is in pain due to this fact. There are some ways that you can verify if your cat is in pain, which can be a big help for cat owners everywhere. While it can be nice that cats are really independent in most ways, it can be really hard to help them out if you don’t know that they are in pain.

Being able to recognize the signs that your cat is in pain can be very helpful for many reasons. While it can be tempting to assume that your cat will tell you for sure if they need help or need to see the vet, this is not usually the case. In fact, many cats hide when they feel bad, so you might not even notice that they are hurting. The more that you know about the symptoms of pain in cats, the easier it will be to get your cat help when they need it.

cat in pain

Signs to Look Out For

Cats can be tough to read sometimes. They are good at hiding their pain, and might also physically just hide to make sure that they feel safe. Cats can be tough to read, but you can look for these signs to help you be sure that they are not in pain.

Sitting All Hunched Up

Many cats will sit in a half-squat or hunker down on the floor when they are in pain. Your cat might seem like they are just resting, but if you pay attention, you will notice that they don’t seem comfortable. Your cat might not be willing to stand up like normal, and they might also be unwilling to eat or drink like normal.

No matter the source of your cat’s pain, they might still sit hunkered up like this. This is one of the first symptoms that most people notice when they are trying to decide if their cat is okay or not.

Loss of Interest in Their Surroundings

Animals that are in pain might not seem interested in anything in particular and might just sleep or lay around all the time. Depression can be linked directly to pain, and many cats show depression even when they are not in that much pain. If your cat seems to be avoiding all the things they usually enjoy, and they are lethargic, they are probably in pain.


Cats who are in pain will almost always be motivated to hide in small corners, the closet, or locations where they cannot be found. This is a survival instinct, and wild cats will make sure to stay hidden away in a safe place if they are sick or hurt. Hiding can make it hard for pet owners to know that their cat is not feeling good. If you are struggling to find your cat somewhere in the house, you might need to assume that something is wrong.

Excessive Vocalization

If your cat is meowing, purring, or making unusually loud vocalizations, they might be in pain. Cats that are in pain might make quite a lot of noise, and this is often the first sign that your cat is not feeling very well. Cats that are meowing and fussing loudly are likely not feeling good and need to go see the vet. Even growling and grunting can be a sign that your cat is in pain.


Cats that are in pain can also become aggressive. This is because they are scared and don’t know why they are feeling bad, but it can make it tough to care for them. Aggressive cats can bite, struggle, and yowl, and you might have trouble catching them as well. This is one of the reasons that you might want to take care of your cat’s suspected pain early before they start to become hard to handle and care for.

Making Messes Outside the Litterbox

While it might not seem like it is related, if your cat is making messes outside the litterbox, this might be because they are in pain. This is most related to pain due to bladder stones or blockages, but your cat might make messes where they shouldn’t, even if they are not suffering from a urinary tract issue. Making messes in the wrong places can be due to stress, and this can be a symptom of pain that shows up early before any other symptoms.

Lack of Grooming

If your cat has stopped grooming itself, this can be a sign that something is really wrong. Your cat might be feeling sick or in pain, and a lack of interest in self-care can be a sign that they need to see the vet. If your cat seems greasy and has slight dandruff, you might need to take them to the vet to get looked at. Lethargy can be a sign that something is quite wrong, and your cat could benefit from a trip to the vet.

EVCC is Here if Your Cat is in Pain

If your cat has been struggling with being in pain, you might not have been aware until they started to show severe symptoms. This is why you need to know what to look for to be able to tell that your cat is in pain before their condition gets severe. Cats can be hard to care for since they don’t make it easy to tell what is going on with them sometimes.

Knowing more about the symptoms of pain in cats can help you to be better at taking care of your pet’s needs. When you are not sure if your cat is feeling okay, you need to be sure that you look for these common symptoms to make sure that your cat gets the help that they need to feel better. Your cat will thank you for paying attention to their needs, even if they can be hard to read sometimes.

For more information, or if you would like to seek veterinary care, contact EVCC by calling one of our locations. Our team is trained to handle any emergency situation that comes through our doors and have highly trained professionals who are there for your cat when they need us most.

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