Your Cat and Pain Relief Medication
Cat owners need to understand that cats are NOT small dogs and should not be medicated as one! And when it comes to pain and pain relief management, this is certainly very true. Fortunately for cats and the people who love them, veterinarians have made excellent progress in understanding cat pain and how to manage it.
Most cats instinctively hide their pain as a survival mechanism. (Cats are, by nature, predators, and predators who can no longer hunt become another predator’s next meal.) In the past, this led well-meaning experts to presume that cats didn’t feel pain the same way humans do. We now know that cats have a nervous system very similar to humans, and we know better how to recognize their signs of and manage their pain and discomfort.
It can be very difficult to realize that your cat is in pain because the signs are subtle and difficult to identify. Cats have a natural instinct to hide or mask signs of pain or weakness. This is because cats are solitary hunters – who protect themselves from predators and perceived threats. Even cats that live solely indoors still have this protective instinct.
Listed below are some subtle signs and behavioural changes your cat will display if they are in pain. Contact Country Grove to schedule an appointment to have your pet examined and consult with the veterinarian how to proceed.
- Decreased jumping up or down, or not jumping as high as before
- Difficulty or hesitancy going up or down stairs; slower on stairs
- Less active and playful
- Decreased appetite
- Withdrawn, hiding, or increased “clinginess”
- Decreased grooming or over-grooming a painful area
- Aggressive when handled or towards another pet
- House-soiling (not using the litter box for urine and/or stool)
Effective pain management is an essential component of companion animal medicine. It reduces disease, morbidity, facilitates recovery, and enhances quality of life. Treatment includes both medication and simple changes in your home to allow your cat to maintain their normal behaviors. If your pet needs life long pain relief, Dr. Wolfe will recommend blood work to be performed. This will provide insight to how well your cat’s organs are functioning, and which pain relief medications are safe to give. Please remember to never give your cat any medication without direction from your Veterinarian. This especially includes over the counter drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol) and aspirin. Many of these drugs are highly toxic and can be deadly to cats.