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What Does Pain Look like in your Cat?

You are in the best position to look for subtle changes of behaviours that indicate your cat is in pain. If your kitty is showing one or more of these behaviours he/she maybe hurting. By completing this assessment, you are helping us to identify possible painful conditions

Please check all that apply:



  • _____ Meowing more then usual
  • _____ Purring that seems to be associated with pain
  • _____ Hissing
  • _____ Growling
  • _____ Vocalizes differently, makes noises that are not normal for him/her

Daily Habits:


  • _____ Decreased Appetite
  • _____ Withdraws from social interaction with family members or other animals
  • _____ Changes in sleeping (more or less); sleeps in unusual positions, not curled up; sleeps in abnormal locations (that may be easier to get to, avoiding jumping)
  • _____ Changes in drinking habits
  • _____ Urinates or defecates outside the litter box, has difficulty getting into and out of the box, unable to squat
  • _____ Constipated
  • _____ Won’t groom or grooms less, fur looks unkempt
  • _____ Licking, biting or over grooming a particular body part

Activity Level:


  • _____ Restless
  • _____ Reluctant to move or moves slowly or stiffly
  • _____ Trembles or shakes
  • _____ Limps
  • _____ Less active; play or hunts less
  • _____ Avoids jumping; can’t jump as high as previously
  • _____ Avoids or has difficulty on stairs
  • _____ Seeks more affection
  • _____ Hides



  • _____ Generally lays with feet underneath
  • _____ Crouches for long periods and doesn’t move
  • _____ Reluctant to sharpen claws or stretch
  • _____ Walks stiffly with back arched
  • _____ Overgrown nails, doesn’t sharpen them

Facial Expressions:


  • _____ Glazed, wide eyed or sleepy
  • _____ Enlarged pupils
  • _____ Squints eyes



Self Protection:


  • _____ Protects a body part
  • _____ Doesn’t put weight on a leg
  • _____ Doesn’t want or avoids being held or picked up or patted





Especially in a previous friendly cat

  • _____ Acts out of character
  • _____ Growls, hisses or bites
  • _____ Pins ears back
  • _____ Is aggressive to humans or other cats

Please list any other changes that are note listed above:


For a Printable Copy: Pain in cats

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