25 signs that your cat is suffering

signs cat is suffering
Credit: iStock

Cat owners know their cat’s personality, habits and likes and dislikes.  Because you are in tune with your cat, you often notice the slightest change in their behaviour.  However understanding these changes is a lot more difficult.  Like lots of animals, cats don’t like to show they are suffering so they are not seen as easy prey.  This is why it is necessary that you look out for the slightest sign of suffering so that you can act quickly!  Here are 25 signs to watch out for which would suggest your cat is suffering. 

1. It is limping

If your cat starts to limp slightly, it is a clear sign that it is having difficulties walking.  This could be simply due to arthritis or a thorn in their paw or a more serious injury.

2. It struggles to jump

If you notice that your cat is struggling to access it’s food bowl which is on a higher level or is simply struggling to jump onto the bed you should get in touch with your vet.

3. It has an unusual gait

Some brain diseases can cause an abnormal gait.  This can make your cat stagger and wobble like it is drunk.

4. It no longer wants to move

If your cat is unwilling to even move, it is a clear sign that it is feeling pain somewhere.

5. It reacts when touched

If your cat starts to get slightly aggressive when you try and stroke it or has an unusual reaction when you touch a precise part of their body, it is clearly suffering.

signs cat is suffering
Credits : iStock

6. It keeps itself to itself

Cats are animals that like a bit of peace and tranquility.  However if you think your cat is isolating itself more more than usual, particularly if it likes to hide in a cupboard, it is a sign that something is not quite right!

7. It no longer goes to the toilet

For cats cleanliness is important which is why going to the toilet daily is a crucial activity.  If your cat stops going to the toilet, there is obviously a pain that is preventing it.

8. It no longer plays

Beforehand your cat was a little menace that loved to play and mess around.  However overnight it seems it no longer wants to run after a ball of wool. If this is the case, perhaps your cat is suffering!

9. It eats less

You should never take your cat’s loss of appetite lightly.  This could be a symptom for many illnesses of varying seriousness.

10. It sleeps more often

Does your cat now spend all of it’s time asleep?  If your cat is neither a kitten nor an older cat then this is not normal behaviour.

signs cat is suffering
Credits : Alexandru Zdrobău/Unsplash

11. It scratches itself less

Your cat’s well-being is often visible thanks to some habitual behaviour.  For example if your cat stops rubbing itself against you and your furniture to deposit it’s pheromones then this is because there is something that is preventing it.

12. It is in a bad mood

If your cat suddenly changes it’s behaviour without any reason, either becoming more aggressive or in contrast more affectionate, it is rarely a good sign.

13. It seems sad

A healthy cat never looks sad or listless.

14. It curls into itself

If your cat is sore somewhere it can adopt unusual postures like it is regularly trying to curl into itself.

15. It gains or loses weight

Weight is a good indicator about your cat’s general state of health. If it’s weight regularly fluctuates it is a bad sign.

signs cat is suffering
Credits : iStock

16. It licks itself often

If you notice that your cat spends a lot of time licking a particular part of it’s body such as it’s paw there is something that is making it suffer in this area. Your cat can even scrap away it’s fur if it is really itchy.

17. It keeps it’s head down

If your cat seems to struggle to lift it’s head or moves around with a head bent to the side, you should urgently contact your vet.

18. It takes it’s time to open an eye

If your cat has an eye infection, an eye disease, or has a foreign body in it’s eye, it may take longer than normal to open it’s eye.

19. It struggles to eat

If your cat seems to have difficulty chewing and/or swallowing food there is something in it’s mouth that is causing it pain. Mouth infections are relatively common for our feline friends.

20. It avoids bright places

A cat that doesn’t have eye problems has no reason to be sensitive to light.  If your cat escapes brightly lit places or it looks like they are feeling uncomfortable you could contact your vet quickly.

21. It snarls

If your cat snarls when you approach it there is definitely something that is not right!

22. It whines

If your cat starts whining when you pick it up, when it pees or during any other specific movement, your cat is clearly hurting somewhere.

23. It keeps it’s eyes closed

A cat that keeps it’s eyes open should be taken to the vet straight away.

24. It doesn’t want to be picked up

If your cat normally loves to spend hours purring on your shoulders but now escapes straight away to the other side of the house when you try and pick it up, there is clearly something not quite right!

25. It often shakes it’s head

If your cat starts to shake it’s head often it is because it is suffering from an ear infection like a otitis, or because a foreign body has entered it’s ear canal. In any case, your cat should see a vet urgently.


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