A cat in pain is a heartbreaking sight. It can be an ear breaking sound as well, if they want you to know the suffering they are experiencing.
As a general rule though cats have been evolutionarily conditioned to mask their pain and hide weakness, so when we can perceive their pain we know that it is serious. Because of their ability to conceal their hurt and suffering in silence, as pet owners, have to be alert and attuned to our cat’s normal behaviors.
Once we know that our cat is experiencing pain it would only seem logical to give your cat something for it.
Our own pain can often be soothed by popping a few pills, but these can be deadly to cats.
What Can I Give My Cat for Pain? Answer: Depends on the Cause
The type of pain relief you can give your pet companion depends on the type and cause of the pain itself. Typically the type of pain relief that you would use for people can be used on cats. A broken or strained bone or contusion can be relieved by applying an ice pack to the injury site, having the added benefit of reducing the swelling. A painful injection site can be treated with the application of warm pressure and a bit of massage. Pain due to other, possibly internal, causes have fewer methods of relief.
Since the source of the pain must be tackled, consult a veterinarian. He or she will be able to find the cause of it and indicate methods or medication you can use to relieve it.
Pain is often difficult to recognize in cats unless it is evidently obvious such as a visible laceration or injury. Therefore, you have to pay attention to possible indicators for pain in your feline friend. An easy way to see if your cat is hurting, is if you notice unusual reactions when you are petting them. Your cat may hiss, meow, growl, scratch or run away. To identify the exact location you need to take your cat on your lap and gently massage its body and observe it’s reactions.
The location of the pain is key in identifying the cause. For example, abdominal pain could be a symptom of a digestive or bladder condition. Watch for other signs of pain such as changes in appetite, infrequent or frequent urination, straining while urinating, lethargy, agitation, changes in breathing, changes in vocalization.
Can I Give My Cat Pain Medication?
The veterinarian will have to diagnose the cause of the pain to prescribe suitable medication to relieve it. Pain medication often used for veterinary purposes are Meloxicam and Ketaprofen. The reaction your cat has to the pain relievers will have to be monitored because they contain minute concentrations of NSAIDs.
Can I Give My Cat Pain Killers?
Wanting to soothe your feline friend’s hurting is natural, but medication is not always a wise option. Never provide your cat with human pain medication. A cat’s liver and kidneys are built differently and are often incapable of processing the same ingredients. The common ingredients used in human pain medication are NSAIDs and are in concentration that are far too great for our pet companions to process. It would do nothing to relieve their pain, but it could cause fatal toxicity.
A safer option to relieve pain can also be prescribed by a veterinarian. Local problems can be soothed by using local anesthetics, similar to those given to people. These numb the area of the pain completely for a short period of time and have the advantage that they need not be metabolised by the feline liver.
Surgery Related Pain
If your cat is suffering from intense pain, such as after a surgery or from a serious injury, your vet may prescribe opioid drugs, such as morphine and its derivatives. These are very strong drugs and are also carefully monitored when used for human consumption, so only your veterinarian will be able to administer them. The veterinarian will also monitor the effects because serious side effects may occur while under this type of sedation.
Consult a Vet When Your Cat Is In Pain
Never give your cat human medication since it almost always contains ingredients that are poisonous to cats. There are methods you can use to relieve your feline friend’s pain, such massage and compression. Actual pain medication should be used only under careful guidance of a veterinarian. If you notice that your cat is in pain it would be best to bring him to the veterinarian for diagnosis. Pain can always be a symptom of a serious condition that can worsen with time. Additionally, once the source of the pain is diagnosed one can treat and soothe it.