Pros At Hiding Pain
When my sweet Maddie was starting to decline due to her cancer, I thought that something was different, but the signs were so subtle I unfortunately did not make a timely vet appointment. She had started to keep to herself more, and hide her head under the blankets or curtains, as if she was hiding from something. Once she started to actively present with symptoms, it was too late and I felt very guilty. I felt like I should have known something was wrong, and taken action earlier. Then my vet explained to me that cats are the worst, or rather, the best, at hiding pain and can tolerate an extreme amount of it before they start to show any symptoms of illness. Dr. H said that no matter how much you love your cat and have an incredible bond with them, when a cat is sick it goes immediately into survival mode. They see any signs of illness or pain as vulnerability, and think they are under threat, so they mask the discomfort. Think: survival of the fittest mindset. Dr. H said that Maddie hid her illness very well, for a very long time.
Sign of Potential Pain
Hiding, loss of appetite, and sleeping more than normal are all signs of potential pain, and Maddie exhibited each of them. But, at 15 years old, you should expect some of these changes, and they can be normal for elderly cats. When these signs appear suddenly is when you need to take note, and take action.
Other signs of pain can be:
You know your cat better than anyone, but being aware of these signs and symptoms can help you notice a change in health that may need immediate veterinary care. Keeping up with routine annual exams and vaccines with your vet can also help catch early signs of pain or illness. Cats cannot talk, so we are their best advocates in all areas of their life.
(Today’s photo features our pal Nubs! Don’t worry, he’s not in pain, he’s just sleepy).
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