Pain Average Cost

From 332 quotes ranging from $300 - 2,000

Average Cost

$800

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What is Pain?

In the event that you believe your cat is experiencing pain, whether mild or severe, prompt evaluation by a veterinarian is always the best option in order to discover exactly what is causing the discomfort.

When specialized sensory nerve endings (pain receptors) are stimulated, it leads to unfortunate sensation known as pain. For cats, it is a defense mechanism, telling the body that it is injured and urging the cat to move away from what may be causing it. It is a subjective reaction that is difficult to detect in cats as they typically hide the fact that they are in pain.

Symptoms of Pain in Cats

It is not always simple to detect that your cat is in pain. Tolerance for pain can affect how a pet will react. Some are more outward, while others are subtle. However, careful observation of your cat performing everyday activities should help with identifying pain. The following are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Vocalization (e.g. howling, moaning)
  • Aggression (e.g. biting, scratching)
  • Rapid or shallow breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Change in mobility (e.g. limping, stiffness, refusal to use stairs)
  • Resistance to being handled or picked up
  • Withdrawal from activities

Causes of Pain in Cats

There are many conditions that can cause your cat to experience pain. Some are more obvious, while others can go undetected. Listed below are common conditions that can bring about pain:

  • Surgery
  • Trauma 
  • Infection
  • Cancer
  • Urinary tract blockage or stones
  • Digestive problems
  • Exposure to extreme heat or cold
  • Tissue complications (e.g. inflammation, tissue death, loss of blood supply)
  • Arthritis
  • Bladder inflammation
  • Eye conditions
  • Dental Conditions
  • Neurological condition

Diagnosis of Pain in Cats

To first determine what is causing your cat's discomfort, your veterinarian will want to localize the pain to narrow possible causes down. A physical examination can determine any obvious causes such as an injury. Providing the vet with a thorough history of your cat and its symptoms can also aid in this process.

Depending on what is found in the history and physical examination, your vet will recommend performing other diagnostic tests. Both oral and eye examinations can detect if a dental or visual problem is causing your cat pain, while looking at the genitalia and the ears can rule out complications in those areas. Your vet will also want to conduct a complete blood count (CBC) and a biochemical profile to check for infection and systemic illnesses.

Further tests include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs of any area that is identified to be feeling pain, as well as ultrasounds of both the heart and the abdomen. Depending on what your vet feels is causing the pain, he or she may wish to perform more invasive procedures such as a biopsy of the tissue or a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tap.

Treatment of Pain in Cats

Once your cat's pain has been narrowed down to a specific area(s), your vet can begin proper treatment to resolve your pet’s discomfort.

Underlying Conditions

Treatment options will vary with the nature and source of a cat’s pain. Procedures and therapy may be administered to treat underlying conditions, which could range from medication or dietary changes to a dental cleaning or surgery. Treating and resolving the primary condition or injury should help relieve the cat’s discomfort.

Medication

Your vet may recommend the use of various pain medications to alleviate your cat's suffering. Some of these include the likes of opioids (e.g. morphine) which are more commonly prescribed in the event of extreme distress. They will typically be given following a surgical procedure or in the management of a cat who deals with chronic pain in order to give them better quality of life.

In the case of inflammation being the culprit behind the pain, anti-inflammatory medicine will work best. For example, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can treat mild to moderate levels of pain. Corticosteroids are used to generally handle cases of arthritis or allergies, but they do run the risk of long-term side effects. As cats are very susceptible to the side effects of pain and anti-inflammatory drugs, you should always thoroughly consult with your vet before beginning any medication.

Supportive Care

When possible conditions are still being diagnosed, your vet may place your cat under supportive care to make it as comfortable as possible. This care includes measures such as changing the environment temperature, administering IV fluids, and providing supplemental nutrients. 

Recovery of Pain in Cats

Any prescribed medication should be administered exactly how your vet specified. It is easy for a cat to overdose or experience harmful side effects, so it is important that you follow the medication plan laid out. Be sure to pay close attention to your cat's behavior. This includes monitoring their activity level, gait, and even their appetite. Pain is not something that goes away overnight, so continued monitoring is important, just as having frequent follow-ups with your veterinarian.

Pain Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Tiger
tabby
4 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Disorientation, rapid breathing, semiconsciencs

My 4 month old male kitten just began screaming. Walking in circle and is disoriented. Once I picked him up I've found very rapid breathing and he is seemingly in an unconscious state other then his tail whipping occasionally.

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maddee
Tabby Cat
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Stomach Ache

my cat is about 10 years old. normally she likes kitty treats, but the last week she hasn't been as interested. she has been picking at her dry food, but when I got wet cat food she seems to have an appetite. she acts like her tummy hurts and did throw up a little bit 2 days ago. she has never liked being held much but doesn't seem as comfortable being help. she has been drinking. she doesn't seem her normal self personality wise. I think a vet visit is in order to see if maybe a teeth issue or something else. thought I would check to see if any advise til I can get her in. any advise would be appreciated. thank you so much

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I think it would be a good idea to have Maddie seen by a veterinarian, I agree with you. She may have a dental issue, or a systemic disease that is starting. Often times if we catch these things early on, we have a better chance of treating them. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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Becky
Unknown
1 Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

My cat is aprox 1 year old and she gave birth for the first time 3 days ago. She was still in great pain and coudnt move around without howling, she cant step on her feet it hurts her too much.and she didnt poop since giving birth. I took her to a vet to check if there are any retained babies or whats wrong with her and they did an x-ray and said nothing wrong with her and that its just the strain from giving birth.they also gave her an anti-inflamation injection. She still cant walk and still havent pooped and pees where she is laying with her babies. Sometimes she meows at me and props herself up like she wants me to pick her up and move her away esp if the linen is dirty. I did that yestery and moved her to the litter box but she didnt poop or anything, i dont think she can push. Is it alright if i pick her up or should i let her try to move to get her blood circulating? Btw i did call another vet yesterday and he also assured me its normal after a first time birth and that as long as shes eating and nursing its fine

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
I'm not sure that the behavior that you are describing is normal after having kittens, as Becky should not be in that much pain for any reason. If the medication that your veterinarian gave her has not helped, it might be a good idea to have a recheck, as that does sound unusual. I hope that she is okay.

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Marcello
Unknown
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

Hello, today my cat seems to be in pain, walking slowly, tail seems stiff and is always low, and meowing differently than usual so that to me is a clear sign he's not feeling well. It also seems hes not eating or it may cause him discomfort. I also just saw him try to use the litter box but nothing happened. All this is recent, I was gone yesterday but my mother said she noticed nothing out of the ordinary.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Without examining Marcello it is not possible to determine whether there is pain or something else causing the symptoms described; if Marcello seems to be in pain or discomfort (or seems not himself) you should visit your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Charlie
Domesting Shorthair
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Pain

I adopted a 4 year old, previously stray, cat in January. He's the best. However, over the past two months I noticed him limping more and more in his back right leg. Additionally, he wont put weight on it when he's jumping up or down. We went to the vet last week and after looking at the xrays the vet discovered that there are old bb gun bullets/pieces of bullets lodged in his hip and shin. He was put on buprenorphine for a week to see if his behavior was different with his likely pain taken away. He has definitely been in less pain this week. No limping, even weight distribution of his back legs and playing even more than before.

My vet suggested just keeping him on buprenorphine for the foreseeable future. Is that what you would recommend as well? It seems like I wouldnt recommend to a human to stay on opioids for the rest of their life and I'm nervous about doing that to my cat. Are there possibilities that removing the metal could help take his pain away? He was a stray so no idea when the injury happened or how long the metal has been in there.

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Malcolm
short hair
10 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sound with mouth

My cat Malcolm makes a weird sound with his mouth randomly. When I had him neutered in March this was mentioned to the vet and he looked at his mouth and said everything seemed fine. He still randomly does this. I uploaded a video to YouTube and attached a link to it if you could watch and let me know if this is something that needs to be checked into further. The sound is low so you will need to turn up your volume to hear it. I am hoping he is not in pain.
https://youtu.be/wuLOnL35Xh4

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
That is an odd noise and behavior. It almost seems to me that he may be nauseous when he is doing that, and if his mouth and teeth appeared normal on exam, it might be a good idea to try giving Malcolm some hairball paste and see if that resolves it, if he has a hairball or something that is irritating his upper GI tract. If it doesn't resolve, you can show that video to your veterinarian, and it may help them figure out what is happening with him.

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Precious
Mancoon
2 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

growling, hiding hissing,twitching
Growling

My cat is 2 years old, I found him when he was 1 week old. I bottled fed him and he was perfect. He has always not liked his tail and he growls, he is not a normal cat, he growls when he wants out and does not meow.
About a week ago, he started acting a lot different, he really hates his tail now and is growling more. He hides behind our couch all the time and when we try to pet him and pick him up he is okay for a minute but then cry's and hisses like we hurt him and he runs away then starts growling again.
I am not sure if this is maybe a pain in his body, or if he got hurt and scared. I even thought brain cancer?? or I also did look up hyperesthesia.
Please let me know your thoughts.

My email is [email protected]

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email - that is strange behavior for Precious! It would be best to have him seen by your veterinarian, as they can examine him, determine if he is painful, has an injury, or has a condition that causes him pain in his tail area. Without seeing him, it is difficult for me to comment on what might be going on with him. I hope that he is okay, as he sounds like quite a character!

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Lilly
British Shorthair
6 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Pain
Painful Urination

Hello. I have noticed that when my cat sometimes plays and jumps she then has to stop, meows, and lies on her back or side pulling in/up her legs and get the impression she is in pain and may have strained muscles or done something to her hip. I have never seen this before so I'm not sure if I should take her to a vet or if there's something I can do? After a while of resting she is fine but this has happened a few times now and mainly when jumping around. Your advice would be very much appreciated.

My email address is [email protected]

Kind regards Jacqueline

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/cat/condition/pain

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining her, I can't commenton whether Lilly might be painful, or if that is just her normal behavior. The best thing to do would be to have an exam with her veterinarian, and they can do a musculoskeletal exam and try and determine is she is painful. If she is painful, there may be some good pain medications that would make her more comfortable. I hope that she is okay!

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Oreo
domestic short hair
15 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Doesnt eat
Weight Loss
Low Urination

My cat has leukemia and has lost a lot of weight. He doesn’t eat anymore, he sleeps all day, he doesn’t go the bathroom, he’s very thin, and doesn’t look the same anymore. Is it time to put him down?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1607 Recommendations
It may be, sadly. It is sort of our job to make sure that our pets aren't suffering, and when they don't have any quality of life, we are able to help ease them through this. Your veterinarian can tell you for sure if Oreo is suffering, but it seems that he isn't doing any of the things that make life worth living anymore.

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Trunks
Cat
9 Months
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pain When Lifted

For the last three days my 9mth kitten has been loudly meowing whenever I pick him up, today he’s bitten me really hard because I tried to help him down off the bench. He had been constipated which has happened before, he also refuses to drink water I have tried everything to get him to drink water, I’m not sure if he’s still constipated or injured, there’s no sign of any injury and I’ve felt his ribs for any sign of pain. It’s only recently that he’s been doin this.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3317 Recommendations
Pain can be due to a variety of causes and may be due to spinal pain (spine flexes when lifted) or abdominal pain (pushing abdominal contents); without examining Trunks it is difficult to say what the specific cause is but I would suggest visiting your Veterinarian for an examination to be on the safe side since the pain and constipation may be related to an obstruction or other issue. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I’ve already booked him for a check up, I’m so worried for him and will post the results from his vet visit.

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