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Pain in human, cats reaction

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a theory and would like input on it if you've had a similar experience. Or if you think I'm just off my rocker...

I have been having wrist issues for about 6 months, been in constant (varying amounts) pain for about 4 1/2 months. I didn't put it together when it started, but I think Ophelia's different behavior toward me started around then too. She acts like I'm an axe murderer. She runs from me, she won't get pets from me and if she does she'll enjoy it for a minute or two and then either run away or hiss at me.

A little about Ophelia...she's a feral, now 8 years old who came into our lives as a little baby kitten. Although she's been raised with us, she is truly a feral cat. She does love her Daddy, and she is a one-person cat. He's the only one that she really trusts.

I think that the constant pain and Ophelia's reaction to me started around the same time, but honestly I'm not entirely sure. I know how cats can react to each other when one is ill or in pain. Could her change in behavior to me be the same inherent reaction?
post #2 of 14
As weird as it sounds, I think they do pick up on that kind of thing. Have you been to the doctor a lot? Or are you using a new kind of medication or muscle cream on your wrist? My Little One, who is the only one we didn't bottle feed (we got her from the barn when she was about 12 weeks old), wouldn't come near me when I was on antibiotics. Don't ask me why....I guess I smelled different to her or something. When I went off of them, she came up to me the next day, checking to make sure I was still her mommy. Weird.

Or, maybe she just knows something is wrong and doesn't know how to deal with it, so it scares her.

I do hope your wrist feels better soon. What happened to it?
post #3 of 14
I fell on the ice Sunday....hit my head hard....neck pain, etc. No one would sleep with me last night.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Funny, Little One is what Earl calls Ophelia.

I have ulnar impaction - basically my ulna is too long and impacting the cartilage in my wrist. I'm getting surgery on it next week, and hopefully will fix it.

Ophelia is our little nurse when either of us is sick, but maybe pain like this is different? The only Rx I've been taking is Celebrex, and I stopped taking it a week ago when I ran out (why spend $50 on a scrip when I'm only going to take it for a week?). She hissed at me yesterday when I was petting her. But she did let me pet her for a couple minutes before she remembered that I'm the Boogie Man!

ETA - Oh OUCH Natalie! Hope your neck and head feel better soon!!
post #5 of 14
Well I believe this to be true...Bella was always with me anyway BUT when I had a kidney stone she always laid across my abdomen on the side the stone was on
post #6 of 14
I haven't had personal experience, but there was someone recently who had a question about their cat and it's reaction to her. It was acting differently, and she couldn't figure out why. Most of the people on the thread asked if something had happened to the cat recently, but I asked if SHE had some strange stress recently. It really seemed to resonate with her; she said like, "aha, yes, there's something going on with ME, not the cat..."

Has it been since you made the decision to have surgery? Maybe that's it.
post #7 of 14
Not sure if you are off your rocker but I think there is something to this. Cats (and other animals) sense things far beyond what we can know. It could be as simple as you are holding yourself differently, have a tension about you from the pain. If this isn't normal for you, she will notice.

Hope your surgery is successful and recovery swift and complete
post #8 of 14
When I'm painful, usually, one or two of our cats will take turns spending time with me, especially if I'm sick. My kitten always comes and sits with me when I cry, too, whether it's emotional or physical pain.
post #9 of 14
To be honest, neither of my cats seem to noticed a single thing and none of the cats I've ever had have behaved differently.

Cuddling up to you when you laying down on the couch or in bed can easily be explain away as a cat just thinking it's nap time. It doesn't matter how I feel, if I take a nap the boys will cuddle up.
The only reaction I've seen is like here lately, I'm sick and coughing a lot... and they look at me like they expect me to cough up a hairball.

Being frightened lately is more likely to be from smells and maybe unintentional body language.
post #10 of 14
My first (OTB) love got overly affectionate to me whenever I was ill. He usually sensed where the pain was. When I had my teeth pulled, he laid on my chest and rested his paw on my cheek.

My curent gang tends to leave me be when I'm ill. They will stay in the room with me, but don't approach me.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post

Being frightened lately is more likely to be from smells and maybe unintentional body language.
I agree with you! Nothing scares more a cat than something unusual about someone they're used too. If I bring one of my cat to the vet, the other one will hiss her when she comes back (even though they're sisters and have been together since they're born) just because of her different smell.

Also, when we had Maya (foster cat that was pregnant) they were following her everywhere until she got sick. Then, they would totally avoid her even though she was dying in front of them (she was making weird sounds, wasn't herself, had trouble breathing, and yet they weren't curious about it, maybe they felt she was in bad health and didn't want to catch her disease).

Cats are used to the way someone they know will breathe, walk, stand, smell, talk and behave. If some of these things change (weither it's because you're in pain or taking meds), they don't recognize you and will treat you like a stranger. Only my two cents worth...
post #12 of 14
I think it's possible. Dogs can tell when people are pregnant or about to have seizures, why wouldn't a cat be able to pick up on other physical changes?
post #13 of 14
I haven't noticed it during pain. But last night we had an awful storm and awful winds, the power got knocked out. Of course my husband is out of town and as soon as the power went out I freaked out. I couldnt' find a lighter for the candles, couldn't find the flashlight--definitely scared. But as soon as the power went out Jack got tense as well. He followed me room by room as I looked for a lighter or matches. Then he sat right next to me on the bed as we waited for the lights to come on. He's a kitten so he doesn't sit still a whole lot. But he sat with me for over an hour til the lights came back on.

Leslie
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I think that the constant pain and Ophelia's reaction to me started around the same time, but honestly I'm not entirely sure. I know how cats can react to each other when one is ill or in pain. Could her change in behavior to me be the same inherent reaction?
I had another thought. Pain does cause the body to release different endorphins and such (I'm pretty sure adrenaline tends to be released in response to pain too.... just to make those lovely can't get to sleep nights so much better. ), maybe even some stress hormones.

Cats would release some stress hormones when... well stressed and since Ophelia has a feral past, maybe she's just that much more sensitive to them.

Or this could just be another one of my completely off the wall theories...
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