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How do we know when kitty is in pain?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
As most of you know by now, Bugsy has gingivitis... Right now I am managing the natural way, with supplements like Transfer Factor, CoQ10, L-Lysine, and digestive enzymes, probiotics, etc. (all approved by my vet) It has gotten much better, and it is no longer bleeding, but it is still pretty red... There are no lesions like advanced stomatitis - the red is only on the gums right around the teeth.
He eats dry food normally, chews normally, and of course eats wet food normally. Not losing weight (although he could certainly afford to lose some)
I can massage the outside of his mouth/cheeks, and he doesn't complain.
I know cats are notorious for hiding pain, so... In how much pain do you guys think he is?
Do you think I need to go to the vet for pain meds?
I know he will need more aggressive treatment with a dentist, but now this treatment needs to wait. I can, however, take him to his vet for pain management... He does have a very sensitive system, and I don't want to give him any drugs unless it is necessary...
What do you guys think?
I hate to think he is in chronic pain
post #2 of 9
If he's eating well and not avoiding eating, I'd think he was fine pain wise. If he was truly in pain, he wouldn't want to eat, he'd be hiding, not be social or anything like that. I would keep on doing what you're doing and monitor him. If he stops eating or is reluctant to eat, then you know he's in pain.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you Stephanie, you made me feel much better - yes, he is very social, follows me everywhere, plays with the other kitties, etc. He is not reluctant to eat at all - I watch him closely, to see if he shakes his head while eating, if his ears are down... nothing, as far as eating goes, he is perfectly normal.
post #4 of 9
One of the telltale signs is if they lie much on their stomach/breast.
cats often do lie so. It is comfortably for them. But if a cat lies so markedly much - watch out.

Purring unnecessary may be another telltale...
Purring alone is of course never a sign for pains. But if it is part of the picture...

Cat being extra aggressive, or otherwise kind cat beginning to teaching lessons to cat pals...
post #5 of 9
I have an older kitty who has arthritis, which we manage very well, but when we were trying to figure out what was going on with her, my vet kept asking me questions. I finally told him, "I can't put my finger on it exactly, I just know something's wrong with her. She's just not herself." He looked at me and said, "Well, you know your cat better than anyone, certainly better than I do, so we'll keep looking." That was a very wise statement on his part. Ever since then, I have found myself saying, "I know this cat better than anyone. This is just not normal for her."

The tell-tale signs for me are: being anti-social, hiding, loss of appetite, reluctance to be held/picked up, hiding out in unusual places, change in litter box habits, and reluctance to engage in normal playtime activities.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks again guys - normally, do cats hide pain, or they can actually tolerate a lot of pain without showing? Do you know?
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Thanks again guys - normally, do cats hide pain, or they can actually tolerate a lot of pain without showing? Do you know?

Good question. But out in the wild sick members of the colony arent welcome. Sick animals are also extra easy prey. So it is twice useful to hide pain...

In domestic cats it is partly otherwise: many cats do comfort their pals in pain or dying pals.
- Although exceptions arent unusual - the cat in pain is not seldom mobbed, or even assaulted... A forumist wrote about one pal did immediately killed his hurted friend...
post #8 of 9
Fiona has had a lot of problems, including abscesses, a broken foot, and a knocked out tooth! In all three cases, she did not exhibit any signs of pain whatsoever if you messed with the affected areas, and she also continued using the litterbox, and eating and drinking normally. The only sign she showed of the pain she must have been in was lethargy and hiding, so that's what I look out for. If your cat is still acting totally normal, then I doubt he is hiding serious pain. for Bugsy!
post #9 of 9
They are very good at hiding their pain, so you have to know your kitty and what to look for. Hannah stops eating or her appetite is greatly decreased (very strange for her since she's a feline vacuum!) and Callie gets hissy and is easily agitated.
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