As compared to pet dogs, cats have the advantage of being low maintenance pets. However, old age can create some health disorders in cats. The most common among them is joint pain, due to arthritis. Other such conditions include urinary tract infection, a fractured limb, or an external injury. Sometimes, the owner may succeed in figuring out the exact cause of the pain. In general, cats have the habit of concealing pain. So, detecting this symptom or the underlying cause is not always possible. This makes it more difficult for the owner to detect the underlying cause.
Pain in Cats - Causes
Pain in cats can be due to various reasons, which are not easy to detect. You may not even notice that the cat is in pain. It requires careful attention to detect any physical or behavioral changes that indicate pain and an underlying cause. The changes in the behavior of cats may include withdrawal signs or irritability. Physical changes, like dilated pupils, can also be observed. Sometimes, you can analyze the situation, and find out the cause of pain, as in case of an external injury. Acute pain is often caused by some sort of accident or injury, whereas chronic pain could be a sign of diseases, like arthritis. Pain in cats can also be caused by cancer or from damage to the nerves. While acute pain may subside within three to four days, chronic pain may last till the underlying condition is treated.
It is always better to seek the help of a vet, even if you detect the underlying cause. A pain scale is used by vets to rate the pain in cats. The factors that are taken into consideration are the age, gender, intensity of the pain, and the affected part of the body. A comparative study of these factors helps the vet to find out the cause of the pain, and administer the treatment.
How to Relieve Pain in Cats
It is difficult to see your pets in pain. People often think of administering painkillers, which are meant for humans. Never resort to such actions, as they can prove fatal for the cats. Medication meant for humans, including babies, cannot be tolerated by cats. The liver of a cat does not produce enough enzymes to metabolize the drugs meant for humans. Such drugs can be dangerous for cats, and may even lead to their death. The most dangerous among them is acetaminophen (Tylenol), which should be avoided. Prescription drugs for pain in cats include butorphanol, which may cause sedation. In short, you should not try to give any medicine to your cat. Hence, the best thing that you can do is to take your pet to a vet in your area, and act according to his instructions.
Even though, it is not advisable to administer drugs to your cat without consulting a vet, you can try some natural methods to provide pain relief for cats. You may try acupuncture clinics, which are meant for pets, especially cats. Acupuncture techniques can be beneficial in providing pain relief, without causing any side effect. Such alternative medicines for pets may cost you more than conventional treatments. Copper collars have been found beneficial to some extent. It is also claimed that these collars are effective in bringing positive behavioral changes in cats. Magnetic pads are also used for pain relief in cats. They are said to be beneficial in boosting the energy levels. For cats with arthritis, the best thing you can do is to arrange a massage treatment. Proper and regular massage may also work wonders.
You can also take some preventive measures for maintaining your cat's health, like providing a heated pad, in case of cats affected by arthritis. You can also provide litter boxes on each floor of your building. Make some modifications in the cat food, as per the age and physical conditions of your cat, according to the instructions of the vet. Above all, find time to spend with your cat, and put in your best efforts to nurse it back to good health.