Cat Scared When You Touch Its Back
Severe anxiety can be mistaken for physical pain. If your cat suddenly flinches when you touch its back, it might be in fear rather than pain.
If you catch your cat by surprise, this can be frightening. But how can you know if a cat is in pain or fear? Besides wide eyes, a frightened cat may:
- Urinate or defecate outside the litter box
- Try to run away
Cats can develop anxiety for many reasons. Perhaps they have had a traumatic past or dont feel safe in their current home. If left alone, severe anxiety can lead to hyperesthesia.
What Is The Meaning Of Cats Lick
The cat lick is a common sign between cats and their owners. Some people interpret it as a sign that the cat likes you, so its an essential part of your relationship.
Cats lick each other to figure out if theyre compatible for breeding. It can also indicate that the cat trusts the other person and wants to be close.
So the next time your cat starts licking you, dont be surprised, and enjoy the company!
Your Cat Is Grooming You
Did you know cats lick their fur to keep it clean and healthy? Its a sign of trust between cat and owner and one of the ways your cat shows you that they care about you.
When your cat is around people, they are especially likely to lick you because cats lick their fur to mark their territory and show other cats that this cat belongs to the person its licking. If your cat seems stressed or unhappy, give them a good licking!
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What Could Happen If You Step On Cats Tail
While the tail may seem like a pretty unimportant area at times, tail injuries can be extremely concerning. The anatomy of a cats tail is actually quite complex and includes as many as 21 bones, 6 distinct muscles, and a collection of extremely important nerves. Some of these nerves help control key functions like urination, defecation, and even the ability to move their hind limbs.
However, severe tail injuries involving the nerves happen more commonly at the base of the tail and require a good deal of force to cause. Getting stepped on is not a common cause for these injuries and its more likely to occur when cats get their tails stuck in a door or something similar.
More minor injuries, like a fracture that doesnt involve significant nerves, can occur from a cat being stepped on and these would be more like to happen towards the end of the tail. While a fracture is still a painful and serious injury that requires a veterinarian to treat, the long-term outlook is good.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is In Pain
For cats, pain encompasses more than just the I hurt sensation, but also the overall distress that it can cause. As the World Small Animal Associations Global Pain Council puts it:
Pain is a complex multi-dimensional experience involving sensory and affective components. In other words, pain is not just about how it feels, but how it makes you feel, and it is those unpleasant feelings that cause the suffering we associate with pain.
As a pet parent, you want an easy way to tell if your cat is in pain. As a veterinarian, I want the same thing.
I wish I had tools to help my patients, like the facial expression scale physicians for people. But you cant just say, Okay Frisky, just put your paw on the face that best expresses how you feel today.
Instead, we have to rely on a cats behavior to evaluate pain.
Fortunately, weve received a little help in this regard with the publication of a paper entitled, Behavioural Signs of Pain in Cats: An Expert Consensus.
Lets take a look at what the experts have to say about the signs of pain in cats.
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Do Not Give Your Cat Medication That’s Meant For Humans Or For Dogs
Medications that are safe for humans and dogs can do more harm than good when administered to cats.
“Never give your cat any medication without first checking with your veterinarian. Some medications may be safe for us or even your dog but could be deadly for your cat. And it’s not just prescription medication over the counter medications can be just as deadly,” said MacPete.
For example, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in many painkillers for humans, is highly toxic to cats.
First Aid For Cats Top Tips
- Never give human medicines to a cat, and do not offer food or drink in case your pet has to have an urgent anaesthetic
- Any cat with breathing difficulties should be handled carefully and gently, particularly if they are breathing with an open mouth. Many of these patients are dangerously ill and can collapse suddenly if upset
- If you have to put an Elizabethan collar on your cat, do not let the cat outside afterwards, as it may prevent your cat seeing traffic
- Drive carefully when going to the surgery and always have the cat in a closed box or carrier for transport.
Always phone first, whatever the situation, as there may not be a vet constantly at the clinic. However, staff may be able to suggest immediate action to take. Have a pen handy in case another number is given. Treatment can usually be provided more quickly if the cat is taken to the surgery, rather than calling the vet to your home.
First ensure the safety of yourself and others. Keep calm and assess the situation before acting. Injured animals are frightened and in pain, and may try to bite anyone who touches them. Approach your cat quietly and slowly, avoiding sudden movements. The best way of lifting an injured cat is to put one hand under the chin on the front of the chest, and the other behind the hindlegs.
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Other Cats Can Harm Your Cat
Bite wounds that become abscessed are among the most common cat injuries that Pets Best Insurance and Cleveland, Ohio-based Embrace Pet Insurance process.
The most common outdoor injury/accident is for sure cat bites/abscessed wounds, says Embrace Pet Insurance Claims Manager, Jenna Mahan. Usually these injuries are the result of fighting. To prevent these types of injuries, Mahan suggests keeping cats indoors.
But even indoor cats can sustain these types of injuries. Sometimes Dr. Eisen treats bite wounds or lacerations from cats in multiple-cat homes. Make sure cats who cohabitate get along well, she says. She recommends creating a less stressed environment for them. There are products to calm them down, she says, including foods, supplements and a synthetic pheromone product like Feliway.
Can Feline Back Pain Be Treated
In most cases, back pain can be resolved successfully. Depending on the cause of the back pain, this may involve:
- Rest and rehabilitation You may need to limit your cats movement by keeping it confined for several weeks.
- Changing your behavior Depending on whats causing the pain, changing how you handle and stroke your cat may lessen the symptoms.
- New environment You may need to make some changes to your cats environment to speed up healing and prevent issues from happening in the future. For example, changing the temperature of your home, or getting a different cat bed.
- Medication Anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and pain relief meds.
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Where To Take A Sick Or Injured Community Cat
If you do not already have a trusted community cat-friendly veterinarian or clinic, we have some advice on finding the right veterinary professional for your needs. Your partner veterinarian should be able to aid you not only in treating sick or injured community cats, but also in every aspect of your TNR work.
Find a full-service veterinary clinic or hospital.
Get to know the veterinarians and animal hospitals in your area, especially those familiar with caring for community cats. If you already have a trusted veterinarian and veterinary team but they are not fully familiar with the specific protocol for TNR or community cats, direct them to our . If you know a TNR advocate or group in your area, consult with them. They may have recommendations for veterinarians who are willing and experienced with TNR.
Connect with Alley Cat Allies Feral Friends Network®.
You may be able to find veterinarians in your area who are community cat friendly or even low cost. Or, you can find a local TNR advocate or group and ask if they have a veterinarian they can recommend. Search for members near you at alleycat.org/FindFeralFriends.
Ask about the animal hospital, clinic, or veterinarians euthanasia policy.
Alley Cat Allies advocates euthanasia only for a terminal illness or untreatable injury. Unfortunately, some veterinarians who havent been trained to work with community cats believe in euthanizing community cats rather than treating them.
Make sure your veterinarian is prepared.
Possible Causes Of Cat Limping
Though you may never know what happened to cause your cats limping, there are some common causes of lameness or limping in cats.
Orthopedic Problems: Jumping from Heights Can Hurt CatsBe cautious with open windows as our cats are naturally curious. They could jump or fall from an open window and be injured or worse. Be sure that your window screens are secure or have an extra guard or grate in place to prevent your cat from pushing screens out. Never leave windows open when you are not at home, and monitor behavior if windows are open. Many cats love to explore high perches in our homes, too. Even jumping from a tall dresser or shelf can result in injuries and cat limping, especially in older and smaller cats.
Other orthopedic conditions, like a kneecap being out of place may also cause limping. Your veterinarian or our specialists can examine your cat to determine if this is the cause.
Arthritis Can Also Cause Cat LimpingCat limping, changes in walking, stiffness, and difficulty jumping or climbing could mean that your pet is getting older and that they are suffering from arthritis joint pain. If your cat limping or other pain symptoms do not improve within 24 hours, have the limp examined by a veterinarian to avoid any additional, long-term damage.
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What To Do If You Find A Sick Or Injured Cat
1. Consult a trusted, community cat-friendly veterinarian.
A veterinary professional can help evaluate whether a cat needs to be brought to the clinic right away for an illness or injury. Prior to taking any action, contact your chosen veterinarian and describe the cats condition. If you can, share photos or videos of the cat. For community cats with mild issues, it may be best to allow them to heal in their outdoor home rather than trapping them.
Remember that trapping is stressful for community cats and should only be done out of necessity, such as for spay and neuter or to treat more serious injuries or illnesses.
2. Consider options for long-term care.
Based on the severity of illness or injury, a cat might need to be placed in a long-term holding area for recovery. Whether that recovery is done in your home or the veterinary clinic, plan beforehand so you dont have to scramble at the last minute.
Connect with your veterinarian and ask if they would be willing to house the cat during recovery, or for advice on how to create the best possible recovery space in your home. See our information on in-trap care and setting up a holding/recovery area.
3. Plan to fund any needed care.
You can also find financial resources at alleycat.org/Economy.
4. Know how to trap sick or injured cats.
What Could Happen If You Step On A Cats Paw
Just like humans, cats have a series of small bones called digits in their paws. While these bones can break, youd really have to put a lot of weight on your cats paw for that to happen.
What makes things a little harder is that cats are already not exactly excited about having their paws touched so it can be hard for even a veterinarian to assess paw sensitivity on an exam alone.
But if your cat is limping, avoiding the use of that paw or you see any swelling then its time to call the veterinarian. While these arent sure signs of a fracture, they do indicate an injury thats severe enough a veterinarian should be involved.
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Reducing The Risk Of Cats Fighting
- Neuter your cat to reduce the risk of competitive and territorial behaviour
- Keep cats indoors overnight, when most cat fights occur
- Give each cat in your home their own possessions to avoid territorial behaviour
- Provide cats with their own perch or ‘safe space’ in your home
Bite wounds, especially small puncture wounds, are highly likely to become infected due to bacteria from within the cats mouth contaminating the wound. Over a few days, this bacteria will multiply in number and often result in an abscess forming.
Cellulitis , septic arthritis , osteomyelitis or pyothorax are possible complications from cat bite wounds.
If your cat has been bitten:
- keep them calm and warm in a blanket, keeping the nose and mouth exposed
- be careful handling your cat as they may be very painful
- bathe any wounds with dilute salt water , try to bathe the wound twice per day for a couple of days to help reduce the likelihood of infection
- it can be difficult to spot small puncture wounds, so keep a close eye on your cat and if you see any signs of infection developing such as heat, swelling, pain, lethargy or fever then contact your vet
What Should I Do If My Cat Is Hurt
Contact your emergency vet immediately. They can give you specific firsthand advice, and even prep their gear if they know youre coming.
Gently swaddle your cat in a blanket or towel to help keep them warm and contained you dont want your hurt and frightened pet doing more damage by struggling or trying to get loose. Make sure they feel fully supported at all times. Try to keep one hand near their chest and the other supporting their hind end.
Remember, safety first! Take care to minimize hurting yourself or others, and make sure that the situation is free of any danger to you and your pet.A hurt, scared cat may strike out even at people they love. If your cat is sick or unvaccinated, you want to be very, very careful to avoid touching contaminated body fluids or blood and always mention these concerns to your emergency vet team.
How Banfield can help
In an emergency, please contact your localveterinaryemergency hospital.
Chat with a vet online: Every Optimum Wellness Plan® comes with VetChatTM, which gives you 24/7 access to live general veterinary advice via text. Chat now
Urgent care advice: Call your veterinary team during hospital hours for urgent care advice. Find a Banfield location
Optimum Wellness Plan®
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How To Care For An Injured Cat
Have you ever come home at the end of a long day to find an injured cat? If you’ve lived with cats for any length of time, you’ll no doubt have a story or two to tell. Whether it’s a swollen face, a bleeding ear or an impressive limp, feline injuries are common even for indoor kitties. Learn the basics of cat wound care to help your cat immediately after an injury and while she’s recovering from veterinary treatment.
You Should Phone The Vet If:
- your pet seems weak, is reluctant to get up, or is dull or depressed
- there is difficulty breathing, the breath is noisy or rapid, or there is continual coughing that is causing distress
- there is repeated vomiting, particularly if the animal is young or elderly. Diarrhoea, however, is less serious unless it is severe, bloody or the animal seems weak or unwell. Feed small amounts of a bland diet and see a vet if it persists more than a day.
- your cat appears to be in severe pain or discomfort
- your pet suddenly has difficulty with balance
- your pet is trying to urinate or defecate but is unable to pass anything. Blockage of the bladder sometimes occurs, especially in males, and can kill if not treated urgently.
Why not take a look at our advice about caring for your sick cat.
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Treatment Of Muscle Tear In Cats
Muscle tears are very common injuries in cats. Treatment for muscle tears are usually quite simple and mirror treatments for humans with the same injury, although with medications designed specifically for cats. These treatments are:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications by pill or injection
- Pain medication
Top 9 Tips On How To Prevent And Treat Cat Sprained Leg
Have you noticed that your cat has been limping? Has she also been more sensitive and maybe acting out?
Perhaps you noticed that she fell from her perch or moved her leg awkwardly, and now youre worried shes badly injured.
Many people wonder if a cat sprained leg is common. Its not an unusual question, after all, cats are known for their impressive jumps and seemingly dangerous landings.
Despite their agility and gracefulness, its still possible for cats to injure their leg muscles and ligaments. It only takes a bad jump, a miscalculated landing, or even an unfortunate accident.
And even if your cat isnt injured, as a loving pet owner you might be wondering what you can do to prevent your cat from getting hurt.
In this article, youll learn how to prevent a cat sprained leg and what you can do if your cat already has a sprained leg and other related injuries.
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