Did you know that cats mask their pain?

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Did you know that cats mask their pain?
Posted on March 13, 2023 in Caring for your pet, News

Cats are such stoic creatures!  No two are alike, but one characteristic most of them do share is that they mask signs of pain and discomfort.  In fact, they are sometimes referred to as “masters of disguise.”  

Why do cats mask their pain?

Before domestication, cats had a long time of surviving in the wild.  Any kind of illness made them more vulnerable to predators, so they instinctively learned to mask signs of weakness.  While you may not have lions and tigers circling your home, your cat’s instincts keep them on guard as if they could be pounced on at any minute.

If you are owned by a cat, don’t be discouraged!  Even the most vigilant, conscientious humans are misled to believe their feline is feeling fine when they’re not. We’re here to help. 

Cat Illnesses that Commonly Go Undetected

The most common signs of diseases we see at our hospitals, which often go undiagnosed until the condition progresses and symptoms get more severe, are:  

  • Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Arthritis
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Dental Disease
  • Lower Urinary Tract Disease
  • Feline Leukemia Virus
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Intestinal Parasites
  • Heartworms
  • Cognitive Dysfunction
  • Liver Disease
  • Tooth Resorption

Early Diagnosis of Chronic Cat Diseases is Key

Pain is not a necessary or normal part of aging and can sometimes be prevented altogether during annual wellness checks where we partner with cat parents to perform routine tests.  

In addition to preventing silent suffering, early treatment of more serious conditions can extend the life of your feline friend, giving you more cuddle time together (on your cat’s terms, of course!).  For example, 1 in 3 cats get kidney disease, yet they don’t show signs of illness until they’ve lost about 70% of their kidney function.  By catching kidney disease early with routine care, cats with renal failure can live pain free for years, with proper treatment.  

Don’t Skip the Wellness Check

We urge cat-owned humans to not skip their cat’s wellness checkup, even if everything seems okay.  We routinely test for the most common chronic conditions, even if your cat feels fine, because we know that early detection saves lives and prevents suffering. Your Tampa Bay Vet Hospital team wants to catch potential illness as early as possible, so your cat’s prognosis is good,  and you aren’t faced with costly, lifelong treatments down the road that were avoidable.

If your cat is overdue for their routine exam, reach out to us.  We won’t judge!  We want to help you stay on track.  We can even offer some financial options, as we never want cost to get in the way of your cat’s optimal health.


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