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Natural Pain Relief for Cats
Posted: 05/23/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories:
If you share your home and life with one or more cats, you know how much joy cats bring into your life. From their antics to their snuggles to their leaving us “presents,” life is just better with cats! And because we love and appreciate them so much, it can be heartbreaking to watch them grow older and see them in pain. As responsible pet owners, it is imperative that we learn about natural pain relief for cats.
How to Tell if Your Cat is in Pain
Our pets are stoic, meaning when they feel unwell or are in pain, they will typically hide their symptoms. Many will still try and play and eat and romp around. This can make it incredibly difficult for cat owners to spot the telltale signs of pain in cats.
The following are signs that your cat may be experiencing acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term) pain. And to be clear, acute pain normally stems from an injury while chronic pain stems from a chronic illness such as arthritis. In this article we’re going to focus on spotting signs of chronic pain and treating it with natural remedies.
Cats with chronic pain tend to:
· Be more aggressive, which can lead to more hissing, biting and scratching.
· Be less likely to vocalize. So you may notice your cat isn’t making their usual talking sounds.
· Hide themselves away. You may notice your cat is not laying in their usual spots but instead, hiding under the bed or behind the sofa, locations they typically are never sleeping in.
· Have eyes that just look… off. They aren’t as bright and open as they usually are.
· Stop playing and exploring.
Cats who are dealing with arthritis pain may also exhibit the following symptoms:
· Changes in their gait or movement
· Difficulty jumping up or down from furniture
· Disrupted sleep
· An inability to step into or out of the litter box. You may notice they have gone “potty” outside of their box and this might be why.
· Difficulty going up or down stairs
It’s important to observe your cat carefully, especially as he or she ages, so you can spot any signs of pain. Again, cats are stoic, and they often don’t show they are in distress even when they feel pain. Most cat owners are familiar with their cat’s usual behavioral patterns and can tell when something is wrong. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s important to make an appointment to bring them into your veterinarian.
Never Give Your Cat Human Pain Killers
When people experience pain, we often reach for an over-the-counter painkiller that is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (commonly referred to as NSAIDs). While these can help people get much-needed pain relief, they can be downright toxic and dangerous for your pets!
Examples Of NSAIDs Include:
- Aspirin – acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
- Tylenol – acetaminophen
- Motrin/Advil – ibuprofen
- Aleve – naproxen
Cats metabolize NSAIDs differently than people and giving your cat any of these meds can be lethal.
What Can I Give My Cat for Pain?
While over-the-counter NSAIDs are NOT an option to treat your cat’s pain, there are two prescription NSAIDs that vets often prescribe for feline discomfort. These are robenacoxib and meloxicam.
There are also corticosteroids such as cortisone and prednisone that are often prescribed to help with pet pain. These medicines help to decrease inflammation, and it is actually the inflammation that is causing the pain.
The problem with these traditional, prescription medications is that they often come with some not-so-nice side effects when given on a long-term, repeated basis. That’s why many pet owners look for natural pain relief for their cats as a way to reduce conventional pain medications.
The following are natural pain remedies that many cat owners have turned to over the years to provide relief to their fur babies. And it goes without saying that you should speak with your vet before administering anything to your pet, even if it is a natural substance.
Some vets are not very knowledgeable about natural, alternative treatments for pain. If you are determined to manage your cat’s pain in the most natural, non-toxic way, you may find you want to look for a holistic vet to work with.
With that said, the following are some good options for natural pain relief:
Research has shown that CBD may offer both people and our pets safe pain relief. It must be mentioned that CBD may inhibit some drug interactions. So if your cat is already on a prescription medicine for another health condition, best to speak with your vet first. If you cat is not on any other medications, CBD may prove very beneficial.
Glucosamine Chondroitin is commonly sued to treat osteoarthritis in dogs, cats and even horses! Glucosamine has natural anti inflammatory properties and can be found in many pet stores or online.
Fish oil is a great supplement for both you and your cat! To start, it is loaded with omega-3s, which naturally reduce inflammation in the body. This is very helpful for joint pain. In addition, fish oil will boost your cat’s immune system and help their coat and skin be healthy.
Just as there is often a natural alternative for the drugs people are prescribed, the same is true for our cats! Depending on your cat’s age and overall health, you may be able to manage their chronic pain in a non-toxic, natural way. Again, always speak with your vet first so you can be sure your cat is getting the best treatment possible.
Could Your Wallet Use Some Pain Relief?
When you cat isn’t feeling well, you want to be certain you do everything possible to make them feel better. But sometimes this requires multiple vet visits, X-rays and a comprehensive treatment plan. And all of this can really add up cost-wise!
A pet insurance plan can help you give your feline baby the care they need without breaking the bank. Depending on the plan and the provider, you may be able to receive reimbursements for up to 90% of the bill.
Pet Insurance Review has a mission to help pet owners ensure their pet gets the quality care they need. We find the absolute best pet health insurance policies on the market today, so you can easily afford to give your fur baby the best treatment.
Get a free quote today.
- Fuller, M, DVM. Why Does My Cat… Mask That He’s in Pain? Retrieved from: http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/why-does-my-cat-mask-that-hes-in-pain
- Grichnik KP, Ferrante FM. The difference between acute and chronic pain. Mt Sinai J Med. 1991 May;58(3):217-20. PMID: 1875958.
- Shojai, A. Litter Box Problems in Senior Cats Explained. Retrieved from: https://www.thesprucepets.com/help-older-cats-with-litter-box-553889
- Tudor, K, DVM. Your Pain Relief Cream Could Kill Your Cat. Retrieved from: https://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/ken-tudor/2015/june/your-pain-relief-cream-could-kill-your-cat-32886