What Can I Give My Cat for Pain: A Guide

What Can I Give My Cat for Pain: A Guide

  • Kirsten Thornhill - 26.04.2021

Pain Relief for Cats: What are the Options?

Cats are infamous for hiding things (and their feelings). Recognizing and identifying signs of discomfort and pain in your cat can be quite an uphill battle to fellow cat parents alike. 

For centuries and centuries, wild felines have masked and hidden their pain and distress, to keep predators from seeing them as weak or vulnerable.

Although kittens have become domesticated and pleasured, they still hold onto their desired and boldness to maintain a brave and fierce demeanor. 

Thus, it can be super challenging to manage and see your cat’s pain, not to mention which medication to give them for relief. 


How to Tell Your Cat is in Pain: The Signs

Even though you may not know or understand every meow and whimper, it’s important to know your cat’s health history and daily behaviors. If and when there is the slightest change you’re aware of it and are ready to pounce. 

Being able to recognize and report any and all minor changes in your cat’s behavior or history can help your veterinarian identify the pain and create a management and treatment plan. 

Here are just some of the most common pain signs you can look for that might give you a bird’s eye view of your feline’s pain:

  • Reduced mobility
  • Difficulty walking
  • Inflammation
  • Reduced grooming 
  • Excessive grooming
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding
  • Withdrawal
  • Fast-paced breathing
  • Hunched sleeping posture
  • Increased purring
  • Tail flicking
  • Squinting eyes
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Sensitive to tough
  • Depressed or angry

Being able to read your feline’s behaviors and body language may indicate a lot!

A helpful pain scale created by the University of Glasgow and Edinburgh may help you in your cat’s home assessment of their composure. 

For instance, ears down with a tense muzzle may indicate painful expressions. 

What Causes Pain in Felines?

Pain, in a general sense, can be classified into three different categories: acute, chronic, persistent. 

1. Acute or Short-Term Pain

Acute pain may come on suddenly and is typically short-term in regards of duration. Acute pain exists during inflammation and healing periods. It’s typically brought on by the following:

  • Trauma
  • Injuries
  • Surgical recovery
  • Feline dental disease
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Acute medical diseases or conditions
  • Constipation
  • Ear infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Urethral obstructions



2. Chronic or Long-Term Pain

Chronic pain may continue past the expected time period of healing or recovering. Chronic, long-term pain needs careful oversight and management. 

Chronic pain may include:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Cancers
  • Degenerative joint disease osteoarthritis
  • Feline aortic thromboembolism

3. Persistent Pain

Persistent pain in felines is pain that can be described due to a non-response to treatment. 

Palliative care can help improve comfort, even if the pain associated with the illness, is incurable. 

Palliative care is often incurred at the end of the cat’s life. This can include medications as well as non-pharmaceutical options, to help put your cat at ease and make them as comfortable as possible. This type of care can include acupuncture, massage, laser, and more. 

Tips for Giving Your Cat Medication

If you’ve taken your catto to the veterinarian recently, with newly prescribed medications in hand, it’s only fair that you’re the most prepared and ready for what is to come next.

Give your cat the lowest effective dosage first, unless otherwise recommended by your vet. Medicate your cat during meal times, until otherwise advised. If you notice that your cat is not eating, contact your veterinarian. 

Make sure your cat is properly hydrated, especially if they are starting new medications. Ask your veterinarian about the potential side effects of the new medication, as these could be telltale signs to look out for if your feline starts acting differently.



Also, disclose any and all other medications that your cat is currently taking to your vet as well. This can help ensure that the combination of drugs that your cat is on won’t create undesirable reactions or potential adverse effects. 

Lastly, visit the website of the official pharmaceutical for the drug your cat has been prescribed. This is where you’ll find the most up-to-date information about the drug itself, the potential side effects, dosage information, and the need-to-know information. 

Natural Pain Relievers for Felines

As your furry friend’s closest friend and housemate, you need to assess and recognize the degree of pain and discomfort your catto is in. Talk with your veterinarian. 

Minor pain, discomfort, or distress may be assisted, potentially even relieved, with holistic and all-natural pain-relieving options. 

As holistic options are becoming more and more popular and favored, your search for herbal and plant-based ingredients and products may be easier than you think.

The term nutraceuticals can be used to describe any product or ingredient that comes from food sources that may have health benefits. The potential adverse effects are typically less than using conventional pharmaceutical medications.

Nutraceuticals are also more accessible, especially with the growing prevalence of holistic options, retailers, and organic grocery stores carrying products in person and online. 

When it comes to administering nutraceuticals to your cat, console with your veterinarian prior. Administer small doses and be sure to monitor any changes or adverse effects, even with holistic and natural options. 

1. Turmeric

Turmeric is well-known for its ability to promote healthy inflammatory responses in both humans and cats alike. It may also help relieve occasional stiffness, discomfort, or distress associated with normal aging or physical activity. 

Turmeric can be given to your cat in numerous ways: making a paste, purchasing supplements that contain turmeric, or purchasing turmeric oils. 




2. Ginger

You most likely have ginger in your living space, right now. This common household root has spectacular properties that may help with normal aging and stiffness associated. 

You can make ginger tea for your cat or add some to their food. Purchasing products that contain ginger is a great option as well. 

3. Devil’s Claw

Devil’s Claw is a herb that contains chemicals that work to reduce inflammation and swelling associated with pain. 

This herb is safe for dogs and cats and is found in many holistic and natural remedies.

4. Omega 3 Fatty Acids Supplements

Adding some fatty acid oils to your cat’s diet can assist in reducing their inflammatory mediators that may be involved in their pain and inflammation. 

Fish oils and flaxseed oils are great options for a healthy dose of Omega 3 Fatty Acids for your furry feline.



5. Yucca

Both a wonderful natural option for canines and felines. Yucca can help with arthritis and joint pain, assisting in reduced inflammation.

6. Licorice Root

Licorice root aids the body’s cortisol production, a naturally produced steroid in the body. 

The phytosterol compounds found in this natural ingredient helps to regulate inflammation in the joints, helping with allergies and immune responses too. 

7. Microlactin

Microlactin is the milk protein found in the milk of hyperimmunized cows. This unique protein in this type of milk appears to decrease joint stiffness and associated pain. 

This natural choice is quickly becoming popular in veterinary medicine.

8. Green Lipped Mussle Extracts (GLME)

Rich in Omega 3’s, GLME contains glucosamine sulfate, amino acids, minerals, and antioxidants. 

Nutraceuticals with glucosamine can help with cartilage maintenance, preserve cartilage structure, slow deterioration rates, and potentially help in reducing pain. 


Physical Ways to Assist your Cat’s Pain

Make your feline the most comfortable. Raise their water and food bowls, limit their daily movement, lift them up if they indicate that they want to see higher surfaces. These are all wonderful things you can do to help your feline if they are experiencing normal aging pain, postoperative pain, or pain from an injury. 

In addition to the holistic measures mentioned above, palliative care is such an important tool in making your cat feel comfortable, safe, and warm. Palliative options including massage and acupuncture therapy are wonderful tools to help assist your cat’s quality of life and well-being. 

Talk to your holistic veterinarian about these potential palliative care options. Of course, no feline friend or parent wants to see their fur child in pain or discomfort, but with the guidelines we mentioned above, your cat can be well on its way to better health and recovery. 

Cats in Pain: Final Thoughts

When all is said and done, you only want the absolute best for your four-legged furry friend. As a concerned, responsible, and caring feline mom or dad, you are willing to do anything and everything it takes to ensure that your cat is living their best life on a daily basis. 



When it comes to cats experiencing pain, this can be tricky to recognize and pinpoint the underlying cause of the continued issue. Keeping a close eye on your pet’s daily behaviors and tendencies can help ensure that you’re on top of their health and behavioral changes, before it’s too late. 

Holistic and all-natural pain-relieving options are available for your felines and canines, why not look into it next time your furry friend is experiencing discomfort?

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