25 behavioral signs of pain in cats
A new paper from the University of Lincoln in England offers a consensus from 19 international veterinary experts in feline medicine on signs of pain in cats.
“Behavioral signs of pain in cats: an expert consensus” appeared Feb. 24 in PLOS One, a multidisciplinary online journal of the Public Library of Science.
According to the abstract, “Twenty-five signs were considered sufficient to indicate pain, but no single sign was considered necessary for it.” The signs are as follows:
The study concludes: “Twenty-five behavioral signs were considered by experts to be reliable and sensitive for the assessment of pain in cats, across a range of different clinical conditions. Some of these signs have been highlighted in previous scientific literature, but some arose from the experience and knowledge of experts. These results improve our knowledge of this topic, but further studies are necessary in order to evaluate their validity and clinical feasibility (especially in relation to different intensities of pain) to help vets and caregivers of cats recognize pain in this species effectively and as early as possible to maximize cat welfare.”