Cats are masters at masking pain. This ability to hide pain goes back to their wild origins; in the wild, a sick animal becomes prey. While acute pain may be fairly obvious to cat parents, it can be more difficult to discern whether your cat is in pain when it comes to chronic pain from conditions such as arthritis. Sadly, many veterinarians still overlook signs of feline pain, or are not aggressive enough in treating it.
British veterinarian Mike Farrell, BVetMed CertVA CertSAS Diplomat ECVS MRCVS, an orthopedic surgeon with a strong interest in chronic pain management, is looking for your help with a study designed to provide pet parents and veterinary surgeons free access to clear and simple decision-making aids when it comes to dealing with cats in pain. “We currently rely on behavioral clues such as willingness to exercise and ability to jump, groom and interact,” says Dr. Farrell. He is collecting data about normal cat behavior including exercise, hunting habits, grooming, playing and eating. This important information will be used to answer the question “Is my cat painful?” by comparing the habits of normal to those of painful cats.
Please help Dr. Farrell by taking a 2-minute quiz.
If the quiz won’t open for you by clicking on the image above, click here to take the quiz.
“Apart from the enormous value for quantifying feline pain, it will be interesting to know the proportion of normal cats that hunt, are scruffy, greedy, enjoy human attention, etc,” says Dr. Farrell. “Some of the interactions might be very revealing; e.g. are older cats less likely to seek affection or jump onto surfaces; are exotic cats more stand-offish than domestic cats?”