Cats are notoriously mysterious creatures, which is why when it comes to your pet’s health it can be difficult to tell the grumpy cats from the truly upset moggies.
You might want to consult this list before making a trip to the vet
But don't worry – science has come to the rescue! In purrrrrfect news for cat owners a new study, involving academics and clinical experts worldwide, has released a list of signs that you should be watching out for. So you can tell instantly if your cat's puzzling new behaviour is something to be worried about.
The study, from PLOS ONE, utilised experts in every field from from oncology to neurology to determine the 25 symptoms you should be worried about. However, it’s not a matter of recognising just one of these symptoms and panicking – the list below are classified as 'sufficient' symptoms, i.e. their presence indicates the cat is in pain, but you will need to evaluate a set of behaviours for a reliable diagnoses. So a hunched back with no other symptoms is likely to just mean your cat is in a bad mood, rather than in pain.
As Professor Daniel Mills, (rofessor for veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Lincoln) said in a press release accompanying the findings, 'Both owners and veterinarians are clearly able to recognise many behavioural changes in cats which relate to pain, however, owners may not always recognise the clinical relevance of what they see. For example, they may view the changes as an inevitable part of natural ageing and not report them to the vet as a concern, or at least not until the behaviours become quite severe.
We hope that having an agreed list of more objective criteria, which relates to specific signs of pain, could improve the ability of both owners and vets to recognise it.'
So, next time your BFF isn't feeling on top of the world, you might want to consult the list before making a trip to the vet.
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