Feline Acute Pain Scale

At Advanced Pet Care of Parker we use a feline acute pain scale to score the level of discomfort by comparing your cat?s behavioral and psychological responses, their responses to palpation and their body tension. It is a scale that ranges 0-4 with different definitions of pain for each.

If your cat has a pain score of 0 it is content, quiet, comfortable when resting. It is interested in or curious about its surroundings. Your pet will also not be bothered by palpation of a wound or surgery site.

If your cat has a pain score of 1 its signs are often subtle and not easily detected in the hospital setting (more likely to be detected by the owner at home). It may be withdrawal from surroundings or change in normal routine. They may seem slightly unsettled or less interested, but still looking around to see what is going on. There may or may not be any response to palpation of wound or surgery site at this level.

If your cat has a pain score of 2 its signs may be decreased responsiveness, seeks solitude, quiet, loss of brightness in eyes, lays curled up or sits tucked up with eyes partially closed. The hair coat appears rough or fluffed up. It may intensively groom an area that is painful or irritating and you may notice a decrease in appetite or not interested in food at all. Your pet may respond aggressively or try to escape when palpated or approached. It may tolerate attention, may even perk up when petted as long as a painful area is avoided.

If your cat has a pain score of 3 its signs may be constantly yowling, growling or hissing when unattended. It may even bite or chew at a wound, but unlikely to move if left alone. Growling and hissing at non-painful palpation (he or she may be experiencing allodynia, wind-up or fearful that pain could be made worse). Your pet may react aggressively to palpation, adamantly pulling away to avoid contact.

If you cat has a pain score of 4 its signs may be potentially unresponsive to or unaware of surroundings, difficult to distract from pain and or receptive to care (even mean or wild cats will be more tolerant of contact). It may not respond to palpation and it may be rigid to avoid painful movement.