A headache can signify dehydration or a symptom of an underlying medical condition in humans. The persistent throbs on your temple or pain spreading from your head to neck can be mild or severe, depending on the cause. Pain relievers can help in the meantime. Alternatively, addressing the cause is the best solution to making it disappear. Like humans, cats can also get headaches. However, diagnosing your feline friend with a headache can be daunting because they have no way of telling you they’re in pain. However, there are symptoms to help you decipher to take appropriate actions. Here is everything you need to know about cats battling headaches.
What does a cat with a headache feel like?
According to Cuteness, cats with headaches experience pain in the head which mainly occurs when some parts of their brain receptive to pain get overstimulated. When they have a headache, their brain, which consists of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, detects pain. Your cat can get the ache when they’re hydrated, have allergies, heat exhaustion, dental issues, or other underlying medical conditions. A cat under stress can also experience bouts of headaches which might persist until the tension eases.
Why does your cat have a headache?
Your cat’s headache can be severe or mild, depending on many factors. You should notice if they start acting up or having unusual behavioral changes. Here are some reasons your cat has a headache:
1. They’re battling head or neck trauma
Cats, especially kittens, are generally playful and curious. They can easily jump or run at full speed and hit their heads against the wall, furniture, or anywhere else in your house. If unlucky, your cat hitting his head against a hard surface can pull their head or neck muscles.
According to Hepper, cats can have allergies to pollen, house cleaning products, and some foods. One way their bodies might react is through a headache. Unless you find out the cause of the allergy and remove it, your cat’s migraine might persist.
Cat collars make them look attractive and can be used to identify them should they get lost. However, a too-tight collar can weaken your cat’s neck muscles, causing headaches. Ensure you get the right size to prevent headaches.
4. Heat exhaustion and dehydration
Water is a basic need for cats, like humans. When your cat is dehydrated, it might suffer the consequences of heat exhaustion and dehydration, leading to a headache.
5. Sniffing on chemicals
Naturally, cats are curious. They can easily snoop on anything in your house, including harsh chemicals, and sniff on them. Certain chemicals like pesticides, fertilizers, and carbon monoxide can cause and aggravate a headache regardless of prolonged or short-lived exposure. It’s best to store them in places far from their reach.
6. They could have tumors
Like humans, cats can also get head tumors which add pressure and inflammation to their brain muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. It’s best to consult a veterinarian to diagnose them for the condition.
How do you know your cat has a headache?
While cats cannot talk, there are behavioral changes signifying headaches or other medical conditions. you’ll know your cat has a headache if:
1. They want to be left alone
Cats are difficult to understand, making it difficult to know if they’re acting up or want to be secluded. Watch your cat if they’re going to be left alone more often.
2. Changes in eating routines
If your cat is used to reminding you to feed them during specific times, you have no reason to be scared. Be worried if they suddenly don’t ask for food, leave alone eating it. A starved cat can easily get a headache because its body burns protein reserves. Eventually, these parts turn into fats that can aggravate more severe conditions. Take your cat to the vet if they’ve not eaten for more than two days.
Cats are wired differently. Some are too clingy, while others cannot bear human touch. If your once jovial and predictable cat suddenly starts getting defensive, it could be having a headache. Cats on defensive mode have their ears flattened, hiss, and display other signs of wanting to be alone.
Cats need regular exercise for their overall wellness. However, exercising shouldn’t point toward hyperactivity. So, if your cat constantly fidgets or paces, it could be in pain, and it’s time for a vet’s appointment.
5. Red gums
According to MyPetNeedsThat, diagnosing a cat with a headache due to red gums can be tricky due to oversensitivity. With the help of a vet, examine their mouth for red gums. If they’re red, their gums are probably inflamed. The red gums result when they’re exposed to carbon monoxide, experience overheating, or tooth pain, triggering the headache.
6. Loud meowing
Loud meowing signifies many things like being in heat, uncomfortable, or pain. If you’ve already spayed or neutered your cat, loud meowing shows they’re in pain.
How can you help a cat with a headache?
Once you confirm your cat has a headache, do the following:
1. Designate a cozy place for them
Unless your cat has a tumor, red gums, or dental issues, you can provide a cozy and quiet place to help them relax. You can check on them to ensure they remain comfortable, reducing headaches.
2. Offer fresh water
If dehydration or fasting is the cause, offer them fresh water. The same applies to other causes.
3. See a vet
If offering light food, water, and a quiet place doesn’t ease the headache for more than half a day, it’s time to see a vet. There are chances your cat could be battling serious conditions than a headache. The vet can diagnose and administer the right treatment plan to relieve their pain.
Cats can get headaches, like humans. Pay attention to the signs to understand the cause of your cat’s headache. But if they have more than one sign, schedule an appointment with the vet immediately.
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