Do Cats Get Headaches?
As humans, we have a tendency to think that our pets are very similar to us, meaning that they experience the same emotions, as well as going through our common health complaints. Headaches are one of the most common issues amongst people, and we usually know when someone is suffering when they communicate with us verbally. As cats are unable to do this, it can be hard to know when they are suffering from one or if the problem affects felines at all.
It is believed that cats can have headaches, but they often have specific causes such as dehydration or damaged neck muscles.
What is a Headache?
Headaches can occur in different parts of the head or neck. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the brain itself that is affected as it doesn’t have pain receptors. The areas that do have these receptors include the meninges, blood vessels, head and neck muscles, areas of the ears, teeth, eyes etc. Most commonly, pain arises from irritation of the blood vessels or meninges or muscular tension. A few of the most common causes include dehydration, neck pain, other illnesses, and even stress.
Can Gets Get Headaches?
As cats have heads that are made up of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, they do have the capacity to get headaches, but it can be very hard to tell whether your kitty is suffering as they tend to hide their pain. And there has not been a huge amount of research conducted on the subject. The exact causes are always going to be difficult to determine.
How to Tell If Your Cat Has a Headache
Telling whether or not your cat had a headache can be very tough as we cannot communicate that well with them and they also tend to hide their pain. This is believed to be a survival instinct to not show weakness in front of potential rivals. You may notice that your cat makes a special effort to hide themselves away in a secluded spot. Perhaps your kitty will become more agitated when you try and touch them.
Another sign could be changes in your cat’s regular breathing, which becomes panting or taking shallower or faster breaths. Also, monitor your kitty for any changes in their appetite. If your cat seems to be in pain while they are eating, dental issues may be at the heart of the problem. Your cat may suddenly become more lethargic, and not have their usual get up and go.
What Are the Causes of Cat Headaches?
We have to speculate somewhat when discussing the causes of cat headaches, but there are a number of different possibilities. At the more obvious end of the scale are head or neck traumas resulting from a bump or a pulled muscle. If your cat wears a collar and this gets caught on something like a branch, this could be a possible cause of head pain. A cat allergy headache is another possibility. Felines have various different allergies and headaches could be a potential symptom of them.
Heat exhaustion is another possibility, particularly if you notice that your cat experiences their headache symptoms on hotter days of the year. During these days, it is also more likely that dehydration could cause the problem, so you should make a special effort to make plenty of water available. Another potential cause is if your cat has not eaten in a while. If this is a recurring issue, you may have to think about altering their regular meal schedule.
What Can You Do About a Cat Headache
As there is so little known about cat headaches and they are difficult to diagnose, it can be equally challenging to attempt to treat them. First, if you strongly suspect that your cat is suffering from a headache that has no obvious explanations, it is worth taking them to the vet for a check up. They may be able to identify a primary cause of the pain to tackle. However, if there is nothing detected, it is going to be more challenging to do something about it. One thing that you can do is to monitor your cat closely, keeping an eye on their lifestyle and any changes in behavior. Providing your vet with as much information as possible can help in assessing what is wrong. If there is an obvious cause like heat exhaustion or dehydration, you can make a special effort to keep your cat cool by using A/C or opening windows and leaving plenty of water down.
It is important to mention that you should never prescribe anything yourself, even with painkillers that are meant for humans. The best that you can do while waiting to take them to the vet is to offer what you would appreciate in the event of a headache – access to plenty of fresh water, some time to themselves, rest and quiet in a comfortable place. Let your cat come to you if they are feeling better, but if things don’t improve quickly, the vet is best placed to identify what is going on. After all, you don’t want your cat to continue suffering if you are able to do something about it.
As cats have some of the same physiological aspects as us, it seems that they can get headaches like us too. Like us, they can have a range of different causes including dehydration, allergies, and pre-existing pain. And also like us, they can often be solved with some simple rest, quiet time, and water. However, if your cat’s headache doesn’t seem to go away, it is a recurring issue, or there are other symptoms accompanying it, you are better off taking them to the vet to check them out for more serious problems. If your vet is able to diagnose what is wrong and treat the primary issue directly, this can help to solve the headache problem as well.