Pain management helps aggressive feline to become a real 'pussy cat'

Every cat has a unique personality, but if your cat’s behaviour has changed — for example, becoming aggressive, withdrawn or going off their food — it’s worth visiting your vet.

That’s because it could be a sign that your furry friend has a medical problem that needs addressing.

Cats Protection recently shared the tale of a four-year-old ginger cat named Jaffa, who came into the care of the charity’s Downham Market Adoption Centre for displaying aggressive behaviour.

Staff suspected that there were underlying causes, as Jaffa had over-groomed his whole hind quarters and his previous owner had noticed a decrease in his appetite.

He was taken to the vet and his aggression worsened when they got to his hind quarters, so he was sedated for x-rays. These showed pelvic abnormalities, with his right pelvic wing fractured and possibly fused.

The vet thought this was most likely caused by an old trauma injury, such as a possible road traffic accident, and decided on a trial of pain relief to see if this made a difference.

Deputy manager Stacey Ely said: “We set out a plan to get him used to the routine of cattery life, with minimal contact for the first few days, and we had pain scoring charts to plot how he was responding now he was on treatment.

“Gradually, he settled and began to respond to people in a positive way and, over time, his pain scores improved, too.

“When the vet saw him nine days later, she was amazed in the difference in him — he was mobile, far less reactive to being handled and generally much happier, approaching her for a fuss with no issues. His fur was also beginning to grow back.”

Jaffa has now been signed off by the vet and is ready to go to a new home.

“He will of course need lifelong pain medication, so we are looking for an experienced owner who is willing to be guided by the vets in terms of pain management and quality of life,” Ely added.

“I think lots of people are unaware that a change in behaviour may be caused by a medical issue, so would urge anyone whose cat starts behaving unusually to take it to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible.”

If your cat needs veterinary treatment, it’s reassuring to know you’re protected with cat insurance from Purely Pets. We offer 15 cover levels, giving you the freedom to choose the right level of cover for you and your pet. We also offer a 24-hour Vet Helpline and a Manage My Policy portal that enables you to manage your policy at a time that suits you.