Cat is extra extra whiny & vocal. How can I tell if he's in pain?

I am watching my neighbor's cat (at their house). I check in on Smokey in mornings and at night and I let him outside for the nights as well (he likes to prawl and is promptly back in the mornings).
He has been a whole lot whinier and vocal and I wonder if he is maybe in pain. He doesn't bite me if I touch him anywhere but he is acting a bit more needy. He may just be missing his family who has been gone for 5 days now and he's just lonely (he's a very affectionate cat).

How can I tell if he's just lonely (and trying to let me know) or possibly in pain?

PS-I can't bring him to my house cause he and my dog don't get along and that would only upset Smokey more.

Asked by Member 557359 on Jul 27th 2008 Tagged separationanxiety, whiny, sad, lonely, sick, pain in Noisiness
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Best Answer

Izadore (Izzie)

It sounds like Smokey is missing his family. If he lets you touch him, isn't limping, is eating, etc. then he's probably OK. Most of the time, when a cat is hurt, he'll hide. Cats are seldom vocal when they're sick or injured because that calls attention to them and in the wild, that's not a good thing. Try playing with him a little while you're there, or if he'll let you, brush him and talk to him. He's wondering where his family is right now and is lonely. He needs a friend!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on Jul 27th.

Other Answers


Bella (In Loving Memory)

He probably is just lonely. I'm a vet tech and even the grumpiest cats get vocal and needy a few days into their stay at the hospital. Spend some extra time with him to let him know that he's loved and important.

Bella (In Loving Memory) answered on 7/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Minxy (1987-2008)

He's probably just missing your neighbour. If he's eating/drinking and pooping/peeing OK and will let you touch him all over he's probbably just lonely. Are you able to spend a bit more time with him to play?

Minxy (1987-2008) answered on 7/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Most likely he is missing the extra attention his family gives him. Make sure that he is eating and drinking normally. If not, he needs to be evaluated by a vet. Be sure you are not finding areas of pain or lumps on the body which could indicate a cat bite abscess. If you notice these things, into the vet he goes.

As a side note...I would never let someone else's cat outside, especially at night for fear that something bad would happen...coyote/Mtn. Lion/raccoon attack, hit by a car, etc.
I could never forgive myself if anything went wrong. this is just me and if your neighbor relieves you of all responsibility if something does happen then so be it. Personally I would rather my cat stay inside while I was away...then again I have seen far too many horrific things happen to cats when they are allowed outside.
I'll step off the soapbox now...

Hunter answered on 7/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I do the same things when I'm not getting enough attention. Just give this kitty some good loving & he'll feel much better!

Kisa answered on 7/27/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Even if he's an indoor/outdoor, I would not let him out at night. That's prime time for bad things happening. If he gets to go out during the day, why let him out at night as well?

Maybe you could check on him in the evenings, put him in, make sure he's comfortable, and spend some time petting him and playing with him indoors? Make it a ritual, and a way to spend some time with him. Are you able to maybe spend a couple of hours here and there?

Gracie answered on 7/28/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer