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Published: May 14, 2012

Any cat lover can tell you that owning a cat is vastly different than owning a dog - mostly because the personalities and behavior of these two species is so different. How cats and dogs exhibit pain is one marked difference between the two species, with cats being slightly less forthcoming about it, according to ABC News.

Your independence-loving feline might not be limping right past your nose or whimpering with pain if they are suffering from some type of cat illness. Whether suffering a viral disease like feline calicivirus or joint disease in cats, these pets may seem hesitant to jump or climb and may not be using the litter box. Additionally, sick cats may not be grooming themselves as well as they used to or might be more aggressive or withdrawn than normal. If you notice any of these signs in your feline, you should bring it to a vet clinic to see if there is a serious underlying issue that needs treatment.

Panting can also be a sign of illness in cats. While panting is healthy and common in dogs, cats that are panting should have immediate veterinary attention. While cats may pant from extreme anxiety or physical activity, it is more often a sign of a serious respiratory or cardiovascular issue like COPD in cats or pleural effusion in cats, which occurs when excess fluid surrounds the lungs and impairs breathing, according to VCA Animal Hospitals.