Young Asian man in bed, holding sick cat who is in pain, using his phone to detect cat pain in an app.
(Photo Credit: fancy.yan | Getty Images)

Apps to Detect Cat Pain

As a pet parent, it’s important to understand your furry friend’s body language and what they might be going through. Cats, in particular, are known to hide their pain. However, they may show several signs when in pain, and it’s important to pick up on them. These include trembling, drooling, lack of appetite, and others.

These days, there are apps designed to detect cat pain. With the rise of artificial intelligence or AI, a number of digital tools and apps have been launched in recent years. Now, this tech is being used to help cat owners get a better understanding of their pet’s state of mind. Let’s take a look at some of them.

MeowTalk

MeowTalk is an AI-based app that helps cat parents communicate with their pets more effectively. The app helps people understand their pet’s needs and emotions. It also assists owners in understanding when their cat is in pain.

The app records the cat’s sounds and then “translates” them into English for their owner. Javier Sanchez, co-founder of MeowTalk, told BBC, “I think this is especially important now because, with all the social distancing that’s happening, you have people that are confined at home with … a significant other – this feline.” Continuing, he shared, “This will enable them to communicate with their cat, or at least understand their cat’s intent, and build a very important connection.”

Cat Pain Detector

Created in 2023, this Japanese app helps a cat owner understand if their pet is in pain based on pictures of the feline. According to WION, Carelogy, an AI organization, and Nihon University’s College of Bioresource Sciences collected photos of 6,000 felines to observe the postures of their ears, whiskers, eyelids, and noses.

Using a grading system, they then classified healthy cats and those in pain. Subsequently, they shared the information with the AI system. The app helps an owner understand their feline’s state of mind. In turn, it helps them to determine whether or not to take them to the vet.

“We want to help cat owners judge more easily at home whether to see a vet or not,” Go Sakioka, head of Carelogy, said. According to Sakioka, the app has a remarkable accuracy level of “more than 90 percent.”

Feline Grimace Scale

A cat in pain. The pet owner needs an app to detect cat pain more easily.
(Photo Credit: Tatiana Meteleva | Getty Images)

The Feline Grimace Scale is another cat pain detector app created using clips of felines who were experiencing pain and those who were not. According to the company’s official website, “Grimace scales are tools used to evaluate pain in animals based on changes in facial expressions and they have been developed in different species.” The app was developed in collaboration with the Université de Montréal.

Tably

Tably is another AI-based app that helps detect signs that your cat may be in discomfort or pain. You need to first upload a photo of your cat. Subsequently, the AI tech will analyze the feline’s various features including head position, muzzle, whiskers, orbital tightening, and ear. Based on that information, the app will reveal whether your pet is in pain or not. According to Petguide, the app is more than 90% accurate.

Cat Pain IQ

Cat Pain IQ is a tool specifically designed to detect pain in cats suffering from Osteoarthritis. This is a condition in which the feline’s cartilage starts breaking down. As such, it can restrict movement in cats, depending on the severity of the condition. While osteoarthritis is relatively uncommon in felines, pet parents must look out for any signs of pain or unusual behavior in their pets. This is especially true for older and senior animals.

In this case, you can simply take a video of your cat and upload it to the system. Subsequently, the AI analyzes the cat’s movements and based on its findings, the results are shared.

A word of caution when using AI-based cat pain apps

It’s important to note that the aforementioned apps and tools are not foolproof when determining pain in cats. In many cases, you know your cat better than a computer ever could. You know what behavior and mannerisms are and are not typical of your furry friend. So, if you notice your cat acting strangely, the safest course of action would be to consult your vet.

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