These Apps Can Help Detect Pain in Cats

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to learn the signs that your cat might be experiencing pain or discomfort. But, in addition to keeping an eye on your kitty’s posture, body language, and behavior, consider using some of the latest apps that can help you determine if your pet isn’t feeling well.

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The following apps were designed to help pet parents figure out if their cats are showing signs of being unwell or in pain. Since kitties are known for hiding their symptoms, and it can be hard to pick up on subtle indicators of discomfort, these tools could come in handy.

Feline Grimace Scale

Figuring out if a cat is in pain can be challenging, but the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS), which was developed by researchers at the Université de Montréal, can make it easier by helping pet parents and veterinarians assess a kitty’s facial expression. Basically, the position of a cat’s head, ears, eyes, muzzle, and/or whiskers changes when she isn’t feeling well, and this tool can help you determine the level of pain a kitty might be in based on how she looks. You can learn all about it on their website, but there’s also a mobile app to learn FGS, test your knowledge, and score your cat so you can see if she may be hurting.


Tably was developed by in Canada. It’s a simple-to-use mobile app that utilizes AI which was trained with veterinary pain scales, so it can help detect signs of discomfort in a cat’s expression. To start, upload a photo of your cat. The AI will analyze your pet’s photo by checking facial cues (muzzle tension, head position, ear position, whiskers position, and orbital tightening) – it does the work for you so you don’t have to score your kitty on the Feline Grimace Scale yourself. Then, the app will tell you if your pet is happy or unhappy. It’s over 90% accurate, and you can use this to track how your cat is feeling from one day to the next.

Cat Pain Detector

Also known as CPD, Cat Pain Detector was released this year by Carelogy, a Japanese business that worked with Nihon University’s College of Bioresource Sciences. This web app uses AI and the Feline Grimace Scale to help pet parents and vets determine if a cat is in any pain. All you have to do is upload images of your cat so the app can analyze her expression and tell you if she’s uncomfortable. Thousands of people in Japan, South America, and Europe quickly signed up to use the app after its launch. The developer claims that it’s already around 90% accurate, and they plan on improving it to make it even more effective over time.

Always Consult a Veterinarian If You Think Your Cat Is in Pain

Sure, apps like those discussed above could be useful, but they aren’t a substitute for veterinary care. If you suspect that your cat is in pain, even if an app tells you otherwise, contact your vet so they can examine your furry friend and let you know if she is indeed unwell and in need of treatment.   

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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