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Old Cat

I have a female cat named Kiki. She is 18 years old. She is so skinny. I don't like to pick her us because it creeps me out that I can feel every bone in her body. She eats her food daily with no problems. At her last checkup the vet said she was fine, and blood work came back good. Even her fur looks old. I guess my question is to find out if I am doing the right thing. Recently I have had several family members tell me that I need to "put her down". I disagree. I do not think she is in any kind of pain. I have noticed that she does sleep a lot more now. When she does sleep she likes to "hide" under tables or behind the recliner. My sister told me that is because she is looking for a place to die. Is that true?? Do cats do that?
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Avatar_f_tn
Age is not a disease. What kind of food does she eat? If she is eating dry food, I would suggest adding some canned food to her diet that is more easily digestable. You may also try baby food or kitten canned food that is higher in calories. If the bloodwork looks good, there is obviously no sign of kidney failure, liver issues, or hyperthyroidism, so I don't think she needs to be put down if she seems fine otherwise. You can also add things like omega 3 fatty acids/fish oil to her diet to help with her hair coat. Cats sleep a lot to begin with and it is to be expected that she will sleep more as her age increases. If at some point she seems to be in pain, stops eating, or has changes on her bloodwork that indicate serious issues, then I think it is reasonable to elect euthanasia.
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Avatar_f_tn

Hello there,

What great advice from shannon781. She is right. Age is not a disease.
The fact that your kitty Kiki has reached 17 years plus is a reflection of
the care you have given her. It sounds like Kiki is doing well, but that
she could put on some weight. Shannon's ideas sound helpful.
You said you noticed she sleeps more now. That's pretty normal.
We have a ten year old cat called Sammy who sleeps a good part of the
day in various parts of our house. Mostly in the living room on my husband's favorite chair on top of some really comfy, cosy , blankets.
Just because a kitty is older doesn't mean your kitty needs to be put
to sleep.  I agree with Shannon. As long as Kiki is healthy and has a
good quality of life, euthanasia should not be an option just because she
is old.  All animals age including humans. To put a cat to sleep just because she happens to be old is just wrong. I have had to put two
kitties to sleep due to cancer. Anyway, I wish you luck with Kiki.  
Eve ( mother of Sammy )
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Avatar_f_tn

Hello again,

Just one more thing. Before you change Kiki's food, you might want to
discuss this with your vet.  You could talk about your concern that Kiki
is too skinny, the condition of her fur and see what your vet suggests.
It's unwise to just change a cat's food. I know you have to introduce a
new food gradually or you can cause your kitty to have stomach
upset, possible diarrhea. That's why it is really a good idea to discuss
any new food choice for Kiki with your vet who can advise you best.
At least that's my opinion.  Good luck to both you and Kiki. :)
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587315_tn?1333556383
Hi, you've been given some great suggestions.  I do agree w/ you, you don't put a cat to sleep because they are old.  I hate when people suggest that.  Your fur baby still has a good quality of life.  I would like to suggest that you call the vet and ask if they specifically checked her thyroid levels.  When they sent blood work off, they don't always include that one.  It's important that those levels are checked.  

To answer your question, I do believe that cats will go off to hide if they think they're going to die.  BUT, from what you've described, it doesn't sound like that is what your cat was doing.  Sometimes, they do like to sleep in a place they find cozy and hidden.

Please, keep us updated.  We care!  =)
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Thanks everyone. About 2 years ago I changed Kiki food to just canned food. My vet suggested it since she was older and would be easier for her. I only  feed her Friskes, because that is the only thing she will eat. I have been trying to give her some 'treats", but she will not eat them. I have tried several different brands. I called the vet and we will be bringing her in later this week. I will keep you updated.

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Good luck, especially on the thyroid test.  If she was just skinny, I'd say "Oh, probably old age," but if her hair also feels icky to the touch (like, dried out), there just might be something else going on and I hope they find it.  A basic question -- has she been checked for worms lately?

I liked the canned kitten food idea, they do pack the kitten formulas with nutritious stuff and a lot of extra oomph.  
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7052683_tn?1392942395
Hi twinbee,

Usually when a cat gets to be that ripe old age there is such a thing as Hyperthyroidism. Like Zodiacqueen suggested, thyroid tests should be done. Frankly I am surprised they were not, most vets know these are typical symptoms of this condition. It is a very normal condition for this age, but there is medication for this, and she should be taking this--IF it is indeed Hyperthyroidism.

Usually they will eat just as well as they ever have, sometimes more, but there is a thyroid imbalance and it cause her metabolism to rev up , therefore preventing her from gaining weight. This is not a painful condition, but she needs meds.

Ya Know when cats get that old their grooming habits decline. Just like us they find it harder to perform a wide range of motion--like arthritis. A real treat would be for You to groom her fur. Cats groom as part of their preening ritual. It makes them feel beautiful and healthy. She probably hides because she does not feel her Most beautiful. Not being able to groom is stressful for her.Try brushing her with a very soft kitty glove (no wire brushes), and then take a wash cloth and run it over her fur. Make sure you dry her well though, don't want kitty to get chilled.

Great food that my cat (who was impossible with her food choices) laps up now is from the Weruva line. Yummy and juicy, so it will be easy to slurp up.

Good luck, and keep us posted
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Avatar_f_tn
Her last check up was almost 5 months ago. The vet did a ton of blood tests on her (I remember the bill, LOL), but I honestly do not know if that included the thyroid. I will check with him on Friday. However I do know she was checked for worms.

@CML2014, that is a good idea about the "kitty" glove. I will pick one up and try it.
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How is Kiki? Please fill us in, k?
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Avatar_f_tn
Went to the vet today. He will call us when all the blood work comes in. He did tell me Kiki has had her thyroid checked and it was fine. He is rechecking and hopefully we will hear from him soon.
I did get a 'kitten" glove and groomed her myself. She loved it!!
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7052683_tn?1392942395
AWWWWWW! See she knows mommy loves her and wants her to be her beautiful "old" self.

Let us know what the Doc say's and give Kiki an extra brush from me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, all Kiki's blood work came back and everything looks good including her thyroid. So I guess it is just her aging process?
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134578_tn?1383690151
She might just be aging, but also she might have something blood work doesn't catch.  My Golden Retriever had cancer at the end of her life, but the doc didn't find it by a blood test.
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That wasn't meant to be a downer, but just to say that aging does sometimes come with things that aren't simple to fix.  Keep up the grooming and the richer diet, and you might get some good results.
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7052683_tn?1392942395
Hi twinbee,

Thanks so much for the update on Kiki!  Looks like the vet took the tests he thought you needed and as he said , it could just be the aging process.
....I know what that is like, I wish someone would groom me, LOL.

Just keep letting her know she is still a beautiful lady by extra love and grooming. The fact that she has grown to this rip old age is a credit to you and the love and care you have given her.

Give Kiki a kiss from me and all the best to you both. Let us know what's up from time to time, k?

Sincerely,
CML
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and comments. A friend of mine suggested I heat her food up and give it to her warm. I have never done that before. She did like it and seemed to eat a bit more. I did notice that whenever I close my laptop, she likes to sleep on it. I figured that maybe she likes the heat coming from it. So I plugged in a heating pad and put it on low. Now she likes to sleep on that. Is this okay? I do check to make sure it is not hot. I also noticed that she has become very attacked to my husband. When he sits down in his chair, she runs to him and likes to just lay on his chest. She has never done this before. It is funny seeing my husband try to work on his laptop while he has a cat laying across his chest! She will not move!! LOL!
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Avatar_f_tn
Cancer has crossed my mind. The Vet did not feel any tumors when he checked her. I had a cat years ago die of Feline Leukemia :(
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7052683_tn?1392942395
Your husband must be HOT!!!--LOL
Kiki probably loves the warmth he emits . I do the same thing with the heating pad with Mia. As they get older they look for warmth....and Kiki doesn't have any fat to keep her warm.

Kiki seems like she is a very pampered older lady--good for you  (and your husband)
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Yes, my husband is hot in many ways!! Thanks for your response. I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing with the heating pad. As I type this she is curled up on it now. She looks so comfortable and peaceful. Wish I could sleep that well!
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874521_tn?1375890587
a heat pad is a good idea, I used one for my old boy Opus during his last year too...just want to pipe in with a word of caution tho, wrap the heat pad in a towel b/c even on low it can get to be a little hot for someone as small as a cat:) it should feel just slightly warm only.
you're a good mommy, Kiki is a loved little girl:) bless you both.
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506791_tn?1350343103
Our Calamity Jane Grey made it to 21 years 4 months.  She was very healthy up to the end (major stroke), but did lose weight merely from having lived long enough.

I think elderly kitties do not digest and gain from food as well as they did when younger.  People, too, lose muscle tone as they age and the hormonal balance shifts.

I applaud you for the care you are giving Kiki, and the patience your husband has for her when she "heat sinks" on his chest.
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Another way to use the heating pad is to prop it sideways, so she can't sleep on it, but to put it where she is sleeping so it curls around her back.  That way she gains the heat but doesn't burn herself by being on top of it.  They also make heating pads especially for dogs and cats, sold at places like PetCo.  They aren't very warm to the touch, but the pet can feel it and likes it.
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