Will my old cat tell me when it's time to die?
My cat is 16 and he has really aged in the last 6 months, he's getting very thin and he always loved to eat his biscuits and now he wont touch them, he's only eating the smallest amount of food now and sleeping more than usual. It's so sad to see this, his back legs are very shaky when he walks and he loses his footing sometimes.
I've heard that cats go away to die, is that true in all cases because i would hate him to die alone, this is very upsetting to me because he is my little friend, I had the vet do some tests and he doesn't have cancer which was my first thought, has anyone else been through this, what can I do for him and what can i expect to happen.?
with house cats this is somewhat hit or miss. They don't act on all those instincts in quite the same way as wild cats. When sick or ill the seek out their people, instead of going off on there own. however, it is possible that he will go off on his own when he dies. That one instinct is VERY deeply ingrained.
I always say that when a cat stops eating and grooming, especially if it's in pain, then if it's dying it's a good idea to take some sort of action.
Unfortunately, the imagery of a pet slipping quietly and peaceably into death is nice, but I can say from long experience its VERY rarely the case. although with an older cat, the chance of this is much higher than the younglings.
Did your vet venture any opinion on how long your cat has?
Thanks for replying, I took him to the vet when he was still eating quite well but he was just getting thinner, my previous cat died of cancer at 18 so I knew what signs to look for.
The vet said he could have about 12 months, but now i don't think he does, he also has kidney disease which is common in old cats.
But since he went to the vet he's now eating much less. He showed some interest last night when I was cutting up some raw chicken so I hand fed him that and he ate it. I've been dreading this day coming and I will never let him suffer so I will keep a close eye on any changes for the worse. I wish I knew if he had pain.
Did your vet check your kitty's teeth when he was there? Dental problems, even one problem tooth, can lead to a sudden loss of interest in eating, especially crunchy things like biscuits. If he has kidney problems, you can try putting him on a home-cooked diet of foods that are low in protein. There are many good recipes on the web that are very easy to prepare that can also be prepared in quantity so that you're not slaving in the kitchen 24/7. Sub-Q fluids given at home to keep the kidneys moving might help the kitty feel better. Giving the fluids yourself is very easy to do. Your vet can show you how to do this to save you having to constantly transport (and thus, stress) your kitty to the vet's office. The vet can provide you with the IV setup (the bag, the tubes, the needles) and you just place the needle under the skin and allow about 100cc of fluid to drip in on a fast drip. Kitty will have a "pillow" of fluid that will disappear as his body uses the fluids. Depending on how severe the kidney problem is, the vet can advise you as to how often the procedure should be done. It takes about 15-20 minutes for 100cc of fluid to drip in, and it's worth every minute if it helps kitty feel better. The fluids really do help them to feel better, and this might also have something to do with your kitty's current change in attitude. If he's feeling poorly because of his kidneys, fluids and a low-protein diet can add a long time to his life, and it will be quality time, not just quantity time, because much of the time this procedure makes them feel a lot better.
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