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670929 tn?1226176781

Sudden Death of Cat

My cat suddenly died this morning. There was no warnings or signs that he was in distress. He was sitting on his cat house enjoying his breakfast one minute and on the ground the next. He tensed up and look as though he was going to vomit then went limp. I tried to perform CPR and didn't notice anything blocking his air way. We called the emergency vet line and were told that if he wasn't breathing and no pulse was felt that there was nothing more they could do. Our vet is closed until Monday so they aren't available to answer our questions. I was wondering what might have caused this. He made no noise and didn't look as though he was in any pain, just very scared. Besides having surgery in 2009 to remove a bladder stone he was a happy and healthy 6 year-old European short hair.

Any information you can give is very welcomed. I'm just very confused about it all.
35 Responses
242912 tn?1402547092
I am So sorry!  How shocking!  I can't imagine what happened.  Probably the only way you'll ever know for sure would to have an autopsy done.  Anything beyond that would likely be speculation.  So very sorry for your loss!
670929 tn?1226176781
Thank you for your reply.

We have no way of getting an autopsy seeing as our vet doesn't open until Monday and by then it will be to late. We brought him to a pet mortuary so to say where he will be cremated tomorrow and given back to us on Monday. It is heart breaking to know that he is no longer with me. He has been by my side since he was born. Our other cat seems to be mourning as well which is so sad to see.
242912 tn?1402547092
It is never easy to lose a pet, but this was so sudden so all the more distressing.  Sure your other kitty is in mourning - that's normal.  Keep a close eye on her to make sure she eats - maybe some treats and extra hugs and lovings to help her get through this time.  Again, I am so sorry this happened.  Keep checking back here as someone else may have some sort of clue as to what could of happened.  ((Hugs))
670929 tn?1226176781
Thank you, you are very kind. I will keep checking back here every now and then.
Avatar universal
My condolences on the loss of your kitty.  It has to be such a shock I can't begin to imagine how heartbreaking it must be for you to lose him so suddenly.  You mentioned he was a European shorthair.  Does his breed have any genetic dieases they might be predisposed to such as heart, thyroid, etc.  The reason I ask is I have a friend whose cat died suddenly of a heart condition, but her cat wasn't feeling well and not eating for several days.  I forget the breed right now.  I'm so sorry; I know what a big hole these little Angels leave in our hearts, as they give us such unconditional love.
670929 tn?1226176781
Here is what Wikipedia says about European Shorthairs:


The European shorthair (or Celtic shorthair) is a breed of short-haired cat originating in Sweden. It's a recently recognised breed established to preserve the naturally occurring cats that have lived in European villages and cities for ages. Many people incorrectly refer to any stray cat as a European Shorthair.

It doesn't mention any genetic diseases or problems.

It has been pretty rough today since he is being cremated at some point today. It hit me that I will never see him again. Your kind words really do mean a lot. Thank you.
Avatar universal
A few things that can result in sudden death:

Feline infectious peritonitis
Feline leukemia virus
Chronic kidney failure hemobartonellosis

My condolences on your loss.
681148 tn?1437665191
I'm so sorry.  It's never easy to lose our furry friends and family members to death, but it's so much harder to lose them so suddenly.  As I read your story, I could only imagine how I would feel if something suddenly happened to my Akira.  My heart certainly does go out to you for your loss.  I wasn't sure of the many things that could cause sudden death.  I'm glad nancyjac provided a short list of answers.  I was sure of only two of those causes that she listed, since they are the equivalence to sudden causes in humans.  Again, my condolences on the loss of your precious kitty.
670929 tn?1226176781
Thank you both so much.

Going through that list and checking off the things I know couldn't have been it really has helped. The emergency vet operator told us that it sounded like cardiomyopathy, but it could have been an aneurysm or anything brain related. He was an inside cat so I am pretty sure he didn't get into any anything poisonous. I'm also pretty sure it wasn't FIP, Leukemia, or kidney failure since he showed no signs of illness. He was also monitored by a vet because he was prone to bladder stones (he had surgery to remove one in December 09) and has been on a special diet that we get from the vet ever since. I'm also pretty sure it wasn't heartworm but in the end it will stay a mystery.

We are going to get our other cat checked out ASAP to insure he is perfectly healthy (I don't want anymore surprises). If it was some kind of infectious illness then I'm pretty sure he would have it too since they lived so closely. He hasn't shown any signs of illness either and at the moment he is just sad to no longer have his big brother around to torment.

I'm taking it one day at a time and trying hard to remember the more positive memories. We did pick up his urn yesterday and it is a little comforting to know that he is back with the people he loved in some way.
506791 tn?1439846583
Read about your kitty...my condolences.

Never easy to lose one of our furry friends, especially in an unexpected manner.
Looks like you were a good guardian (and continue to be with other kitty).

Back in 2000, we lost 2 of our 3 pretty suddenly within 4 weeks of each other.
Last Cat (Cammie) lived almost 4 more years (21+ at the end).

We watched her for a couple of weeks, wasn't doing good as solo cat, so we got her a kitten, another a year later, and another the following year.

Younger cats respected her as boss cat.

So kudos for safeguarding your remaining kitty, they do indeed grieve (I think), kitty may need a little friend...you'll know.

BTW, We have our 4 we've lost over the years in nice tea tins. =)
670929 tn?1226176781
Thank you for your nice reply!

We are watching our other cat, Kitten, very closely. He has a check up later today to make sure all is well. He doesn't seem to lonely yet...but I know he will need some fluffy friends sooner or later, I'm just not ready yet.

We brought our cat home in a little blue urn with a sleeping cat on top. It is very cute. I placed in on a handmade pillow I made just for it.

I will keep everyone updated on what the vet says about Kitten.
670929 tn?1226176781
Just got back from the vet and Kitten is perfectly healthy (as far as sh could tell anyway). This is a great relief. He was vaccinated and de-wormed just to be sure. We also discussed Dozey (the cat that past away) and she said that it was probably Cardiomyopathy and there is nothing we could have done when it happens that sudden.

Thank you all for all of your help and comfort. It really helped me when I needed it most.
242912 tn?1402547092
That's great news about Kitten.  She also seems to be coping well with the loss of Dozey.  Aw, that brought tears to my eyes that you made a little pillow for Dozey's urn.  I've read so many members have had their kitty cremated and I think that's what we'll do when the time comes for Jade.  Not something I ever knew was done or thought about before this forum.  

More hugs to you, ohbehave007.  I'm glad your vet was able to set your mind more at ease.  And of course you're not ready yet.  Has only been six days and I imagine you are still in some shock.  You will know in your heart when it's the right time for another kitty.  
670929 tn?1226176781
I honestly never thought of cremation either but since I live in a large city now you are not allowed to bury you pets. Cremation was the next best thing since I would be able to have a part of him with me still.

The pillow kept me sane on the day of the cremation. It kept me focused on something other then what was really going on. It is a little black and white round pillow with a "D" on the front. I also made another rectangular one that says "LOVE" to match...and a little ribbon rose with my left over ribbon. I really like it and it was perfect for what I needed it for. His urn is the only color on the pillow so he stands out.

I am still in shock...it was traumatic to experience. As the days go on I am very happy that I was there with him to comfort him as he went. I'd had him since he was born so it was like completing the cycle.

Kitten does go around looking for him at least once a day but we can easily distract him with cuddles. He is feeling a little down after the shots today so all he wants is to sleep in the middle of the living room where he can see everyone.
506791 tn?1439846583
Something I have done with my kitties, when we have had to send them off to the Final Care, is to make a little cloth bundle of favorite things, which are flammable, that will be cremated along with them.

"Grave Goods" are a tradition in my family for beloved humans we've lost, so I continue it with my furry friends.

I really like your story about making a special pillow for Dozey's urn.

We have Queen Victoria Grey [17 6/12] and Calamity Jane Grey [21 4/12] together in a nice tea tin (they were sisters), and April Dancer [6 6/12] and Cerridwen Blythe [16 5/12] together as they were great friends. We think Cerrie thought Dancer was one of her kittens. ,-)  In our own Final Arrangements, both my wife and I wish to be cremated, and have kitties placed in the columbarium with us.
670929 tn?1226176781
That sounds so nice! Eternally together...poetic almost :)

It all happened so fast that I didn't think of doing something like that. "Grave Goods" sounds really nice.
Avatar universal
I just happened upon this page when searching for info about my beloved kitty Little Joe's condition-- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.  I see that your sweet kitty Dozey--what an adorable name :)--passed about a year back?  I'm sooo terribly sorry for your loss.  Little Joe is like a son to us--we couldn't love him more if he were our human son.

I definitely think your kitty died from cardiomyopathy.  If it haunts you at all you can research 'HCM' on the internet--there is so much information.  the disease has a literal mind of its own and medication has little effect but is used when warranted.  It's a heartbreaking disease--but aren't they all.   I hope and pray that our Little Joe's condition does not worsen as some do not and some do--you never know.  I don't know I will ever handle it if I lose him.  He goes to a cardiologist and we follow his instructions completely.

This littleman is truly a part of my heart and I am sooo sorry for your loss of your little guy--I know that pain and it is beyond deep.  Please know that there was truly nothing u could have done with cardiomyopathy sudden death.  I believe with all of my heart that he is in an amazing place where someday you will be reunited again~

with sincere sypathy and healing thoughts,
Avatar universal
So sorry to hear of your kitty's sudden death! I had the same thing happen with one of my cats. My vet, a feline specialist with years of experience, said the only thing he knew of that would cause that sudden a death is a blood clot in the brain.
Avatar universal
I found my 13 year old sweet seemingly healthy cat deceased on the bedroom floor just yesterday morning.  The tears are still flowing as I type this.  After reading and reading about sudden death in cats, I truly belivee my
Taz-Bo died of cardiomyopathy as well.  I couldn't bear the thought of a necropsy even though I knew there might be some closure.  I had him since he was orpahaned and I became a "failed foster". It doesn't get any eaiser!  I had to say farewell to my 17 yr old Aust. Shep barely 4 months ago...and this unexpected loss is very hard.  I just talked to a vet and he assured me there was nothing I could have done and shouldn't beat myself up over this as it can truly be a silent and sudden killer.  I am lucky enough to have a large yard and hs is now in his final resting place under a nice shady lemon tree where he can keep an eye on the house and also the wild birds that have feeders in the tree!
874521 tn?1424120397
I am so sorry to read about your dear loved kitty.....this must have been a terrible shock for you to find him gone when you weren't even made aware of a health problem.

It does sound very much like cardiomyopathy, the only reassuring part is that you know he didn't suffer, it was quick.

I am so sorry for your loss, his final resting place sounds so beautiful so fitting...he can forever be keeping watch over his beloved mommy:(

RIP little man
1215170 tn?1266392722
I am so sorry for your loss this was your best friend for a long time.  This Saturday our 9 year old Tabby Penny was playing, eating and having a good time with the other cats in the morning.  Five hours later she collapsed and I picked her up and she could not breathe.  I got to the vet in 30 minutes but it was too late.  First time that I ran through all the stop signs and red lights.  I was blessed to hold her in my arm while she was suffering but I still have the memory of her in my mind trying to survive.  Penny never had any symptoms of being sick, our other cats had the medical symptoms.  I am very upset because I've always checked everything that could go wrong with our cats. Our vet never told me or warned me to check for this disease. Anytime they felt bad for a few days they were in vet's office.  They were given the best food money could buy.  Penny was the king of the house and spoiled rotten.  We understood that Penny was getting older, so we watched him carefully for problems.  Always an inside cat, refused on place his paw on the ground outside.  It hurts when you don't know what I could have done differently to prevent his death.  I never once had a cat die like this and I've cats for 40 years.
506791 tn?1439846583
My Chessie Bear died in mid leap to the top of the bed in January, massive heart attack the vet thought.  She'd had some difficulty the night before and we were about to gather her up to bring her in for an exam...

Have had cats all 57+ years of my life...never becomes easy.
Avatar universal
I know your post is older but I am hoping you receive this as I lost my baby yesterday morning and I am beyond devastated - I can not stop crying - I am heart broken.  She died much in same way your fur baby did - she was fine - sitting on the table and then fell to floor - she breathed for about a minute then went limp and just died.  I am so upset - I want to understand what happened to this 15 month old, loving, active and intelligent creature that I loved so very much.  I just don't understand...
Avatar universal
My condolences to all who have written here.  Yesterday morning my beautiful 7 year old cat Hamlet passed quietly in his sleep. My other cat keeps looking for him and we are devastated. You are not alone x
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