Thinking about life without my cat isn’t something I like to do. She brings so much joy and love into our lives, that it makes me almost nauseous to think that someday she too will grow old and pass away. However, responsible pet owners must realize that illness and even death is just as inevitable for our felines friends as it is for the human ones. To make our furry loved ones as comfortable as possible, it’s necessary to know the signs of death, and how to deal with them in a way that’s compassionate and medically-sound. If you’ve got a young cat, rest assured that you probably won’t need to implement any of these ideas for a long while. The notion that 1 cat year is equivalent to 7 human years is a myth. It’s true that cats age faster when they’re younger, but this slows down as they get older. Now that more cats are “indoor only,” it’s not uncommon for some cats to live to be 18 or 19 years old. Still, this means it’s likely your cat will become elderly and pass on long before you do. If you can’t bring yourself to euthanize your cat when the time comes (and there are medical reasons why you might), keep these tips in mind. 6 Ways To Make A Dying Cat More Comfortable 1. Pay attention to the signs. Cats can’t tell us when something hurts or when they’re feeling sick. So it’s up to us to pay attention to the clues in their behavior. Loss of appetite and rapid weight loss, lethargy and abnormal lack of interaction, obvious signs of discomfort or crying when touched, urinary and/or fecal incontinence, and breathing difficulties are all signals that something is wrong. A trip to the vet is in order. 2. Consider pain medication. If the ailment isn’t something that can be treated, our job is to make the cat as comfortable as possible. In many cases, this means administering pain medication. Sometimes, this can provide relief and extend the cat’s life. However, if you can’t afford meds or they don’t seem to work, euthanasia must be considered. After all the love your cat has given, why prolong her suffering to ease your own? 3. Emphasize hydration. Since it’s likely that a dying cat will be reluctant to go get food and water, make sure to bring it to him instead. Add water to your cat’s food (both wet and dry) to make it easier to eat. Also use a medicine dropper to keep your cat hydrated if he’s no longer making it to the water bowl. 4. Be quiet. When we’re not feeling well loud noise and chaos just makes everything worse, and the same is true for your cat. Make it a point to keep household noise to a minimum, or reposition the cat bed in a quiet corner of the house so that other animals can’t bother her. 5. Give warmth. “Very unwell cats, especially senior cats are often not as good at maintaining body temperature. Make sure your cat has a warm and comfortable place to rest. It should be easy to clean as very sick animals often have elimination problems,” explains Cat-World.com. 6. Say Goodbye. Cats love it when their human friends talk to them and say their name. Especially if your cat is an old friend, now is the time to speak to her in low, reassuring tones. I firmly believe that cats understand us–if not the literal words–than the mood that’s conveyed by the pitch of our voice. Speak to her in a calm manner, say her name, and remind her of your love. Have you cared for a sick or dying cat? What tips would you add to this list? Share them in a comment. Related: Yes, Your Cat is Actually Ignoring You 6 Tips for Winterizing Your Pet Images via Thinkstock
Sorry to hear of poor story of Orange, and I found this blog because I was googled “only allowing a cat outside in a cat run” due to recent, terrible experience I had with my beloved cat. He was diagnosed with kidney failure and after only 4 weeks I had to have him pts. I believe that he might have been poisoned by catching a mouse that had been poisoned, or licking antifreeze from under a car. It has left me feeling guilty and wondering, if I got another cat, I’d be reluctant to let it outside for all the dangers you mention. But I’d feel mean keeping it indoors all the time and was looking at a cat run, so it could have a lovely outside, safe place free of cars, poisoned animals/car stuff, dogs and anti cat people etc. I haven’t yet got another cat but it’s just something I’m looking into.
When a cat dies, how do the other cats in the household tend to react? wikiHow Contributor It depends on whether or not they got along. If they did get along, they may well act sad and lonely and some cats may even seem to be grieving their lost pal. Even if they didn’t get along, there will be a sense of something missing and they may show signs of looking around for the other cat. In time the cat will return to its normal self but if the cat was used to another cat being around, it might be a good thing to introduce a new cat or kitten at some later stage, for companionship. Choose a cat or kitten that is already known to get along with other cats easily, to make the transition kinder on all involved. Thanks! Yes No Not Helpful 9 Helpful 93
Way back in the good old days, I lived on 2 acres on a street next to a small forest, no biggie…My brother and I got two kittens from the grocery store. One was calico and one was my Bootsie..(Black with white breast hair and white paws (male)..Both were outside cats. I went on summer vacation to visit my grandmother cross country and then my mother left to come pick me up..leaving the neighbor to tend to them..they lived in the garage at night..no problems right………wrong………..When I came home two and half months later, there were no cell phones and you trusted your neighbor..we could not find Bootsie, looked everywhere, could not find,even at the shelter…I cryed and resigned myself to school, 2 months later walking home I saw Bootsie on a neighbors driveway sunning himself, picked him up and ran all the way home..I was so excited..I guess that neighbor saw me and followed me home, where we both argued who the cat belonged to…That neighbor showed me and my mother a big vet bill to put my cat back together from a bad cat fight..and Bootsie did not know who I was, so my mother decided to give my cat of 3 years to the neighbor, because my cat did not recognize me…and she didn’t want to pay for the big vet bill…so the moral of the story is anyone can show proof of vet bills paid automatically gets custody of your pet…even if i had the money my cat forgot who I was after only 2-3 months…I confirmed that with my current vet 40 years later..so my two cats are now indoor cats of 5 years and I just built a catio and they love it..
Take your cat to the vet. If you notice any signs that your cat is ill, take him to the vet right away. Many of the signs of imminent death are also signs of severe illness that could be cured with proper treatment. Don’t assume that because your cat exhibits these signs, he is definitely about to die; there could still be hope. For example, chronic kidney disease is common among older cats. The symptoms of the disease are very similar to end-of-life symptoms. With proper intervention, however, a cat with chronic kidney disease could live for many years. Cancer, lower urinary tract disease, and tapeworms are also examples of potentially curable problems with symptoms similar to those of a cat who is dying.
Take the cat’s temperature. A healthy cat’s temperature is between 100 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. A cat nearing death will have a lower body temperature. As the heart weakens, the body temperature begins to drop below 100. You can check your cat’s temperature in the following ways: Use a thermometer. If you have a pet thermometer, take your cat’s temperature in his ear. If not, you can use a digital rectal thermometer to take the temperature of pets. Set the thermometer, insert it slightly into the cat’s rectum, and wait for it to beep to learn the temperature. If you don’t have a thermometer, feel his paws. If they’re cool to the touch, this could be a sign that his heart is slowing down.