Friday, April 12, 2024

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Dying

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How Do I Know If My Cat Is Suffering

Cats are usually very good at masking their pain, making it difficult to tell when they are suffering. If you are worried your cat is in pain, look for specific attitude shifts to help you determine how they feel. 

Some cats begin meowing much more frequently to try and express their discomfort out loud to you.

Its also a common sign that your cat is not feeling well when they cant seem to find a comfortable place to rest or cant fall asleep easily. Cats often suffering will act very disconnected from their family and may act more withdrawn than usual. 

Their Body Temperature Is Lower

Your cats body temperature will begin to decrease as the body weakens as slows down. Their normal temperature is between 100 102.5. Your cats temperature can be taken with a rectal thermometer. It is easy to do yourself or you can have it done by your vet. If your cats paws have cool pads, this may be an indicator their body temperature is decreasing.

Boys Story  His whole life, Boy always had very warm ears. What I notice most when he got sick was how his ears had gotten cool. They no longer had the warmth they once had.

How To Comfort Your Dying Cat

If you know that your cat is dying, its time to give your cat extra care and attention to make her feel as comfortable and loved as possible during her last days.

  • Try to make her bed as cozy and warm as possible and easy to access. You can add extra blankets. You can also add a small heating pad to keep your cat warm and cozy. You may need to add extra blankets on top to avoid making your cat too hot.
  • Offer treats and foods with a strong smell, to encourage her to eat, such as fish-flavored food. If your cat doesnt want to chew, offer her some canned food mixed with warm water.
  • Help her in grooming by brushing her hair and cleaning
  • Make sure that all her needs are met and accessible like her water and food bowls, and her litter box.
  • Provide ramps to help her go up and down stairs, or hold her up to her favorite higher spots
  • Talk to your vet about medications to ease the symptoms, such as pain killers, steroids, or appetite stimulants
  • Spend time nearby your cat and respect her wishes. If she wants to cuddle and be loved, make sure to offer her love and care. If she wants to sit alone, respect her wish.
  • Try to keep your home as quiet as possible. Reduce unfamiliar visitors, and try to have your family gatherings take place outdoors or in other rooms away from your cat.

Loss Of Interest/social Withdrawal

As the end of a cats life draws near, they often withdraw from their owners and fellow animal companions. Some cats will seek out an isolated hiding place in order to avoid contact. They may also stop greeting you at the door, begging for food, or gazing out the window, completely losing interest in what is happening around them.

Your Cat Has Lost Weight Suddenly

How to Know if Your Cat Is Dying: 15 Steps

Often cats will become the thinnest they ever have been at the end of their life. A sign to look out for if you believe your cat may be dying is unexpected or rapid weight loss.

Sometimes elderly cats will stop eating as much food as they did when they were younger, which naturally contributes to a slight weight loss. Also, it is common for muscles to begin to atrophy in elderly cats, resulting in them looking thinner and frailer.

That is a common symptom of aging, as your cats body doesnt function as well as it used to in its youth. 

Other times if your cat is very close to passing away, your cats body might stop absorbing the nutrients from their food.

This results in rapid weight loss and is a clear warning sign that it is time to take your cat to see their vet. Typically if this happens, your cat will be feeling very weak and lethargic as well.

What Changes Should I Look For In Appetite Or Thirst

Since sick cats may eat less or eat more, or may have more or less thirst than usual, any change in appetite or thirst may be of concern. Cats with dental disease may seem to be picky about their food. Cats that have some metabolic diseases such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes mellitus may have a hearty appetite and increased thirst. Cats with liver or kidney problems often lose their appetite, but usually have increased thirst.

“If your cat has not eaten properly for 24 hours, seek immediate veterinary attention.”

If your cat has not eaten properly for 24 hours, seek immediate veterinary attention. Cats that have not eaten are prone to developing a condition called hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease , in which the cats appetite becomes completely suppressed for weeks. If fatty liver syndrome develops, your cat will require extensive medical management for several weeks to months before things get back to normal.

Cat Has Extreme Weight Loss

Is your cat so skinny that you can feel their bones when you pet them? Well, weight loss is another common sign that a cat may be dying.

Many chronic conditions can cause weight loss in their later stages, as well as improper absorption of nutrients. If your elderly cat is experiencing severe weight loss, it may be time to think about saying goodbye.

How To Know If Your Cat Is Dying

This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 60 testimonials and 91% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,227,961 times.

A cat nearing the end of his or her life may exhibit certain behaviors that will let you know it’s almost time. The cat may refuse to eat or drink, have a lower energy level and experience weight loss. Many cats instinctively seek out solitude during their final days. Recognizing the signs that your cat is dying will help you provide the best possible end-of-life care for your pet.

When To See A Veterinarian

If you notice changes in behavior in your cat, such as hiding more and loss of appetite or physical changes such as decreased mobility and extreme weight loss.

Its best to visit your vet to help diagnose your cat, and know for sure if shes dying or suffering from another illness.

Some cat owners choose euthanasia for their cats to help relieve their pain. Its also better to discuss this with your vet based on the diagnosis, and consult your family and friends.

In case you choose to go for euthanasia, the vet will give an overdose of a sedative so the cat can pass quickly and pain free.

When your cat has passed, you can choose to either bury her or opt for cremation. Your veterinarian can help you with options available in your area.

Your Cat Just Seems Out Of Sorts

Do you ever just get a feeling that something isnt right with your pet? You know and understand your cat better than anyone and so you should never discount this gut instinct. If you think that something is off, even if there are no discernible symptoms, it never hurts to arrange for your older pet to attend a check-up with a professional.

You undoubtedly want your older cat to live out the remainder of her life as healthily and happily as possible. If you suspect that your kitty may be unwell, do not be afraid to schedule a check-up with a veterinarian. We would be delighted to see her here at our offices in Nashville, TN. Please telephone our team to make her appointment.

Part 1 Of 3:seeking Medical Care

  • 1Find a box. If you dont have a pet carrier available, you will need to find a box to put the kitten in. Make sure that the box is big enough for the kitten to comfortably stand up and turn around, but not so big that it will dangerously roll around when you turn corners.XResearch source
  • Secure the top of the box so that the kitten cannot crawl out.
  • Put air holes in the sides of the box so that the kitten has abundant fresh air.
  • To help the kitten feel safer and to absorb any vomit or urine, place an old towel or t-shirt in the box with the kitten.
  • 2Keep the kitten warm. Newborn kittens dont have the ability to regulate their own temperature and will rely on their mother or you to keep them warm. Wrap a towel or blanket around the box that youre keeping the kitten in, but make absolutely sure that you have left the air holes unobstructed.XResearch source
  • You can also wrap the kitten up in a towel or old shirt to give it extra warmth.
  • Just as you need to keep the air holes free and clear, if you wrap the kitten up, ensure that youve left the kittens head and airways unobstructed.
  • 3Locate the nearest vet. Your kitten needs medical attention right away. You may need to find an emergency veterinarian if the kitten needs immediate attention and your local veterinarian cant see you. Get your kitten to the nearest vet to improve its chances of survival, but remember that an emergency appointment does typically cost more than a routine veterinarian visit.
  • Companionship Signs Of Cats Dying

    1. Refusing to leave a loved ones side.

    2. Entering or trying to enter a loved ones room; sleeping on their possessions, on their bed, even if theyre not present.

    My own cat made every effort possible to get into my daughters room. She absolutely loved my daughter having known her since she was a baby . My ex shooed her and when I arrived home, she meuwled at me in the strangest saddest way. A visit to the vet told me she was in serious trouble. I drop by the next day to see her. She lifted her head, stuck out her paw and put her head on my hand I left . She died a few hours later. I am STILL very upset over it to this day, and its 17 years now. She said good bye to those she loved the most. My daughter and I.

    3. Acting normal like nothing is wrong, and previously held symptoms and signs of impending death are temporarily replaced with what feels like your old, regular, healthy cat.

    As I went to go to bed after taking to my mum in the kitchen, I went to stroke him and say goodnight and he looked so peaceful, happy and beautiful. He had a cute little face and he looked even sweeter as he meowed at me with the most normal and bright meow I had ever heard him give. I guess he knew I was going to sleep and was giving me his final goodnight and goodbye.

    I wake up in the morning, to my boyfriend telling me somethings wrong with Rika.

    we tried cpr on our way to the er, but devastatingly, she passed.

    Part 3 Of 3:handling The End

    How to Tell if your Cat Is Dying

  • 1Take care of your cat’s remains. If your cat dies at home, it’s important to store the body in a cool place until you’re able to proceed with cremation or burial plans. This ensures that the body won’t deteriorate or become a hazard to your family’s health. Wrap the cat carefully in plastic and store the body in a cool place, such as a freezer or on a cold concrete floor. If your cat is euthanized, the vet will properly store the body for you.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsLeading organization dedicated to the prevention of animal crueltyGo to source
  • 2Decide between cremation and burial. If you would like to have your cat cremated, talk with your vet about options in your area. If you would prefer to bury your cat, research local pet cemeteries where you can have your cat interred.
  • In some states it is legal to bury your pet on your property, while in other places it is not legal. Before deciding where to bury your pet, research your local laws.XTrustworthy SourceAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to AnimalsLeading organization dedicated to the prevention of animal crueltyGo to source
  • It is illegal to bury your cat in a public park or other public land.
  • Should I Get Another Cat

    This is a completely personal choice and will depend on your own circumstances and how ready you feel.

    No two cats are the same and, although you may get another that looks similar, your new cat will have a different personality. So it’s worth remembering that your relationship is not a ‘replacement’ but it can still be rewarding. 

    Some people feel that a new cat helps them to move on and process their grief. While you will never forget your pet, a new cat can bring joy and laughter back into your home. 

    If you feel you would like to get another cat, please consider rehoming from one of our rehoming centres.

    Bidding Farewell: 7 Signs Your Cat Is Dying

    Cats are stoic creatures. They are best at hiding their sickness and vulnerabilities, keeping the symptoms of sickness under the rug until it becomes impossible to hide. However, there are subtle signs that can help responsible pet owners identify if their cat is sick. Similarly, there are some signs your cat is dying, thereby helping you identify if your cat is nearing the end of her life.

    It is hard to lose a pet, especially when they have become an integral member of your family. And it is unbearable to hear about the sudden death of your cat. But sooner or later, the time will come when you will have to say goodbye to your feline fella. Therefore, you must familiarize yourself with the signs of a dying cat so that the cats death does not take you by surprise. In fact, if you pay attention, you might make it easy for her.

    Poor Response To Treatments

    Many of the diseases that plague senior cats can be controlled with medications and other treatments for a long time. Over time, your cat may require higher doses of medications or stop responding to treatment. This can be a sign that her body is breaking down and no longer able to utilize medications normally.

    Common Illness In Elderly Cats

    As our cats reach their senior years, they may begin to experience illness and overall decline in their health. While some cats simply deteriorate in health due to old age, others struggle with chronic illness.

    To help you understand the possible ailments that your senior cat may experience, lets discuss some of the most common health conditions in elderly cats.

    Is It Normal To Feel Upset

    When you arrive back home, be prepared for the house to feel empty. It’ll be hard at first but take each day as it comes, try to treasure your memories and talk to family and friends about it.

    It’s entirely natural to feel upset when your cat dies. After all, your cat is a beloved family member. 

    The first thing is not to feel embarrassed about showing your emotions vets expect you to be upset. It takes time to get over the loss of a loved one, and, although reactions differ, you will often feel a mixture of things, such as:

    • sadness
    • guilt
    • doubt

    Though it’s natural, try not to feel guilty or blame yourself the decision for euthanasia is taken with your cat’s best interests at heart to avoid them suffering. 

    Some people find themselves questioning whether they did the right thing. It is normal to feel some doubt, though this will ease in time.

    Reduced Appetite And Weight Loss

    As with all animals, the first sign that a cat may be dying is that they lose all interest in eating and drinking. This is often a byproduct of feeling tired and weak.

    However, you should still continue to offer your dying fresh water and food.

    Consuming and digesting food requires energy that they no longer have.

    However, you may still be able to coach your cat into eating canned food or fish during the early period of this stage.

    You can also water your cats food down or offer them baby foods that are meat-based.


    They Cant See Or Breathe Properly

    Signs a cat is dying can vary enormously:

    If they start walking into walls it can be a sign that they are losing their vision.

    A slow and sedate movement may indicate their ability to think quickly is being hampered by illness.

    Unsteady breathing is always a serious concern, as it can indicate their respiratory system is struggling.

    How to tell if a cat is dying if in doubt, always consult your vet

    If you are struggling with how to tell if a cat is dying, you should talk to your vet. Make it so that your vet visits you rather than put your pet through the caged trip to the surgery.Try to remember all the happy times you and your cat have spent together. Remember too that death is a natural part of life. Your cat will always appreciate you for the joy and support you provided throughout their life. The will also love you for the fact that you were there to help them in the end.

    How To Prevent Illness In Cats

    How To Know If Your Cat Is Dying Of Old Age

    Many owners underestimate the importance of routine veterinary care for cats. They may wait several years to bring their cats to the vet for check-ups. Worse, they sometimes wait until their cat is sick. It’s understandable that people would want to avoid putting their cats through the stress of a veterinary visit. Some cats become very anxious or even aggressive at the vet. Rather than waiting, try to find a veterinary practice that is less stressful for your cat. Many feline-friendly practices are out there, some even cat-only practices. Alternatively, you may consider finding a mobile vet who can come to your home. Many cats do better in a familiar environment.

    Annual veterinary exams are essential for cats. Senior cats can benefit from biannual check-ups and routine lab work. These visits give the vet an opportunity to examine your cat when he appears healthy. The vet may find minor abnormalities on the exam that indicate a minor problem before your cat gets really sick. Early detection might mean you and your vet can take action before the illness becomes serious.

    You can also keep your cat as healthy as possible by feeding a healthy diet. A healthy diet can help your cat avoid obesity and a wide array of other health issues. Many vets recommend wet diets high in protein and low in carbohydrates.

    Be sure to use routine parasite prevention as recommended by your vet. This can prevent fleas, intestinal parasites, and other parasites from making your cat sick.

    How Can I Comfort A Dying Cat

    Dying is part of life. Even as humans, none of us get out of here alive. Just because that statement is true, it does not make going through the death of a cat any easier. For a minute, let’s look past our own emotions and look at a few things we can do to make our cats as comfortable as possible in their final days with us. Here are some things we did to make Boy comfortable during his final days with us.

  • Worked with a vet Once we realized Boy was not himself, we worked with a vet from the onset of his symptoms until the day he was euthanized. The vet clinic also took care of having his cremation. They returned his cremains to us along with other items we had purchased as part of the package. They were compassionate, caring, and experienced at helping pet owners through the grieving process.
  • Set-up a warm bed in a quiet spot  Dying cats will seek warmth and quiet on their own. Providing it for them will avoid unnecessary stress.
  • Clean the bedding  Make sure your cats bedding is cleaned often. Sick and dying cats have less control over their kidneys and bowels.
  • Help your cat to the litter box  Cats do not like to do their business anywhere but the litter box. Walking to the box and getting in can take a lot of energy for a weak cat. Helping him can conserve his energy and reduce stress.
  • They Are Not Behaving Like Their Usual Adorable Personality

    As said, Its not always the decline thats alarming. Sometimes, it is the other way around!

    So, Other warning signs a cat is dying may include excessive eating, urination, hyperactiveness, aimless pacing, panting, increased thirst, appetite, and heart rate.

    There could be many reasons why your cat behaves like this, among which hyperthyroidism is only one condition.

    Note: Increase appetite may cause it to eat anything and everything in sight, like raw meat, almonds , onions which could further create problems for its health.

    Theyre Weak And Lethargic

    As well as sleeping more, you may find that your cat is weaker once theyre up and about. They may not have the energy to walk to the litter box or jump onto their favorite cat tree to watch the world go by. Your cat may show symptoms like weak back legs, in which case, so they can make sure your cat isnt in pain.

    Are There Any Other Symptoms That Are Abnormal

    It is not normal for a healthy cat to have any discharge from the nose, debris in the ears, excessive salivation, bad breath, or unusual odor from other parts of the body.

    Vomiting, particularly vomiting of clear foamy fluid or bile-tinged material, is cause for alarm.

    Gums, skin, or eyes that are pale may indicate anemia, while a yellow tint may indicate jaundice, and a bluish tint may indicate a lack of oxygen. Delaying treatment for these disorders, even by a few hours, can be fatal.

    “If you have any concerns or questions about your cats health, visit or call your veterinarians office.”

    Because signs of illness can be very subtle, if your cat does not seem right to you, err on the side of caution and to make an appointment for a veterinary examination as soon as possible. If you make it a habit to give your cat a general once-over on a regular basis, you will have an idea of what is normal and will be more likely to catch minor problems before they become major health issues. If your cat will not eat for more than 24 hours, or if you notice any breathing problems, straining in the litterbox, or abnormalities in eyes, seek immediate veterinary attention. If you have any concerns or questions about your cats health, visit or call your veterinarians office they are your best and most reliable resource to ensure your pets wellbeing and health.

    Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM; Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

    Signs Your Cat Could Be Dying

    Cats have a great survival instinct, in which they hide their pain or injury very well. However, for our pet owners, it can be a challenge.

    Signs your cat could be dying include common signs of illnesses such as cancer and kidney disease.

    Dying cats may have labored breathing. Her respiratory rate can speed up and slow down randomly.

    Once you notice any signs, its best to visit your vet to help diagnose your cat and advise you on what should be done.

    Signs a cat is dying include:

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