How Do I Know When It Is Time
Most cat owners feel it in their gut when it’s time for their cat to pass on, but acknowledging that feeling can be difficult. There are a few questions you can ask to help guide you in making the right decision for yourself.
- Keep track of your catâs good days and bad days. Occasional bad days are a normal part of life, but there will come a point when your cat is experiencing more pain and discomfort than happy, comfortable days.
- Evaluate whether or not your cat still enjoys the things she always has. Does she eat her favorite treats when offered? Does she purr when you pet her? Is she able to access her favorite perches or play with her toys?
- Talk over your feelings with friends and family. Use your support system as a sounding-board to work through how you want to handle the end of your catâs life.
- Talk to your cat. It may sound silly, but it can help. Curl up together in your favorite spot and talk it over. She just might tell you when it is time.
Surround Yourself With People Who Understand
If you can, surround yourself with people who understand the pain and grief of losing a beloved cat. People who don’t share your love of pets may not understand your sense of loss. And folks who don’t identify as “cat people” may not understand that losing a cat can be just as painful as losing a dog. Part of your healing process involves acknowledging and accepting that your pain and sadness is real and valid. Having a friend or family member at your side who can appreciate the significance of your loss will help you slowly recover and heal.
Although you may feel as though no one can possibly understand the intense feelings that arise when your cat dies, take comfort in knowing that there are many more books and resources available to you than ever before. Many crisis line workers, counsellors, psychologists, and health professionals recognize the pain and grief that can be triggered by the loss of a pet. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for support or a referral if you feel like your grief is becoming unmanageable.
- Note: If you’re also looking for some guidance on how to help your children through this difficult time, then check out my article on How to Talk to Your Children About the Death of a Pet.
Talking to an understanding friend about all the cute things your cat did may help ease your pain.
Their Heart Rate And Respiration Is Low
A healthy cats heartbeat is usually in the range of 140-220 beats per minute. The heart rate of an unwell cat can drop far below this. You can measure your cats heartbeat by placing your hand behind their left elbow, where the beat is usually easiest to detect. Cats usually breathe 20-30 times per minute. An unwell cat may breathe less than this or very rapidly.
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Coping With The Loss Of A Cat Can Be Devastating
Coping with the pain of your cat dying can be one of the most difficult things you’ll face. But, with patience and gentle self-care, there are things that you and your family can do to ease the pain and grief of losing your cat.
Cats can be incredibly affectionate, loving, and loyal. They remind us to be playful and adventurous. They remind us to live in the moment and to love unconditionally. In many ways, our cat friends help us to be better human beings. That’s why it can hurt so much when your cat dies, leaving you with an empty space in your life.
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.
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How To Make The Decision To Euthanize A Dying Cat
Some animals are so sick that their owners may take them to the vet to see if euthanasia is an option. The veterinarian will help you determine if its time to put your cat to sleep after testing your cat.
If your cat has any of the following problems that cannot be handled, you will want to consider euthanasia:
- Severe discomfort
- Cancer that requires invasive procedures to treat
- Any medical condition in which you or your pet is unable to hold him free from urine or faeces is known as respiratory failure.
- A systemic illness in which your cat is not responding to therapy, such as renal failure, pancreatitis, heart disease, or cancer, and his quality of life is poor.
Does My Cat Know She Is Dying
Cats, like other animals, are very intuitive and can sense things that humans cannot. Therefore, cats are attuned to their bodies and their environment to the point where they can detect signs associated with death. One extreme example is a cat in Rhode Island named Oscar, who lives in a nursing home.
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Things To Do With Your Cat Before It Dies
Your cats unlikely to be up to much in its final stages of life. While you should attempt to spend as much time with it as possible, respect its boundaries and only do what it has the strength and energy to. Some things you can do before your cat dies include:
- Reflect on happy memories
- Feed your cat treats
- Sit with your cat in the garden to let it feel the sun and fresh air
- Take pictures so that you have keepsakes
- Let it sleep in its favorite part of the house
When your cats ready to die, give your family the chance to say their goodbyes individually and encourage them to tell their pet how much they love them. This is a happy memory that theyll always have to look back on. Many owners regret not being there to say goodbye because it was too painful at the time. Your cat needs its loved ones surrounding it when it dies.
Do Cats Know When Another Cat Is Dying
There is no evidence to suggest whether cats are aware that their feline friend is dying, and all cats are different in their behaviour.
In some cases, cats seem to understand that the other cat is experiencing pain. They may show this by either acting distressed on their behalf or by appearing sad or withdrawn. However, some cats can appear indifferent to their fellow cats who are ill.
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Signs Your Cat Is Dying
For a long time, pet owners were confused by their feline friends unusual behavior.
Even though cats are really good at hidinginjuries and illnesses, they can still display symptoms and certain changes in behavior that can alert you that something is indeed wrong.
Here are some of the typical lethal signs, and what could they mean:
They May Smell Different
As a cats body starts to shut down, their organs stop working as effectively. This can mean that toxins start to build up instead of being excreted. The result is that your cat can start to smell different. An unpleasant odor that gets worse over time is a sign that something is not right with your cats body.
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Is It Humane To Let A Cat Die Naturally
If your cat is not in pain, then yes, it is humane to let your cat die naturally.
Many cats die at home with their owners. Even more, they pass away in their sleep during their last days. You should not feel guilty if you want your elderly cat to die naturally.
There is an option to euthanize your cat, which makes sense in certain situations. Euthanizing is often scary and confusing for your cat, but for a cat in pain, it could be the best way to let your cat pass.
Some people are against euthanizing their cat, and if you are one of those people, then a natural death is a perfectly acceptable option for your cat.
Usually, your cats state will dictate the best way to allow your cat to pass.
Do Animals Know When They Are Dying
A similar attitude toward the dead is not as clear in other species. In the early 1970s, anthropologist Ernest Becker wrote in his Pulitzer Prizewinning book Denial of Death that nonhuman animals know nothing about dying: The knowledge of death is reflective and conceptual, and animals are spared it.
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Managing Your Cats Medical Challenges
When Is The Right Time To Say Goodbye To My Cat
It’s often difficult to know how your cat is really feeling, so it’s important to talk with your vet, family and friends.
You and your family know your cat better than anyone else. So, though it’s hard, try to make a decision based on your cat’s best interests.
We often feel guilty about whether we put our pets to sleep too soon, or too late, but these are normal reactions when we grieve and you’re not alone in those feelings.
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Natural Death Versus Euthanasia: A Controversial Subject
The topic remains subject to controversy. We will now be looking at both sides and using some references to gather different views so you can make an informed decision. Veterinarians, of course, will recommend euthanasia, because that’s what they are used to doing and some may not be familiar with hospice care or holistic treatments. However, it is also true that vets know the pet’s condition best and are extremely knowledgeable about which diseases are prone to cause a very painful ending.
Dr. Gladstein says, “If your animal is in pain, then it becomes much more of an immediate issue, and letting them die naturally is really cruel and unusual punishment. We’re really privileged in the animal community to be able to euthanize .”
She says that if you determine that their pain can’t be mitigated by any mild pain relievers, then the decision should be made to let the animal go.
Eliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., one of the principal founders of philosophical counseling in the United States, grappled with his decision to put his sickly dog, Bentley, down. He feels guilty that he put to death his companion of 13 years. “I would estimate that Bentley had the intellect of a very intelligent two-year-old human, which is quite intelligent indeed. But, had Bentley been a two-year-old human instead of a dog, euthanasia would not have been a legal option.”
Feed And Allow The Pet To Have A Rest
You dont have to be concerned if your pet is ill and on the verge of death just because you dont have enough money at the moment.
Wipe the tears out, and give the cat good food and some heated water. Both of the pets should get a good nights sleep. It would be unable to get around as a result of this.
Even if you dont have any money, you can save the cats life by giving it plenty of rest.
Enable your cat to do whatever she does if she doesnt want to rest after youve given her food and all the attention she needs. That may be due to old age in some cases.
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Should I Show The Dead Body Of My Pet To My Surviving Cat
If your cat has died from a cause that doesnt pose a risk of infection to other cats, and you feel comfortable doing so, you can show your cat the body of your deceased cat. There is, however, no studies to suggest that this aids the grieving process in your cat.
Youll need to be prepared that your cats body may smell differently to when your pet was alive, and this may upset your cat and cause them to react in a way that is not as respectful as you might anticipate. Cats dont have the same awareness of respect for the dead as people.
Low Heart Rate And Respiration
Likewise, your cats heart rate and respiration may slow as its body begins to shut down. The resting heart rate for a healthy cat ranges from about 150 to 200 beats per minute, and a healthy cat takes about 20 to 30 breaths per minute. If you check your lethargic cats heart rate and find it sluggish, and if you notice your cat taking fewer breaths than usual, these are likely warning signs.
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Food And Other Resources
Resources are the single most important thing to get right. Sick cats are best granted easy access to their key resources, which are food, fresh water and fresh litter.
- What to feed a sick or dying cat?Wet food is often more palatable and easier to digest. If your cat always eats dry kibble, you can try to mix a little wet food into their meal and see what the response is. For cats that are experiencing stomach issues and/or vomitting, a diet of bland food may prove easier to feed and will provide the gastrointestinal tract some time to recover. But you should never give such food to a cat for extended periods, as bland foods rarely contain all the nutrients that the feline body needs.
- Make resources easily accessibleA sick cat may struggle to get up, so make sure that all the vital resources can be reached easily and are within eyesight. Water, food, and the litter box should all be accessible without having to maneuver around obstructions.
- Ensure no competitionCats experience stress when having to compete over their resources. If you have other pets around the house, its probably a good idea to close off the room in order to prevent them from coming in and eating or drinking from the bowls, or using the same litter box.
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.
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Alternative Therapies For Pain
If pharmaceutical intervention is contraindicated or is not adequate to control your cat’s pain, there are other therapies to try. These can include:
- Massage therapy
- Laser therapy
Acupuncture can be effective at alleviating pain and improving the quality of life. A class IV therapy laser is one of the newest therapies in use for pain relief. This is an FDA-approved treatment that only takes a few minutes for a veterinarian to perform, and it can be used for nearly all causes of pain, except cancer.
Your Normally Hungry Moggy Cant Face Dinner
Some cats will happily skip a meal if they hunt for themselves or simply because they fed well previously. If they miss two or three meals in a row, this may be a sign of an underlying medical problem.This does not have to mean they are in immediate danger, however. Though it is definitely worth consulting your vet! Parasites and other medical issues can also lead to your cat not wanting anything to do with their food. However, a lack of appetite in cats is not a good sign, especially if your pet is old or sick.
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