What to do about my elderly cat?(12 Posts)
My lovely, slightly psychotic and quirky cat is now an old lady. She'll be 17 next week. She's always been a slender cat but now she's painfully thin, deaf and her vision is deteriorating rapidly. The vet says she's now dementing too . Physically, she has a heart murmur, but apart from some deep purring and heavy breathing when settling, she's ok.
She's not interested in her food, but she's constantly scavenging from us. What could I feed her that wasn't cat food? I've tried her with prawns and she quickly lost interest. Bits of ham and cheese used to be her favourite, but now she turns away.
Aside from the appetite, I wanted to ask if I'm doing the right thing. Because she's got feline dementia, she's pooing everywhere in the house. She's done it several times on our bed , the corner of the kitchen floor, and now her latest is the kitchen table . I'm finding this all very hard to deal with. she occasionally remembers to use the litter tray, but her aim is terrible even then (that I can deal with, newspapers under the tray etc). We now close all doors in the house and restrict her from going upstairs.
The Vet has given her a steroid injection to build her up over the winter, but I don't think it's made much difference to her. She's sleeping in odd places - never now on her patch on the sofa in the kitchen, but would rather the hard wooden chairs, or the kitchen table.
Sorry for the ramble and the long post - it's all spilling out. DH is a clean freak and as much as he adores our little cat, her behaviour is driving him nuts (and it doesn't help that her bowel movements are no longer solid IYSWIM).
What can I do to ease this situation and to make life comfortable for my lofe-long friend ?
Oh goodness - so sorry for you. I think you'll find that several of us have elderly cats on here and many of us have some of the same problems - although you seem to have pretty well the whole range. (My own old boy is about 18.)
Has the vet done blood/urine analyses to find out if anything else is going on with her apart from general old age and dementia?
Think the best thing is to have her put down. Happened to me, still miss her after 8 years, cried buckets but at the end if the day it's not fair on the animal to try to prolong its life.
Thank you. It's crossed me mind several times, but have felt really bad about considering it because it's not as if it's her that's in pain, or suffering. I feel really really guilty, because I don't want to ever think of her as an inconvenience. I have 2 small children and am constantly worrying about the poo eating from the kitchen table. God.
Think how many adults there are with dementia who would wish to be put down if it were possible.... I can't even have another cat as my now DP is allergic and has asthma. Don't feel guilty, you'd be doing the best thing.
Our cat lost loads of weight and it turned out she needed special food. Try cooking coley in the microwave? Chicken?
Re poo. Bissell green machine thing from Lakeland is fab. Our other cat had cancer and used to poo in inappropriate places. (Still miss that cat.)
PTS? I'd take vet advice and consider quality of life. Is cat suffering, in pain etc. I agree it seems U to take this decision on the basis of anything else. We had this with cat who had cancer. On treatment. Seemed to be responding well to low dose but omg the poo! It was so difficult to know when the time was right. I'd trust the vet.
Exactly the same happened to my beloved (and favourite) cat some years ago. It went on for many weeks, being propped up temporarily by steroid injections, but it was never going to get better, and I don't even know if he was enjoying life by the end. He did the same things as yours, sleeping in weird uncomfortable places, not eating but seemed to be ravenously hungry, etc. The thing that finally decided us was when he spent a couple of days escaping the garden (which he hadn't done for months and months) into the wilderness behind the houses, almost trying to find a place to curl up. We got the vet to come to our house and PTS in our arms. It was definitely the right thing to do. I think you'll know when that time really does come. Don't feel guilty, it is the kindest thing.
I'm so sorry Welsh, my old boy is 18.5 and I live in fear of 'the' decision.
I hope this website is useful?
Thanks everyone. I even hate letting her out of the house - not that she asks much to actually go out now - she just^ sits in random places. We came home yesterday to find her sitting in a pile of wet leaves in the gutter on our street, staring blankly into space.
Just spoken to DH and he visibly winced at the idea that it was time to start thinking of things. He cannot bear the thought of her going yet, so if she remains 'stable' until Christmas, he said we should think of it after that. I'm not convinced though. I know she's not in pain, but I do' know that she's confused and just ticking over IYSWIM.
Thanks for listening to my ramble.
I think your DH needs to get his head round it.
I had similar problems with our 17YO cat.
It's me that cleans up the shit and piss, sorts the food, vets visits, brushes the cat because he can't brush himself etc. and yet it's him saying he doesn't want to let the cat go.
For people with cats that miss the tray, I got microfibre dish draining mats for £2 each in Home Bargains. They have changed my life, no more piss rolling under the fridge or washing machine, they are SO much better than kitchen roll or teatowels. I put them under the tray and they can go in the washing machine.
We have an old demented cat too, with the same food issues. He would cry loudly for food and then not want it.
What did work is feeding him that special cat milk or evaporated milk as he adores that. He can drink a carton or bottle a day happily and has definitely put weight on.
He also likes sliced beef, tuna, prawns, sausages, bacon etc so whatever I cook or buy i make a little extra for him too, and this works well as he doesn't have the same titbits twice in a row. It is a bit of a pain but he is 18 and so it won't be for long.
I'm going to go against the grain and say keep going until you know it's time to pts.
Tables can be covered in-between meals and accidents cleaned up but once there gone, well, that's it isn't it?.
You know when it's time to pts. You just know.
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