help!

(75 Posts)
noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 15:50:47

Hi I am in a real dilemma with my 2 cats. I have had them years a boy 11 and a girl 15. Always got on fine v clean and happy etc etc. We love them to bits! Sadly last month the boy started dribbling and was found to have tumour under his tongue which is basically inoperable and we are giving him steroids and he has perked up a lot and pottering about fine. He could live anything from 2 months to a year and I have to decide when I think he has had enough. (thanks) The other cat has taken a real dislike to him since he has been ill and now she won't use the litter tray or eat food near him and if he comes near her she batters him. It is the litter though that is bothering me. I have tried everything putting her out separate tray etc and she just keeps peeing in the kitchen sink and worktop shock. Vet says she can tell he is ill etc etc but that doesn't help me now! I have had a renal transplant and am immunosuppressed an am terrified of catching something as I am cleaning non stop and disinfecting but I am not supposed to touch this sort of thing. Vet says no such thing as temp re home and she will be ok when other one goes sad but he is doing really well and is going to be around a while Help!

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 16:23:16

shameless bump as desperate

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 16:32:23

Hi noddy

I remember your boy being diagnosed.

What are your current living arrangements? EG Do either or both of the cats go out, do they each have full run of the house and how did you previously organize eating and littering?

Floralnomad Mon 30-Sep-13 16:35:48

I was also going to say would it be possible to keep them apart giving both a set time of day for human company . My mum has an indoor cat and 2 dogs and they have a kind of rota system ( can't be together at all) for when they are in the lounge .

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 16:43:02

They have the run of the house I live in a flat and previously they just got on with it. The girl cat who has started peeing has always been really clean so I got her a separate tray but she won't even use that. I am already keeping the living room locked from them which is new as she has peed in there and I had to throw away a sofa. The vet says she can 'smell' the cancer and the drugs. The are quite happy to sit together etc sometimes but its the peeing I am going to get ill and I have tried everything May have to ask someone to have her for a while

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 16:45:19

before he was ill she just used the litter as normal. If he wasn't here she would probably use it again and we don't have a garden although she sometimes goes out the front and wanders around this is also new since he has been ill and she will get run over tbh so I don't encourage it

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 16:54:54

Yes - he'll likely smell different. Not only that but he's probably behaving subtly differently which she'll be picking up even if you can't.

I think you'll likely have to separate them in the short term, noddy, maybe putting the boy in a separate room with his own tray and food/water. See how that goes.

I should add, and it may be something you don't want to hear, that I had experience with a seriously ill animal receiving steroids. (My darling Twoago.) They had a huge - almost kick-ass - effect at first but that tailed off much more quickly than I expected. If that's the only treatment he's on, I wouldn't be giving him a year or anything near that I'm afraid.

Maybe one of the vets who contribute, or another poster with more experience of steroids, can comment on that therapy.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 16:58:58

thanks cozie I know that sad. The vet gave us the projection from what she had seen. He has a bit of a spring in his step but I know its the steroids as I have been on them myself! Separating them isn't really possible as even in a room with her own litter she will pee everywhere! I think I am going to ask a friend to have her for a few months and see. They are not the sort of cats to be locked in one room they are pretty old and set in their ways and would literally scream! I have had enough tbh and I do love them but my life is completely dominated by them atm

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 17:01:13

Fair enough if you have a friend who can oblige. Your own condition is a serious complicating factor and has to override most other considerations I think.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 17:03:28

My health is the main thing tbh as I am more than happy to keep them apart etc and do all his drugs and cleaning too but even with her own tray she somehow associates it with him even a brand new one! And so pees on other things. I feel sorry for her as she does try and go somewhere in her eyes clean like sinks and baths but I am elbow deep in all this 2-3 times a day and will eventually catch something.

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 17:05:16

Yes. have a word with your friend.

Best of luck with them.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 17:06:08

Thanks smile

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Sep-13 18:48:18

I'm guessing the tumour is a squamous cell carcinoma and I have seen more than my fair share of these nasty bastards. I am afraid in my experience at best you get a few months with steroids, the best I have managed is 6 months.
Regarding your girl cat I would look at dramatically increasing the number of each facility you have to one per cat plus a spare so that would be food, water and litter tray. I would also suggest getting Feliway plug in and maybe even try some zylkene tablets for her.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 19:37:43

Thanks for your advice I have litter trays but it hasn't worked also have feliway. She isn't stressed tbh just peeing in sinks! It is a squamous cell carcinoma. Vet is a bit how long is a piece of string and says I will know when he has had enough. I feel out of my depth Will I know?

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 19:38:13

what is zylkene? TIA

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:40:57

I promise you will know. I'm so sorry, we lost most of ours to cancer.

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 19:41:54

I'll let Lonecat explain zylkene - it has the effect of a tranquiliser as I understand it.

And yes - you likely will know but you may know with hindsight and not at the time. It's a grim prognosis for the boy so I'd let him go while he's still enjoying life and not wait until he's in straits. Difficult decision though.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 19:43:34

Thanks all. I keep looking at him thinking I don't know what I am looking at! he has always been a big baby and is obsessed with food so I told the vet if he can't eat I would not be able to keep him going as he runs as soon as I open the fridge door and enjoys his food so much.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 19:44:16

There is a pic of him on my profile sad

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:45:27

Zylkene is a milk protein based mood enhancer/sedative, mine was off his furry face on it.

It gives milk sensitive cats a runny bottom.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 19:46:40

Oh ok I am not sure which cat needs it They are pretty chilled but will get it!

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 19:48:59

Steroids will improve/stabilize his appetite. Watch for when he goes off his food.

catsdogsandbabies Mon 30-Sep-13 20:45:27

To reassure you cat urine is very concentrated in healthy cats and likely sterile so you are highly unlikely to catch anything from it even if you drank it!
Agree with lone cat - a SCC under the tongue has a grave prognosis (sorry) and a year would be a miracle. 1-3 months max in my experience. You will know the right time regards pts.

noddyholder Mon 30-Sep-13 21:04:35

Gosh that quick I don't know what to do as my ds will be home from uni at xmas and he loves this cat, shit. Am overwhelmed tbh but good news re the cat urine! I am quite heavily immunosuppressed so have been scared!

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 21:07:32

See how it goes over the next month, noddy. More than that you can't do.

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 21:08:06

And remember - people are always here to chat to.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Sep-13 21:12:08

Zylkene is a milk protein that binds to the same receptor as diazepam so all the anti-anxiety effects and no addictive effects. It contains no lactose so shouldn't upset milk sensitive cats.
Regarding how will you know when: more bad days than good days is my normal mantra. But actually with SCC under the tongue you need to monitor ability to eat and drink very carefully as this ability can seem to disappear almost overnight. My other mantra is it is always better a day too soon than a day to late.
It is worth discussing now your plan so that when the bad day comes you know exactly what you want be it a house visit or not and if you want to bury at home or cremation and then do you want the ashes back. After the event it always feels better if it was what you wanted rather than a mishmash as you made rushed decisions.

noddyholder Tue 01-Oct-13 09:57:39

Thanks all! I am making a plan now with d about what to do. My cat is crying for food 24/7 which i know is the steroids but he doesn't seem to know what he wants and as a result there are about 6 bowls of various things around. I work from home so can be with him but dp says he looks miserable even though he still eats and is purring a lot sad

cozietoesie Tue 01-Oct-13 10:06:58

Oh Dear, noddy. Are you really sure he's still eating and drinking? (With the various bowls of food around, it sounds as if he might be just mouthing the nosh and not ingesting.)

noddyholder Tue 01-Oct-13 10:08:23

Yes his first bowl this morning was just normal food and he finished it and a bowl of milk but now he keeps crying and jumping up and I don't know what he wants!

cozietoesie Tue 01-Oct-13 10:14:50

(Best to give him water and not milk if you were talking cow's milk.)

If he still has food around in various bowls, he needs love and attention. It often comes that way when they're not well - they feel a bit sad and flobbly. Just lots of strokes and constant talking to on your part.

(Maybe also put on the telly or some music/radio on a low volume.They seem to like a fairly constant noise source when they're off colour.)

noddyholder Tue 01-Oct-13 12:03:21

Thanks will try more water too. He is happily running around etc just the mouth really which is why its so hard to know what to do. He gets masses of love and attention thats for sure he has always been the house teddy bear and that remains. DP and I finding it heartbreaking though as he has just been with us through thick and thin. Always slept on my desk and follows me everywhere Will really miss him sad

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 16:24:42

Hi I wonder if any of you are there. He has got a lot worse in the last 24 hrs. For the first part of today he couldn't eat or drink he made the mouth movements but his tongue stayed in. It is so distressing and I rang the vet and she said bring him in at the end of day today. Now in the last hour he has eaten a bit of cat food and I feel like I am taking him to the gallows while he can still eat but I know it is kinder to let him go. I dont know if I can stay with him while they do it so scared

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 16:41:50

You don't have to stay with him, I'm sure lots of people can't do it.

As far as the cats concerned its just another check up. Have you got someone to drive you there and back? It's hard to drive while your upset.

I'm so sorry, he looks just like my childhood cats.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 16:44:15

My dp is here he will drive. I am ok one minute in bits the next I think I could keep him going a few more days but I am not sure I can watch him any more. He just looks so sad and he isn't washing himself so his lovely fur is getting a bit smelly sad What happens do they just give him an injection?(sorry)

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 16:47:27

I'd assume so, I couldn't go in so my dad stayed.

He said it was very quick, and calm.

issey6cats Thu 03-Oct-13 16:47:52

they will just give him an overdose of anesthetic in his front leg and he will just go to sleep its hard but its a gentle way to go my heart goes out to you xxx

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 16:48:01

Cats don't know noddy and he'll be used to going to the vet by now. I'm so sorry for you though - it's truly hard.

You might be able to stay with him. See how it goes when you get there. It's usually very peaceful.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 16:53:38

Thanks I think I will stay I couldn't leave him with no one and my dp is distraught downstairs and he needs to drive us home. I am trying to be philosophical as he just has no quality of life left and I would be keeping him for teh wrong reasons. My son is at uni I don't want to tell him yet do you think thats ok?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 16:55:24

I think you should tell your son, it's worse if the cats gone and he didn't know about it.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 16:57:06

I would but he is dyspraxic and would absolutely freak out as he hates change and it could throw him completely. There is no way he could make it back here and he has a project, first one, which has to be in tomorrow. Not sure what to do

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 16:57:49

You're making the right decision. It was a bad prognosis so better to let him go now than when he's in serious distress.

If you can stay - well - see how you are when you get there. Myself, I'd tell your son but mull it over once you get back home this evening.

Stay strong.

Thinking of you all.

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 16:58:37

Leave it for a day or two then.

When is he due back home for a break?

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 17:00:13

I am going to tell him at the weekend but wondered if I should tell him before don't think he would cope well being away from home with this news. God am torn

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 17:00:40

He is coming back mid october for a friends leaving do.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 17:01:02

Ok well then cross that bridge when you get to it & focus on yourselves and the cat for today.

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 17:02:38

OK then. Just concentrate right now on getting to the vets and back. You can decide what to do about DS this evening.

How is your DP? Will he be OK driving? (I'm thinking about you maybe getting a taxi.)

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 17:03:19

Thanks all of you for your support I think we are just shocked at the speed of this although you all told me I know. I really hoped for xmas with my ds home but its not to be and he is just so uncomfortable now xx

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 17:03:50

I am thinking about a taxi too now

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 17:04:16

You're doing the right thing, noddy.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 17:05:14

He is still walking around and purring but his mouth just doesn't work Seems so cruel

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 17:05:41

I'd say get a taxi. It's pretty straightforward and would save your DP from having to drive in rush hour when upset.

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 17:06:47

Not cruel - the very opposite. Many of us reading or on this thread will have been where you are.

chemenger Thu 03-Oct-13 17:09:05

I have lost two to oral cancers, the first I waited too long and I still feel bad that she suffered unnecessarily, the second I was braver and kinder and feel better about.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 17:11:17

Sometimes purring is a way of them comforting themselves eg some cats purr during labour.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 17:27:30

Thanks chemnger that makes me feel better. Fluffy he is purring way more than he ever has but doesn't respond to me calling his name which is very unusual.

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 17:29:44

As Fluffy said, they can do 'stress purrs' as well as pleasure purrs. I think you're right about now being the time.

People will likely be around this evening if you need to talk. We'll be thinking about you anyway.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 18:11:12

Am just about to leave and am a lot calmer than earlier.Thansk so much for listening xxx

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 19:08:47

Well I am back and it was so hard but so peaceful too and I really feel e did the right thing. The vet said she knew we'd be back as the tumour was large and so I feel calmer than I have in the last 2 days as he was really in discomfort Thanks to all of you for understanding xxx

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 19:17:19

Yes. It was the right thing for him.

How are you and DP doing, noddy?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:17:26

I'm glad it wasn't as awful as you thought it would be.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 19:31:31

cozie we have just been crying non stop. Our son went to uni and we have just about got used to that and now the cat! I know things will get better and I am trying to be strong xx

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 19:35:00

I cried for two solid days when my darling Twoago died. It's truly not easy.

How is your other cat doing ? Is she extra close tonight?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 03-Oct-13 19:36:01

My mum sobbed over her cat being pts, never shed a tear when her mum died though.

I had to hide the beds and toys. It's ok to just let it all out.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 19:45:24

Our other cat is ok so far she is fast asleep. She is a totally different character very independent and not super needy like Silver!

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 19:46:40

His fur is everywhere as he was long haired and I think i will leave it and not hoover it just yet. He gave us so much pleasure I am hanging onto that between teh sobs! Dreading telling ds sad

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 19:50:18

My recommendation? Later this evening, you and your DP get a stiff drink (or a tea or coffee if you don't drink) go outside/open the window and toast your boy's passing.

Have you thought at all about where to bury him or his ashes yet? (If you're to get them back.)

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 19:52:22

I'd clear it as soon as you can. Along with any toys or food bowls etc. You're going to have to do it soon.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 19:52:56

I think we will cozie thank you! Haven't thought about that at all will maybe let ds decide I think he would like that once the initial upset calms a bit. I have just developed a raging earache which is really strange hope a couple of painkillers will shift it literally came from nowhere!

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 19:55:04

You've had so much stress over the last few, it wouldn't be surprising if it broke out somewhere. Take care of yourself. Long hot bath or shower, say.

noddyholder Thu 03-Oct-13 19:57:33

Am going to have a bath and another cry probably and then I so need to sleep. I have stayed at home with silver for 11 days and I have hardly slept so hope I can tonight. Thanks to all of you you've been brilliant

cozietoesie Thu 03-Oct-13 19:58:44

I hope you get some sleep. All the best.

cozietoesie Fri 04-Oct-13 08:36:06

How are you all doing this morning, noddy ?

noddyholder Fri 04-Oct-13 11:10:54

Hi cozie thanks for asking smile I think we are just stunned tbh as it was so quick. But thinking of how he completely lost his will in teh last day or 2 makes me sure we did the right thing. I have lots of beautiful pictures of him and am finding it easier than I expected as he has not really been 'there' iykwim for weeks so I think I did a lot of my grieving when he was here. Dp a lot better too today I think he was shocked at how it affected him x

cozietoesie Fri 04-Oct-13 11:29:23

Oh I think you did the right thing - and as someone said (above, I think) making the decision, hard though it is, at the right time enables you to feel easier about it afterwards.

Glad you're a little more cheerful.

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