Any cat owners around? Handhold, please (and advice, if you've got any)

(70 Posts)
SwampyArmpits Tue 12-Jan-21 20:08:48

Posting in Chat for traffic. Sorry if this thread turns into a long-winded pouring of my heart out, just feeling extremely overwhelmed!

I have an 18-year-old with several health problems including kidney disease, incontinence, arthritis and neuropathy, and it's becoming an absolute nightmare to look after him. 80% of the day is taken up trying to get him to eat, medicating him 3x a day, changing litter trays, cleaning up accidents on the carpet of my rented house 😔, changing out leaked-on puppy pads (which are covering most of the house at this point), laundering beds and showering him because he's pooed and fallen in it (is it classed as TMI if it's a cat?!). The other 20% I spend cleaning and feeding myself and doing the rest of the housework, and I barely have a second to breathe in between.

He's the love of my life, medicated as I mentioned, not in pain and otherwise happy - so happy, in fact, that he still plays games - so getting rid or having him put to sleep are not an option, but I'm getting to my wit's end with it all and don't know what to do to make the situation more manageable.

I suppose this is mostly just a rant and a cry for sympathy, since I'm already taking all the precautions (I think?!) I possibly can, but if anyone has any pearls of wisdom I'm all ears!

OP’s posts: |
Terminallysleepdeprived Tue 12-Jan-21 20:12:06

I am so sorry, but as much as you say its not an option I think you are wrong to keep the cat alive. From what you describe he has a very limited quality of life. Can you honestly say you aren't keeping him alive for your own benefit?

stillfeelingmad Tue 12-Jan-21 20:14:21

He might not be in pain but he's likely distressed, they hate being messy and falling in his own pop will stress him. That's a very poor quality of life and you can't be sure he's not in pain they don't tend to show it, I would consider putting to sleep a kindness really ar that point but it's an agonising decision.

I know lots of people after it's done say they wish they had done it earlier

SomewhatBored Tue 12-Jan-21 20:16:27

Handhold. flowers My 19 year old cat who had thyroid and kidney issues went through a phase like this and it was exhausting. Eventually he started to show signs of being in pain and a loss of interest in life, so we decided we had to let him go. I was heartbroken as he'd been with me through three house moves, three relationships and was the one constant in a life that was completely different by the time he was PTS from when I got him as a wee kitten. That was a couple of years ago and I still miss him, though I did fill the cat shaped hole with another young cat a few months later which helped.

marigoldsmarigolds Tue 12-Jan-21 20:18:23

What does your vet say? My old dog was like this towards the end. Essentially he was still all there mentally but his body had given up. We made the decision to let him go. In retrospect we should have done it sooner. I look at pictures of him now and wince. But it's a very difficult call to make. The vet said it was mine to make, and that I would know when the end had come. I didn't want to feel I had given up on him. One of the kindest things you can do for your animals in the end is to make that decision. It's the hardest thing. Good luck with it all, it sounds like you are doing all you can.

RandomMess Tue 12-Jan-21 20:18:29


Sadly I think you need to consider who are you doing this for?

You because you desperately love him or him to give him a good quality of life?

He does sound distressed 😢

mygrandchildrenrock Tue 12-Jan-21 20:18:32

Having had many cats over the years, if you really can’t think about doing what can be a very kind decision about putting him to sleep, can you limit where in your home he can access. Is there one room you can make safe and secure and keep him in there?
You’ve given him a lovely life for many years, you could give him a good end to his life. Sorry if that’s upsetting.


Lovemusic33 Tue 12-Jan-21 20:19:22

I agree with others, he’s not living a great life if he’s having accidents. I know it’s hard to say goodbye but if the cats suffering and not it’s normal self I think you have to do what’s best for it. I had to say goodbye to my dog 18 months ago, it’s was a horrible choice but I know I did what was best for her.

Tavannach Tue 12-Jan-21 20:24:05

If you love him let him go. There's no kindness in waiting until he's suffering badly. Better a week too soon than a day too late, as the vets say.

Missingjigsawpuzzle Tue 12-Jan-21 20:26:17

I was in this situation with my cat, only his kidneys were in such a bad state from his thyroid meds that he could no longer take meds and his overall health had deteriorated as a result so he wasn't happy and playing the way you describe your boy.

If he is truly well in himself and it is just accidents that are the main issue then you could limit him to one room and put lino over your carpet as a protective measure while you still have him? That would make damage/clearing up restricted.

His health is very poor as you know and it is likely he will go down hill rapidly as a result so you are delaying something that is likely not far away. Sorry, not trying to upset you, but he clearly means a lot to you and I think you need to get ready to let him go flowers

CaraDuneRedux Tue 12-Jan-21 20:30:11


Having lost a six year old cat to cancer, and having mis-timed PTS (left it too late), I'd say the d adage of"better a day too soon than a day too late" is absolutely true.

Your lovely old boy has no concept of his own mortality - death is not something he fears. At 18 he's done very well. Be very honest with yourself - whose sake are you keeping him alive for? His or yours?

It's a really, really hard call, but if he's falling in his own poo, he will be distressed about it.

Hand hold, hugs and more flowers OP and a glitterball cat toy for your old chap. Try to find the strength to let him go when the time is right.

TeddyUrsa Tue 12-Jan-21 20:30:44

I'm sorry but what you are doing is cruel . Keeping him alive is unkind and stripping him of his dignity. Cats do not choose to soil themselves a d he's clearly in pain

It's the last kindness to our pets - make the right decision for him and have him put down ASAP

RandomMess Tue 12-Jan-21 20:32:38

I don't know of any cat that has passed away peacefully in their sleep all have had to be PTS and that's dozens and dozens of them.


mbosnz Tue 12-Jan-21 20:33:11

You have given him a good life - now sadly, it's time to give him a good end.

VimFuego101 Tue 12-Jan-21 20:36:11

I cannot think of a single cat I've known that has passed away in its sleep. So at some point, I'm sorry to say that you will probably need to face the issue of putting him to sleep (or he may take himself off somewhere to die if he goes outside).

Cats are very good at hiding pain. It sounds like you are doing a good job of managing his issues but I would not assume he's pain free.

SwampyArmpits Tue 12-Jan-21 20:37:17

Thanks for all the replies so far.

Eye-opening to read that the majority of you agree I should think about having him put to sleep. I'll definitely give it some more consideration. At the end of the day I do want to do what's best for him, but I find it hard to reconcile the fact that he's still playing, chatting and purring away with it being time for him to go, though I realise that's probably partly due to my emotions clouding my judgement!

A few posters asked how I know he isn't in pain: he takes painkillers twice a day for arthritis. Before being prescribed them, he slept most of the day, hobbled around slowly and could barely use his front legs. Now he gets around much more quickly and is much more alert, which leads me to believe the painkillers are doing their job. His mobility issues now are due to the neuropathy, not pain.

OP’s posts: |
SwampyArmpits Tue 12-Jan-21 20:39:44

Just to add, and to answer @marigoldsmarigolds, vet hasn't yet recommended putting him to sleep.

OP’s posts: |
RandomMess Tue 12-Jan-21 20:42:25

Well short term really restrict where he can go on the house.

As you know they sleep an awful lot and he would adapt to a routine where you have set times of the way where you let him spend time with you in say the lounge and the rest of the time he is shut in a different room.

Our cats get shut in the kitchen overnight, by 9pm they are asking to go to bed and they sleep all night and won't complain until 12 hours or so later!

Cleverpolly3 Tue 12-Jan-21 20:46:02

I know how much you love him
I have three cats and lost one of my sweet girls last year

They are proud, clean, dignified creatures
My personal view is at 18 and with this amount of care and stress which will affect him then I would let him cross Rainbow Bridge. He’s had a life full of love and I think much more if this won’t be what he or any living creature would want.

I know it’s very sad and difficult
He will know you love him they really do flowers

tootyfruitypickle Tue 12-Jan-21 20:46:35

I had to pts my 19 year old girl in December. She was like this for the year before except she didn’t have accidents but she couldn’t go upstairs so was never far from the litter tray. In the end she got a kidney infection which antibiotics didn’t solve. I don’t think I waited too long tbh, but I also think at any point in the year before it would have been ok to let her go. If it hadn’t been for the pandemic I may have done it as I certainly couldn’t have left her for work or holiday.

I suspect your cat won’t have very long left. I pts at home and am so glad about that, so perhaps see at what point your vet could do that ( maybe when restrictions are lifted a bit?). I think having accidents around the place is an issue so perhaps try keeping in one room.

I don’t think you’re being cruel. My cat was happy. I spent the last night with her sleeping together on the sofa.

It’s very hard. I think if it feels too much it would be absolutely fine to let him go. It’s also , so peaceful. Had I known that I wouldn’t have struggled so much I think with making the decision, but it really was quite lovely in an odd way.

emmacat Tue 12-Jan-21 20:51:15

My cat is 22. She has arthritis but other than that a decent bill of health for a cat her age. A year or two ago we went through one thing after another health wise - we had accidents all the time, stomach upset and refusal to eat food. I was backward and forward to the vets.

I decided she seemed ok in herself, maybe it was selfishly at the time. But actually after a week she was loads better. She gets easily upset and is now very very clingy with her age. If anything upsets her routine she has an accident almost in protest. I think part of her problems were she was getting herself so chewed at the vets.

One thing I have found to really help is I got her a hot water bottle. The warmth helps her arthritis especially in the winter and It helps her feel like she's with us. Also she likes pate type food - lillys kitchen is a fond fav. I dont give her it all of the time so it doesn't loose its appeal. I also give her medicine in cat yoghurt she loves it, wolfs it down and the salmon flavour hides the smell.

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to offer a different opinion. Most people prob thought I should have had her put down but I whole heartedly belive I know my cat and ill know when the time is right.

AccidentallyRunToWindsor Tue 12-Jan-21 20:51:19

I had to put my 9 year old girl to sleep
Last week. Broke my heart but it was the best for her, she was making mess on the floor, not eating etc and it was the best for her, she wasn't enjoying life and that was clear to see.

Thinking of you OP. It's the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Toddlerteaplease Tue 12-Jan-21 20:52:12

I'm sorry but I think it is time to PTS. He doesn't sound like he has a great quality of life to be honest. And he's a good age. You need to do what's right for him, not for you. It's horrible, I know.

Toddlerteaplease Tue 12-Jan-21 20:53:11


If you love him let him go. There's no kindness in waiting until he's suffering badly. Better a week too soon than a day too late, as the vets say.

Exactly this.

EspressoExpresso Tue 12-Jan-21 20:53:57

It's time.

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