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to think the advice my friends gave me regarding putting my cat to sleep is wrong

(45 Posts)
filiscare Fri 14-Oct-11 11:42:18

Short story, my cat is dying, she has adenocarcinoma (despite being only four years old), has had one tumour removed and now it has returned with avengeance. The vet is concentrating on palliative care and has said to just keep her comfortable, but we are basically looking at a matter of weeks.
The vet is keeping a close eye on her and says that as long as she is eating/using the tray and seems content/happy she wont put her to sleep but it will be something we will have to think about soon.
Was talking about this with my friends last night who suggested it may be kinder to put her to sleep now while she is still comfortable rather than wait for her to get poorly again. The scary thing is my DH seemed to be agreeing with this, I dont think its right and I'm not ready to lose her now, so can someone please come and tell me I'm right and we should leave her be a bit longer.

RedOnion Fri 14-Oct-11 11:43:49

Listen to the VET and your own instincts for your beloved pet, not some "well meaning" friend.

That's what I would do.

winnybella Fri 14-Oct-11 11:47:35

Hmm. My cat had breast cancer and tbh I found it difficult to pinpoint the right moment to have her PTS. She has open sores, was tired etc but still eating etc. Then she ate less, but still came for cuddles. Then she would start hiding, eating almost next to nothing and that was when we PTS. I think we shoud have done it sooner, tbh, even though the vet didn't think it was necessary.

GypsyMoth Fri 14-Oct-11 11:49:44

How do you know if they are 'comfortable' though? What dies a cat do when in pain or constant discomfort?

stinkyfluffycat Fri 14-Oct-11 11:50:58

Tell your friends you will listen to your vet, the person who looks after animals for a living and has had years of training, rather than them. They are probably trying to be helpful, but if the vet is happy that the cat is happy then she probably is.
If I had cancer and someone said 'well, you could have a few months of feeling fine but then it could get nasty, shall we just put you to sleep now?' I'd prefer to take my chances...
Sorry about your cat, such a shame she's ill so young sad

filiscare Fri 14-Oct-11 11:51:29

Thats the thing ilovetiffany She's still a little active buit she sleeps a lot more and doesnt really seem herself, although she seems "well" if you know what I mean, so I dont know if I'm just being selfish wanting my little cat around a bit longer.

HeidiKat Fri 14-Oct-11 11:53:00

I wouldn't PTS while the cat still has a decent quality of life but I would the minute she starts to gop downhill. We really should have done it sooner with our old puss but my DH couldn't bear to let her go, she was his cat before we moved in together and was very elderly and ill towards the end.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Fri 14-Oct-11 11:53:28

Sorry but if a person had tumours and was dying they would be feeling pretty lousy, for want of a better word? Surely this cat feels like crap and it seems that you are happy with pallaitive care so that you have the cat for longer. You or the vet dont know when she will get bad again so may have days of pain without you realising.

Sorry but YABU.

KnitterNotTwitter Fri 14-Oct-11 11:54:26

This is going to sound awful but you do have to remember that the longer your cat stays alive the more money your vet will make - they're not actually an independant advisor...

To me it doesn't sound like you're ready yet

It may be that the friend is thinking they're being helpful and saving you unhappy memories of your cat being unwell...

GypsyMoth Fri 14-Oct-11 11:55:07

Yeah I think yab a bit u. But it's your pet, I understand.

Iggly Fri 14-Oct-11 11:59:08

I don't think your friend is U. They are being objective whereas it's impossible for you to be because it's your cat (not saying that's bad, just pointing it out).

DurhamDurham Fri 14-Oct-11 12:05:14

I'm not ready to lose her but she might be ready to go.

Why wait until she's ill and in pain? She can't tell you she's in agony and shattered. I think your friend is right, but I don't have a cat so it's v easy for me to make this decision.

I'm sorry you are faced with such a harsh decision.

worldgonecrazy Fri 14-Oct-11 12:05:52

I think your friend is being a bit U. Your vet is well placed to know what to do. The signs you need to look out for are loss of appetite and lack of interest. Your cat may also start looking for somewhere quiet to lay - a sure sign to start calling the vet. As soon as that happens you need to make some serious decisions. It will be less stressful if your cat is euthanased at home, and your vet may even be able to give you a sedative to keep ready so that your cat is blissfully unaware when she arrives.

I don't think your vet is trying to make money, I have been in this situation 3 times, twice when the vet and I were shagging very close and he said very similar things to your vet.

Spoil her, give her ham, cream, all those things that they love but are bad for them, and have some happy memories before she has to leave you.

Cookcleanerchauffeur - I think it is vile of you to suggest that the OP is keeping the cat alive, in pain or discomfort, for her own selfish reasons.

As a cat owner, and one who has had to make that final decision several times, I agree with the vet - as long as the cat is comfortable and has some quality of life, I wouldn't have her put to sleep. I think that, if you know your cat, you can tell when she stops being happy - as winnybella says, stopping eating, hiding herself away, not wanting to be touched or cuddled - then you can judge when the cat's quality of life is going downhill and it is time to say goodbye.

Filiscare - my heart goes out to you - I know how closely round your heart a cat or dog can wind their paws, and this is such a painful decision to make, even when you know it is the right time for your cat. sad

aldiwhore Fri 14-Oct-11 12:10:37

If it was me, I'm afraid I'd have the cat PTS asap.

I'm quite pragmatic about such things though, even though I love my cat and it would break my heart.

If you are not ready, then you aren't ready. I would listen to both your Vet and your well meaning friend, but ACT on your own instincts. It sounds like you're saying a long painful goodbye and whilst your cat is responding and seems happy you can't bear to make that good bye final, I completely understand that.

Whatever you decide, I would not assume you are being 'selfish' either way. You sound like you're simply waiting for the 'right' moment for you, and I'm sure that you will approach it with balance... hard call. YANBU to think the advice from your friend is wrong for you but that doesn't mean the advice from your Vet is right/wrong either.

Lovingsinglelife Fri 14-Oct-11 12:14:50

Your post made me cry, it's just such an awful thing to have to do, I had a 3rd old cat with a congenital heart condition and all I can say is that I listened to the vet, but my cat also told me when he had enough, I just knew, and whilst she is comfortable I would say enjoy the time you have left with her.

Callisto Fri 14-Oct-11 12:17:32

I'd have the cat put down too. I don't trust vets any more - too many of them prescribing treatments and drugs that are unnecessary so that they can charge lots of money. I also think that animals don't show pain like we do and will put up with dreadful pain without a wimper.

STDgis - people have pets for entirely selfish reasons, it isn't exactly unheard of for people to keep animals alive until they are ready for the pet to die.

greyghoul Fri 14-Oct-11 12:19:23

I am very sorry for your position, it is awful, and I hope you are getting lots of hugs.

I think you have to listen to yourself really, but do try to minimise your cats suffering.

1) the vet will be kind to you - if you want palliative treatment, they will oblige (as others have said, that is how they get paid), and if you want to end the cat's suffering, they will make you feel better aboutit too.

2) your friends and Dh are perhaps trying to give you permission to do what they think is the right thing (because it is hard not to think of it as murdering your pet, when really it is releasing them from suffering).

Fwiw, I had my dog put to sleep last year - when he wouldn't walk across the kitchen to eat his meatballs I knew the time had come - all the painkillers in the world weren't helping. If you think your cat isn't happy then you will know. Give it a week and then review - it isn't a now or never dsecision. A lot can change in a week.

glastochick Fri 14-Oct-11 12:22:13

I knew looking at this post would bring tears to my eyes.

I would listen to the vet, and your heart. If you're not ready, and you let her go, you will always be wondering whether it was too soon. I speak from experience, and it's one of my biggest regrets. I've had to let another cat go and I let him 'tell' me when it was time. I'm not really sure how to explain how he told me, but there was a morning when I realised that it was time, and I felt comfortable with that decision. I don't think he suffered any more for that.

We can only do what we feel is best for our beloved pets and no one (vet, friend, mother, and so on) can know better than us when it is time to let them go.

Follow your heart.

(((Hugs)))

lesley33 Fri 14-Oct-11 12:33:00

I think you need to decide. I had a dog put to sleep on advice of others and tbh I now think I did this too soon. I think it is a very hard decision to make. But I agree that when she stops eating or doesn't want to be stroked or cuddled then it is probably time.

screamqueenrollo Fri 14-Oct-11 12:47:35

listen to your heart. you know your cat, and you will know when the time is right.

Our dog was taken ill and nearly died. after surgery she was back to her old self but diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Many people said we should just put her to sleep but we spoke to the vet and did our own research. We made the decision to keep her and see how she went. A cancer that 'should' have regrown and killed her within 8 weeks never came back. 18 months after that initial diagnosis she went downhill in a matter of two days(with another kind of tumour that she'd been diagnosed with three years previously). We knew then it was time. Physically her body had given up, mentally she was still our smelly Kelly. But we knew if we tried to hang on she would rapidly become depressed and neither of us wanted that.

It is a hard decision to make. As long as you are confident that you can make that decision when the time is right and don't prolong the cat's suffering because you can't bear to lose then follow the advice of your vet and your own heart.

LunaticFringe Fri 14-Oct-11 12:54:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pugmill Fri 14-Oct-11 13:04:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whitecat Fri 14-Oct-11 13:31:23

You decide. She is your precious and you will definitely know when she has had enough.

I had to make the same decision recently and it was hard but all of a sudden I knew the time had come. I had a talk to the vet about PTS at home. It was less stressful for the cat and me. I held her in my arms - crying yes, but happy she was surrounded by the people and place she knew.

I feel so sad for you, its a hard time but you'll do the best for you kitty.

ScapeGoat Fri 14-Oct-11 13:42:45

I'm so sorry about your poor cat sad

Last January when my cat was very ill with diabetes, the sentement 'better a week early than a day late' re pts was helpful. He seemed ok in himself, still eating etc, but his back legs were very wobbly and it wouldn't be long until he couldn't walk at all so I had him pts before he got to that stage. It was horrible saying goodbye to him, but I'm pleased I didn't allow im to get to a very bad state before taking him to the vets for the last time.

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