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Guilt after cat was PTS

(15 Posts)
playinggoddess Sun 10-Mar-19 10:58:59

NC for this because I feel so much shame...

I chose to have my cat PTS this week and I can't get over the guilt. She had kidney failure, arthritis, dementia and hyperthyroidism (which was well controlled on medication). She also kept getting UTIs and needing antibiotics several times a year. She was around 15-18 yrs old, it was never clear exactly how old as she was an adult rescue.

She had declined a lot in the past 6-8 months and lost a lot of weight, she was always big throughout her life and had now got very boney. She had also become really aggressive towards the other pets and had to be kept separated from them most of the time. She was extremely loud (as she'd gone deaf) and woke everyone up usually once or twice every night howling. One of the other cats seemed really stressed about it and had started peeing around the house (medical issue ruled out).

She had seen the vet about a month ago and we had the quality of life chat then and test results (blood and urine) were worse than before. She always loved food but her appetite had been declining to the point that when she ate it looked like a chore (but vet had checked teeth were fine and no mouth ulcers etc) and she mostly just liked to lick off the jelly/sauce. She was also peeing massive amounts because of the kidney disease. We put her on two new medications/supplements but they didn't seem to make a difference.

So on balance I decided it was time as her quality of life was clearly not great and the kidney disease was inevitably going to get worse and everything that comes with end stage kidney failure sounds really grim. She was also a super grumpy cat when it came to doing anything to her and vet had said putting her on an IV for fluids was not going to work for her (she basically turned almost feral at the vets and tried to bite/scratch everyone and needed sedation for everything). I could have learnt to administer sub-cut fluids at home but I think she would have hated that too and getting her to stay still for it would have been hard.

Anyway I booked the vet appointment for a quiet time of day a few days in advance with our trusted vet. Then I gave the cat a couple of days of being spoiled as much as I could with treats and cuddles. The day before the PTS appt she had a 'good day' and she was eating better (food that was off the menu usually because it was bad for kidneys though - tuna etc.).

Vet said most people regret waiting too long and it was better to let her go too early than too late and that if I felt it was time, it was time. (We had seen this vet about three times a year for the past few years for the cat's many ailments and she is a very experienced vet.) Vet remarked on how thin the cat had got too. The euthanasia itself was quite quick and peaceful although the sedative made the cat vomit and I hate to think she felt so ill in her final minutes. I was with her all through to the end.

But now I feel massively guilty for making that choice when I could have given my lovely cat another week, maybe another month, of being spoiled and done more things she enjoyed. I also feel guilty for not having enough time for her in the final six months or so of her life and having to separate her so much from the other pets (but it was to protect them all as they had been fighting really badly and I honestly felt someone was going to get seriously hurt).

A small part of me feels relieved now she's gone and the other pets seem more relaxed... And then I feel guilty for feeling relieved.

Is it normal to feel so guilty? I feel like I let her go to prevent suffering that was to come, more than to end suffering that was already happening. I read somewhere it's ok to let them go on a bit of a high note instead of waiting until there's no choice but to PTS... She had a really good life for most of her life and she was a cat who loved comfort. I think for a different cat I would have chosen to wait longer though and tried more treatments if they were more tolerant of it.

StillWould Sun 10-Mar-19 11:04:01

Sorry for your loss. I think you did the right thing. It would be far worse to put it off too long and let her suffer. You did the kindest thing, don't be too hard on yourself.

VimFuego101 Sun 10-Mar-19 11:06:04

It sounds like you did the right thing at the right time. A week/ month might have been more for you than for the cat.

Janleverton Sun 10-Mar-19 11:08:43

She was a good age. She had a good ending, without suffering before she died which could have been the case if you’d waited until she was so very poorly that the decision was “made” for you. An extra week for a cat would mean nothing to her, but more to you, and when push comes to shove the key to being an excellent cat owner is to put her needs and feelings before yours.

My last dear old cat was PTS when it was clear he was on a decline. At 16 there was no way I would have put him through treatment which may have helped him linger on, but which would have been distressing for him. I am glad that he had a good end, at home with a mobile vet and strokes, in a sunny spot. Miss him, but it was the right thing to do.

MrsBertBibby Sun 10-Mar-19 11:10:14

Of course you did the right thing. Poor old lady, you gave her a gentle end to a life made immeasurably better by your love and care.

Minkies11 Sun 10-Mar-19 11:10:29

I think you made the right call really - you put her first rather than yourself which is so hard to do when you love them and know the time is coming. And you were with her til the end which is also hard. Don't feel bad - you'll miss her but you did the best by her which is all you can do flowers

ScreamingValenta Sun 10-Mar-19 11:10:49

I'm sorry for your loss. flowers. You really did do the right thing. It's better that she went while she was still having some good days, rather than waiting until her life had deteriorated into nothing but bad days. Better a week too early than a day too late.

Easterbunnyiscomingsoon Sun 10-Mar-19 11:13:06

Op of you change the word 'chose' to 'took responsibility for my dcats suffering' and had it pts you may be easier on yourself.

StoppinBy Sun 10-Mar-19 11:16:28

I worked for years as a Vet Nurse, your vet was right, many people wait too long to let their animals go, it is selfish and cruel and the animal dies with pain instead of peace.

You definitely did the right thing, the fact she had a good 'last day' is a blessing, the next day could have been a good day or it could have been an even worse day. The hardest thing about owning pets is knowing when to let them go, it sounds to me like your cat was very lucky to have you in her life and making that decision for her.

I hope you can let the guilt go xx

picklemepopcorn Sun 10-Mar-19 11:36:48

A week too soon is better than a day too late.

There is nothing to suggest the next days would have been good ones. When my dog reached this point, I booked an appointment that worked for us, a week or ten days in advance. It turned out he couldn't wait that long and I had to take him in earlier, in a way that was less manageable for us. (By that I mean I had no support available then)

BusyMumLondon Thu 14-Mar-19 14:15:28

You definitely made the right decision maybe not for you but definitely for her 💗
I am laying in bed with one fur baby under the quilt, head on my arm. The other one is probably asleep somewhere, she likes to sleep on my head 🙄 I guess it's warm.

New here and was wondering if there was a cat post and here we are.

You have suffered a huge loss, these are our baby's. Allow yourself to grieve but you made the right choice.

I had to have a puppy put down not so long back, we only had him a day and DD said that was the second time she had seen me cry, I was heartbroken. But it was the right thing to do.

TalkinPaece Thu 14-Mar-19 14:23:42

I waited too long with my cat.
By the time I realised I should have taken her to the vet to be put to sleep, she'd had a stroke and was blind and scared so I could not move her.
She took hours to die. It was horrible.
I'm crying now as I type it. It was 12 years ago.
She had been my companion for 17 years.

Two years later I took her brother to the vet on the right day.
My last memory of him is him trying to wash the vets hand, oblivious of what was coming.

You did the right thing.
If only we were so humane with elderly humans who want to slip away comfortably.

BirthdayCakes Fri 15-Mar-19 15:23:16

I waited too long - he's literally just died and we didn't make it to the vet.. He went from okay to weak to a probably painful death in 24 hours..

You made the right choice for your pet - I promise x

ifeeltheneedtheneedforspeed Sat 16-Mar-19 20:04:25

You did the right thing without question. I had my beloved cat PST yesterday due to end stage kidney failure. I knew he had had enough, he refused food and lost so much weight, he didn't have any fight left in him so I knew I had to help him. It meant I could spend a quiet morning with him cuddling and stroking him at home, the vet was great came to house and my cat went very quickly and peacefully. I'm heartbroken, he was 19 and I had the pleasure of him for nearly 18 years!

slipperywhensparticus Sat 16-Mar-19 20:08:36

Of course she ate well it was forbidden food honestly before I die of I can I intend to eat crap I love that makes me ill fat farty anything it was a good day for her

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