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QUICK! Rather urgent - have to make a life or death decision for my poor cat :(

(58 Posts)
DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 16:50:32

I have a 9 year old cat who has had huge urinary tract issues throughout most of his life.
He has been cathertarised (dreadful sp I'm sure but have no idea where to start on spelling that one!) around 6 times.
He's trying to wee and not suceeding again (bloomin would be the night DH is away) so I have to take him to the vets.
Each time he goes and is in for a week. We have insurance but now have to pay £80 excess and financial circumstances mean that there's no way we can keep on doing this sad
Are there any other options other than having this cat put down? He is a lovely boy and I don't want to put him down simply because we can't afford it.
I know the vet is going to offer this as an option tonight as we have sort of had this conversation before.
Any advice would be really helpful. Thank you

GrapefruitMoon Thu 09-Oct-08 16:52:32

I think it might be kinder to put him to sleep now - sounds like he has been through a lot...

DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 16:54:29

sad I know, I know.
The difficult part is that, between episodes he's really happy. sad

Shitehawk Thu 09-Oct-08 16:54:53

Personally, I wouldn't put a cat down because of this problem. It doesn't affect his quality of life, and presumably for the rest of the time he is perfectly healthy.

Nine is not particularly old, though, and you could be on for many years of paying out for the treatment; if this is impossible for you then in my opinion it would be kinder for you to rehome the cat with someone who would be prepared to pay the necessary vet's bills.

Saturn74 Thu 09-Oct-08 16:55:36

Oh Dorris, I don't know.
If he's really suffering, it would be kinder to put him to sleep.
If it's more the financial matter, could you approach one of the animal charities to see if they could help with the costs?

A very difficult decision. sad

DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 16:57:30

This is Dh's idea too SH. The only worry there is that his insurance couldn't transfer with him so someone rehoming him would have to be willing to pay up to £450 each time he goes in (which is becoming scarily more regular). With the credit crunch going on, wouldanyone do that?
Are there any places I could ring to find if they rehome 'ill' cats?

DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 16:59:16

Yes HC, unless the vet says different tonight, it is the financial side that is the most pressing sad.
Mind you, his poor bladder must look like it's been through a warzone as the vet says, each time he gets these crystals they scar the bladder.
Is it awful to hope that the decision is taken out of my hands tonight?

forevercleaning Thu 09-Oct-08 17:00:19

sad so sorry doris. What does the vet feel would be the best option? Maybe wait and see what he says tonight.

He may know about rescue places or charity funding.

CarGirl Thu 09-Oct-08 17:01:01

Have y ou got him on the special food that is supposed to decrease the chances of him getting them again?

DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 17:03:05

Yes FC, will just have to wait to know for certain I suppose.
Cargirl, yes, he's been on Feline Cd for years but he is greedy b**er! He is eating elsewhere I'm sure. Tried a collar with 'please don't feed me, it will make me ill' on a tag but he always manages to get out of it.

Starshiptrooper Thu 09-Oct-08 17:06:24

I know someone who took on two old cats with health problems, but the charity that rehomed them help her with the vet bills. I'm afraid I don't know what the charity was or anything, but it must be possible. Maybe the vet will know, or you could get in touch with PDSA and ask their advice?

mewerewolvesarehowling Thu 09-Oct-08 17:07:32

So sorry Dorris, have you tried Cats Protection League - they do rehousing at some places I think although I agree may be difficult to rehome given the cost of his treatment.

Also PDSA have treatment centres which provide free care for eligible owners - eligiblity based on whether you're receiving housing or council tax benefit.

forevercleaning Thu 09-Oct-08 17:07:32

It does seem extra sad that he is so happy inbetween bouts.

No I dont think its awful to have the decision taken out of your hands, I think its best, when we love an animal like this, we dont want to lose them and sometimes keep them going against their best interests.

Take the vets advice, it will help you in the long run.

Hope you get better news though.

Eniddo Thu 09-Oct-08 17:08:38

listen to what the vet says and do what she advises

part of being a responsible pet owner is knowing when to call time

Jux Thu 09-Oct-08 17:14:27

poor thing, and a horrible decision to have to make. Hopefully, the vet will give you good advice. I have heard the Cats Protection League take older cats for rehoming - they may be able to help if you really have to part with him.

DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 17:18:23

Thank you all.
Just come off the phone with Dh, he has the numbers for Cats Protection and a couple of others so we'll ring them all tomorrow.
Unfortunately we're not eligible for PDSA treatment.
Fingers crossed that the best decision is made, whichever way that may be. sad

BCLass Thu 09-Oct-08 17:46:42

I have thought hard about posting this beacause I don't want to upset you but if it really is life or death then I need to say this.

If there is nothing wrong with this cat between episodes (and you don't say how frequent these are - but let's assume every couple of months/quarter) then I think you would be very very wrong to have him put down just because it costs £80 every couple of months/quarter. When you get an animal this is the responsibility you take on - unlimited. You would not put your child down in the same circumstances or try to get rid of them because they were too expensive.

Sorry - your responsibility. £40 month/ £30 quarter is not bank breaking. You will find it if you really have to - and if this means beans on toast twice a week and no holidays then that's what you have to do.

If this is a quality of life question, then that's a whole other issue which only you can judge, but as soon as you start bringing money into it you are on slippery moral ground in my opinion.

(sorry for being harsh if that's how it seems, but I would never never put a cat down just becasue of the money)

MeAndMyMonkey Thu 09-Oct-08 17:53:34

It's a really tough call, poor cat and poor you, but you have to listen to vet, and also agree that if the issue boils down to money you must rehome him if you really can't afford it.
My cat cost me over 2k in vets fees when he got run over btw, (survived, hooray!)and I was most upset when some unkind friends suggested putting him down as no animal was worth that money... it's all about quality of life I think.

izyboy Thu 09-Oct-08 18:03:20

It might not break the bank for you BClass but for the OP and others it could make all the difference between staying afloat or not. I dont think eating beans will make a difference in those circumstances.

You are now in this situation, it is very difficult (my cat has just died of cancer it was awful to witness). Yes the finances are part of the equation if you cannot cope with the financial burden euthenasia is, in my opinion, an option to be weighed up (especially with the ongoing serious medical problems).

I know I will not be getting any more pets at the moment for financial reasons.

Piffle Thu 09-Oct-08 18:07:43

For you to dictate affordability is offensive.
She insured the cat looked after it well, she is being honest.The financial pressures atm are vast for some people.
I think without knowing OP circs precisely that's. Very harsh judgement.

hauntinghippoami Thu 09-Oct-08 18:12:13

BC that is harsh.
£80 every couple of months is more than replacing a few meals with beans on toast.
For us it would be a real struggle. And I am sure for others it would too.
And yes, the cat is happy between episodes, but during the episodes he is in pain and distressed. And that should also be taken into account.

izyboy Thu 09-Oct-08 18:12:29

To be fair to BCLass I think she was trying to put it nicely. Problem is with the insurance the costs are hidden at the outset - you think you will be sorted for any big eventual illnesses but you end up paying incrementally. So I am empathetic.

DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 19:05:22

Hi again!
Firstly let me say BC, thank you for thinking hard and yes, I can see where you're coming from but when I say we can't afford it, I mean we really can't afford it. We have no holidays (that aren't free because someone has given us use of their house). We spend as little as possible on food already and I seriously can't give Dd's beans on toast for every meal. However, yes I agree, I could not put a cat down simply because of money either, which is why we were looking onto getting him rehomed.

It appears to be an academic discussion anyway. The vet has given me 4 options.
1) continue as we are but it will re-occur (this last 2 episodes have only been 3 months apart - barely)
2) Have a hideous sounding op whereby they make the wee come through his anus, so basically he has diaorhea for life - not sounding like that would make a good life for him.
3) Have an op where they basically turn him into a girlie by by-passing the penis. Vet says there is a more than 50% success rate - not sure if I found that comforting or not.
4) End it now.

Options 3 and 4 are the only ones I'm weighing up really. Insurance will pay for op but obviously we get the excess again - can find it this time so could be done.
What would you do?

MegBusset Thu 09-Oct-08 19:10:19

So sorry that you are having to make this difficult decision

If it were my cat i might consider option no.3 as the cat's best shot at a good quality of life in the future -- if successful then presumably it should mean the problem won't recur?

If not successful then perhaps it would be time to rehome or, if the problem became more frequent and distressing, to have the cat put to sleep.

DorrisMcWhirter Thu 09-Oct-08 19:16:45

Thanks Meg, yes, I need to double check with the vets whether or not the problem would re-occur after the op at all with option 3. I presume not as I know girl cats don't suffer as badly from this as boy cats do.
The vet was suggesting that to keep cathertarising would be pointless as this stresses him and his pipes are now so badly scarred that the time between episodes would just get shorter and shorter. I'm not sure in this scenario if rehoming him would help. The new owners could pay but would his quality of life be any better?
I just don't know sad

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