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Any tips on looking after a very elderly cat

(15 Posts)
monkeypuzzeltree Mon 20-Jun-11 15:07:23

I think it is the beginning of the end for my cat, he is 20 years old though, so not a bad innings - however, have noticed in the last few days that he is breathing quite heavily, as in you can really see the chest going in and out, even at rest.

He doesn't seem particularly bothered but is very quiet, sitting under a chair most of the day, stopped sitting on us in the evening and eating now and then but not the same appetite. Grooming has gone out the window too.

I just can't decide whether to just go to the vets and face the inevitable, or is it kinder just to leave him to go in his own time. I know it is me being a coward...

worldgonecrazy Mon 20-Jun-11 15:13:00

You are being a coward and not giving your friend the dignity he deserves. In the wild a sick or ill animal will find somewhere quiet whilst they wait to die, to avoid predators. This is what your cat is doing by going under the chair.

Can you afford for the vet to come out to you? It would be less stressful for both of you. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but once a decision has been made and the vet has visited, you will be glad to have given him a peaceful send off. Your cat may not even notice the vet turn up, I know my elderly gentleman best friend/cat didn't.

You know he is not going to recover, and you will only think 'what if' and wonder if you have made him suffer unnecessarily.

monkeypuzzeltree Mon 20-Jun-11 15:21:15

That is quite true, I am wondering, what if he recovers but actually, reality is, it looks unlikely and you're right, if he is in pain then i really don't want him to suffer. Right, off to phone the vet...deep breath...

Lizcat Mon 20-Jun-11 15:44:56

Breathing in and out heavily in an elderly cat is strong suggestive of pleural effusion - fluid around the lungs. Some of these cats can be succesfully treated for even up to a couple of years. I have several on my books currently going on very well on their drugs, but you do need a vet to look at the cat.

MummyDoIt Mon 20-Jun-11 15:48:39

Definitely take him to the vet for a check-up. My old girl is 20 too and has given me a couple of scares where I've been convinced she's on her way out. Most recently, she didn't eat for three days, barely moved off the bed and had a rasping cough. I took her to the vet, convinced that was it. One antibiotic injection and one steroid injection later and she was bounding round the house like a kitten! You may well find your cat has something perfectly treatable and will get a new lease of life.

Good luck.

monkeypuzzeltree Mon 20-Jun-11 15:58:32

vets booked for this evening, may have to get my husband to go though...

AuntieMonica Mon 20-Jun-11 16:00:44

you have done the right thing, it may not mean the worst outcome, but he definitely sounds as if he needs some attention.

i'll be here, holding your hand, albeit virtually

MummyDoIt Mon 20-Jun-11 19:52:02

Let us know how you get on.

TheOriginalFAB Mon 20-Jun-11 20:03:10

I hope the news is good.

monkeypuzzeltree Mon 20-Jun-11 21:43:12

Sadly he has gone, what a magnificent addition to cat heaven he will make. What a lovely vet, who was so kind and very surprised at the change since she saw him three weeks ago to have claws clipped. They said it was the heart and lungs, which any further investigation would have caused more pain.

Managed to coax some freshly cooked fish into him beforehand, so I feel happy that he led a very happy spoilt cat life.

Thanks for your support ladies. X

Marlinspike Mon 20-Jun-11 22:35:27

I'm so sorry monkey. I've posted on here recently, my lovely old lady died 2 weeks ago - she was 22. I was also sad, but like you, happy as well, as these old cats have lead such eventful lives. I am sure she and your boy are rejuvenated and happy in cat heaven!

We had her cremated and I have her ashes here in a lovely casket. When the time is right we will bury her in the garden. I've got a really nice picture of her blown up and framed, and it will go in the study next to the computer so I can remember her whilst mumsnetting working smile

TheOriginalFAB Tue 21-Jun-11 10:07:13

sad I am so sorry. We have this coming and it is going to be unbearable.

AuntieMonica Tue 21-Jun-11 10:10:25

so sorry and sad to read your update, but he will be indeed in cat Valhalla telling all the other kitties what a fantastic life he had with you.

<makes OP a brew and offers hugs>

worldgonecrazy Tue 21-Jun-11 10:34:23

So sorry to hear that it wasn't good news. At least he was loved right up until the end.

Have you ever read the poem "The Rainbow Bridge". I know it's a load of new age piffle but it always makes me cry and smile at the same time whenever one of my pets dies.

MummyDoIt Tue 21-Jun-11 20:38:35

I'm so sorry to hear that he has gone. He had a good life, though, and you did the right thing in making sure he didn't suffer at the end.

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