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How do you know when you should PTS?

(41 Posts)
WoolyBoots Tue 09-Dec-14 21:29:04

My lovely cat is 13, but recently has been poorly, has moderate renal failure and is on special diet and pills.
However he just looks miserable, doesn't enjoy eating, doesn't curl up to sleep but looks hunched up. He loved going outside and used to spend the majority of his time outside but is now inside looking miserable.
I'm worried if I go back to vets they will suggest more blood tests, pills and potions (already spent £600 this last round of illness) and I'm not sure it will help. I feel his quality of life is nowhere near what it should be.
Has anyone been in a sundial position that can give advice? Thanks.

lemisscared Tue 09-Dec-14 21:37:47

I used to be a vet nurse and the best bit of advice my boss ever gave was - listen to your gut. Its so true. Your heart wont let them go and your head bargains with things like "he has good days" but when you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach. Then you know its time.

Another saying - its better a month too early than a day too late.

It sounds like your kitty is very uncomfortable and possibly in pain. Ok he could have some steroids to help his kidneys along a bit but its buying time. He will probably feel quite sick too.

For me if a cat is no longer able to be a cat then its time to let them go.

Do you notice more purring than before?

lemisscared Tue 09-Dec-14 21:39:17

Posted too soon meant to offer flowers

WoolyBoots Tue 09-Dec-14 22:04:45

Thanks so much for that lem I am worried if I go to the vets and say I don't want any more treatment for him they will think I don't love him and can't be bothered, when nothing is further from the truth! He has had a hard life, numerous surgeries and drains putting in for abcesses so has been through the mill, but now he seems a shadow of his former self (who got into numerous fights!) In my mind 13 seems young still for a cat so that makes me think I'm mean considering having him PTS.
He was on daily NSAID pain relief but had to stop it because of renal failure, and they wanted to avoid steroids.
I haven't noticed more purring as he purrs and dribbles a lot, but he is wanting much more love and follows me round meowing but I don't know what for and it makes me feel helpless!

specialmagiclady Tue 09-Dec-14 22:05:02

Was about to post same sort of question, 21 year old cat renal failure, arthritis, doesn't groom herself, sits in bed all day, gets out to eat and use litter tray (which she reaches with her front legs but not back ones so wets the floor, which is covered in puppy pads but she sometimes misses them too).

I think if she were "mine" I would have had her PTS months ago. Her life just doesn't seem that good, we hardly give her any attention because she can't come to us any more so it's a cursory stroke in the morning and 5 minutes before bed. But she belonged to DH first so I think it is his call.

Your kitty sounds like he is in a lot of pain and you may have to make the hard decision soon, I like the advice about "better a month too soon" am beginning to think we are prolonging the life of our poor old dear for nothing and with no benefit to her.

WoolyBoots Tue 09-Dec-14 22:06:27

Good advice there about him no longer being a cat anymore - I really feel he isn't. I'll have a sleepless night worrying about him - again. Thanks for the flowers, much appreciated.

WoolyBoots Tue 09-Dec-14 22:09:41

Sorry to hear you're in the same boat specialmagiclady Sounds like your old girl really is an old girl - 21 is such a good age, it sounds like she has had a lovely life and is really loved. It's so hard to make the decision isn't it.

specialmagiclady Tue 09-Dec-14 22:13:28

Yeah, horrible. It would break my DH's heart.

gillygillywhatsit Tue 09-Dec-14 22:14:19

My lovely 4 year old was diagnosed with FeLV a week ago and although he's had a steroid injection he has gone downhill fast and is a shadow of his former self. So I am also faced with this heartbreaking decision. He no longer eats but drinks lots,mis completely incontinent and hasn't purred or chirped in days.
Reading the above advice has, I think, helped me make the hardest decision.

GemmaTeller Tue 09-Dec-14 22:18:57

My old cat is 19 and has a 'small mass' in her chest/upper stomach area.

The vet has said they can't investigate further without xray under anaesthestic but cat probably wouldn't survive the anaesthestic or an operation. She is not on any medication.

Vet has said she is happy to do whatever we feel is best and whilst she is no longer allowed out she is eating, drinking water and sleeping. Sometimes she forgets to go to the toilet so we take her to the cat litter and she will do a long wee or a poo. She still comes for a cuddle with me in bed in the middle of the night.

I think when her quality of life deteriorates and she looks and sounds to be in pain then I think we will make the decision to PTS - as heartbreaking as that decision will be.

cozietoesie Tue 09-Dec-14 22:24:46

My Darling Twoago died of renal failure at 13 and I've always wished that I had had the steadfastness to let him go a couple of weeks before he went of his own accord. He had been given steroids but they only worked briefly and the last short while he really had no quality of life at all.

He didn't deserve that final period of his life - it was just down to me not being able to bear letting him go.

I hope not to make that mistake again.

lemisscared Tue 09-Dec-14 22:25:09

I can tell you that your vet should and will absolutely respect your decision. If I'm very honest more so than people who can't let go. 13 is a good age. Only you can make this decision and it is so tough. Ive had to face the same with my pets and its shit. I lost a dog to renal failure and i remember discussing options and him looking at me as if to say, im tired now ive had enough. It broke my heart but i knew i couldn't bring him home.

WoolyBoots Tue 09-Dec-14 23:16:08

Thanks for your advice lemisscared I will give it some more thought (not that it helps I just keep going round in circles). I would be relieved I think if the vet made that decision and told me it would be best, it's hard doing it the other way round!

GemmaTeller Wed 10-Dec-14 08:13:23

When our GSD was ill at 8years old, (CDRM and heart problems) we cancelled her final appointment three times before we could go through with it.

When we got ready to put her in the car, I swear she looked at me and thought 'this is it'.

DH couldn't go in the vets room , he was too upset, so I went in on my own.
I sat on the floor and cradled all 8 stone of her whilst the vet injected her, then he left me with her for a few minutes.
It was heartbreaking and awful going home to an 'empty' house.

cozietoesie Wed 10-Dec-14 09:07:39

Vets sometimes do 'tell you' Wooly - it's just that the language they use can be ....... roundabout...... because it's not their animal. Sometimes you have to listen to what they mean and not what they say.

I don't, myself, know how they do it day after day. I recall when I had to let my beautiful last dog go because he was so very very ill and the vet, who knew him socially, was crying so hard that I worried that she wouldn't be able to hold the syringe. I had to stay strong for everyone and not just him.

It's a loving decision and not a cold one.

WoolyBoots Wed 10-Dec-14 11:26:05

So sorry for your loss Gemma and Cosie it is just heartbreaking losing part of your family.

What I meant by the vet telling me it's time is that I feel if I bring it up they will think I'm giving up before exhausting all treatment options iyswim? For example - the vet suggested if his mouth became more sore they may take his teeth out - he only has a few left! Personally I wouldn't want to put him through an anaesthetic and then having no teeth. I said to the vet I wanted to treat him conservatively and the vet said if his mouth remains sore so he can't eat then we would have to do it - but I just don't think it's fair putting him through that when he seems so unhappy, I don't think it will fix him. Am I giving up too soon or doing what's best for him, I just don't know.

cozietoesie Wed 10-Dec-14 11:34:42

I would never say 'giving up too soon' if your intention is to spare the cat prolonged or permanent suffering. You're the one who entered into giving him a good life and I'm afraid that you're the one who has to decide when that life isn't good any more and isn't going to get much better.

Cats will just try to keep on going, grimly, even if they're having a lousy time so sometimes we have to make that call for them, with great love. He's not your vet's companion.

WoolyBoots Wed 10-Dec-14 11:38:40

Thanks so much for that Cozie that really has made an impact and I think you're absolutely right, he could go on for ages and I'll feel like he has no quality of life and feel sad for ages.
Thanks to everyone on this thread for sharing your stories and helping me make such a hard decision.

WoolyBoots Wed 10-Dec-14 12:23:00

Appointment made for tonight. sad

TheOneWiththeNicestSmile Wed 10-Dec-14 12:36:52

flowers & a hug for you, Wooly.

(& for all of you who've been through this)

This thread has made me cry. When we take them in we forget (luckily) that this decision may have to be made one day

WoolyBoots Wed 10-Dec-14 12:39:34

Thanks so much. Luckily DC's will be just about in bed so lined up a babysitter so I can just concentrate on lovely cat. Dreading telling DC's too they really love him.

MyCatLovesMeSometimes Wed 10-Dec-14 13:47:39

Got tears in my eyes on your behalf Wooly.

You are making the right decision for him and it shows how much you love him.

MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels Wed 10-Dec-14 14:09:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gillygillywhatsit Wed 10-Dec-14 16:12:59

I've made an appointment for tomorrow morning, yet today he seems to have rallied. But still can't eat. It's made me question my decision. But I know that if I don't I will be here again in a couple of days.

lemisscared Wed 10-Dec-14 17:06:59

Gilly - this is what my old boss meant when he says "listen to your gut" that feeling in the pit of your stomach. Your head is messing with you because today was a better day. Its such a tough decision but letting our pets pass with dignity and without pain is the kindest thing we can ever do for them.

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