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I feel nothing but guilt at having to have my 18 year old cat pts

(17 Posts)
mumofsnotbags Tue 15-Dec-15 09:34:29

I started a thread yesterday here , I didn't know about this board though, My poor little cat on sunday evening fell off a table and I found him shaking and fitting, I thought he was gone already, it was so out of the blue, then he came round.

A little while later it happened again and during this time he was vomiting a lot with some blood, I took him the vets that evening and after blood tests, she told us he had kidney failure, we could take him home and see how it goes, but the chances were it could happen again, I could take him home and give him vitamin injections which would probably only keep him going for a month or 2, or have him put to sleep.

He has been weeing and pooing around the house for a while now much to dp's annoyance, I've always just cleaned everything up, I've cared for my nan right to the end so i understand when your old it happens, but the past week his back legs were a bit unsteady, he hasn't been able to groom himself for a while either so i've had to do all that and so I eventually chose him to be put to sleep.

I cannot get over the guilty feeling that he could have come home 1 last time. He was my 18th birthday present and I've had him 18 years. I've done nothing but cry since sunday evening, my house is so quiet now. I still have another female cat, but shes always been so very independant and hides away all day whilst the toddler is up. My old cat would come and sit on my knee while I worked, jump up on the bed and watch tv with me, just basically follow me around. I feel a bit lost if im honest and I know I need to get a grip, but if i could stop feeling guilty about what I did then i'd be a bit better.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Dec-15 11:33:54

You did the right and loving thing for him so no need for guilt. Remember that it was all about him that evening - and cats not having foreknowledge, all you did was stop him feeling lousy/possibly being in pain.

I've had an older cat who died of kidney failure and I've always wished that I'd intervened before the decision was taken out of my hands - he didn't enjoy his last little while. I've felt easier in the longer term about making the decision for other animals even though I felt really bad at the time.

It's a heavy responsibility right enough. You just have to try to think about how they're feeling and keep yourself and your likely misery out of the equation.

It's a good job they bring us such love and fun in the normal course of things.


Curiouserandcuriouser30 Tue 15-Dec-15 11:38:54

Oh no! Having a pet PTS is always so sad, my poor old dog was PTS on Sunday so I can sympathise.
You did the right thing though, cats hide their pain so if you had brought him back home he could have been suffering and you would never have known. It is so hard though flowers

Moonax Tue 15-Dec-15 11:51:40

Oh you poor thing. You're bound to feel terrible as it's so very sad, but kidney failure is horrible.

You have done the right thing, you really have. Cats are very, very good at hiding pain. One of ours died of it about four years ago and I'm still beating myself with guilty sticks for taking the vitamins option then even though it seemed like the best for him at the time. I know that if the same thing happened now, I would immediately opt for pts. He was sort of fine, but never really himself and I'll never know if he was in pain or not (big purry tabby moron who we all adored).

ijustwannadance Tue 15-Dec-15 12:04:06

My last cat died at 18 when I was 31. I felt guilty that I had left her at my mum's when I moved away but she wouldn't have been able to cope as that was her only home. (she was deaf by then and slow and stinky and my mum was retired so there most of the time) I was coming back so I was the one to take her to be PTS but she died in the night.
18 years is a bloody good innings.

mumofsnotbags Tue 15-Dec-15 14:26:15

Thank you all,

I'm glad you shared your experience of the vitamins moonax I think thats what i'm beating myself up about in knowing there was another option for him that I could have chose but didn't, From what you say I guess they do alter the cats behaviour a bit so he wouldn't have been himself anyway. All he really did was sleep and sit on his favourite cushion the past year or so, he would wander outside but cry instantly to come back in, or i would feed him and watch him eat it then he'd cry for more food as if he hadn't been fed in weeks.... we joked he may have been getting alzheimer's. smile.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Dec-15 14:41:40

Don't beat yourself up. He was an old lad and when you become very elderly, you sort of run out of realistic options. (Or at any rate, options that give you a happy life.) My own boy is most elderly - older than your lad - but he's still enjoying his life very much. When the day comes - as it will - that that stops for him, I'll also have to make that hard decision. I'll be miserable as all get out but that will be down to the loss and not to what I've decided for him.

You did the right thing.

Sleepingtom Tue 15-Dec-15 14:58:57

I had my 18yo puss pts in Sept under similar circumstances. I was in shock when the vet said how ill she was. I came on here to read other people's stories and realised I was doing the very best for her by having her pts and that in fact, it may have been kinder for me to have done it sooner (I was in denial about her decline partly as she was good at hiding it). You did the right thing and your cat was a very lucky cat to have had 18 wonderful years with such a caring owner flowers

Sleepingtom Tue 15-Dec-15 15:01:15

"Better two weeks too soon than a minute too late" was one thing I read that stuck with me.

cozietoesie Tue 15-Dec-15 16:23:12

I think that that's right.

When a cat goes - even by 'natural' means - you can feel miserable and at a loss. It's losing a personality who has been close to you and people who have had to put an animal to sleep sometimes, in my experience, interpret those feelings of misery as guilt even though they can tell themselves in their heads that they did what was the best thing for the cat.

You did the right and loving thing, OP. Never doubt it.

rainydaygrey Tue 15-Dec-15 16:24:34

It's honestly better to do it a little too early than too late.

I'm very sorry for your loss flowers

Clg199 Tue 15-Dec-15 16:34:17

We had to have our dog put to sleep due to kidney failure. It was caught early (during a blood test for something unrelated) and he had 6 months of treatment before we decided it was his time. It is always a really hard decision, but if you look at it from the pet's point of view it really is the kindest thing.

Animals don't look forward to the future, they don't mourn what they may miss out on. They won't be able to understand feeling unwell in the hope that they may get better, for a bit, before they get worse again. They tend to live in the moment and it's up to us to make each one of those moments as good for them as it can be. It's a rubbish situation when a pet gets old and ill, and there's no perfect solution, but it sounds as if you put your cat's best interests at heart and made sure his moments were good ones.

JennaRoss Tue 15-Dec-15 16:46:44

Dcat died at a similar age after having a series of fits - she was given meds to try to bring her temp down. She was so stressed in the vets they to put her on oxygen for two hours and then they sent her home.

She kept fitting and the vet said to see how she went but keep giving the meds.

She seemed to turn a corner and we thought she was getting better when she stopped fitting and lay peacefully for a day before she died, but I feel tormented that she may have been in pain and wish we had asked for her to be pts at the vets.

P1nkP0ppy Tue 15-Dec-15 16:55:36

You did exactly the right thing, prolonging the suffering for your benefit (definitely not the cat's) is very selfish. He'd lived to a really good age, 162 in equivalent human years according to the old wives tale of 1 cat year =9 human ones.
You have many lovely memories of your lovely cat, and you did the best for him.

P1nkP0ppy Tue 15-Dec-15 16:56:27

Sorry, got cat/human years round the wrong way fblush

Seawig Tue 15-Dec-15 17:09:24

It was the kindest thing to do. As others said cats are really too good at hiding pain and discomfort. They often purr when ill or in pain to comfort themselves so it is not easy to know when they are at ease.

Huntercat was hit by a car two years ago, smashed his front leg to pieces around the joint, scratched paws and head. He hid it, the numpty, crawled home through the cat flap in the afternoon, snoozed on a bed, pretended he was all fine. He is very fluffy so it was hours later I saw him hop off the bed and realised he couldn't put his leg down at all.

The X-Ray's showed fragments of bone everywhere and he had surgery with specialist orthopaedic vets, a metal frame around the whole leg and metal pins screwed into all his bones. He was on cage rest for 4 months. 4K of pet plan cover used up.

And he hid that level of pain easily. You knew your lovely cat was very ill, far better to PTS and end any suffering than to force the cat to limp on with no hope of recovery and no way to see any reason for his pain.

It was a kindness, be kind to yourself now too.

mumofsnotbags Wed 16-Dec-15 08:08:18

I honestly hadn't thought about it from the cats point of view clg your post has actually opened my eyes a bit in thinking they don't think like us, weird I know, I should know that, I'm probably clouding everything together with my grandma dying also. When I went to collect him from RSPCA, she was the one who came with me so she's always got along with him like he was hers too.

And now both are gone within a few months of each other. I know I'll be fine, I had him cremated so have to collect him in a few days, I'll probably feel a bit better when he's back at home. thanks to all you fellow cat lovers who get me at the moment smile

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