End of life(9 Posts)
We are pretty sure that our lovely and much loved older cat (nearly 17) is at the end of his life. He seems to be shutting down, isn't eating or drinking and not really able to walk. He is currently sleeping on a fleecy blanket in front of the fire having cuddles with our younger cat. My (soft) husband spent the night on the sofa as he didn't want to leave him on his own. We don't want to upset or disturb him by taking him to the vet as he doesn't seem to be in any pain. Pretty sure they would just say to have him put to sleep but we would rather he just fell asleep in comfort in his own home. Has anyone experience of this? Are we doing the right ting?
It would be lovely if he could go in his own home in his sleep. However, how long could you let him go on for? It could be hours or days.
Does your vet do house calls? With our last old girl, we got the vet to come after a long night on the couch with her.
I'm very sorry. I think if he's not drinking the kindest thing would be to take him to the vet. He must be feeling terrible if he's not drinking, and dying could drag on for quite a few days.
Some vets will do home visits. You could enquire. Failing that I would take him.
Thanks Catz - and that is what I was wondering. I am back to work on Tuesday and DH on Wednesday so he will be left home alone then whatever. We will see how it goes until then, the vet is very close. Sanderson is just skin and bone now and he was such a big strong cat. Sad how quickly they deteriorate.
Really sorry to hear about Sanderson. Personally i would be ringing the vet & would have him put to sleep rather than drag it out for what could be quite a few days - having gone through the deaths of my 2 very elderly cats in the last couple of years. If he is not eating or drinking it could be feeling pretty awful for him, and cats don't tend to show when they're in pain/vulnerable. Honestly if he is that weak it will be a very quick PTS process, he will hardly know anything about it I am sure - my own vet was really kind and let me take the most recent ailing oldie in before surgery started so there was no hanging around in waiting room.
Re: house calls, our vet would do them but DH quite pragmatically pointed out that it might be more upsetting for me afterwards if I had memories of sitting on the sofa in the exact spot where the cat died. Also I thought it would be really hard when the vet took the cat away. So at the surgery they allowed me to stay as long as I wanted afterwards and I decided when I felt OK to leave the body. I think for me it was better to go to the vet (although I liked the idea of having the vet come to the house and if I had a larger, more difficult to move, animal I would probably do that)
If he isn't eating or drinking, I think it would be cruel to let it drag out, sorry. As PP have said, most vets will do home visits for PTS.
Not eating and drinking is absolutely not the ending of falling asleep peacefully you are hoping for. Just because he is old doesn't mean it's right to leave him to suffer.
motheroftwoboys, I honestly believe that it is better to let them go a day too early than an hour too late. Without food or drink, he is more than likely suffering. It's the hardest but best decision we ever make for our furry family members.
I think we would all love our old boys and girls to just go to sleep one night and die peacefully in their sleep when their time comes, unfortunately out of the 12 we've had only two did that.
We had our last old boy (17) PTS the week before Christmas I cried so much & I didn't eat for two days.
He had been off his food for a few weeks - more fussy then usual, then ate less and less til he wasn't eating at all. Took him to the vets they did tests and diagnosed pancreatitis which is very painful for cats but the only treatment is managing the pain. Gave him painkillers but no improvement finally scanned him and he had tumours in pancreas, spleen and intestine.
We had no choice at that point, but he must have been suffering for a few weeks and if I'd realised I'd have taken him sooner.
I have some photos I took of him during that time and looking at them now you can tell he wasn't happy (even though he was still purring and acting normally, apart from the fussiness over food) you can see it in his eyes. I couldn't tell in real life though. Please don't drag it out too long & let him suffer.
You're 'pretty sure' that the lad is at the end of his life.
How sure are you that he's not in some sort of distress or pain?
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