Should we have taken him to the vet?(22 Posts)
We lost our beautiful boy on Wednesday who slipped away in his sleep aged 15 and a half. I am absolutely devastated as didn't see it coming at all and I loved him so much. I now can't stop thinking that we should have taken him to the vet and that we let him down. He'd always been a big cat and for a long time had been overweight having been overweight when we took him and his brother in when they were 9. We got his weight under control by changing his diet and he'd been healthy since. But recently he started losing weight and had gone from 5.5 kg to about 4ish. He was getting old and so I thought it was that although was going to mention it to the vet at his annual vacs and check which we were about to book for him. But now he's gone and all I can think now is what if it was the sign of something more serious that he could have been treated for and then he'd still be here. It's all I can think about. But he had no other symptoms, showed no sign of pain, was drinking normally although was eating a bit less which we thought was just as he was getting older his appetite had decreased. Nothing that made me think we should take him but now he's gone I just wish we had in case we could have prevented his death. I know noone can say for sure but wondered whether other people would have taken their cat straight to the vet if they had lost weight? Photos attached. First for cuteness, second from last year for comparison and third the night before he died.
Firstly, I'm so sorry for your loss. What an absolutely beautiful boy. I have a big pale ginger and have a soft spot for them!
Secondly, I don't think you've done anything wrong at all. Your boy was a very good age, had a wonderful life with you and was clearly very loved.
If you had taken him to the vets sooner you MAY have found some answers and been given treatment that extended life BUT he also then may have suffered as you prolonged the inevitable. At 15 years old the chances of a cure for whatever the issue was, would be very unlikely.
The fact that he passed away in his sleep I would find very reassuring. He was clearly not in a lot of pain as the only symptom you noticed was the weight loss.
If you want to find out the cause you could perhaps ask for a post-mortem but it may be more peaceful all around to say your goodbyes and accept the loving life he had.
RIP Gorgeous boy.
Thank-you for your kind words. I'm sure you're right. Just struggling so much at the moment and would do anything to have him back. He was my first cat and I never realised hiw much it would hurt to lose him. We won't put ourselves through a post-mortem but hard not to keep wondering if we should have done more. But we did love him so, and made sure he knew it. Thank-you.
The losing weight can be a thyroid thing but it wouldn't cause him to suddenly pass like this.
FWIW by not taking him to the vet you could well have saved him from a barrage of intrusive tests that wouldn't have saved him. (Of course if he wasn't eating at all it was in pain or had any obvious symptoms you'd have taken him.)
He was loved and at home with you. Sounds peaceful.
RIP gorgeous ginger
I agree with miss Clarke and I'm sorry he's gone
If eating a bit less was all that you noticed I don't think there was anything you could have done differently. I'd be up the vet every 5 mins with my cat as some days he eats loads and then can go for weeks being really picky.
He really was gorgeous
Sorry for your loss, he looked a handsome boy.
What a beautiful boy, I'm so sorry for your loss .
He looks very like our old boy who we lost a couple of years ago, after 18 years so I know what you're going through. Try not to dwell on the questions that can't be answered just remember the lovely life he had with you for 15 years x
oh my, what a stunning cat!
If you had taken him to the vet they mught have found issues arising from his advanced years that they could have managed but probably not cured. That would have involved medication etc and trips to the vet - stressful for any cat let alone an elderly gent.
It may have meant he had longer but probably not.
It sounds like he had a lovely life and it was his time.
I think you did absolutely the best for your kitty cat.
I think that when it's time to help them along, you know it's time. You just do, honestly. The fact he was able to go at home, in a safe place with no stress is honestly a good thing - I think especially for cats, any trip to the vet is slightly traumatic whereas a dog at least usually enjoys the car journey.
My only experience of a cat death, so far, has unfortunately been cancer in a very young cat which resulted in him being put to sleep, but I've been told before that when cats are ill and in pain with it they will often hide themselves away, even at home. It doesn't sound, to me, like your boy was suffering
Sorry for your loss.hes a beautiful boy, rip gorgeous boy. You did nothing wrong op. I have a very close bond to my 2 cats and couldn't imagine losing them, so can only imagine what your going through
He was a beautiful cat. Cats live longer on the whole now, but that is a decent age. You would expect some weight loss in an older animal, so don't beat yourself up over it.
As hard as it it, it sounds as though he had the ideal death. Just went to sleep in his own home. Surrounded by people who loved him. No prolonged suffering or stressful trips to the vet. It's what I would hope for for my girls when the time comes. He was such a gorgeous cat.
Last year we had to make the very difficult decision to refuse an operation on our beloved Labrador. The condition he had was very painful, the operation had a slim chance of success, if he got through the op he would probably die of infection, and if he didn't the same issue was likely to happen again, meaning we would have to go through the same decision making process again. We decided it was kinder to let him die without pain, and he was only 5, a young dog.
I think the point I am clumsily making is that for us, we had to go against our instinct of 'Do anything you can to save him', and you are kind of in the same place, but thinking 'is there anything I could have done differently to save him?'
We both acted out of love, and both our pets had a peaceful end. That's a win in my book. I'm very sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy, but it sounds like it was the best result for him. xx
Thank you so much for all your kind words. It's so hard not to keep wondering what if when you want him back so much. I know you're all right really, slipping away at home without the trauma of vet visits was the best thing. Just miss him so much.
He's an absolute beauty. I found my cat hiding under a bed one day, barely moving. I rushed her to the vet and she had an operation (to drain fluid off her lungs). She was in the vets a few days then came home with heart medication. She wouldn't eat or drink and giving her the tablets felt so cruel, she'd always hated them.
Eventually, over a week after I first found her, she had to be put down. I went in with her and it was horrible and quite traumatic. My biggest regret was taking her to the vet that first day. I could have just sat with her while she passed away peacefully but I didn't realise at the time. She had invasive treatment and a miserable, prolonged end.
Sounds like your boy had a good death, there's a lot to be said for that.
It sounds like a good death. It's the most you can hope for.
He was 15, lived 6 yrs in a much loved home, never suffered, died peacefully. You did great already, No regrets required
sorry for your loss of a very good friend,four weeks ago had to put my jack russell to sleep 14yrs old he had tumors all over just appeared in the last few weeks i had two taken off him in the last 12 mths but i felt he was to old for all this,and these were a lot bigger,i felt very guilty for ending his life but i know it was for the best.sounds like your cat had a very good life with you ,there was nothing you could have done,maybe a little down the line you might get yourself another pal.hope your feeling better soon.x
You're all so lovely, thank-you. I got myself into a right state last night and you have all helped enormously. His poor brother has been showered with love and tears today, which may have been a bit much for him as he wasn't such a cuddly cat unlike his brother. However he has enjoyed the treats he has had today as he is clearly an emotional eater like me!
I also wanted to send much sympathy and empathy to those of you who have also lost beloved pets. I know how hard it is.
I'm so sorry for your loss. He looks gorgeous and his friend in the last photo is similar to the cat we lost earlier this year.
You mustn't torment yourself, but weight loss is a good cause to head for the vets, just for future reference for your other cat. Unfortunately when our cats have lost weight it has always signalled something catastrophic. Our first had metastatic cancer and nothing could be done for her. Another lost a significant amount of weight both when he was diagnosed with IBD and later a serious heart condition, although by some miracle he has responded to treatment and is still with us. The last cat we lost, turned out he had a tumour. Very tragic as he had overcome a rare fibrosarcoma 18 months prior and the tumour that we lost him to was also rare, had it been millimetres in a different location, we could have had it removed.
As a result I'm very anxious when they lose weight. I have a set of baby scales and weigh my cats about once a month and record it.
That doesn't mean the outcome would have necessarily been any different for your lovely boy, just wanted to say it is worth a check up. Be kind to yourself, they really are family members
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