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Cat with kidney disease - whats the fairest thing?

(33 Posts)
Batbear Wed 21-Dec-16 21:49:47

Our lovely cat has been with us for 8 years after he was made stray by his first owners and decided he wanted to live with us.

Hes probably about 10 and has been a much loved and happy pet.

Things went a bit wrong for him health wise this year and he has lost a lot of weight. He was a solid 5kg when we had him and is 2.5kg now. After lots of tests for thyroid and IBS it now seems as if his kidneys are shot.

He's got stage 3 kidney disease and we are trying to get a plan for him.

His BP is ok, and there is no infection but he's clearly not right. His appetite is minimal and he's very much lost his spark. He spends a lot of time hiding away.

The vet has suggested we use appetite stimulants, saline drips every 2 days and a change of diet alongside medication to help. However he's not the most compliant cat and i worry about causing distress for little benefit.

WWYD? (And sorry for the essay)

cozietoesie Wed 21-Dec-16 22:17:08

No need to be sorry at all. You're in a difficult place.

cozietoesie Wed 21-Dec-16 22:18:43

PS - my Darling Twoago was the same. At about 13.

Batbear Wed 21-Dec-16 22:42:50

I know some people do the drips at home (which the vet thinks i am capable of), but its so tough when it stings and ultimately i really think he's not that happy any more.

I don't know how anyone makes a decision with animals. I have told the vet i need her guidance, but i think there's a difference between what is possible medical, possible practically and ultimately kindest to my cat.

Batbear Wed 21-Dec-16 22:44:44

Thanks Cozie, it's so sad when their character changes. My cat is is not the same at all

cozietoesie Wed 21-Dec-16 22:48:22

I'm reluctant to give advice on this because I know that medicine makes advances but it's certainly one where you have to be very clear headed about what is best for your lad - not you. In my own case, I didn't intervene - I couldn't let him go - and I've always regretted that fact.

Batbear Thu 22-Dec-16 06:31:41

Oh Cozzie thats so sad.

It's a head vs heart decision isn't it? The saline yesterday made him very wobbly, like he couldn't walk for a few minutes.

If he's not perked up before Christmas, i need to find courage to let him go.

showmetheminstrels Thu 22-Dec-16 09:49:14

I would let him go. I've had to make the decision before and it's horrible but I think prolonging things are more for our benefit than theirs.

So sorry x

Family143 Thu 22-Dec-16 12:16:36

My cat was pts last week due to chronic kidney failure. He was almost 19. He had had no real symptoms other than we noticed he had been drinking more over the past year or so but not to an extreme. The first sign was him not eating & bloody tests revealed chronic failure. He had obviously been living with declining function for a while. The vet said loss of appetite is often a sign but my cat didn't display this until he was chronic. He stopped eating & just looked unhappy. He still wanted cuddles but having been well up until this point we knew we were making the right decision & the vet came out to us.
When I was a girl we had a cat with kidney problems who, after the event, we realised we should have put to sleep earlier than we did but we struggled to let him go. Having had this happen definitely made it easier to make that decision this time
My old cat was a big boy with a huge appetite so him not eating was a sure sign of him not being at all well.
It is so hard & my thoughts are with you.

Family143 Thu 22-Dec-16 12:57:22

*blood not bloody!

cozietoesie Thu 22-Dec-16 14:35:00

His vet stopped taking bloods from Seniorboy at about 19. It was just too much of a palaver. (He wasn't bad mannered enough to use teeth or claws but Boy did he squirm. grin)

Meemolly Thu 22-Dec-16 16:41:20

Our 6 year old had kidney failure and we let her go. She just wasn't alright and it was a horrible decision but I know it was the right one. Still cry about it though, am crying right now. I'm so sorry you are going through this.

Weedsnseeds1 Thu 22-Dec-16 17:30:23

If I'm honest, I think it may be time to make that decision, unless he shows rapid improvement. It's horrible and you are best placed to judge your cat's quality of life, but try to be objective if you can.

LotsoNumbers Thu 22-Dec-16 17:32:52

I would give it a go with the medication as long as he isn't in pain. If it proves to be too stressful for him or his quality of life doesn't improve then I would pts

Batbear Thu 22-Dec-16 18:00:14

Thanks everyone.

The appetite stimulant hasn't done anything so far. 24 hours after he was given it. He was very wobbly after the saline, almost drunk,like his front paws wouldn't work or had gone to sleep. He's slept all day.

Unless he becomes ravenous by tomorrow morning i will call the vet in the morning. I know there are there until Sat lunchtime.

His kidney food is untouched in the box.

The timing is crap, our DS's are 3 and 6 and the 3 year old in particular loves him to pieces.

cozietoesie Thu 22-Dec-16 18:10:45


Have a read - or download - this if he doesn't make good progress. It might help you.

Weedsnseeds1 Thu 22-Dec-16 18:59:59

I had old girl PTS on New Year's Eve. I do sympathise over the timing. Maybe the distractions of the season will help reflect your children a little though?

isadorable Fri 23-Dec-16 01:56:28

I'm really sorry to read this. My vet discussed me learning how to do drips at home for my cat but she and I decided it could make him hate me and at his age and stage the stress would be bad for us all.

It worries me that your cat is visibly wobbly and not eating. Mine is always frisky and hungry after time on a drip. He's had several crises but so far bounced back.

I'm desperately sorry for the timing of all this. These decisions are the hardest part of being a pet owner. Take care of yourselves.

cozietoesie Fri 23-Dec-16 14:21:22

How are things today?

Batbear Fri 23-Dec-16 14:24:52

Thanks Cosie and everyone else for the advice. It really clarified my thinking.

Sadly my little man was PTS at lunchtime today. The vet was brilliant and he didn't complain a bit. I had lots of cuddles with him as he went.

I'm gutted but feel sure it was the right time.

cozietoesie Fri 23-Dec-16 14:27:39

I'm very sorry - but I think, myself, you did the right and loving thing. How are the DCs?

isadorable Fri 23-Dec-16 14:29:12

I just decided to check back and saw your message. You did the right thing for your cat. I know how hard it is to do and how much it hurts to lose one but I think you have saved him and you a lot of pain. I hope you manage to have a lovely Christmas. Be kind to yourselves.

showmetheminstrels Fri 23-Dec-16 14:30:14

Hugs to you. So hard but I really do think it was the kindest thing.

Batbear Fri 23-Dec-16 14:45:57

DC's are ok at the moment. I expect lots of questions at some point but that's fine.

Just clearing his bowl and litter tray away right now and trying to work out what Christmas thing i am supposed to be doing.

I am so glad I asked here for advice. He was a much loved pet, and without some guidance (and even just writing it down), i think i may have prolonged his suffering.

Thank you all

Weedsnseeds1 Fri 23-Dec-16 15:04:44

Sorry to hear that, but it truly seemed the right decision and the kindest thing to do.

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