Advice please re cat being put to sleep(27 Posts)
Hi, I'd like your advice please. I think we might be nearing the end of the road for our old boy. He is 17. He has been totally blind for about 6 months now and is like a little bumper car, bouncing off all the walls, chair legs etc. He is eating and drinking still. Spends his days wandering in circles or snoozing on the sofa.
He has a litter tray, but frequently urinates/defecates around the house, whether upstairs or downstairs. I try to keep him downstairs only, but with kids leaving the doors open he frequently makes his way upstairs. It's getting to the point where we are cleaning up after him several times a day, just this morning he was sick at the top of the stairs then did a huge wee on my bedroom carpet.
He gets very distressed if we pick him up, and flinches if we try to stroke him. I think because he is blind and doesn't see us coming. He just seems frightened and confused a lot of the time (unless he's eating!).
We are due to go on holiday for 2 weeks in August, and our house is currently on the market and we are hoping move at the end of the year.
I think we might be needing to think about him being PTS. I don't think he would survive a house move. I'm already worried about leaving him with a cat sitter for our holiday.
He is my first cat, we always had dogs growing up and when they were PTS it was because of a specific health reason (cancer). I've had this grumpy old moggy for 17 years now and I hate to see him like this. Is it time?
It does sound as if the end of the road might be near. Why is he being sick?
It's not really fair to leave a poorly cat with the cat sitter, and yes the house move is a worry.
I think a chat with your Vet would be a start. I am so sorry.
Life doesn't sound much fun for him, bumping into things must hurt.
Sparklingbrook Re the sickness think it's just a sign of age. Perhaps a bit of heartburn? It's quite a regular occurrence - almost like possiting. He's stopped grooming himself but occasionally has a go and then there is usually a sicky possit with fur in it.
Fluffycloud I agree. He's obviously using his whiskers but sometimes he really knocks himself and we wince for him. Poor old boy.
In all honesty I think it's time to let him go before he loses what little dignity and quality of life he has.
You really have my sympathy. We are in a similar position with our 20 year old boy (crapping all over the house, fairly wobbly, not much eyesight, heart murmur and occassional wailing). It is very difficult to time this right but at the moment my old boy still seems to enjoy life and our company. If he started to flinch and seemed frightened and confused much of the time, I think that would be my trigger to let him go with a bit of dignity.
Horrible time for you, been there before, only you can decide when.
How will I explain it to the DCs? They are 13 and 9. Do I tell them in advance? Or is it better to tell them afterwards?
God, I feel so sad. I love him to bits.
I would tell them in advance. That he really isn't too well any more, and that he isn't leading the life he used to. And that he really won't cope with a house move.
If you can have a chat with the Vet and they agree tell them that too, that it's kinder for him to let him go.
I think at those ages they should be able to understand.
Agree with Sparklingbrook. Let them know in advance - they can then say goodbye properly.
Have you taken him to the vet? It was the vet telling me that my lovely girl had a very poor quality of life which gave me the push to make the right decision.
I told DC in advance and goodbyes were said before school.
It was really sad but absolutely the right thing
Ok so I only have dog experience but mine were similar ages when our last dog had to be PTS. Definitely tell them in advance and let them do what they need to do. Decide if the vet will come to the house, and who will be there. I took my DDs out of school for the afternoon and vet came to the house. The vet explained everything as he went along (e.g., one important thing is to know that animals sometimes make an involuntary noise as they die, like a sigh or a cough but its entirely normal its biological not psychological. We then held him for a while, before we drove to a pet cremation service. All those things were our choice and I am not suggesting it would be right for you, just options. My youngest DD is now 14 but she still sleeps with his old blanket every night. Tell your DCs its ok to be very sad as well but its a normal part of a pets life and to let them die with dignity is the best possible end.
If there was ever a good time this is it, before the holiday, don't wait till the day before plan it for this week. 17 years is a wonderful age and you have given the cat a good life, but it sounds like the time is definitely come.
I'm sorry you are going through this with your lovely old boy SingingSands
From what you've written I honestly think it's time. His quality of life doesn't sound good.
There's a saying I've seen on here a lot - 'better a day too soon than a week too late', and it's good advice. Think of it as the last, kindest thing you can do for him.
As for telling the DC, mine are older than yours but I involved them in the decision to have our cat PTS a few months ago and they were able to say goodbye, which helped them a lot.
I had this with my old girl. I gently told my dd the truth. We have to make tough decisions that are right for animals that we care for. It is part of our responsibility and our bond. There is no quality of life improvement possible.
My vet was very kind and practical.
It sucks being a grown up.
It is the last act of kindness and love and, trust me, a day too late is terrible.
We had the weeing / pooing thing with our old girl, turns out she had a tumour so it was definitely time to let her go. She was getting miserable. We held off a day so that the DCs could say goodbye. It's definitely a case of "better a week too soon than a day too late".
It does sound like it may be kinder to let him go now. My DBro had a cat that went blind, but she found her way around perfectly (as long as they didn't re-organise the furniture of course), still used the litter tray all the time etc, so it sounds like it's old age that's caught up with him rather than his eyesight failing.
Cats love to keep clean and it would really attack the cat's spirit if this was no longer possible or fixable.
Another one who agrees with better a week too soon than a day too late. It's a horrible decision to make but it sounds like the right one.
Thank you all for your kind replies.
I think we will talk to the children this week and then make an appointment for next week.
Poor old boy is terrified of car travel, always has been. Any time he's needed a vet appointment he's soiled the carry box and arrived totally distressed. I'm going to ask if it's possible for the vet to do a house visit.
God, yeah, it sucks being a grown up sometimes.
Sympathies, it's a sad decision to be faced with. I had this with my old boy, he was 18 and blind. He also pooed outside the litter tray regularly, which was a bit nightmarish with 2 very young children. The final blow was tongue cancer which led to him being PTS after a weekend of lying in the sunshine being made a fuss of. Having read your post I think it may be nearing time to PTS for your old boy. In the end the decision was taken out of my hands somewhat because of the tongue cancer, but the blindness led to us altering our lives & routines a lot to look after the cat (for example, we didn't leave him alone for very long so there were no family holidays together for a year or so). I don't begrudge him any of it, he was a much loved member of the family, but looking back it was a relief to have made the decision. I think we had him put to sleep the week before a big visit from family, this may sound heartless but the combination of an ailing cat & having to entertain family seemed too much for us humans, and also unfair on the cat. Sounds similar to your dilemma about your holiday.
I can't help much with what to tell the children as mine were still quite small & they didn't ask much about it, but the Blue Cross charity have a good leaflet about how to talk to children when a pet dies.
Just one more thing about the flinching etc, we found we needed to chat much more to the cat & tongue-click/tap the furniture etc to give him lots of audible cues as to where we were. Also I remember he hated being picked up too but he had a routine of coming for a cuddle in the evenings
Good luck with whatever decision you make
Thank you Timtam.
Your story sounds very similar. We do the audible clues too, but he's not always great at picking us up (I sometimes think his hearing might be going too). He just really doesn't like being stroked much these days . He's also getting quite thin now so I'm trying to handle him gently as he probably has a bit of arthritis at his age.
Thanks for the tip about the leaflet, I'll check it out.
PTS would be kind. Thin, scared, he's not going to get better is important part of the decision, too.
Please please don't prolong his suffering by waiting until next week. I know preparing your children is going to be hard but he can't continue if he's suffering.
As people have said - better a week early than even a day late.
Please call the vet tomorrow. Your lovely boy sounds pretty miserable and he needs you to do the right thing
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