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Can you put a cat to sleep for being very old?

(26 Posts)

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LuxuryMilk Thu 22-Feb-18 12:41:25

Just that really. He’s very old, nearly 19 in fact. In moderate health but he is just looking sooo old recently. His back legs don’t have much strength left and he’s just very frail.

I want him to go out peacefully and it not be a rush or traumatic. Will a vet put him to sleep under these circumstances?

OP’s posts: |
Branleuse Thu 22-Feb-18 12:58:00


If hes not in pain or being problematic, then I cant understand why you would even consider it. sad

Just give him extra love in his final few months of life

BrazzleDazzleDay Thu 22-Feb-18 13:00:24

I actually think it's quite admirable to do so before they really lose function

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 22-Feb-18 13:01:20

Hi, we're moving this over to our The Litter Tray topic at the OP's request.

NoStraightEdges Thu 22-Feb-18 13:02:30

We put our dog to sleep in similar circumstances. She was 16, deaf, had no strength and started to become incontinent. The vet was in complete agreement that it was the right thing to do.

Why don't you speak to a vet? See what they say?

flowers it must be very hard

ISeeTheLight Thu 22-Feb-18 13:02:52

Does he seem in any pain?

Bananarama12 Thu 22-Feb-18 13:04:05

Yes they most definitely will. I think it's good of you to think about his quality of life before it gets too bad.

Bananarama12 Thu 22-Feb-18 13:05:18

And branleus - animals hide pain extremely well.

dreamingalwaysdreaming Thu 22-Feb-18 13:11:33

i'd also want to know what your vet says - when you say back legs not strong, is his day to day life seriously hampered, it doesn't sound like it.

LizzieSiddal Thu 22-Feb-18 13:12:15

I really don’t like “well if they aren’t in pain, why would you”.
Firstly animals can’t tell you they’re in pain, and they are very stoic, they really do try plod on. Also their quality of life is just as important than “not being in pain”.
My little Jack Russell is 15, she’s suffering from doggie dementia and is often confused and doesn’t settle, especially at night time. She’s not in pain but if/when her confusion gets worse, I’ll have no hesitation in putting her to sleep.

Branleuse Thu 22-Feb-18 13:12:41

They might hide pain well, but you dont just PTS on the off chance if you actually cant tell.

starting to lose your faculties and becoming incontinent would possibly be a reasonable reason, but not just for getting old and frail.

LizzieSiddal Thu 22-Feb-18 13:13:09

Excuse awful grammar!

mrsBeverleyGoldberg Thu 22-Feb-18 13:16:57

You want to put him to sleep because he's old? Maybe when you get old and infirm we should put you to sleep? You are heartless. Your poor cat to have such a cold owner. I think you're looking for excuses.

dreamingalwaysdreaming Thu 22-Feb-18 13:18:06

op hasn't mentioned dementia or incontinence though - as i said, i'd be guided by clinical markers and what my vet thought a bit.

On the face of it, I don't think I'd pts my pets just for being old and frail, something more like dementia/incontinence/evidence of pain would be needed.

I have an ancient retriever - he does get a bit confused sometimes and his back legs sometimes fail, but the rest of the time he's still happy and loves life. I don't think he's a candidate for being PTS just because sometimes he doesn't make the jump to the sofa or falls on the stairs.

If it was happening every day otoh...

Bananarama12 Thu 22-Feb-18 13:26:32

Mrsbeverleygoldberg I work in a veterinary practice and believe me I have met many cold heartless owners and to call OP that is going overboard. Talk to a vet OP and then make a decision. It is very hard to know when it's the right time flowers

InTheRoseGarden Thu 22-Feb-18 13:36:49

Yes. My mum did this with two of our cats when they became old and frail.

LuxuryMilk Thu 22-Feb-18 13:45:19

I don’t think I am being cold or heartless at all. I love him so much, he’s been a real grumpy and unsociable cat for most of his life but he’s always had a home with me. I just see him getting so old and uncomfortable and I’m worried about knowing when is the time to call it a day.
Maybe now isn’t the time, I was just wondering out loud really. He still knows to go in the litter tray and doesn’t have many accidents, it’s just like I say he is so frail. I just don’t want him to suffer.

OP’s posts: |
freshstart24 Thu 22-Feb-18 13:50:29

I think you should take Dcat to a vet to be checked over. Cats instinctively make every effort to appear ok when they are unwell. It's a protective mechanism left in the domestic car as in the wild a sick animal is vulnerable to predators or impostors.

As such your cat may in fact be bravely hiding the fact that he's really struggling.

I was told this by my fantastic vet and witnessed it in my two beloved elderly cats who were both pts last year at 17 & 18. Both were very unwell at this stage and I know how complicated it can be to decide when the time is right.

flowers OP.

WhirlwindHugs Thu 22-Feb-18 14:07:38

I agree, take him to the vet. Ours was very good at guiding us over what was a pts situation and what wasn't when ours were old.

ifonly4 Thu 22-Feb-18 14:46:10

I can see my girl slowly deteriorating so I know exactly where you're coming from OP, I worry whether the vet will let her go when I think she's had enough. Has he seen a vet recently? If not, its worth getting him checked out to see if there's anything that can be done to help. His back legs might be stiff with arthritis or wobbly due to a medical issue the vet could help with. Our girl has just had a steroid for something else but when that's out of her system the vet is going to treat her for arthritis to see if that helps her as she walks quite low to the ground and doesn't wash much now.

My poor girl paces a lot, gets confused, her neck has got stiff recently, we're not even sure how well she sees or hears, appetite is also up and down at the moment. She still seems to look for food and chooses to go out though, so that shows she still has some sort of life, but it's hard to know when enough is enough.

Allergictoironing Thu 22-Feb-18 18:32:10

We had a similar situation with our old horse. She had pretty bad arthritis in her hips and was on painkillers for years. We used to get the vet out every spring and autumn to do a checkup, to see if it was "time" (spring to see she had wintered OK, autumn to check she would last the winter). She actually went on for years, and it was a colic that got her in the end.

Want2beme Thu 22-Feb-18 20:25:11

I wouldn't PTS because of old age. Old age can bring Ill health obviously. I'd see what the vet says. My old boys were poorly with old age and during the weeks toward the end of their lives, I took them to the vet regularly, to be guided by the them. In the end they were PTS due to illness. The vets did tell me they had more time when I thought they were ready to go, so I'd say be guided by the vet. It's a very difficult time and so hard to make the decision.

OldBlueStitches Thu 22-Feb-18 20:57:55

One thing my vet said to me is that you KNOW when it's time - when they're slowly deteriorating. I wasn't sure, wasn't sure and then one day my cat did (well, couldn't do) something and I suddenly knew.

And I asked my vet if they would do it at my house. There was an extra fee, but it was worth it. He died smelling me (the only person he'd ever bonded with), being held by me and calm. It was the best death I could have helped him have - which sounds strange I know, but it was. It was almost a year ago but the call out fee is still something I am so glad I spent.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 23-Feb-18 19:16:35

Oldbluestitches - my vet said the same thing, and he was right. He came to the house and she died, sitting on my lap on her blankie. It was sad, but peaceful, and she purred at the end, and hadn't purred for months.

ATailofTwoKitties Fri 23-Feb-18 19:30:01

I worried endlessly about when it would really be the right time. We nursed Ancient Cat through thyroid problems and skin problems and heart problems, wondering if she was truly enjoying life any more.

And in the end, after a week in which our ancient girl had caught two mice, jumped up on her chair as usual and rubbed her head on everyone, she staggered in one morning and was terribly sick, dribbled out her water, wouldn't lift her knobby old head to sniff some ham or tuna - and we got the vet out to her that morning and put her to sleep, on her blanket in her familiar kitchen, with not a murmur of protest.

She was 20, and it was absolutely right. God I miss that cat though.

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