Very elderly cat - how do you make 'that' decision

(56 Posts)
custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 14:04:25

Hi fellow cat lovers
I have a wonderful cat, he's so old now and he's got a tumour in his jaw/neck so he's having palliative care at home - but how do you decide when it's time to PTS? It's breaking my heart to see him so frail, but he's enjoying his food and milk still, still enjoying raw chicken and fish too - his favourites! He's enjoying the sunshine and pads around the garden with me, has strokes and brushes still and is /seems ok - he's just very dribbly and dishevelled.
Breaks my heart, he is such a gorgeous natured and wonderful cat to our whole family 🥰🥺
Tell me your experiences xx

OP’s posts: |
Dramalady52 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:07:39

If he's still enjoying life, keep him with you for now. Take him to the vet when you see he is starting to suffer pain. That's my two pennorth!

Elieza Sun 13-Jun-21 14:08:11

If the vet says he’s not suffering or in pain I’d keep him going until he tells you he’s had enough by not eating or not being himself, at which point I’d move very swiftly as you don’t want him in pain.

NeedNewKnees Sun 13-Jun-21 14:09:47

At the point he is in distress. Once he is now longer enjoying his life, it's cruel to prolong it. Enjoy your time with your lovely boy while you can.

custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 14:11:18

Thank you 😊 I am and will continue to for a bit longer

OP’s posts: |
SpnBaby1967 Sun 13-Jun-21 14:13:01

We made the decision for one of our elderly cats recently. The level of palliative care he would need, weighed up against how much he hates being handled (which would need to be as he would essentially have to be tube fed) just showed that it was time for him.

I was devastated, as were DH and the kids as we had him and the other 2 cats since day 1 in our home. He was older than our kids.

I guess in your case, whilst he's still happily living life I'd not consider PTS just yet. Without sounding too cliche, you'll know when it's time as he'll show you xxx

Coolerthanapolarbearstoenails Sun 13-Jun-21 14:15:25

I've only done it once with a dog, but I came to the decision quite quickly when he got so frail (arthritis) he couldn't cock his leg to go for a wee without falling.

I think when it's time you'll know. Until that day, lots of chicken and and strokes! Time to live the life of Riley smile

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SheldonesqueTheBstard Sun 13-Jun-21 14:16:49

Not a cat but a dog. I hope that is ok.

You know your pet. If they are eating, drinking and enjoying life - fine. Even if they are a wee bit frail.

I knew with the oldest girl. It was her time. The joy was drifting away from her and although she was eating, there was no real enthusiasm. If it makes sense, it felt like the balloon of joy was slowly deflating.

So her last week she had everything she loved. She was taken to where she loved - although driven there and not walked. And loved to bits. I drank in her smell. I cherished every cuddle. She slept on my bed. White linen and all. She had everything she loved to eat which may not necessarily have been appropriate.

She was ready when the vet came round. I wasn’t but it was all about her that day and that week.

My heart breaks for anyone in this position.

All that to say, I think we all know deep inside x 🌻

custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 14:19:48

SpnBaby1967

We made the decision for one of our elderly cats recently. The level of palliative care he would need, weighed up against how much he hates being handled (which would need to be as he would essentially have to be tube fed) just showed that it was time for him.

I was devastated, as were DH and the kids as we had him and the other 2 cats since day 1 in our home. He was older than our kids.

I guess in your case, whilst he's still happily living life I'd not consider PTS just yet. Without sounding too cliche, you'll know when it's time as he'll show you xxx


Oh I feel your pain - we got this cat when we were having trouble TTC and a friends mum who had the same issues 50 odd years ago now was told to get a cat my her consultant as she would be pregnant in 3 months and she was. We got our Sunny in the December and I had my child in September! So it worked for us! He's always been here also, he's been a dream with our children as small babies and older children so we're all so attached - he was a rescue so no idea how old he is, but he was a fully grown big cat when we got him 13.5 years ago x

OP’s posts: |
freeandfierce Sun 13-Jun-21 14:21:28

I think they tell you, they start to give up. Sounds like he's not there yet and still enjoying his 9th life. I took my cat to be PTS and the vet asked me to leave them together for 10 minutes. He called me back in and said take him home, he's not ready. He said he checked the cat wasn't in pain or discomfort then let him into the back rooms to check his reaction. My boy had a good nosey round, are some dreamies and had a fuss with the vet so it was decided he wasn't ready. He has a tumour in his tummy. The original vet gave him a month, he lasted 18 months and slipped away at home (6 months after I thought it was time).

Shellingbynight Sun 13-Jun-21 15:33:14

Many years ago when my favourite cat had kidney failure I asked my (lovely) vet how I would know when it was time for him to go.

He replied 'he will tell you'. And he was right. It was quite sudden, one day he was still seemed to be doing okay, the next morning I came downstairs and I could see he had had enough, and I rang the vet and took him in.

Enjoy the rest of your time with your lovely boy.

Singlenotsingle Sun 13-Jun-21 15:35:11

I think when my old cat started spraying up the walls, and bumping into walls, he'd obviously got confused and blind. He was 17.

Suzi888 Sun 13-Jun-21 15:43:50

SheldonesqueTheBstard

Not a cat but a dog. I hope that is ok.

You know your pet. If they are eating, drinking and enjoying life - fine. Even if they are a wee bit frail.

I knew with the oldest girl. It was her time. The joy was drifting away from her and although she was eating, there was no real enthusiasm. If it makes sense, it felt like the balloon of joy was slowly deflating.

So her last week she had everything she loved. She was taken to where she loved - although driven there and not walked. And loved to bits. I drank in her smell. I cherished every cuddle. She slept on my bed. White linen and all. She had everything she loved to eat which may not necessarily have been appropriate.

She was ready when the vet came round. I wasn’t but it was all about her that day and that week.

My heart breaks for anyone in this position.

All that to say, I think we all know deep inside x 🌻

That’s what I plan to do for my DDog.

I agree with other posters, as long as he’s still eating and drinking, not in pain, the vet will tell you what to look for/ if he’s in pain. But he’s your boy and you’ll know when it’s time.

custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 16:39:02

freeandfierce

I think they tell you, they start to give up. Sounds like he's not there yet and still enjoying his 9th life. I took my cat to be PTS and the vet asked me to leave them together for 10 minutes. He called me back in and said take him home, he's not ready. He said he checked the cat wasn't in pain or discomfort then let him into the back rooms to check his reaction. My boy had a good nosey round, are some dreamies and had a fuss with the vet so it was decided he wasn't ready. He has a tumour in his tummy. The original vet gave him a month, he lasted 18 months and slipped away at home (6 months after I thought it was time).


Aaahhh that's lovely! My previous cat had a
Stomach tumour too, he only lasted a month or two poor little bear but he was 18 so had a good innings

OP’s posts: |
custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 16:39:46

Shellingbynight

Many years ago when my favourite cat had kidney failure I asked my (lovely) vet how I would know when it was time for him to go.

He replied 'he will tell you'. And he was right. It was quite sudden, one day he was still seemed to be doing okay, the next morning I came downstairs and I could see he had had enough, and I rang the vet and took him in.

Enjoy the rest of your time with your lovely boy.


Thank you - dreading that day but enjoying each good day

OP’s posts: |
crazycatgal Sun 13-Jun-21 16:43:10

I had my cat PTS just over a week ago. She had lost weight, was very lethargic, wasn't eating or drinking much and I could just tell on her face. Her kidneys were failing. I think he will let you know when he is ready, enjoy your gorgeous boy for now.

troppibambini6 Sun 13-Jun-21 16:46:50

We lost our 20 year old cat on Monday. She was on medication for thyroid and kidneys but was doing ok. Then all of a sudden she went right downhill. She was confused just standing with her nose against a wall, she stopped miaowing (she was a super noisy cat) and just slept very very heavily, she stopped eating. All this was over a 24 hour period she was also a bit wobbly on her legs. We just knew. I'm so sorry it's very hard when they go xx

Singlenotsingle Sun 13-Jun-21 17:01:25

I know it's a bit controversial but aren't they lucky to be able to go when the time is right? We just have to hold on til the bitter end. It'll be a DNR for me if I ever get to that stage.

custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 17:03:34

crazycatgal

I had my cat PTS just over a week ago. She had lost weight, was very lethargic, wasn't eating or drinking much and I could just tell on her face. Her kidneys were failing. I think he will let you know when he is ready, enjoy your gorgeous boy for now.


So sorry you lost your cat recently - big hugs 🥺

OP’s posts: |
custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 17:04:50

troppibambini6

We lost our 20 year old cat on Monday. She was on medication for thyroid and kidneys but was doing ok. Then all of a sudden she went right downhill. She was confused just standing with her nose against a wall, she stopped miaowing (she was a super noisy cat) and just slept very very heavily, she stopped eating. All this was over a 24 hour period she was also a bit wobbly on her legs. We just knew. I'm so sorry it's very hard when they go xx


So sorry to hear that - I guess it's 'good' it was quick, but so very sad to lose our loved kitties 😞

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IHaveBrilloHair Sun 13-Jun-21 17:05:07

My cat was younger, only 7, but I had great advice, on here.
They said before they know, so there'll be no suffering.
It really was hard, but it was the kindest thing to do for him.

custardbear Sun 13-Jun-21 17:06:15

Singlenotsingle

I know it's a bit controversial but aren't they lucky to be able to go when the time is right? We just have to hold on til the bitter end. It'll be a DNR for me if I ever get to that stage.


I hear you, my parents both died when they were only 65 my dad was very sick and pretty much unconscious for the last few weeks - hard core drugs to combat the pain - really sad 😞 - at least pets can avoid that

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weaselwords Sun 13-Jun-21 17:13:35

Singlenotsingle

I know it's a bit controversial but aren't they lucky to be able to go when the time is right? We just have to hold on til the bitter end. It'll be a DNR for me if I ever get to that stage.

I so agree with you.

My benchmark is that you should have an animal euthanised when they stop eating, lose so much weight their ribs and spine show or are in chronic pain and crying. A bit creaky with arthritis is fine but not so they won’t get up because it hurts so much and end up lying in their own filth.

But you will just know.

IHaveBrilloHair Sun 13-Jun-21 18:23:37

My cat had started drooling terribly, and it smelled horrible.
He had a tumour in his mouth and treatment was going to be brutal, and that's if it worked.

Whatflavourjellybabyisnice Sun 13-Jun-21 18:44:56

When I was making this decision for my own cat....horrible thing to have to do, we consulted a friend who works for cat's protection fostering cat's and also fundraising. She's an absolute expert from dealing with vets to cat's body language.
She said that cat's don't really show when they are in pain and it can be difficult to know when to say goodbye.
Cat's don't show their pain for vulnerability in the wild purposes and it generally extends to us humans also due to biological factors.
Our friend said that after looking at our cat that we should make the decision to put her to sleep sooner than later although the cat didn't look visibly in pain. She did some very close observations that most people wouldn't pick up. Our friend also said she learnt her lesson, when in the past she allowed a cat to go on suffering and that she'd never forgive herself for that instance.
Asking the vet would also be a good idea as PP have advised.
Best of wishes, because it's the worst decision to have to make and can make you overthink.

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