The cat knows!!!
WellLarDeDar · 22/04/2021 16:53
We have a ~15 yo rescue (age is estimate). When we rescued her she was already decrepit, had severe dental disease and had to have all her teeth out, had been mistreated and neglected so was very feral, is pretty inbred, and has cat asthma. Not a great start in life.
We've had her about 5 years where I think she's been pretty happy.
In the last year she has massively deteriorated, i.e, going to the toilet anywhere, cat dementia (constant loud meowing), less mobile, not grooming herself and needing clumps of hair be shaved otherwise she rips her own hair out, forced grooming to remove urine/faeces off her back end, deafness and lashing out at us and the other animals. Although she's tame and quite sweet she wont be brushed or take medication without a fight. It's getting hard for us to manage and our other pets are getting visibly stressed out by it.
Naturally I consulted the vet who said that her age has caught up with her; she is deaf and has dementia, and there's probably some underlying age-related illnesses like hyperthyroidism which is common in older cats and while medical intervention might prolong her life ultimately it is our decision but they would be satisfied if we decided to put her to sleep now or if we wanted to extend things as long as possible.
To make matters worse, DH gets all the good bits. The cat snuggles with him whereas I'm the one who empties the tray, feeds her, intervenes when she goes for the other animals, washes the soiled furniture/bedsheets/carpets, gives her medicine, she follows me around howling for hours and the sound is driving me insane!!! DH is aware of this so he said 'it's entirely your decision sweetheart' and now it's like the cat knows and is being uncharacteristically attached and soppy with me and I have the mortality of this animal on my conscience. And I have no idea what to do. We couldnt get great insurance on her because of her age and background when we adopted her to there's a limit to how much that will cover.
My mum said it's better to put them to sleep too early than too late and I need to think about my well being, but what if I do and it's the wrong decision. :/ The cat might live another 4 years but then I don't think I could take another 4 of the sofa smelling of cat wee. How do I know what's the right thing to do?
JellyTots2009 · 22/04/2021 17:06
I think you should have the cat PTS.
The cat is deteriorating from what you have said and will probably in it get worse. My friends cat towards the end of its life couldn't even walk/move properly he was that done in.
This is coming from a cat mum myself. I adore my cat with all my heart and see her like a daughter. I've had her over 10 years but if I was in the same position I would probably PTS.
It would kill but you know it will be the best thing for them.
something2say · 22/04/2021 17:24
I think.....time is coming. I had a cat and towards the end of his life, the vet says it was time but I took him home and on balance thought it was not time. Granted, he showed no signs of dementia, was more just like a baby. But I was on watch until it did become obvious. I didn't realise how much he'd been on my mind until I walked out of the vet with his empty box. Therefore my advice is, if you cant bear it right this week, know that it will be soon, when you get a strong sign from her behaviour that the time has come. You could even spend the next say two weeks enjoying the last of her life with her where possible but always on the look out for signs to say no more. X
Shehasadiamondinthesky · 22/04/2021 17:29
I think you should have her PTS. I think I kept my Buns alive for too long, I took her to have radioactive iodine for her thyroid and she went on for another 18 months but it wasn't the best quality.
She also had inflammatory bowel disease and used to walk poo all over the house.
In the end she deteriorated rapidly one weekend and I knew it was time.
It was absolutely heartbreaking, she was deaf too. If she's had dementia it would have been much earlier but she was never confused so we kept plodding on.
Unanananana · 22/04/2021 17:43
I've lost two cats in the last 12 months, both around 15 years old. The first had a lump come up on his head. No other symptoms. Was still eating, drinking, toiletting, grooming etc. The vet confirmed a brain tumour and I had him PTS straight away. The second was diagnosed with the feline version of IBS which we were treating with antibiotics and steroids. Again, eating, drinking, grooming etc. One morning I came down and saw him trying to go to the toilet. He looked like he was in so much pain. Had him PTS four hours later.
Its about quality of life. Both mine had some before they were PTS. Yours sounds like they have none now, however good her life with you has been. Why put her through that? Euthanasia is a dignity that we can give our animals. Do her a favour.
NoIDontWatchLoveIsland · 22/04/2021 19:11
Give the cat a really happy week, loads of treats and fuss, do all the things she loves, then let her go with the last of her dignity intact.
Cats hate being dirty, she will be as unhappy about the toileting accidents and her inability to groom as you are, it's not fair to keep a declining and poorly cat alive in a poor state.
Babdoc · 22/04/2021 19:50
Agree with all of the above. You need to do what is in your cat’s best interest, not yours.
However sad and upsetting it will be for you, your poor cat needs a peaceful end now.
In the wild, it would have died before now, when it was no longer able to hunt effectively. By feeding and caring for it, you have prolonged its existence artificially- which is fine as long as the cat is happy, but not when it is demented, deaf and soiling.
A gentle loving end is your final act of care for your cat - don’t delay it for the wrong reasons.
user1471453601 · 22/04/2021 19:52
I know how hard this is.
My last cat was a one off. I got her from her being feral. She was never especially loving or good at keeping herself clean, but we came to some sort of arrangement. When I had my first bout of cancer, she'd sit on the arm of the sofa next to me and a!low me to stroke her.
She was incredibly greedy, and so a aggresive , the vet advised me to keep her as an inside cat, so she didn't have her annual innections. I had a big house so she had plenty of space.
But letting her go was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
It did make me smile when the new vet described her as "fiesty" , as she tried to give her the final injection.
A week too early is better (for them) than a day too late.
Do this final act of kindness for your cat
squee123 · 22/04/2021 20:01
If she's anything like any of the cats I've owned she will hate feeling unclean and also being messed with. It isn't much of a life for the poor thing having tablets shoved down her and being force groomed. I would say it's kinder to let her go. She has no concept of death, but she does understand the distress of her day to day experience
serin · 22/04/2021 20:04
Oh I feel for you OP. We have had 2 older rescue cats, we had to have one PTS after he developed untreatable kidney disease but he was really struggling for the last 2 years of his life and I felt guilty that I let him continue as long as we did.
We now have an old lady who we have had for the last 12 years (and she was no spring chicken when we adopted her) she is showing all the signs of dementia (goes out the cat flap and can't remember how to get back in, has started soiling the doormats) but this time as soon as she seems distressed we won't let that continue..
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