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Are there any experts on tonight? My poor cat is being PTS tomorrow and I don't know if I've made the right decision

46 replies

befuddledandconfused · 04/11/2013 22:07

That's it really.

Not sure if I'm just upset or whether I've genuinely got it wrong.

He's been getting so thin for about 4 weeks.

Went to vet 3 weeks ago as I found a lump - he said it was most likely fatty and to just keep an eye on him for 6-8 weeks.

He basically stopped eating a week ago and is skin and bone, but still lively, loving and happy.

Back to vet today - she said he was badly jaundiced and has liver problems so needed bloods done 5 hours later.

Bilirubin was 400 (meant to be 2-10 I was told), and white blood cells all wrong.

Then they did a scan - huge tumour on liver, gall bladder wrecked. Wanted to PTS there and then.

I brought him home so everyone could say goodbye and he's scheduled for 10.10 tomorrow but . . .

he really doesn't seem to be in any pain
he doesn't flinch at all when he's stroked
he's purring
he's smooching
he's getting up and down stairs and onto worktops fine

Have I been too hasty? Could he be in pain and I don't know?

I would really welcome any advice as I am breaking my heart here as he's pushing his head into my face all the time, purring and won't leave me alone. Sad What if I've got this wrong?

OP posts:
Horsemad · 04/11/2013 22:18

Not an expert at all, but couldn't read & not post. Sorry you're going through this, I had my cat pts last year so know how you feel.

If I'm honest, I should've made the decision earlier- I let my DH persuade me otherwise. I think you have to be guided by your vet, I'm sure they wouldn't advise this unless necessary.

If you're still unsure, play it by ear & take it on a daily basis? He cettainly sounds happy in himself. X

Selks · 04/11/2013 22:23

It's really hard when a cat can seem happy and ok but I would be guided by the vet. You can always ring and talk it over with the vet prior to the appointment if you want - this may be a good idea.
My little fella was just the same as yours when I had to have him put to sleep. It was a terrible decision to make and he seemed happy, but he was in pain but not showing it. I know now I made the right decision.
I feel for you (un-Mumsnetty hug).

befuddledandconfused · 04/11/2013 22:26

Thank you both so much - I don't want to just keep putting it off if it's not the right decision but I'm so confused as he's still himself really apart from the skinniness.

OP posts:
paperclip2 · 04/11/2013 22:29

I am not an expert, but had my old cat PTS a couple of months ago (kidney failure).

From what you describe I don't think it is in pain, when a cat is really poorly it hides from you and doesn't want to interact at all. But if the cat cannot eat at all, it is probably kinder to let it go now rather than wait for it to collapse from hunger surely?

Can you feed him liquid food at all ? I fed my cat with a syringe the last couple of months, so maybe that is an option if it is only the feeding that is a problem right now.

I'd go back and discuss with the vet tomorrow, or if you do not trust the vet, get a second opinion. These are really hard decisions to make and I don't think you will ever feel that you get it right. Discuss it with the vet again and say that you are prepared to nurse the cat as long as it doesn't suffer and see what the vet says.

Pancakeflipper · 04/11/2013 22:30

I am not an expert either.
Our darling cat died at home and we left it too late. But glad we were with him.

I think all you can do is make sure your cat is comfy. I think there's no miracle, you just get more time together.

Make sure you have phone numbers for vets who do nights if possible so you have a plan if you are taking it day by day (for your own peace of mind)

Oddly enough our cat who ignore me and worshipped DP, spent his final week sat on my knee purring away and licking my hand. I like to think it was his way of saying goodbye and thank you for looking after me.

Will be thinking of you.

Lovethesea · 04/11/2013 22:30

When my tabbie rescue was hit by a car in May he got home with a smashed front leg and hid it from us. He lay on my bed all night. He purred. I stroked him and he didn't flinch. Only the next day when he jumped down did I see how mangled the leg was and got him to the vet.

He needed months of cage rest, orthopedic surgery and external and internal leg pins. He was on a lot of painkillers. But he hid it all. Cats are stupidly stoical at times.

Another cat I had stopped eating, had organ failure and yet purred and purred like a kitten on me as I took him to be PTS.

His purring can be to calm himself and try to heal himself but sadly he could be suffering too. I don't think you are being hasty. Better sooner before he suffers too much than leaving it for a while when they are so hard to read - he could be suffering and how would you know?

He needs no time to arrange his affairs or say his goodbyes. He lives in the moment, loved by you and feeling safe. I can't think of a better end.

DramaAlpaca · 04/11/2013 22:32

I couldn't read this & not post. I'm no expert, but I remember reading on here recently that it's better to do it a bit too soon than a bit too late.

Your cat has had a lovely life with you, but he is clearly very unwell & will inevitably deteriorate, and of course you don't want him to suffer. I'm sure your vet has given you good advice.

Sorry you & your cat are going through this

befuddledandconfused · 04/11/2013 22:33

You're all so kind - I think I know that he needs to go, but he still acts like a kitten although he's almost 12 and it's hard, isn't it? If it's not tomorrow, I guess it would just be the next day or the next.

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Lovethesea · 04/11/2013 22:36

I know other pet owners who regret keeping a pet going so long and felt with hindsight it was more for their emotional needs than the pets wellbeing. When you are so close it is hard to see clearly - if it was a friends cat what would you advise them?

Lovethesea · 04/11/2013 22:41

Hug him, cuddle him, sleep with him if he'll let you and give him the blessing of a pain free calm death with you there. It won't be any easier next week or the week after.

befuddledandconfused · 04/11/2013 22:42

That's very true lovethesea - it's be hard whenever it is

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TheNunsOfGavarone · 04/11/2013 22:46

BefuddledandConfused, this is heart-breaking. I've had both my cats put to sleep in the last few months and appreciate how very hard it is to know when is the right time. Could you phone the vet first thing and talk them through what you've just posted here? I agree it doesn't sound as if he's quite ready to go if he's getting on to worktops with no problem.

That said, I think it's better to let them go sooner rather than later. I regret terribly procrastinating over having my sweet boy put to sleep, to the point where he likely injured himself through weakness. As LoveTheSea and my vet said, he doesn't have any affairs to put in order and he doesn't have any appointments to keep.

Thinking of you and your lovely boy.

saintmerryweather · 04/11/2013 22:46

i wouldnt wait until the cat was suffering personally, you know hes not going to get any better and i would prefer to remember the cat how he is, still purring and fairly happy. better a day too soon than a week too late

saintmerryweather · 04/11/2013 22:51

im sorry you're having to go through this btw x we had our dog put down when he started to find it hard to get up and was very stiff walking. we kept him going over christmas then had him pts. he loved christmas

ParkerTheThief · 04/11/2013 22:52

I try and use the matra better a day too soon than a day too late.

It really is the hardest decision to make

befuddledandconfused · 04/11/2013 22:52

I can't thank you all enough. I've been ready all day for people to tell me I'm being daft, but everyone has been so kind in real life and here. I hope you all have many happy times with your own pets - I'll take my dog out once it's over and have a good old cry. Thank you again.

OP posts:
befuddledandconfused · 04/11/2013 22:59

I'm going to take him up to bed with me now and hug him all night. If he disappears, it will hopefully be to my youngest who has taken to holding him in his arms all night. I'll cuddle him while he goes tomorrow and tell myself that's what we all want really, to pass while we're loved in the arms of someone who cares for us.

OP posts:
TheNunsOfGavarone · 04/11/2013 23:04

Befuddledandconfused, hugs to you and your darling cat. He knows how loved he is.

hellymelly · 04/11/2013 23:07

It really sounds like the right thing. I had a cat with a liver tumour, and we had him operated on as the vet thought he had a chance, but he died a few months later. My dog died last year, after a tumour on his liver started bleeding. He was pts, but he would only have lived a day at most. It is very very hard to judge when to pts. My last vet said that he would rather do it too soon, than too late, whereas I have probably slightly gone the other way with some of my pets but then sometimes looked back and felt bad. Whenever you choose, it is always terrible. Going with your heart is hard when an animal is there, loved and alive. I had a dog pts in very similar circs to you, and even now I sometimes wonder if I should have given him longer, although I do know really that it was the right call, it was just so upsetting, and my longing to have him back is still there, 15 years later. I am so sorry you are facing the loss of your lovely friend, this responsibilty is the hardest part of having animals. If only they could all die in their sleep in their favourite spot in the sun, like my neighbours cat.
One thing- with one of my cats, the vet came and put her to sleep at home, which spared her the journey and stress. That may be possible in your case, if you wanted that.

SecretNutellaFix · 04/11/2013 23:11

It is the right choice.

He is currently not in any pain that you can tell. He is being loved. I once left it too long and my old cat was desperately unwell in his last few days but still so affectionate.

It is the final loving kindness for him.

Floralnomad · 04/11/2013 23:12

I will think of you tomorrow ,I've had to make the decision to have our 10 yr old rabbit PTS this evening ,he has been very unwell and on daily visits to the vet since last Thursday . I've bought him home and am taking him to the crematorium at 10 tomorrow Sad .

OlympicSleepingChampion · 04/11/2013 23:36

I think you have made the right decision, as heartbreaking as it is. I have said goodbye to four beloved cats and have cried like a baby for each one. They were so loved and were members of the family. But I know that for each one of them it was the right thing to do.

But maybe you could consider getting the vet to visit to PTS? They all do this. I know it costs a bit more but for me it really helped knowing that I hadn't added to their stress by them having to be put into a basket and then sit in the vet's waiting room. But I am as soft as shite.

All my cats so far have been PTS whilst sitting on my knee in their home and that gives me enormous comfort. Give your vet a call in the morning and ask about a home visit. Yes it will cost more but I promise you it is the best way to say goodbye.

timtam23 · 05/11/2013 00:25

I am so sorry that you are having to make this decision

But I would say better a bit too early than even a day too late

My beautiful 18 yr old cat was put to sleep 2 months ago (old age + kidney failure) - I don't think she was suffering/in pain as such but over a weekend she stopped eating/drinking and started to hide herself away - our last day with her was very stressful for me because I could see that she was fading away and I was dreading the next day, I would have loved to stroke & cuddle her & have her sleep on the bed one last time but she really was withdrawing from us and was a shadow of her former self. With hindsight I could have had her put to sleep a few days earlier and it would still have been the right time and the final memories of her would have been happier ones. So for your cat I would think you are making the right decision.

Also I did take my cat to the vet to be PTS but they allowed me to take her in as soon as they opened so there was no one else around & no dogs. If there had been a normal surgery in progress I could not have sat there with her and I would have asked if a vet could come to the house (my vet had already said that this would be possible, obviously it costs more than at the surgery)

Another last thing - I had thought about cremation etc so was able to tell the vet what I wanted - was glad I'd thought this through in advance as the vet asked me lots of question there & then about caskets etc and it would have been too much to think about for the first time as I was finding it hard to take much in apart from the poor cat.

Thoughts are with you for tomorrow and lots of strokes for your cat

Horsemad · 05/11/2013 07:06

Thinking of you today, OP. XX

cozietoesie · 05/11/2013 07:49

Thinking of you, also.

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