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Owners of Older Kitties

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So Dino & Pepsi are both over 13 yrs - Dino does a lot of sleeping and Pepsi does too, but she can be sprightly now and then and of course, catches the odd bunny or two, or 4 in the last 2 weeks

Anyways, for those of you with kits of this age and you worry a lot about 'loosing' them when they are alseep - you know you come down one morning and they have passed away in the night

I know this is the way I rather them go, but it frightens the hell outta me
post #2 of 20
If I had my choice, that is the way I would love for them to go to the Bridge, when Sambo was so sick, I often wished that, I really didn't wanna hafta make that decision to have him put to sleep.
post #3 of 20
It crosses my mind once in a while.
I would actually hope for Spaz to go that way.
For 13 years (after we figured out she had allergies), she has been the healthiest cat I've ever had.
Yes, she sleeps a lot more than she used to, but she cannot resist good interactive play and occasionally, she'll even get a bug in her butt and spaz out with a toy on her own.

I love all my kitties dearly, but Spaz is my everything.
post #4 of 20
My kitty is 10 years old. That thought has crossed my mind and it scares me.
post #5 of 20
I lost my 19 year-old kitty, Shasta, nearly 3 years ago. She had cancer and I just prayed that she'd go to sleep and not wake up, that way I wouldn't have to make the decision to let her go.

Now, I've got a 14 year-old and a 17 year-old, and I don't worry about them going to sleep and not waking up, but having to make that decision again.
post #6 of 20
Out of all the elder cats, only 2 have passed away at home. It wasn't in their sleep. I held them the whole time they went through the stages of death. That was very hard. Sometimes you can't get to the vet to make that decision in time.

I would be more at ease if they went peacefully in their sleep.. That would make it a little easier.
post #7 of 20
Maybe it's just that I havn't had Nya her entire life, or that I *just* found out she's a senior last year, but I just don't think about losing her! She's still too young in my mind to even think of her passing in her sleep (she's 12-ish), but she does sleep a LOT!

Funny enough, Matt asked me today how long I figure Nya has left, and I said I just don't picture her going anywhere anytime soon. I hope she'll live to be 18 or more!
post #8 of 20
Joji is way over 13 followed by Skinny (both rescued strays, so no idea how old they are). They also sleep a lot and they also go on overdrive like kittens once in a while.
But yes, sometimes I watch them sleep and hope that their little chests are moving. However, if it is the time to leave, I prefer it were in their natural sleep.
post #9 of 20
Harvey's 16, and, like many others have said, what I worry about is him having a lengthy illness or having to make a decision to put him to sleep.

Several years ago, my beloved Hunny Bunny died of a sudden stroke. I held her while she went to the Rainbow Bridge. It was very, very hard, but I'm now extremely thankful that she didn't suffer and I was able to be with her when she went. I know in my heart that it made it easier for her.

I also know from experience with humans that I've loved that, even harder than losing someone is watching someone you love suffer. I don't want to believe that my boys will ever leave me, but when they do I hope they go peacefully.
post #10 of 20
With Spot, I always worried I would come home from work and find him gone. He was a stray I found as an old cat, and he was not very healthy (hyperthyroidism, nasal issues, and frequent abscesses). I would come home and he would come out to greet me. If he didn't, I'd get really worried, but he was usually fine, and I'd find him sleeping somewhere. The day before he passed, he didn't come out to greet me, and I found him weak in my bedroom with a fever. Despite emergency care that night and spending the following day at the vet, he passed due to heart failure.

The only cat that passed at home was my childhood cat, who passed very suddenly after I had moved out. My parents said they greeted him and went downstairs. Shortly thereafter, they heard a noise, and he was gone within minutes. He had a heart murmur his entire life and passed from either a heart attack or a stroke.

With Odo and Willow, I don't worry as much as I did with Spot. First, I know they are pretty healthy. Odo is estimated to be almost 15 years old, and Willow is 8 years old, so they aren't super young, but I just don't have the same fears about them. The only time I worry is if Odo doesn't greet me when I come home from work, or if Willow doesn't come when I've called her. Most of the worry about Willow comes from the time she nearly hung herself on the cords for the miniblinds (the ones in my current residence hang loose and aren't knotted).

Thirteen years old is not especially old for a cat--on some groups I'm on there are cats over 20. Do your cats have any medical conditions like heart murmurs? If not, then just monitor them for changes and always tell them you love them before you leave or go to bed.
post #11 of 20
Kandie sleeps alot but when she is up she is a spry 18.5 yr old .... I say it is diet ... she was slowing down but with mostly raw food she is a pistol... the Er clinic looked at me like I was nuts when i said something was wrong ( she has a uti found by her vet ) //// They just dont see kitties in shape at her age ... She has CRF and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND yearly seniors for kitties over 8 yrs old ... Most who see her think she may be 6-10
post #12 of 20
That's what happened to Spooky - but he had a heart attack somewhere between 5am in the morning and 1pm in the afternoon.

IMO its the best way to go - in your sleep - little or no suffering. Spooky was 15 1/2 yrs old - I didn't think he would survive the winter this year - he died in October.
post #13 of 20
I've definitely thought about this too. I have not been through the loss of a pet before, and it kills me to think about it.

Both of my dogs, and now our new kitty are seniors (new kitty could be about 14 yrs old). Like you said, mooficat, passing away in their sleep would probably be 'best', but it would be such a shock. Also, I might feel sad I did not get a chance to say 'goodbye'.
post #14 of 20
Peaches is only around 7 and I worry about it already. I just don't know what I would do. Jake is even younger and I think about it with him a lot. Especially since I almost lost him twice.
post #15 of 20
Its not something I worry far out of the 11 cats that went to the bridge 6 were euthanized, 3 were itty bitty babies 1 died at home and one was a stray who got hit by a car. I would much rather wake up and find cat has to be put to sleep-I feel confident I know the right time, I don't try and wait or get them better when the odds are unfavorable(2 pts with liver issues-Vet said it wasn'ta good option to keep them going and I pts on the spot-no forcing food or holding them down and making their pain last.) i also could have attempted surgery on a urinary blockage cat but i will not put a cats pain above my own. once in a while i will look at one of my older cats(or for that any SOUND asleep cat and make sure theyare breathing but in general i guess cause i interact with them all so often I seem to notice right away when something is slightly off. I have lost 2 cats within weeks of another twice...that always gets me hard just cause of that what if its a contagious thing-even when i KNOW its not.
post #16 of 20
I also worry about losing my senior cat as well in her sleep. I really would prefer she goes that way. It would also be hard because I wouldn't have had the chance to say goodbye to our sweetheart. Kuce is about 14 years old this year and I hope she has many years left. She does sleep more than the younger two but she can keep up with them if she wants too.

We lost our 18 year old boy Sphinx almost 4 years ago because of Lymphoma. At least we had the chance to say goodbye to him.
post #17 of 20
My Abby is 10 and she has had a lot of health problems over the past few years. She's my baby, so I do worry about her dying. But I know she can't outlive me and that it's going to happen someday. I just hope it's peaceful when she does go.

I lost Jessica almost 3 years ago. She was 19 and had cancer. She died just 5 days after we found out she was ill. I had the strangest thing happen before she died... I had gone to WalMart that day and for some reason, I just started freaking out in the middle of an aisle. I got this gut feeling that I needed to leave and go home, so I did. Left my cart full of stuff and went home. Jessica was having trouble walking and breathing, so she'd move a few steps and sit down. But all day long, she kept making the rounds to all of her favorite spots in the house. So I had a feeling her time was going to be soon. That night, around 11:45pm, me, my mom, and my dad were all sitting in my room around the chair that Jessy was laying on. Dad left and went to bed. Mom left to go to the bathroom. It was just me and her, and that's when she lifted her head (which she hadn't done in days because she was too weak) and looked back at me. Looked right into my eyes as if she was saying goodbye. Then she peed on the blanket in the chair. So I lifted her up and set her on my bed, brought the blanket out to the washer, and came back to my room. I sat on my bed and she was trying to get into the pet carrier I had on my bed. She liked sleeping in that when she was sick. So I went to pick her up and put her inside, and there was this force that literally pushed her into my arms as I was trying to put her inside the pet carrier. It was the strangest thing that I just cannot describe to anyone. By that point, my mom was in there with me too and she saw it happen so I know I wasn't just distraught and crazy! Haha All of this happened on a Sunday when the vet clinic was closed, so we decided that if Jessica made it until Monday, that we needed to put her to sleep. Just moments later, she passed away in my arms.

I had never lost anything or anyone close to me before, so Jessica was my first experience of death. I'm a firm believer that all things happen for reasons that we never find out until later on. I believe her death was to prepare me for what I was later going to go through with my grandmother, who, oddly enough, had cancer that was too far progressed to do anything about and passed away last May.

After everything I've experienced over the past few years, it is my wish for all - human and animal lives - to die peacefully in their sleep. I know it's frightening, but it's a lot better than some other ways there are to die. I watched my grandmother suffer until the very last breath she took, and that is something I wouldn't wish on anyone or anything.
post #18 of 20
Gryphon (at 13 years) had a six-week run of vet visits during which it was ascertained that "something cancerous" was taking him down, but no mass was ever found. The last visit, we expected to be saying our goodbyes, but the vet told us his heart and lungs were still good and he wasn't suffering, and probably had another couple of weeks, so we took him home and four days later he breathed his last at my Dad's feet. They were together (he was Grampa's boy) and it was good.

Five months later, my old lady Shasta breathed her last on my tummy at the age of 21 years and two months. She had remained active well into that year, sleeping more than previously, but still capable of a kitten skitty. After Gryph went, she really slowed down, but never exhibited any distress other than creaky bones, and about 36 hours before she went she just curled up in a comfortable spot and slept her time away. I knew her time was coming gently and laid her on my tummy on Sunday morning, and she just let go.

Nibs was 15+, and after a few days of moping (in your face cat, totally uncharacteristic) -- I thought because his Daaaaaaad was away -- he refused his breakfast. Visit to vet, needed some dental work, turned out to be anemic, so not a good candidate for anesthesia. One thing led to another, and it soon became clear that to get the answers we needed we were going to have to put him through more than was fair to a 15 year old cat -- even one who had not gone seriously downhill in a matter of hours. Him we held, while he was PTS.

My current cats are seven and a half, and not quite 6 (times 2), and I pray that I have many years of their company, before I have to think of end times. Do I watch for breathing when I see one of them curled up sleeping? You bet!
post #19 of 20
I do watch mine when they sleep, but I dont want mine to go in their sleep, only one of mine has gone unexpectedly and not at the vets, and his was the hardest to deal with, as he went alone, and I hate mine going alone - the two at the vets when I wasn't there was hard enough, but at least I know the vet was with them at the end, I dont know that about Ginger, and I will never know if he truly did go as peacefully as he looked. If they have an illness, then the chances of them going peacefully in their sleep isn't a good option, if they are left long enough to go 'naturally' the chances they will have been in pain or suffered are incredibly high, my neighbours dont believe in euthanasia, and I have had to watch one of theirs go downhill and die from kidney issues - it wasn't pleasant, and it wasn't quick either, even my neighbour who doesn't believe in it said he wouldn't want to watch a cat go through that again, she was in a coma for at least 2 hours before finally giving up, I wouldn't want one of my beloved cats to go through that. I think we want them go to in their sleep to avoid that decision, but while it is hard, if they have an illness, you are letting them go the best way, and also, you are making sure they are goign to go in the arms of someone who loves them, and not confused and alone, that truly is the most important thing.
post #20 of 20
I lost my 2 budgies over about the last 18 months. I came in to the sitting room one morning and found Titus dead on the floor of his cage. He had an ongoing digestive problem and I knew he wouldn't see a ripe old age. He had been active and well the previous day, and I imagine that he just keeled over in his sleep. It was of course very sad.

Maximus on the other hand, it is not easy to talk about his death because he was in a lot of pain. When I found him broken, not moving, and barely breathing on the floor of his cage, I thought he would be gone within a few minutes, and certainly before I could get him to the out of hours vet, so I made him a bed in a shoebox and tried to make him as comfortable as possible so that he could die. I made a horrible error of judgment though, he didn't die right away. I still have nightmares about his passing, and I will live with the guilt of wondering if it would have been better to try to get him to the vet to be pts for the rest of my life. Max, I am so sorry that I let you down.

I dread losing any more pets, but I know it will happen sometime (it's difficult to even think about it rationally at the moment as Radar has been quite ill) but when it does I hope for it to be in their sleep and without suffering.
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