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Prolonging the life of a dying cat

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Fafeena's on her way out, there's not fudging around that. She's blind in one eye, & seemed about 40 years older when I let her out of the shed this am than she was last night when I put her in there.

But her good days still outnumber her bad days! I really want her to die on her own, but so far, she isn't helping me any. So, before I go decide I want to euthanize her & regret it.... Right now, I can't, not when she seems to be having so many good days....and it's going to cool down some, she always reverts back to kitten in the fall....

Her eye is completely clouded over now, I think from cataracts. She had lost weight earlier in the summer, but has gained some of that back, as usual. She drools quite a bit because she's in need of a dental, but in her condition, it isn't practical.

Is there anything I can do for her eye? (The vet in town suggested removal, but at her age he won't do it) I'm thinking anti-biotics might not be a bad idea for her, that it might help with the teeth being icky & the drooling. I wash her face daily. I want to bring her indoors, but she won't buy it, so far, she is staying locked in the shed when I put her in there.

I could use any thoughts that might make the last part of Fafeena's life a little better. I have never actually had to decide on a cat of my own, when to euthanize & when to not. She'll tell me, I hope. She is at a disadvantage being outside. But she eats Senior food 2x a day, canned 2x a day, & is otherwise free fed adult cat with the other cats.

This was Fafeena(dilute calico) in Feb. 2006

This is her about a week or two ago:

post #2 of 19
this is going to sound cliche ... BUT you will know when is when

Spend more time with her ... is it at all feasable to bring her in ??
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've tried multiple times to bring her in the house, she's always wanted out(or escaped)....but perhaps it might be worth trying again. I'll have to get her in for FeLV testing first. But it might be worth it.
post #4 of 19
I would hate to have to make the decision but yeah, I think you will know when she is not enjoying her life anymore and is suffering. Maybe some anti-biotics would help her a bit or at least give her a little longer?
post #5 of 19
First of all, I am very sorry that your beloved friend's on her way out... I trust that you'll make the right decision about her last days--she'll let you know when she's ready.

As for her eye, I wish I knew what my mum's vet did for our old cat Bowson... he had been blind in one eye due to injury for many years, and when he reached about fifteen it starting oozing blood and fluid. I am almost positive that the matter was rectified without an actual medical procedure... he was a very old cat... he treated it with something, and the cat did lose his eye, but I don't think it was surgical.

Maybe that's total nonsense and my memory is off. But that is definitely how I recall it.
post #6 of 19
It's a matter of balancing her quality of life versus her pain/weakness/etc... Some cats want to hold on and be with you until they absolutely have to go; others seem to go downhill fast. Even in humans we know that survival time with a terminal illness, or in very old age, is often a matter of how long the person wants to hold out. Cats are the same way.

When your cat's existence starts to become more bad than good, you will know she is telling you it's time. You say her good days outnumber her bad days--I think she still wants to stay a little longer, then.

Enjoy those good days... Make sure she knows she is loved; that you are willing to let her make the decision when it's time. One day you'll know... she'll go downhill fast, or be in pain... But until then, you have her to spend time with.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
I got Frontline for her(switch from Revolution because of age), & Clavamox as well. If the eye starts to weep, the vet tech said to bring her in. They'll likely just put her on something like terramycin as the damage is already done.

I brought her inside. She's got a lot of spunk left. I have a massive gash on my arm. I have to go to the dr. now tomorrow. So, I think I "scratched"(sorry for the pun) the idea of her being inside.
post #8 of 19
sorry if I missed it but I didnt read where her age is? how old is she? and can i ask why you keep her in a shed? is she a feral?sorry for the questions but I cant see the photos either
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
She's 14 years old. She was born to a feral mother on my parent's farm. Feb. 2006 I finally convinced them to spay/neuter all the farm cats. She isn't always kept in the shed, but right now, I have her in there most of the time so I can treat her. She is strictly outdoors(no lectures about that, please!). She isn't a feral, she is a complete pet. I grew up with this kitty....I mean, she would follow me everywhere & still does. Fafeena goes for walks with me & the dogs. She is harness & leash trained.
post #10 of 19
why would I lecture you on her being outdoors?better outdoors than euthanised in a shelter,as long as their being looked afterand you sound like your looking after herthanks for telling me her age,14 sounds a very good age for a mainly outdoor kittie.
I wouldnt worry too much about wether she can see through her eye if its clouded all animals suffer from cataracts,They do compensate for the loss of vision.What you need to watch out for is the eye swelling up larger than her other eye,not the actual pupil but the whole eyeball itself and if there is any discharge from the eye.
If she is happy and contented then just carry on making her last moments happy
You will know when the time comes and if you dont see it, she will show you
By the way my cat used to come walks with me and my dogso cute
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Many people here aren't thrilled with outdoors only cats. So, I automatically put the "no lecture" part.

I spoke with the vet tech today, she said to watch for the discharge or anything "odd" about her eye. Other than the cloudiness, it looks good. The white of the eye is nice & white, not red or anything. No weeping, either.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Many people here aren't thrilled with outdoors only cats. So, I automatically put the "no lecture" part.

I spoke with the vet tech today, she said to watch for the discharge or anything "odd" about her eye. Other than the cloudiness, it looks good. The white of the eye is nice & white, not red or anything. No weeping, either.

I agree in some places like(living next door to a motorway/freeway people should keep their cats in) but I know nothing about you and wouldnt even attempt to tell you how you should look after your kitties,you know more than anybody what environment your kitties have and if Faffeena has lived to a ripe old age of 14 then what right has anybody got to criticize you? you should not have to defend your motives everytime you post something about Faffeena.

I dont want to turn your thread about Faffeena into a debate but,unless people know the full circumstances and the environmental surroundings of a situation then they should keep their opinions to themselves

Thats great she has no weeping eye though,sounds like she may just be feeling the effects of old age,do you think she may have arthiritis?you could supplement her diet with some omega 3
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've wondered about arthritis....but I do not think so. The vet game me a supplement that he reccomended for senior cats awhile ago & I've been giving that to her.
post #14 of 19
Natalie - you will know when it is her time. The most obvious one is that she quits eating. It will start with slow weight loss and her coat will become more and more scraggily. And if she loves you, she will try to eat on your behalf, not her own. Don't give up on her medical needs as it sounds like she has a lot of spunk and if you let that slide, it might push her over the edge more quickly. Honestly? It sounds like she has some good quality time left in her life right now.

post #15 of 19
Natalie, I am wondering (not my biz really, I do not want an answer, but for you to consider my question), how come it is not feasible to have her teeth done? Is she in apparent pain from her eye so it seems not worth it?

My vet uses gas to anesthetize older kitties for dental work. I understand the financial reality of this but at 14, she could possibly have many more comfortable years in her.

As far as euthanasia (and I have made this decision many times, and sometimes it has been economically based, unfortunately), I agree, you will know. My kitties not only stopped eating, but would go under furniture and hide, curl up tightly as if to shut out the world.

She is lovely and sounds like quite a character. Love her while you can.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
She had a hard time after her spay in Feb. 2006, she spent a day longer at the vet's because she wasn't waking up or moving right. She almost died having a hernia repaired a year ago. The vet used the anesthesia for older kitties both times & it still almost killed her. The history of problems with surgery, along with her age, & general physical condition, makes me & the vet uncomfortable with surgery. She just looks tough.

She lost quite a bit of weight, she's always looked "preggo", but it was just fat. She looked like a normal cat earlier this summer, but now she's tubbing out again, so I feel better. She still eats heartily & beats the other cats out of their food.

I gave her the first Clavamox.....after 15 minutes I ground it in food & I *think* she ate it. After the rip she gave me in my arm yesterday, I was cautious! (BTW I'm on anti-biotics now too )
post #17 of 19
So sorry about your cat. I think she would like to do the things that she has been doing - maybe your fussing over her too much (i.e. the scratch in the arm).

I would let her be and and let her enjoy her last days the way she wants to without the fuss.

The only way I would put her down is if she were in extensive pain, otherwise it would only be natural she go on her own way.
post #18 of 19
She looks good! She could still have several good years left in her if you keep her on good food and watch her for injuries and such. Lots of cats go their wholelife with just one good eye so the cataracts on the one shouldn't slow her down too much.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Callista View Post
It's a matter of balancing her quality of life versus her pain/weakness/etc... Some cats want to hold on and be with you until they absolutely have to go; others seem to go downhill fast. Even in humans we know that survival time with a terminal illness, or in very old age, is often a matter of how long the person wants to hold out. Cats are the same way.

When your cat's existence starts to become more bad than good, you will know she is telling you it's time. You say her good days outnumber her bad days--I think she still wants to stay a little longer, then.

Enjoy those good days... Make sure she knows she is loved; that you are willing to let her make the decision when it's time. One day you'll know... she'll go downhill fast, or be in pain... But until then, you have her to spend time with.
I was about ready to reply, but I think Callista says it best.

You will know, and so will your baby, when the time is right. You'll both feel it in your heart, and she will let you know.

She still looks & sounds fairly healthy to me. I think you still have time together. It is never an easy decision to make, but we do it b/c of the love we have for our fur-babies.

I will be sending good vibes & blessings your way.

KittKatt
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