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My cat suddenly died, please help.

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
My cat died suddenly. She is about 18lbs and was laying on my desk which is about 2 and a half feet off the ground. She was laying down looking at me and all of a sudden as if something frightened her; she pushed herself off the desk onto the floor and did not land on her feet. She moved her feet frantically as if she was running. She made weird weezing noises as if trying to catch her breath. She was not blinking or moving her head, but her legs were moving initally and stopped. She maintained a heart beat a half minute or so after she stopped moving. What could of happened? She was only 6 years old. I was on my computer and I now feel guilty because I was going to go to bed earlier and she was up on my desk because of me. Please help me, I am really sad and looking for answers.
post #2 of 31
Sometimes there are no answers. The only way you would know is have a necropsy done on her- and even then the results can be nebulous. She could have had a stroke, 18 pounds is a big kitty for a 6 year old. She could have had genetic issues- she might have just landed wrong and ruptured something- it is hard to tell you what happened as I wasn't there and I do not know your cat personally. The necropsy only works if you keep her body as cold as you can till you drop her at the vet. I am sorry you lost your kitty- it is always tough when they leave, no matter how they go.
post #3 of 31
I would not feel guilty. It could have been a heart attack. You can not blame yourself. You didnt do anything to your cat..... I think nature just took its course and be glad you had 6 years together.
post #4 of 31
The way you describe the feet moving reminds me of my dog when she has a seizure. I'm not sure whether one can die from a seizure right away though.

I'm so sorry to hear. Don't feel guilty.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
I keep going back and forth thinking it was my fault. Maybe I could of cought her, but maybe it was a siezure or something. I really do not know. There is no way to tell if it was from the fall or something genetic? Just does not make any sense. She seemed perfectly healthy and no abnormal behavior. It looked like she got scared and hit the floor and went into some sort of siezure/shock and just died. She breathed veryy heavily, but her head, eyes or mouth were not moving after she hit the floor. I tried looking at her staring into her eyes, but looked so lifeless.
post #6 of 31
I am so sorry about your loss. I am no vet, but it sounds like a stroke/heart attack. I don't know if she was overweight for her size, but this can cause both of these things to happen. Since you were right there I would rule out electric shock and things of that nature. You can ask for a necropsy, but they can be expensive, but chances are that she had a sudden death heart attack or stroke. Again, I am sorry for your loss, be glad you were on the computer with her. Chances are this would have happened anyway and your being there and knowing nothing could have been done will help you heal.
post #7 of 31
It definitely sounds like she a had a blood clot, probably causing a heart attack. Unfortunately, heart disease is often silent--when there are no symptoms, there is generally no reason to look for a problem. My big orange tabby died a similar death. He had been just fine when my parents came down the stairs, and he greeted them like always. A little while later, he let out a strange meow, and he was gone within minutes. In his case, we knew he had a heart murmur, but I don't recall treatment being suggested or offered. Often times, there are no symptoms at all. Certain breeds, like Maine Coons and Ragdolls, have a genetic predisposition for HCM.

Regardless, his death is not your fault. This could have happened anywhere he was, even on the floor, so your staying up late did not cause his death. I find that learning more about the cause can help me to understand it and therefore to heal. It is always hard to cope when we lose a loved one, and I hope you allow yourself time to grieve and heal from this loss.

Here are links to more information about Feline HCM:

http://members.aol.com/jchinitz/hcm/
http://harpsie.com/hypertrophic_cardiomyopathy.htm
http://www.petplace.com/cats/hypertr...ats/page1.aspx
post #8 of 31
What you describe is how my Manx died from a seizure. She was on the floor when it happened though. its not your fault.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Is it even possible for a cat to break something from a 2 and a half foot fall? She pushed herself off the desk about 2 feet outward and about 2 and a half feet downward. I have heard stories of cats jumping from very high places and surviving so I am not sure how a 2 and a half foot fall could kill a cat even if they did not land on their feet. Even if she did get scared, why did she not land on her feet? It just not make sense to me. I am not feeling guilty, but this cat was extremely affectionate towards me and I really need to know what happened or maybe someone that had others cats could help. Maybe one of you is a vet. This all happened so fast it felt like a bad dream. For some reason even though I was leaning over her and calling for my parents in the other room to help, I somehow felt that it was too late. I need to know if it was the fall that killed her. Obviously none of you were there, but maybe you can help somehow.
post #10 of 31
I'm not really sure?. If she was fully awake they normally land on their feet?.

It might be an idea to give your vet a ring to discuss what happend and he/she might be able to shed more light?.
post #11 of 31
I'm very sorry for your sudden loss.

It sounds to me like the fall was a result of whatever caused her death, not the other way around. 2 and a half feet is not a tall height, and something was obviously wrong before she fell.

Try not to beat yourself up about this. By the sounds of it, it would have happened whether you were there or not, and you were "lucky" enough to be there for her in her last couple minutes.

Heart attack/stroke/blood clot/seizure all sound like the most likely possibilities to me. Perhaps read up a bit about those....it might help you understand that there wasn't anything you could do!

I hope that you find some peace soon.
post #12 of 31
I think it sounds more as though whatever it was that she died from affected her before she jumped off the desk, causing her to land badly, rather than her landing badly causing the seizure.

Humans often get symptoms before a seizure or a migraine that warns us that they're coming. You say she woke as if at a fright - it's possible she began experiencing symptoms suddenly, had a shocked reaction, jumped off the desk (animals often take off when they are distressed or sick) and couldn't make it any further.

It certainly wasn't your fault and sounds to me like a stroke. I am not a vet and can only offer an opinion; I'm sorry if it's not very helpful. Mostly I just wanted to say I'm so sorry that you lost your kitty, especially in such a distressing way for you both. Poor little girl - at least you had six lovely years together and it was good that when she went, you were by her side.
post #13 of 31
I do not think the fall had anything to do with her death. A stroke, heart attack or seizure could all cause her to suddenly get frightened(maybe she sensed death coming, couldn't breathe, her body was shutting down??) and she fell b/c her body was not working properly anymore. I'm sure you giving her comfort on the floor during it was all you could have done, but unfortunately you probably won't ever know for sure what caused it.

I am so sorry for your loss. Hang in there .
post #14 of 31
Sounds like a seizure or a stroke. My house mate at one time had a kitten that had a seizure and it was over very quickly and he died. There is nothing you can do. But the cat did that running thing. A 2 foot fall would not a killed her. Even scared cats land on their feet.
post #15 of 31
I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. Don't blame yourself--there's nothing you could have done.
post #16 of 31
I am really sorry too. Please don't blame yourself. It is really hard not to though so I understand. I lost my kitty suddenly 3 months ago and we had to make a hurried decision to put him to sleep. We definitely felt guilty. I know you think about it after the fact. But this sounds like something happened like a heart attack and that caused the fall. Just stay here in this forum and we will get you through it.
post #17 of 31
Aaaawww I'm *so* sorry you lost your baby

*hugs*
post #18 of 31
Really sorry you lost your kitty. I agree strongly with what some of the others are saying - that your kitty had a stroke or heart attack and that's when she leapt off your desk. You were there, it was unlikely that you didn't notice a noise or anything that could have spooked her so badly that she leapt right off.

Whatever it is, she's resting and playing happily over the bridge now. Be glad for the small things, like the 6 years you spent with her, that you were with her in her final seconds of life, and that she died relatively quickly and painlessly. RIP kitty... What was her name?
post #19 of 31
I am really sorry for you loss, and I am sure there was nothing you could have done. It sounds like some sort of terrible disease process. As others have said, heart attack or clot. I had a friend who had a small dog and he was going out the door to go to the bathroom, and suddenly fell down the stairs and died. He was only 2. When the vet at the emergancy place looked at him she said he had a heart condition and she could tel by the color of his gums. My friend had taken him to the vet, for his checkups and he was neutered, sometimes things like this just slip under the vets radar.

Again I am sorry, be kind to yourself and take the time to grieve. What you are feeling is normal. It is so hard when they are suddenly taken from us.
post #20 of 31
Im so sorry you lost your kitty. I agree also with everyone else that it was probably a stroke/heart attack. There really isn't anything you could have done, and you were not the cause no matter how late you were on the computer. It would have happened regardless of that, and at least you were there for her to comfort her.
post #21 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your support. Her name was Tillie. She was pure white cat and very fluffy. She was also deaf as majority of pure whice cats are. That is why it could not of been a noise that startled her. I am not sure if a cat could get that scared to cause a heart attack or siezure. She was always a jittery one if you woke her up, but she would just look up quickly and make a purring sound. This time it was strange and she leaped in such suprise/fear that I have never seen before. She looked so peacefully laying on the desk and then she got startled by something, looked at me, turned her head to behind her and pushed herself off like to get away from something. It was very scary for me to watch and not be able to do anything.

I know pure white cats can sometimes come with problems accompanied by being deaf, but I do not have much information on this. Maybe one of you could share some information. I am really not sure if this played a role in her death and I cannot afford an autopsy right now for a cat. That is the main reason I am here trying to gain more answers to somehow bring myself closure. It is somewhat clear that no answer will take away the pain, but your continued support has helped me through this. I sit in my room now with her brother Oliver and I get this 'void' feeling like something is missing and everything I look at in here reminds me of her.

I know she is a cat, but she was the most affectionate cat you could possibly know. Whenever I was sick or cold, she was there by my side to bring me warmth, when I had a tough time at school she comforted me. I also had surgeries over a 3 year period and she was always there for me. She took care of me and loved her brother Oliver very much even though he teased her. She was also very protective of who got close to me. If my mother came in, she would watch her like a hawk from the highest point in the room and if she could not see my face, she would fly across the room and step between me and my mother (even though my mother would just be giving me a kiss or something as harmless as that). She was such a strong cat and she loved me so much. She would sleep next to me every night and put her head on the same pillow. It was if it was from a movie. She was the best feline companion I ever had. She walked around as if she was a princess with high-heels on. She walked daintly and would put her two front paws on top of her water dish before drinking. Her affection was like a mother, but as a cat.
post #22 of 31
I am so sorry Tillie passed away. From your description of what happened it sounds like Tillie had a stroke or heart attack.

RIP Tillie
post #23 of 31
Could have been a brain anuryism. Those happen suddenly, as do strokes and heart attacks. I'm really sorry you lost her.
post #24 of 31
I don't think that fall would in any way have killed her, or even harmed her. I agree that it was probably something sudden inside her - stroke or aneurysm, something like that. I think it's normal in the immediate aftermath to what if, what if ... but when the initial grief (and the huge shock you're in, too) eases up -- and that may take a few months -- I hope you'll be able to find comfort in the fact that she was with you, her best pal.

I'm sorry about your sweet cat. She sounds wonderful and we can tell you loved her very much.
post #25 of 31
I'm so sorry for your loss. Tillie sounded like a wonderful, loving cat. How nice that you had her in your life for 6 years. A cat like Tillie can live to 226 years old and still pass away 'too young' I understand the void you speak about...you're missing holding her and loving her. It hurts so much.
Perhaps the frightened look she had was something she felt in her body, not so much something she sensed outside her body. Perhaps a sudden pain frightened her...and she jumped off the desk to run from it. To have you there for her final moments must have given her comfort...even if her eyes looked empty....she would sense your closeness. She travelled to The Bridge knowning that she was greatly loved.
All of us here never feel that our cats are 'just' cats....they are members of our families and are treated as well as we treat our human family...sometimes better........they give us such love, comfort, a joyous feeling of contentment.....it seems that we can't live without them.
You will miss Tillie..that is to be expected. Don't blame yourself..enjoy her memory and all the good times you had with her. Give Oliver extra hugs and kisses....he'll miss her too.
Sending hugs your way...
post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXCAT08 View Post
All of us here never feel that our cats are 'just' cats....they are members of our families and are treated as well as we treat our human family...sometimes better........they give us such love, comfort, a joyous feeling of contentment.....it seems that we can't live without them.
I for one believe there is not such thing as "Just a cat". I have been so lucky to be blessed by working at a cat shelter an I know no matter how feral or abused they are each one offers something special! I know your special kitty was no differnt.
post #27 of 31
I don't have much to add to what has already been said, but firstly, I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Secondly, it does sound like it could have been a seizure, caused by something other than her fall. One of my cats died a couple of months ago, she had been sick for a couple of weeks and had fluid in her chest cavity. They didn't ever figure out what was causing the fluid, but after bringing her home from one of the many vet trips she had 2 seizures a couple of hours apart and her heart stopped during the 2nd one. She was on the floor both times, but she would suddenly roll over on her side and twitched and also panted with her tongue sticking out. She also got a glassy look in her eyes like they wouldn't focus.

I know how hard it is to think you may never know what really happened. May your baby rest in peace!
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DinahGen View Post
I don't have much to add to what has already been said, but firstly, I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Secondly, it does sound like it could have been a seizure, caused by something other than her fall. One of my cats died a couple of months ago, she had been sick for a couple of weeks and had fluid in her chest cavity. They didn't ever figure out what was causing the fluid, but after bringing her home from one of the many vet trips she had 2 seizures a couple of hours apart and her heart stopped during the 2nd one. She was on the floor both times, but she would suddenly roll over on her side and twitched and also panted with her tongue sticking out. She also got a glassy look in her eyes like they wouldn't focus.

I know how hard it is to think you may never know what really happened. May your baby rest in peace!

This is similar to what happened. I feel I can go more in-depth now (as I am more calm).

This is what happened. I was going to go to bed early, but decided to take a shower and stay on the computer to relax a half hour or so. I was listening to music on the computer and she jumped up from the side and layed infront of my monitor on my desk waiting for me to come to bed. Her head was to the left and was facing me and looked as if she was going to sleep as she always did as she waited for me. She layed there with her head up with her eyes closed facing me. Out of no where, she opened her eyes real wide and her pupils looked severely dialated (almost all black). She looked at me as if surprised/frightened and then quickly turned around as if to look behind her or at the monitor. She then pushed herself off the desk and landed on the floor. It all happened so fast and not sure if she hit anything on the way down. My desk is only 2.5 feet off the ground so I do not think the fall could of done anything. She did not land on her feet and she seemed as if she was gasping for air. I looked at her face and her eyes were dialated and did not react to me waving my finger infront of her eyes. Her jaw seemed frozen and looked like she had no facial control or movement. Her tongue just hung to the side. When she hit the floor, she moved all her feet frantically in a running motion. She seemed as if she was gasping for air. I felt her chest and it felt as if her heart was still beating, but she was not moving and was still gasping for air, but her face looked as if she was already dead. Everything happened in a time frame of maybe two to five minutes at most. There was nothing I can do and it was the worst feeling in the world that I could not nothing for her besides watch in pain.

Sorry I did not describe more earlier, but it was too hard and I would get sad while typing. I kept blaming myself trying to convince myself that if I would of just went to bed, she still would of been alive sleeping next to me. These are some of the things that people mentioned that could of happened:

electric shock from computer - I checked everything on the desk and there seems to be nothing that could of done that. Nothing shorted out when it happened and I heard no sparks. She did not meow cry.

broken back or neck - This was the first thing I thought because she had trouble breathing and was unable to move her head. She did fall, but people told me that it is highly unlikely that she could of broken anything from just 2.5 feet high even if she hit something on the way down. I thought maybe she hit the side of the computer chair or maybe the dresser, but it did not seem possible that she hit anything.

siezure heart attack, stroke - This seems to be the most logical and what many people are telling me, but hard for me to believe because she looked perfecly normal. However, I have noticed that she would throw up more frequently like a few times amonth for the past 2-3 months and would be very brownish and fowl smelling. I did not recognize that as a problem because of how much she shed and how fluffy she was. Just never occured to me that she was sick because she never acted like it. Her eating habits never changed, never slept all day or bathroom problems. Besides being somewhat heavy (15lbs), she did everything and played as any healthy cat would. She loved her laser toy. She went nuts playing with it


*sigh* It all happened so fast I was in shock. It felt like a bad dream that I could not wake up from. I felt like crying, but couldn't.
post #29 of 31
Allow yourself to cry...it is healing. You did nothing wrong...you were a loving mom to your cat. Something went wrong with her....before she hit the floor.

Take one day at a time..grieve for your loss..and enjoy all the wonderful memories that you have of her. It wasn't your fault. Things like that happen for unknown reasons......I know it....my beloved little Max died suddenly as well.....he was just 5....and I still miss him like crazy....but I don't blame myself anymore. Time will heal the pain, believe me...we've all been through it.

Hugs to you...
post #30 of 31
Was she overweight at all? When my Cat died having a siezureit was terrible. She had them since she was a kitten though. Manx Cats have defects that can cause them. When my Stormy died last Dec her only symptoms was barfing and it wasnt all the time. She would drool once in a while also. One day I found her almost dead and she had seemed ok earlier that day. We went to the vet within 30 minutes and her Kidneys were gone and she could not be saved. Its not your fault. If you ever need to talk pm. My lucy died very sudden also. Died in the car on the way to the er.
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