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just venting

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi...not sure if this is the right place to post, but I felt the need to vent to other cat lovers. Friends of ours have two 16+ year old cats. They are indoor only and they are much loved by their owners. However, these kitties haven't been to a vet in years. One of the cats has always been skinny, but according to my friend she is barely eating now and no longer grooming. This cat is practically a walking skeleton and has bad arthritis to boot. The other cat is in better shape but has already lost several teeth, probably experiencing at least some pain/discomfort in the process. Despite all this, they still haven't taken the cats to a vet. I've suggested more than once that they do so (trying very hard not to get hostile) but they seem to think that because the cats are old there is nothing much that can be done anyway and IMHO I think they are afraid of getting bad news. I don't believe the issue is monetary either even though they've made comments about vets suggesting expensive treatments that aren't necessary. To their credit they are doing things at home to try to make the cats more comfortable, but I've tried to explain that there are things a vet may be able to help with that could improve the cats' quality of life that aren't necessarily overly expensive or invasive. Apparently they've had negative vet experiences in the past and I get the feeling that they think all vets are in it just for the money. I'm the first to admit I can be over paranoid about my animals and they probably are dismissing me to be some crazy cat lady or something . However, it makes me sad that these two old kitties could be needlessly suffering. We all know that cats hide their pain and discomfort very well and when they do show symptoms things are usually pretty bad. Anyway, thanks for reading my vent. Things like this just get under my skin!
post #2 of 7
They are probably right, by 16 there is probably very little that can be done to truly prolong their lives . It sounds like they have plaque issues, and at 16 anaesthesia can be very dangerous. Still, I'm sure the vet could at least do something to ease their kitties pain, I hope they change their minds.

Maybe offer to go with them to the vets? They may feel allot better having someone who can decipher the "vet code" with them. I'm a total sucker and we did a bunch of expensive tests on our dog when she was younger to determine if she had a bladder problem or not. $300+ later she grew out of it...
post #3 of 7
Sorry, Nes, I totally disagree with you. If it something that is not fixable and the cat(s) are suffering, then they should at a very minimum stop the suffering. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Things like that get under our skin too. But we'd get hostile and hurt a relationship over it if it came to that, honestly. Animals suffering is not OK, and people that don't respect their animals needs aren't the friends we thought they were (at least that's the way we'd probably feel about it).

Do they have kids? Have you asked them if they'd want their children to get them to a Doctor if they stopped eating and washing up when they're in their 70s? Because maybe with some antibiotics, they'd live a wonderful life into their 80s or 90s.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
We live in different states so I'm only able to offer my opinions from a distance. I've certainly been vocal, but I can't MAKE them do anything. They claim that if the cat were seriously ill they'd definitely take him to a vet. And yes, I have tried to explain that they might be able to head off or manage a serious health problem before it gets to that point. The things they've been experiencing with the cats so far have all been symptoms they've been able to chalk up to old age, and unfortunately they don't seem to believe a vet visit is going to help. It's an old fashioned mentality, but all I can do is try to educate them. However, at this point they know it's a sore point with me and probably will be avoiding the subject altogether.

No, they don't have kids. Maybe that's a good thing. Anyway, I posted in a moment of frustration...probably I should have kept a lid on it.
post #5 of 7
I guess my main point was to perhaps try explaining it to them in a way that relates it to their age and health - may help make the point.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I hope so...I did mention the possibility of a vet who makes house calls (I know of one in their area). They seemed interested in that idea...we'll see...I know one of their arguments was that it would be too stressful on the cats to take them to a vet clinic, but maybe they would consider a vet who came to them.
post #7 of 7
Originally Posted by Nes View Post
They are probably right, by 16 there is probably very little that can be done to truly prolong their lives . It sounds like they have plaque issues, and at 16 anaesthesia can be very dangerous. Still, I'm sure the vet could at least do something to ease their kitties pain, I hope they change their minds.

this is so wrong. being 16 is not a death sentence. there are many things that can be done for older cats. the first step is to determine what is wrong.

Dental problems can cause a lot more than pain. Dental problems can cause kidney disease.

A dental cleaning can give a cat a whole new outlook on life! The vet will do blood work first of course to determine what other health issues there may be and what kind of anesthesia to use.

My 18 year old cat had a dental cleaning. she had CRF, hyperthyroid, high blood pressure, megacolon, arthritis and stroke, but she did fine with her dental.

Other diseases that can affect older cats, hyperthyroid and kidney disease, high blood pressure, are also manageable.

The people who own those cats are not vets and you (op) are right to urge them to get their cats to the vet. To let them suffer because they "don't think the vet can do anything" is such a lame excuse. And can be considered neglect.
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