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An old cat getting ready to move on??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have an old cat. He came to us years ago as a stray and decided to make our home his. I don't know his age, but I am guessing it is between 15 and 18. He has been an out door cat all of his life and has always eaten birds and rodents around the neighborhood. He used to fight alot too. I was told by our vet that for him heing an out door cat, he should not have lived nearly as long as he has. In his early years, he would dissapear for 3 or 4 days at a time but he would always come back. In recent years he has slowed down alot and now, it is rare for him to spend the night outside. He has lost the use of his front right leg and has gone from 12 lbs to around 7 lbs. He doesn't get around much anymore without our help and doesn't eat much anymore. Lately he has been behaving strangely. The other day I saw him coming home from about a block away. He never leaves the front yard anymore. Tonight, he spent the night out. I looked for an hour for him, but I could not find him. I checked all of his usuall spots and he was not in any of them. I think he's getting ready to go. I've heard that cats will try to hide when it is their time. Is this true? Does anyone else have any experience with this? I just don't want him to walk out the door, never see him again and never know what happened to him. He has had a good life and we have really enjoyed having him around. He has been a true friend.
post #2 of 8
Its happened to me before and i think that either he is ready to move on or he is just getting outside more. I would act as if the next time he come to your house, it might be the last time. Enjoy him while you can.
post #3 of 8
Cats tend to hide when they feel sick. They hide so they can worry less about being attacked by predators while they are too sick to fight back. Sadly, sometimes the cat will die while in hiding.

I am glad that your cat has had such a good life. Would it be possible to keep him inside so that when the time comes, he can die peacefully in a safe place with the humans he loves?
post #4 of 8
It is true that cats sense when their time has come and will retreat into a dark place and just fall asleep. My outside cat is slowing down as well, he is 13 years old, but he is not showing any signs of weight loss or problems. If he was to the extent that you described, I would take him into the vet and ask the vet to end his life nobly and peacefully because he has earned it.

I hope your friend comes back, but it won't surprise me if he doesn't. At least he had people in his life looking out for him and knew the kindness of his extended family.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, I found him today. He was not doing too good and it is his time. I watched him today for a while and he's starting to use his bad leg to help him walk because his good leg is starting to go. He was wobbly and could hardly even sit up without falling over. I can tell he is in pain. He is also getting very confused. I am going to let every one say their goodbye's to him on Friday and take him to the vet Saturday morning. I am going to make his box today. He made no attempt to come in the house today to eat and I think he went outside to die. He is my friend and I will miss him.
post #6 of 8
If it is possible to arrange to let him go sooner, I would hope you would consider this. Cats are so good at hiding pain, from the sound of it this poor fella must be in agony.
post #7 of 8
If the cat comes back please keep him inside so everyone can say goodbye, and the cat can spend some time in relative comfort and know that he is loved. I agree with Hissy, the poor cat sounds like his time has come and he is suffering. Please take him to the vet sooner if it's at all possible.
post #8 of 8
My Shep strayed into our lives 12 years ago and is estimated to be about 15-17 years old. She too spent most of her life outside but decided to live inside about a year ago. In the last week, she runs outside when we take the dogs for a walk and finds a nice sunny spot to sleep the day away. She hasn't been in good health for the last year (old age more than anything), and after a lot of debate this week, our theory is that she is looking for that place to die. She's due for her monthly vet visit next week and we're going to discuss it with the vet.

Everyone is right - cats hide their pain so well and it is so hard to make the call for them. Do you let them wander off and let them die on their terms (which could be slow and painful), or do you help them and minimize their suffering? I can tell you in my household, my husband and I have opposite opinions on it and we are in a quandry right now (Steve is a naturalist).

It's a tough choice but I would personally choose to end his suffering before he is agonizingly ill. My heart goes out to you with your dilemna.
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