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When a cat is dying...

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
I was just wondering today, when a cat is dying (and I know that a lot of cat deaths involve cars and things so this isn't applicable to those), if it had the oppurtunity, would it seek out human companionship? I know it probably has to do with the individual cat's personality, but I was wondering if there was a tendency for normally affectionate cats to seek solitude when very ill... or if normally shy cats seek company.

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post #2 of 45
Sometimes they may. I also know (from my friend's cats) that those who are close to death and have been sick; if they start eating really well like they are getting better - most times its a sign they know its a last meal and they will be gone within 2 days. It happened many times to my friend's cats - she thought they were getting better and it was a "last meal".
post #3 of 45
I only have experience with my little foster kitten archie...unfortunately he died alone at the vet, but before he got there he was desparately seeking contact. I don't know if there's a rule...i've heard of many people who's kitty went somewhere quiet to die.
post #4 of 45
I always heard that cats usually go and hide, but like everything else, every cat is different I've had both happen, as I've lost a few cats over the years (to FeLV) some went under my bed or in a kitchen cupboard, others stayed right out on the couch
post #5 of 45
My best friend of 8 1/2 yrs, Fatty, was an indoor/outdoor cat. Just over 2 yrs ago now I was up late one night on the computer and heard this very light "ting" at the door. Fatty always scratched on the front door to be let in. I kinda thought it was weird that the sound was so light, but let him in and didn't pay him any mind. A bit later I went to bed. He was there on my bed and had this weird look on his face. I picked him up and put him on my chest. He rolled over and showed me what looked to me like a bullet hole. I rushed him to Emergency Vet Hospital. He had been chewed up good by a dog.

He had a crushed sternum, punctured lung, just everything torn up. I had him put to sleep because there was very little chance he would even make it through surgery.

I had always heard that cats stayed by themselves when they were dying. Him coming home to me, scratching the door, and even jumping onto my bed while he was obviously in tremendous pain tells me that he absolutely loved me as much as I loved him.



Fatty

October 16, 1995 - April 24, 2004
post #6 of 45
Depends on the cat really and how bonded they are to you. My suggestion is if you believe your cat is dying, call a vet and make arrangements for a peaceful departure.

Some cats will leave their home and go someplace dark, lie down and never wake up. Others will climb close to those they love (if they can) and die in your arms. We have had cats that were seriously hurt by autos crawl home to be near us when they die.
post #7 of 45
I'm new here, hope you don't mind my jumping in ...

two moves back, we lived in an area where there was an active TNR program, so we set up a feeding station at our place, and helped with trapping. we had just rescued our girl cat, Sashi, at the time, and we made friends with the many other abandoned pets, and ferals, who came to eat. we put out soft towels and blankets for them to sleep on and two of them, a girl, Cosette, and a boy, Lonnie, decided they would call our yard and porch home. they were friendly and vocal, but didn't want to come in the house.

one evening I noticed the boy was lying very low on one of beds I had made up on the porch, not at all his usual jaunty self. he let me, for the first time, get really close and even run my hands over him, whereupon I discovered he'd been badly injured. the vet who was volunteering spay and neuter that weekend agreed to take the cat and do more than the neuter, if he could.

well, it turned up that the poor cat had been stabbed, in the belly, and the vet thought he wouldn't make it, so the TNR crew asked if we would take the poor litte fellow in and comfort him 'til he passed, most likely a day or two.

of course we said yes. so for the next few days, he lay in the nest of blankets we made for him, and I sat by him, stroking him, telling him he was loved, and giving him water and any liquid food he would take, just off my fingers, as well as some antibiotics that a friend got for us (the vet thought there was no point, but we all thought to make Lonnie as comfortable as possible, no need for infection, too).

well, he didn't die, after all! and he stayed so close to me all the time he was sick and then while recovering, and to this day, he and I are best pals, and he likes to be near and close.

always the glad gypsy before he was stabbed, loving the life of the open road, and all his cat pals, one might have thought he would have "gone to ground" when so mortally wounded, but instead he came to our door, and then stayed near (often in my lap) until he was well again.

he is a great little soul, cheerful and sweet tempered, and a wonderful friend; somehow he decided, before he really knew us, in his moment of desperate need, to come to us - how and why, I really don't know. but I am very grateful every day that he did.

oh, and as for Cosette? when we moved house, we tried mightily to take her along, but she'd have none of it ... she'd already decided, as we later found out, that her place was with another of the TNR crew, lol.
post #8 of 45
When I was in the fifth grade, I had a cat named Milo. He was the sweetest thing. Well both him and his brother were indoor/outdoor cats. They would go out in the morning before school and come back in when we got off the bus. Well one day, Milo never came home. We searched and searched outside but he never showed up. Finally, after hours and hours without finding him, we looked under the wooden runway that led to our front porch, and he was there, curled up in the dirt. We litterally had to drag him out because he wouldn't budge, or couldn't. He was hurt pretty bad, broken leg, and many wounds. Plus, he had a fever from being without water. We suspected the dog that was in one of those electric fences was the culprit. We took him to the vet and got him patched up and soon he was back to himself again.

Reluctantly we let him go back outside with his brother and a few days went by and no problem. Soon it was a few weeks with no incident, but then, he went missing again. This time, we wasted no time and looked under the walkway. He was tore up even more this time. All of us knew, he wouldn't survive. He must have had to drag himself back to the house and crawl up under the walkway because he couldn't stand he was so weak. My mom put him in a box and took him to the vet to be euthanized. He died on the way there.

So for that kitty, while he did come home, he could only bring himself to find a dark place to go. But I could tell he didn't want to be far from home when he did, because he wouldn't have crawled back home, twice, to die, if he didn't.
post #9 of 45
i had 2 cat losses, the first one had a disease and would not leave the bottom of my bed.. then when i took him to the vet they put him to sleep because he was in pain. the second one was kind of odd, she was allowed to go outside and indoors, but she was acting funny so when i took her to the vet they said that she had jumped off something too high, or got kicked and everything in her stomach was pressed against her heart. but yea, she ate like crazy until the day she was suppose to get surgury and when they opened her up everything went wrong. it was the sadest thing. she had her last meal the day before she passed away and i was literally depressed
post #10 of 45
I'm new to the forum, too. Hope you don't mind me jumping in. I had a cat diagnosed with kidney failure last year. She wanted to be with my husband and me the week before I had her pts. She even slept between us in bed. She knew she was sick and wanted the comfort of her humans. She was an indoor only cat so the only place she could have gone to be by herself would have been under the bed or in the closet.
post #11 of 45
Hello I am new here. Recently Googled this very subject and found this site.

SO here it goes. Rocky was my best little girl buddy. I ended up moving to another place and took her with me. My new roommate had two great cats (Lumpy and Useek-oh) and they all played with each other well. Things were great until Rocky disappeared. We lived on a very busy street in Victoria and I noticed her missing. It wasn't until a day or so later, Lumpy was determined to get into my room. My door was closed and I had some music playing so I wouldn't have heard him scratching at my door. Well, he came around the house to climb in my window and did circles on my bed in front of me...all crazy...(as if he was saying "she's home come follow me" ) I didn't understand what the message was or why he was going berserk, he gave up and rested his head on my lap (yes,this was a cat). I just cuddled with Lumpy and worried about my cat. Next day, after work, I came home only to see something really strange, still and lying under our cat window. It was Rocky alright and she'd been hit by a car. I was very upset seeing that she was only four or five feet away from the ever busy sidewalk and nobody noticed her. At the same time, it was also heart warming knowing that for the amount of injury she hid from me (found lying down on the damaged side) she crawled all the way home to die. I still miss my little buddy even though it was 12 years ago. About a year later, I adopted Coby from the Victoria S.P.C.A. who barely had a meow at the time, he found it later though..

Now, I'll get to the part about my cat being ill. Coby (13 yrs) is a super friendly guy and is a tabby-calico mix. He's cute as a button because he looks like a tiger crossed with a Holstein cow. Tiny size for a male and always suspected him to be the runt of the litter and up until recently, has always come running for his food. He has been outdoors these last 5 years and has been enjoying the tree climbing and being a regular cat (despite the raccoons and the neighbor's Beagle getting at his food from time to time).

Last time I actually saw him was about two days ago. He made some weird meows, they sounded distressed....ones that I have never heard before from him. I went outside to see what the matter was and he just looked at me and then had some food. He looked to be in rough shape and it was as if an illness had suddenly come on. And that was the last time I'd seen him. I called our local S.P.C.A. to see if any cats had been brought in and sadly they hadn't. So I put in a missing cat report with them today...I'm feeling a little out of sorts knowing that maybe he may have gone to die and don't know where he is.....
post #12 of 45
IT really does depend on the cat - I knew it was Snowy's time when she stopped sleeping on the bed with me, preferring the chair, and with Tiger, she was more tolerant of fuss. All bar one of my cats have died from illness, and i have always let them go at the vets, I don't wait for them to go 'naturally'. The one who went unexpectedly did ask to go outside, he had been sat with my neighbour, who found him 10 minutes later - but he had been a stray for years, so it was more what he was used to.
post #13 of 45
For sure, it truly does depend on the cat. I just had a bad feeling by looking at him that it might be soon and if I could have taken him to the vet to let him go gently, I certainly would have. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see him one more time. It was just over one day that he had gone from his usual self to that state. I guess the meowing was saying good bye. God, I feel like crap. Miss him very much.
post #14 of 45
My cat Smokey has diabeties.. At least that's what the vet says.. My poor bear.. Today, I took Smokey to the vet. The vet want to keep him for a day to see how he responds to needles and stuff..
When I picked up Smokey to put him in his kennel, he put his arms around my neck as if to give me a hug.
So, I'm really nervous about that.. Hopefully Smokey is just trying to reassure me that he is ok..
Oh well, I'll keep you guys posted..
post #15 of 45

I logged on to this site to read about other's experiences with a dying cat.  My cat is 20 years old and has stopped eating/drinking/eliminating.  I spoke to my vet yesterday to get some advice - he suggested Pedialyte.  She rejected it (don't blame her).  She can barely walk and you can hear her claws drag on the floor when she does.  My grandson's high school graduation party is tonight - I decided to remain home with the cat.  If she makes it til tomorrow, I'll take her to be put down.  A couple of days ago, when she was stronger, she dragged herself downstairs to the yard and scoped out all the places that make a good place to be when the end comes. I've had many cats, but this is my first experience with one who lived to be so old.
 

post #16 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shary View Post

I logged on to this site to read about other's experiences with a dying cat.  My cat is 20 years old and has stopped eating/drinking/eliminating.  I spoke to my vet yesterday to get some advice - he suggested Pedialyte.  She rejected it (don't blame her).  She can barely walk and you can hear her claws drag on the floor when she does.  My grandson's high school graduation party is tonight - I decided to remain home with the cat.  If she makes it til tomorrow, I'll take her to be put down.  A couple of days ago, when she was stronger, she dragged herself downstairs to the yard and scoped out all the places that make a good place to be when the end comes. I've had many cats, but this is my first experience with one who lived to be so old.

It is heartbreaking to be by your cat on his/her last journey. bawling2.gif It is my belief that they hang on to you as long as possible, so I always whisper to them that I love them and it is all right to go. Perhaps it is my imagination but I see them sigh after I say goodbye and it eases my pain.  

post #17 of 45

I just thought I'd mention, the OP is over 6yrs old... So you probably won't get much response.  Sorry.

post #18 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shary View Post

I logged on to this site to read about other's experiences with a dying cat.  My cat is 20 years old and has stopped eating/drinking/eliminating.  I spoke to my vet yesterday to get some advice - he suggested Pedialyte.  She rejected it (don't blame her).  She can barely walk and you can hear her claws drag on the floor when she does.  My grandson's high school graduation party is tonight - I decided to remain home with the cat.  If she makes it til tomorrow, I'll take her to be put down.  A couple of days ago, when she was stronger, she dragged herself downstairs to the yard and scoped out all the places that make a good place to be when the end comes. I've had many cats, but this is my first experience with one who lived to be so old.
 


I'm sorry to hear about this, shary.

 

I just recently had to put down my 17 year old cat and it was very tough. We noticed one day that her fur was getting pretty gross because she stopped bathing and she rapidly lost weight. She didn't seem to be in any pain so we let her be. Then she started to hide under the bed. That's when we knew there was a problem. They say cats retreat and hide when they appear weak to predators. We had two other cats in the house so we assumed she was hiding from them.

 

We knew from previous experience with having to put a cat down that it was time. We waited way too long to put our first cat down and we didn't want to make the same mistake with this one. We had to move the bed to get her out and we wrapped her up in her favorite blanket and took her to the vet. I wasn't able to stay with my first cat that I had to put down and I was very regretful. Luckily I could stay with this one when they did it. It was very hard but I didn't want her to be alone because I knew she was very scared.

 

Please just make sure to make your cat's final moments comfortable. Thank you for staying home with your kitty...it really makes a difference. I took the day off when I was going to put my cat down and I spent the whole day comforting her and showering her with love.

post #19 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by P3 and The King View Post

I just thought I'd mention, the OP is over 6yrs old... So you probably won't get much response.  Sorry.

Actually I directed my reply to shary who posted before me (hence the quote). smile.gif

post #20 of 45

Well I know this is an older thread but it's like I was meant to find it!  My cat Prissy is 15 and a half years old and is dying.  She's gotten so skinny and is very weak, can barely stand.  She's still alert, and the only thing she eats is the broth from the cat can food.  Have taken her to the vet several times blood work meds etc.  It's just her time, I believe.  I have shed a lot of tears, and talked to her and she looks at me and purrs, it's a weak purr but she's comforting me by doing that.  I'm trying to make her as comfy as possible.  Might take her to the vet this Friday to see how long he thinks she has.  She was my grams cat, who died 7 years ago so it makes this more hard.  Also lost a dog that was 17 only two months ago. 

post #21 of 45

You wil know in your heart when it is time to let her cross the Bridge.  Until then just give her all the love you can.  The purring shows you she feels safe with you.  If you can stand it, let her go in your arms.

post #22 of 45
Well my cat Prissy died today :( I'm kinda of relieved. Got home from work and couldn't find her, somehow she had crawled to the hallway where it was dark. She was slipping in and out of a coma at that time, but she had waited for me :) She looked up meowing really weakly and purred some when I petted her then I placed her on the bed to be comfortable. It took 7hours, so glad no longer then that. Had called the vet and they said sometimes it can last for days. When she took her last breath was extremely hard to watch, she was struggling and then had a small seizure. I know she didn't feel anything since she was in a coma, so I'm very glad for that. I got to be there with her and talked to her, I am so happy about that. Her waiting for me and crying to me was so sweet of her . I told her to let go and that she would be with Grandma soon and that I love and would miss her but that I would be fine and see her again some day.
post #23 of 45
If it had taken any longer I would have taken her to the vet to be put to sleep, but she was always very nervous and scared there, and didn't seem to be in any pain.
post #24 of 45

We all grieve with you, Lizz   rbheart.gif Prissy rbheart.gif  Across the Rainbow Bridge there is no more pain, fear or hunger.  Just the love that follows them everywhere.  She is frolicking with all the others that have crossed.

post #25 of 45

Im so sorry to hear about your loss bawling2.gif

post #26 of 45
I began to cry when reading this. I mean a stream of tears ouring down from my eyes. My incredible cat is dying. I've been with him for 11 years and its just so hard to realise that he will be gone soon. I wil never own another cat more fantastic than him. I love you Tigger!!
post #27 of 45

As many of you have said,it's an individual thing.  My cat Arrabella,who I recently had to put to sleep, wanted nothing to do with me.  While this broke my heart, it was certainly a sign that something was wrong.  Years ago when I had indoor/outdoor cats many of them just disappeared.  I can only assume they went off to die.

post #28 of 45

I'm so glad this site is still up and active.  Reading posts going back to 2006 is amazing.  Some of them are so touching.  I'm sitting hear bawling like a baby. 

 

My beautiful Tiger Woods is in his final days.   It breaks my heart to see how brave he is.    Poor guy has diabetes and heart failure.   The deck is stacked against him and I've known for a while that it's only a matter of time.   But he's always enjoyed a good tummy rub and has always purred when I stroke him.   That has sustained my hope.

 

But in the past few days it's changed.    I know he loves me, and he tries to purr but it just stops as soon as I stop stroking.     He doesn't stretch out and relax.  

 

We're lucky to have a local vet who makes house calls and I'm putting off making that call, but I know I have to.    I'm hoping we can make it through the current rain storm and do it on a sunny day outside on the patio where he loves basking in the sun.    

 

Thanks for being here, everyone. 

post #29 of 45

I know this is old, but ill share my experience.  Willow had been dealing with CRF for about 4 months and had a handful of crashes.  I relied heavily on our vet to help me know when it was time to let her go.  During each crash, she did seek me out, she went to her favorite spots, and still acted mostly like herself.  

 

One morning as I was walking out the door, I realized she didn't come out to say good morning so I went to look for her.  She wasn't in any of her spots, so I searched the entire house.  I finally found her under the corner of my sons bed, a room I'd never seen her in before.  She wouldn't come out, so I moved the bed to get her.  She'd lost control of her back legs, and her bowels and was growling and hissing at me.  

 

I knew on the way to the vet that she was telling me it was time.  The vet thought she may have had a stroke.  She couldn't walk and was breathing funny.  This cat had been at the vets a few times a week for months and always had to be sedated.  She had CAUTION stickers on her chart. But when the vet gave her the first shot to relax her, she didn't even move.  It was very unlike her to let me hold her during a shot and she closed her eyes before the final shot was even given.  I have no doubt she would have died that day, but I'm very thankful I was with her and could give her a little comfort in her last moments even though she didn't seem to want me.  

post #30 of 45

The only cat that i had that has ever died was named Patch. He was an outdoor cat his entire life, up until he was 16yes old. He was attacked by a racoon and the pet sitter decided "it wasn't that bad". After a week in at the vet for a full body infection that reached his brain, he came home, but had mental problems. He became and indoor cat and lived in my room because he could not go up stairs because of a balance issue. He lived with me for over a year. We went on vacation and took him to the vet to be boarded. The next day they called and said he had passed in his sleep. That night they had fed him, and after he ate he curled up on his bed. The next morning they found him still curled in the same position. I believe that he waited for me to leave to pass.  He could have easily died under my bed or one day when I was not home, yet he chose to wait until the day we left for vacation.

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