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Do cats go away to die?

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I ask this because a girl at work has a 17 year old cat that's been missing since saturday.

Being the age she is she was quite frail and hardly went past her own doorstep for the last couple of years, but she started doing something the last few weeks that she's never done before and thats to lie on her front doorstep in the sunshine, along with curling up beside their labrador Max.

She's knocked on all the neighbours and checked their sheds, along with looking under the bushes nearby but nothing.

A few of us have said that were sure some cats go away to die, but she would just like her back if only to say goodbye to

Has anyone else heard this?.
post #2 of 39
I have heard of it happening before. My cousin's cat was also quite old and getting frail and suddenly disappeared one day. The family is convinced that she went away to die.
post #3 of 39
I've known this to happen more than once. The most recent one was a neighbour's cat, but we did find his body, he was curled up under the hedge in my field (where he liked to spend a lot of time anyway). We had a feral that we used to feed, he disappeared one day and we never did find out what happened to him. It can be heartbreaking for us, but the cat always knows!
post #4 of 39
My previous cat Smokey (RIP) left one day in the fall of 2002 he was an indoor-outdoor cat. Smokey never came back. He was at least 13 years old (we wern't sure having got him from a shelter) and had a bit of a cough the week leading up to his leaving we figure he either just went away to die in peace or something like a Fisher attacked and killed him. Befor that we had a cat named Samson and he died at home due to injuries he recieved being hit by a car befor we could get him to the vet to be put down.
I think it all depends on the cat. I have hears several people say that their outdoor cats just didn't come back one night.
post #5 of 39
My cat Sheba went to the neighbors yard to die in peace in the wildflowers
post #6 of 39
I've heard it, too, and friends of ours years ago had a cat disappear that way. Morris was missing for a few days and my friend's daughter found him way in a corner under some stairs.
post #7 of 39
Ive experienced this too- we had a cat, Stripey, that was fairly old and one day just disappeared. One of my FeLV cats crawled under a cupboard to hide when he was dying also
post #8 of 39
Yes, most cats will go away or hide in a very secluded, private place when they're seriously ill or dying. I'm not sure what's behind it, necessarily. Maybe they just like to be alone during that time. Does your friend have any idea at all where her kitty might be? I would say that it might definitely be what happened, given her age.

Sending some hugs your friend's way...
post #9 of 39
I think they do. They also hide when they're sick.... I hope she finds her soon!
post #10 of 39
I've heard of others cats goingaway to die and when my Jade was near the end, (she had lung cancer), she suddenly started wanting to go outdoors which was unusual for her. I would go out with her and she kept trying to wander away and I suspected she was wanting to find a place to die. It was within a few days that I had to take her to the vet to be put to sleep.

I'm sure if I had just let her out without staying with her, she would have gone missing.
post #11 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman
Does your friend have any idea at all where her kitty might be?
No idea at all She's checked everyones yards and sheds and the bushes around them. She's even been out late at night calling for her.

I'm going to tell her to look where she wouldn't expect though after reading these because being under a cupboard or under the stairs even i wouldn't have guessed
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
No idea at all She's checked everyones yards and sheds and the bushes around them. She's even been out late at night calling for her.

I'm going to tell her to look where she wouldn't expect though after reading these because being under a cupboard or under the stairs even i wouldn't have guessed
Poor thing...it's hard thinking something's happened to your baby and not having any idea how to help, or if you've missed the opportunity to say goodbye.

Let us know what happens. Hopefully it's just that her sweet kitty got over-curious.
post #13 of 39
I have heard of this Susan.

Animals do wander off sometimes when they are old.
I do know that animals do suffer from age related dementia just like us humans and there are usually signs of this before the animal goes 'missing',such as for example,
Going to the food/water dish and not drinking,then walking away and then going back to the dish or going into the garden to do their 'business' and coming back in without doing it and then five minutes later they are doing the same again,or doing things 'out of character' such as curling up with the pet dog that the cat has never got on with.
Age related dementia causes them to forget things,where they are and what they were doing or just about to do and it does get progressively worse faster in animals than it does in humans.
It could be Susan that your friend's cat has wandered off and 'forgot' her way back.Which does sound like a close possibility especially as the cat was doing things 'out of character' before she went missing.

I would keep looking for the cat.She could be lost and afraid.

{{{{come home safe vibes}}}}
post #14 of 39
My guess is that when cats are ill or injured...instead of going away to die, their instinct tells them to hide, in an attempt to avoid becoming the prey of a stronger predator.
I would exhaust all attempts to find this kitty before I gave up.
post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
This is the difference between her and i. Although she's missing her cat, she never takes her for yearly checkups at the vet, the reason?, she thinks because she's old whats the point, so you can imagine how ticked off and frustrated i get with her

Now me i'd be staying off work and trawling the streets and fields looking for her along with ringing all the shelters, the vets etc...

The poor thing lives in the house with a hyper labrador and two loud teenage kids who's mother is forever shouting at, but i tell you something, she only lives less than a 5 minute drive from me, but if i found Sly i wouldn't tell her, she's coming home with me for some peace and quiet
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosiemac
This is the difference between her and i. Although she's missing her cat, she never takes her for yearly checkups at the vet, the reason?, she thinks because she's old whats the point, so you can imagine how ticked off and frustrated i get with her

Now me i'd be staying off work and trawling the streets and fields looking for her along with ringing all the shelters, the vets etc...

The poor thing lives in the house with a hyper labrador and two loud teenage kids who's mother is forever shouting at, but i tell you something, she only lives less than a 5 minute drive from me, but if i found Sly i wouldn't tell her, she's coming home with me for some peace and quiet

I would feel exactly the same Susan,She sounds young and maybe she doesn't know the importance of the check ups.

Maybe she just needs motivating into doing something,I would offer to help her find her and put posters out and things and if she still isn't interested I would try to find the cat myself and keep it.
After all if she makes no attempt to find her own cat then that must be considered abandonment and if so then you have the right to keep sly if you find her.
Or even find her a more loving home in her twilight years
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats
My guess is that when cats are ill or injured...instead of going away to die, their instinct tells them to hide, in an attempt to avoid becoming the prey of a stronger predator.
I would exhaust all attempts to find this kitty before I gave up.
excellent point!
post #18 of 39
Thread Starter 
Believe it or not Diana she's nearly 40!. We all have problems but this girl makes them for herself and carries the world on her shoulders.

I can't be bothered to speak to her and thankfully her office is upstairs to mine so i don't have to, but she only told me because she knows how i love cats.

But i would love to find Sly myself like i say and bring her home, even if it meant her staying in my bedroom.
post #19 of 39
Did her cat come home yet...
post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
No and i doubt it will now
post #21 of 39
oh Susan how incredibly sad
post #22 of 39
I m so sorry...
post #23 of 39
We found my old guy, Wuzzy, lying in the garden waiting for his time to come. We took him to the vet right away, and tests came back that he had cancer. If my dad hadn't gone out to pull weeds, he probably would have passed there.

I think cats that are more independent (like Wuzzy) tend to go away to pass on, whereas more dependent ones won't. Our orange fellow, Zeebo, passed 6 weeks before Wuzzy did, and he was always very dependent on us (showed up at our door years ago and never left). He stayed close to the house in the days leading up to his time, and the day we had to put him down, he wouldn't leave my room.
post #24 of 39
I will say a prayer tonight that she is found safe and well

{{{{be found safe vibes}}}}
post #25 of 39
This is very much possible that this is what happened to your colleague's cat. A fried of mine's cat, aged 19, got out one day, to be found dead the day after under a bush next to her house. This cat had not been out by herself in years, and insisted to go outside. Probably left to die alone.
post #26 of 39
Susan...you have such a loving heart.
That poor kitty.
post #27 of 39
My cat was born in 2000 and she went missing this november 21st, 2008. we looked everywhere for her all around town, posted many signs and shelters, neighbors were on watch. after 2 weeks of sleepless nights and searching, we were just hoping and waiting for her to come home or someone to call saying they found her. today, on december 11th we were downstairs in the basement which is used frequently, and where we had searched many times after she went missing because she liked going down there. we found her atop a box curled up, it looked like she was sleeping. after researching i guess cats really do go somewhere to die, but im so confused because nothing seemed to be wrong with her, she hadnt seemed sick at all prior to that friday the 21st.

i read in an earlier post that someones cat kept wanting to go outside, and Ching Chang kept jumping at the door and meowing at it the week before she went missing, which was unusual for her. normally she would like to roam out on the deck with me every once in a while but not like this. well today we found her and i just wish i knew what had happened. i hope she went peacefully
post #28 of 39
I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty ... judging by how you found her and that she looked like she was sleeping, it sounds like she did go peacefully... cats have a way of hiding pain very well, it's very likely that there were no signs at all that she was sick... again, I'm sorry for your loss
post #29 of 39
I hope so.. and thank you for the condolences.

I see everyone else on here has pictures, here was a picture of Ching Chang


Ching last Christmas, Dec. 2007


i love you
post #30 of 39
I grew up on a farm and I believe that given the chance both dogs and cats will go away to die.
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