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dying cat with lymphoma

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We had taken in a stray pregnant cat. She gave birth to four lovely babies, and then we found out that she has lymphoma. The babies are now 9 weeks old and have long been weened.
The momma cat has been given chemotheraphy for a week. Yesterday she stopped eating. She also stopped moving around earlier today. She just lies there. She does not respond even to her babies and she seems to have given up. We took her to the vet for some fluid injections, and we are force feeding her with a syringe.
Here is my problem: I don't know what to do. A vet we had consulted recommended "euthanizing" her when her quality of life started to go downhill, but how can I decide that? I would love to try to keep her alive as long as I can, but is that what she wants? I wish I could communicate with her somehow to find out what she would like. What is the right thing to do? Please help.
post #2 of 9
Its my feeling that when your cats quality of life is no longer what it should be you really do know that its time. Your mother cat is dieing.The vet offers so hope for a cure? Its time theres no sense in prolonging her life if shes feeling this ill. Its time to let her go with peace and dignity and end her suffering before it gets worse. I know how hard this is to do. Often the right thing to do is the hardest choice.
post #3 of 9
First of all...I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty. It's always difficult, and it's such a painful decision to have to make. From my expeirences...when the time is right you will look into her eyes and know that she is ready to go.
post #4 of 9
Open your heart to the universe and you will know when it is time for her to go. I knew it was time to let my Petunia go when force feeding her was causing her so much agony and she was too weak to move around. It was one of the hardest decisions to make but I knew in my heart it was time.
post #5 of 9
It has been my experience that chemo really doesn't do much for cats. The stress involved alone can take them to a place where you really wish they didn't go. It is not an easy decision when you love so strongly. It takes a special strength to let go and to know when that time is. She will tell you, IF you are willing to listen to her.
post #6 of 9
Thank you for taking this mom cat into your home and heart - no matter how much life she has left, you've made all the difference to her by giving her a safe place, care and love. Imagine too, what might have become of her kittens had you not brought her home.

My first cat, Louie, also had lymphoma. He required both surgery and chemo, and for him (and us) it was well worth it because his life was extended another 10 months. It was 10 months of *life*, where he continued to do all his "Louie" things, not just existence.

You need to know the prognosis for your cat's particular lymphoma - with and without chemo. You have to weigh any stress your cat has with being given chemo, and how it's all affecting her day to day life. Cats tolerate most chemo meds well, but the process of taking them back and forth to the vet can take a toll on some of them. You need to know if your cat could be in any pain - this is important. If that pain can't be alleviated, that for me, would be the deciding factor, to end her suffering. Talk to your vet about whether or not he feels she could be in pain.

Your description of mom cat doesn't sound good - it could be a reaction to one of the chemo meds, and she may improve. You should speak to your vet about this and ask if that's a possibility. Fluids should make her feel better, and if she improves, you should ask your vet about doing them at home (I did that for Louie). Like you, I also had to assist-feed him with a syringe near the end of his life.

I completely understand wanting to keep mom cat alive as long as possible. If she will still eat (being assist fed), if she can walk, use the litterbox, enjoys petting/cuddling and most importantly, is not in pain, my feeling is it's not yet her time to go. If she can't do any of those things, and is lethargic, it may well be that she is tired of fighting.

If you decide to let her go, please consider being with her when that happens. It's comforting for cats to have their familiar person petting them and speaking softly when it's necessary to go to the vet to end suffering. We were fortunate enough to have our vet make a house call when it was clear it was Louie's time. He feel asleep in the arms of his family, loved til the last minute.
post #7 of 9
I lost my first born cat, Hippocrates, to lymphoma and had 12 good years with him. Chemo stressed him out more than it helped and we stopped after the first treatment. This is not an easy choice for you. I knew Hippocrates well enough to know when he had enough and was ready to be euthanized. This is a stray that you don't know much about.

Cats will tell you when it is their time. If you don't know their personalities well, you can still judge by their actions: when they quit eating, if they go off to be by themselves and avoid all contact, sometimes when they suddenly get clingy. They will be lethargic and not interested in anything important to them.

I'm sorry to say that it sounds like this poor girl's time is getting close. I will send healing vibes your way to make the right choice for this girl. It was a good thing that this girl strayed your way when she needed someone the most. No matter what happens, you did the best you could for this girl.
post #8 of 9
I am so sorry you have to go through with this, I had exactly the same thing happen to my dear Lucy (RIP) she had numerous lymphomas and had to be put down about a week after her second chemo, I think you will know when the time is right, I did, and it was the following day after she she stopped eating.

A good friend said to be once, a day too early is better than a day too late. It is the final act of love you can show her, don't be frightened by it, she doesn't comprehend what is happening.

Let he go before she loses her dignity.

I will be thinking of you.
post #9 of 9

I am sorry to hear you are going thru this. I have put down 4 cats in the past. You just know when it is time. Sometimes the vet is wrong. You know your pet the best. Good luck!
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