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Very old cat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Minnie is my best friend. I am twenty four and she is nineteen so we have been together for most of my life. She has fallen sick and I fear nearing end. At the end of April she was sick and not eating and I took her to the vet and we gave her antibiotics and thyroid cream and she pulled through happy and eating 2 cans a day and even ate one bird. Then in the middle of June practically overnight she was sick again. I took her to the vet and she said I could give her antibiotics for ten days or put her down as she would likely dye a slow death and nautilus death from kidney failure. I expecting the vet to suggest putting her down. I put her on the antibiotics but if I don't see a difference I could not stand to let her suffer. Both times I put Minnie on antibiotics was heart breaking because she hated them and she would avoid me under the house or deep under the bed, she won't let me give it to her and I have to force her which makes her not trust me at all. I feel awful and wanted to stop but knew the infection would poison her. Last time was a success but I don't know that she will pull though as she isn't eating. I am so sad and so selfish as I could hardly bare putting her down, nor can bare to watch her slowly die, nor can I stomach waking up and her not being alive, or dying in bed with me like her mother did. If I take her off the antibiotics she might forgive me as she did last time but that is completely giving up after four doses and while I think I should I am finding that hard too. I wish I could just wake up and she would be eating and showing signs of feeling better. Despite all she still purrs a lot from a distance. She wouldn't really let me touch her except overnight when she knows I am not going to medicate her. It is only a tiny pill once a day. Any comments or suggestions appreciated

Thank you, Kayla
post #2 of 10
Firstly, I am so very sorry you are going through a time like this. I have no clue what it will be like when my cat reaches that point, how hard it must be to have your furbaby with you for 19 years, and fear that you have to lose them.

I honestly can't make it an easier, nor can anyone. This is one of the crappy things in life we have to deal with.

If you think the antibiotics will heal her, and improve her quality of life, I would continue with them. However, if she's not going to get better, or her quality of life will not be much better, maybe now it's time to stop? I'm not trying to push my oppinions on you, or tell you you're doing anything wrong, because you're not. Is the stress of pilling her worth it if it won't help? Maybe her last days would be better spent with her snacking on foods she was never allowed to have, and bonding you, without fearing she's going to be pilled.

My only advice would be to have her die at home [but be prepaired for it to not be pretty] or in-home [or at a clinic] euthanasia. I know the idea of it sounds horrible you might think you're playing god even. However, just by feeding her you're playing god. You'll know when you're ready, and she's ready. I like euthanasia because they fall asleep, and then their heart stops. You could have it done so that they give her a pre injection, which puts her to sleep for sure, and then have the euthanasia solution. At home she might not die so peacefully, and at least that way she can be in your arms while she falls asleep.

I think your heart is in the right place, and for her to be 19 is amazing, so you've been a very good cat mommy, and a good friend. I would continue treating her if all things aside she seems to be doing well [still happy, able to use the litter box etc.] if she isn't eating I'd try Fancy feast [if you have it where you are] any kind of junk food to get her interested in eating. I'd just try to keep things happy for her.

Minnie is very lucky to have a good mom like you
post #3 of 10
Does she have CRF which is a kidney failure>?? If so have you had the blood work done before during and after her antibiotics?? If so what are her numbers... I have a kitty who will be 18 in a few days and yes I send your a big cause our older animals are a challenge ... Can you get a liguid antibiotic or have a local pharmacy flavor the pill??
post #4 of 10
It is so hard to know what to do at this stage - I have been through it too and I really feel for you. One suggestion if you decide to keep withthe anitbiotics (and this might make it easier) is can you crush the pill and mix it with a little egg yolk or goat milk and give it to her that way, in a syringe (no needle of course). Some cats will allow that quite easily. Good luck and good vibes for you both.
post #5 of 10
See this link, this pill dispenser is for cats and might help you.


Please consider that vets are too used with seeing extreme cases and they take easier the idea of putting dow any animal. In the distant past I have saved the life of my dear cat from an extreme situation, despite the advice of everybody - many years after that he is active and happy. Can you really really assess whether your cat can, or cannot recover with the help of the antibiotics? What if, past the inconvenience of ingesting the antibiotics, all is back to normal? At this age it is somewhat expected that not everything goes smoothly. Good luck to you both, whatever you decide.
post #6 of 10
I'm a little confused; why is your kitty taking antibiotics for kidney failure?
I've nursed several cats thru CRF, and if I'm totally honest, I did it more for myself than for them. I simply could not bear to let them go. If you are certain Minnie is in kidney failure you basically have 2 options. You can do whatever you can to keep her going and, in the end, the disease will take her. Or you can make that incredibly tough decision and have her euthanized.

If you opted to do whatever was necessary, you'd be looking at giving IVs at home & force-feeding her. I am a terrible one to be giving advice, because that's what I did with my kitties. I still don't know if I did the right thing. This is truly a choice that only you can make. I do have an idea of what you're going thru--I got my first kitten when I was 3, and she died when I was 24. We shared a lifetime. I am so very sorry you're facing this, and I wish you strength in making your decision. Above all, do what you feel is best for Minnie.
post #7 of 10
I am sorry to hear about your little girl. My little boy, Charlee, was born with small deformed kidneys. He is only 6. The reason I think the vet has your car on antibotics is because with kidney problems they get a lot of kidney infections and blood in the urine. Charlee goes on antibotics a lot in the winter. I have found that if I push the pill into a small treat he will eat them. Also, I request the anibotics in liquid form. Usually he takes that a lot better - I put him in my lap and then try to open his mouth with one hand and then I shoot in the medicine with a syringe and try to keep his mouth closed. Not pretty but it works.

To help ease Charlee's condition I started taking him to an acupuncturist. It is helping he is eating more and is a lot more active. Also, I took him off all dry food - I give him weight management forumula by Nutro. My vet has told me to limit his protein. The acupuncturist told me to get the book 4 Paws 5 Directions which teaches you the pressure points on your cat or your dog so that it will help when we do not go for acupuncture.

Sorry this is long. I am like you, I want my little boy stay with me as long as possible. Best of luck.

post #8 of 10
Sorry to hear about Minnie's kidney failure. I would suggest you go to http://felinecrf.org to find out more about CRF (kidney failure). My cat, Cloud, was diagnosed last February with CRF and is doing quite well. Many cats can live a long time after diagnosis if this is properly managed. He was on antibiotic for a short time just in case he had an infection, but now he gets sub-cutaneous fluids every other day at home (I do it, it only takes about five minutes) and aluminum hydroxide powder mixed with his food. (He also gets erythropoietin thrice weekly for his anemia, but that is a quick, painless injection.) At age 19 Minnie's life expectancy is not very long anyway, but you may be able to give her a few more years of good-quality life. Explore the site above, it is a treasure-trove of information abotu CRF. I have also found the Feline-CRF- Support group on Yahoo to be very helpful. It was heartbreaking that first week after Cloud's diagnosis, and the vet gave him a year to live at most, but I've since learned the prognosis is not necessarily that bad. So go do some research. It will take some time, so prepare to spend a LOT of time researching CRF, and then find a vet who will work with you to treat this.

As to the antibiotics, don't mess with pills. You should be able to get it in liquid form. Then, find a little treat Minnie loves. Each time you give her the antibiotic, give her a few little treats immediately afteward. After a while, she won't be so resistant to getting the antibiotic. When you start giving her sub-Q, use this same technique.
post #9 of 10
I just wanted to say I am sorry for what you are dealing with. I too grew up with a cat, one of the best parts of my growing up (wonderful seal point siamese).

I had advice to give but I've been beaten to it so I will simply echo - www.felinecrf.org is the best site on the web to educate yourself on kidney failure - it's issues such a nausa, increased stomach acid, inappetance, muscle wasting, and how to treat for these (antacids, keeping cats phosphorus levels in a certain range, keeping potassium levels up, and more).

I also second that the yahoo groups support list I belong to (and suspect the poster above also belongs to the same group) is just awesome.

Only you can know best if your cat has any quality of life left, if it is time.

My Patrick lived for almost 4 years post his diagnosis, dying not long before his 19th birthday. I can honestly say most of those 4 years he ate decently, played with toys, and beamed at me with his usual cat smile and love. It was worth doing the sub-q fluids, watching his diet etc.

Best wishes to you...for now, get very educated on crf so you can make your decision understanding fully what can and can not be done.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thankyou for all your valuable insight. When Minnie got really sick for the first the first time in her life in April I gave her the liquid antibiotics. It was a terrible struggle and some doses were late because I couln't catch her and she misserable. I almost gave up but it finished the antibiotics and the difference was amazing. She seemed to be young again, energetic, happy and hungry, purrful and at a high quality of life. So the antibiotic struggle was worth it. When she come up sick again in the middle of June I did not expect to be that lucky again but just thought I could give the antibiotics for her kidney infection one more try because I love her so much. The vet did not ask me if I wanted liquid or pill but I thought once a day might be easier than twice and day and the vet said that it was just as effective but I always consider stopping. Thankyou
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