Skip to comments.I May have to put my cat down (vanity?)
Posted on 03/03/2006 9:15:00 AM PST by Canedawg
I havent had to go thru this since my dog died 20 years ago. And he went down so fast, the decision was a no-brainer.
So this kitty is 15, mostly siamese, white with blue eyes. He's been having violent seizures (six in the past 6 months)and kidny failure. I give him intravenous fluids, and the kidneys are stabilizing, but he has been losing weight, eating less, stopped sitting on my lap, and has had very flat affect the past few weeks. He's very lethargic, and so I have resisted putting him on phenobarbitol to control the seizures, but I may start that.
He doesnt seem happy, and his hind legs are going- he's wobbly and gimpy- just very fragile.
But, when I watch him resting comfortably, sleeping, and when he meets me at the door when I come home from work, the guilt pangs hit me as to why should I make a decision to take his little life away from him?
I am divorced, live alone, and dont get a lot of emotional support from any real support group to speak of.
I'm truly at a crossroads here. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
You've got FReepMail.
Very sad, very sad, you have my sympathy. Been there and done that. We had one cat, we were trying to let him die naturally, but finally we took him. I can't remember why. It just seemed like it was time. When it is time, you will know.
May God bless you and your kitty.
Hang tough...as painful as it is, eventually the pain will be replaced with fond memories.
My dog went through something similar and the day before I brought him to the vet, where he had a seizure and died, he got up on the couch for the first time in weeks.
I'm afraid I was looking for excuses not to have him put down, and he made the decision for me, apparently. I'm not telling you what to do, merely expressing how I would react in this case, and that would be to have one last good day with him, and then let him go with dignity, with you there for him as he goes. I was there when my previous dog went--I had him for 15 years--and he was in pain, and I was crying like a baby, but I have never regretted being there, holding him as he slipped away.
Oddly enough, an ex-girlfriend had become an employee at this vet. When she saw me she looked confused, then realized who it was who called to say they were coming in. She cried too and hugged me as I took my dog home to bury him; it was at night, and raining.
I mention all of this stuff about me to show you where I'm coming from. I am not a cat person but feel your concern mixed with your desire to keep your beloved pet around. But sometimes you're only serving yourself. What is in the best interest of the cat, who can't express pain as humans do?
IMO, it's time. But you have to be the one to decide. Best of luck on making such a hard decision.
When it is apparent that she is in pain, that would be the time. That being said 15 yo is old for a cat. Sometimes it is better to let go and remember all the good times.
Sorry to hear about your cat, those types of decisions are so hard to make.
I use a dietary supplement I get at the health food store for Louise, my 16 1/2 year old cat. It's called Life Exxtension and it's made by Solid Gold. It is an auto-immune enhancer and it has made a world of difference with Louise. She is a lot more interested in what's going on around her, and her health is generally much better. It's rather pricey but the dosage is only 1/4 tsp. a day. You might try it and see if it helps, it won't hurt.
Thanks for the quick responses. My heart strings are making my eyes wet.
Keep the kind thoughts coming, and I will keep you posted.
he had filine HIV and his leg was hurt really bad and we had to put him down. It was sad. I hate having to make that decision.
GOD Bless you're kitty I know GOD looks after all of his precious creatures. I think your cat will give you signs when it's time for you to let him go with all the love you have for him...Pray about it and let your heart and mind do what is best for your cat..
God Bless you with your decision.
First, let me just hug you spiritually - you are not alone, and there are many of us who have had to make similar choices here. It's hard, isn't it?
I chose to put my little cocker spaniel to sleep when she was suffering from cancer, and I chose to allow my kitty to die naturally after she contracted feline leukovirus. Both decisions carry their equal amounts of heartache. However, I will say that I felt pressured to put my little dog to sleep when one distant member of my family threatened to call a vet "on me" because _SHE_ "couldn't bear to watch that dog suffer".
I always felt guilty for allowing my dog to live so long because this family member made me to feel that my dog's suffering was somehow my fault. I was caring for my little dog with everything I had - carrying her outside, feeding her by hand - and I would have done it till she died naturally. In truth, I'm not sure it was right to put my dog "down" just because others "couldn't stand her suffering".
So I made the opposite decision with my kitty two years later, when the doctor told me she was dying. In this case, we knew she would die soon, and I saw no reason to rush her through the process. I made her as comfortable as possible, and I yes she did suffer greatly. She also purred, looked out the window, and enjoyed tuna water everyday. It was a process I documented in these blog posts:
My experience with euthanasia (for my little dog at least) was marred by the fact that she was very hard to put down - even though I know the vet was very good and she came to my house to help make the process better. This is not typical of all my experiences with pet euthanasia, but I have discovered one thing:
I always felt pressured by well meaning people to "do the right thing" and put my animals down when they were suffering - even if it was not a "given" that they would surely die - and I always felt terrible pangs of guilt afterwards.
However, I do not feel guilty for allowing my little cat to pass from this world naturally, and I discovered that I could help her through the process of her death. I understand that there are times when "mercy killing" is a mercy; but it is not always necessary. Follow your heart and do what you feel your kitty would want you to do. I and many more will be praying for you...
I finally had her put down and it was harder than anything I've ever done. She slipped under without a struggle, so I know it was her time. But I still miss her sometimes, and this was two years ago.
My heart goes out to you, it's painful to watch our pets get old.
Pinging Slings and Arrows for the kitty list, and my doggie list, because they understand how tough this crossroad is too.
Our animals trust us. We owe it to them to make sure they don't suffer. This doesn't make it any easier. I put my old abyssinian cat down in 2000, and still miss him.
Our animals bring so much to our existence and truly live their lives entirely for us. We only have one opportunity to ever return that complete selflessness to them, and that is when we can relieve their misery by accepting a little bit of it for ourselves. I've seen too many (dog) owners prolong their dog's suffering because they (the owners) are too selfish to accept the pain that they woulod have to endure by relieving the animal of it's suffering.
Animals don't lie, deceive or manipulate...they're incapable of it. Your cat will let you know when it's time; and GOD will help you to see it.
Up and down days are part of getting really old. We had an old lab growing up, who got pretty bent with arthritis, this was before there were good drugs they could stay on for the long haul... For a long time, he'd hobble and got slower, but that tail of his was still going a mile a minute. He was still happy. When the tail stopped, it was time.
Your cat may show you signs like that.
When the tail stopped, it was time.
We had to make that decision 3 weeks ago today with our 14 yo lab/chessie mix, so I understand what you are going through. I didn't want to do it, but I knew she was no longer happy. She's buried alongside 2 of our outside cats who let her share their food.
It's a tough decision to make, but I feel you will make the right one for you and your beloved cat.
sorry Gabz.. I am still crazy in grief over my Oliver..Dec 12.. it hurts so badly
You've got freepmail.
If he's meeting you, and still eating, I don't think it's time yet.
I always find that my dogs let me know when it's time.
God bless, and I'll be thinking of you.
I know how difficult this is foryou!!
I dug a deep hole and put her body in it; I went to a Nursery and bought a Pear tree that I planted above her body that yields beautiful flowers every Spring, in Memorium.
When the body that lived at your single will,
When its whimper is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gonewherever it goesfor good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog (or cat) to tear.
(From Rudyard Kipling's "Power of the Dog")
Thank you both - but right now I'm not the one that needs the condolences, we've got someone else who is facing this difficult decision who needs the support.
No advice. You'll do what's best for your cat. Just a supportive bump. You're not alone. (Pinging a cat lover.)
I didn't want to post all the sad poems to her because I don't think she's ready to hear them yet.
With my last lab, the decision was clear and easy. With my little Cocker mix, it was really hard. No one thing was the deciding factor, she was just dwindling, like her cat. I really fought and agonized over it too.
We have five Basenjis, and I've been dreading the day I, and my family, would have to deal with their passing. Since Basenjis can easily live to be 16+ years old, I thought I had plenty of time.
Just before Christmas, though, we found out that Chammie, our only male and the first dog to own us, has a spinal cord injury. He's on prednisone, that has helped some, but I can see that his hind quarters are getting weaker. If we had an extra $1200 for an MRI, we could find out if surgery could help him, but then we'd need thousands more for the surgery. :o(
It hurts so badly. He's such a beautiful dog, still has so much life in him. He's not in pain, thank God. And when his time comes, I just have to believe that God will give me the grace to get through it.
I feel for the tough decision you must make since we were in your shoes just one month ago today with our elderly dog who had Cushing's and diabetes. In the end it all boiled down to quality of life.
We ended up taking him to our vet for an exam and asked his opinion. Bottom line, our vet ended up telling us it was time for Rocky to cross the bridge.
My prayers are with you and your kitty.
You sound like a person who will make the right decision and do what is best for your pet.
I wish you both well.
I'm so sorry to hear your kitty is ill. I went through the same thing last June with a cat who had cancer. After it was over, I was angry at myself for making him suffer as long as I did. I did not want to lose him - kept the vet trying medical procedures to save him way past what was kind. Selfishness on my part. Its a tough, tough decision to make. Fortunately, my vet was very supportive because he truely only wanted what was best for PIB.
I had him cremated and his remains are in this beautiful urn, which is some comfort for some reason. I still miss him every day.
Most the time they will let you know, we had to put down our 13 year old cat down. She pretty much had stopped eating and would get sick if she tried. We loved her as much as anyone could. At 9 years old she was diagnosed with diabetes and we gave her insulin shots twice a day. When she stopped eating we knew that it was time. That's been four years and we remember her everyday.
We also took care of my grandmother's 17 year old cat and we had to put him down this past year, he couldn't use his back legs anymore.
So listen to your kitty, more than your own needs. She or he will let you know.
God bless you, my family's prayers are with you and your kitty.
I'm very sorry your kitty is ill.
If he is still mostly enjoying life, wait.
If his hours are mostly bad, let him have peace.
Thank you all so much. Your prayers and kindness are giving me great comfort.
I knew i could count on you!
I had to my my cat put down last July (after 14 years). It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I did it for her so she wouldn't suffer in pain.
I was miserable without her at first, but then I knew she was in a better place.
Once my grieving settled down I got a new kitten from the Milwaukee Human Society in October.
Lainey can't replace the love and joy I had for Kumar, but she brings me a new love and joy all her own now. We say a prayer for Kumar every morning when we wake up.
It's a hard thing to do (putting a pet down) but as much as we love our pets we can't make them suffer.
I wish you all the best in your decision and remember you have friends here on FR to help you through it :)
I think that says it all. Put him down. Mourn the loss of your friend, and in 6 months get yourself a new playful little kitten.
I had to put my cat down last year. You want him/her to go to kitty heaven purring in your arms, not suffering on a vet's table.
This thread has caused me fresh tears over my own losses as well as all the posts within. FWIW, I'll share my stories with you.
I was the one who took my parents' little dog Benji to be put to sleep. I'd grown up with him as my little brother, and IMO, my Mom selfishly held onto him longer than necessary. As I expected the first time I suggested doing it, she nearly bit my head off. Now she's in my shoes with my Dad, since their current elderly, feeble fellow is "Dad's dog". I'm not around that dog enough to say if it's time, though it bothers Mom & me that Dad seems to not notice how bad off the little guy is.
I also made the decision to euthanise my kitty diagnosed with FIV. Despite the quality of life left in him, I felt it necessary to contain the disease. To have confined that happy little hunter indoors to indulge my own desire to keep him around would have been cruel.
On both those occasions, I prepaid the vet for her services so as to keep my tears private. I've stood at the counter with grieving owners who waited to pay up. It's an awful feeling.
Sudden calamity robbed me of the decision for 2 of my best-loved dogs. I had a collie who suffered a stroke or heart attack when the mailman came to the door. I found her body when I arrived home from work. I couldn't help wondering if that SOB grinned when her barking choked off. Even though she was on an unpalatable prescription diet, I did not begrudge the efforts I took to make her food tasty or the cost of her arthritis supplement. IMO, she still had a year or two of quality life.
Unbeknownst to me, my lab had ingested a plastic bag that entangled her intestines. Being plastic, it didn't show up on the emergency vet's x-ray. The phenobarb she was on did not prevent a final seizure from taking her life, and that is the death that haunts me. She was 7 years old.
Both those dogs' ashes await mingling with mine when my time comes.
You seem to be well informed as to the medical aspects. I can only chime in with another poster who said that seizures themselves don't seem to be painful, but for some muscle soreness afterwards due to the strain. For my epileptic dog, recovery AFTER the seizures was helped emmensely by my own calmness. I learned not to touch her during the grand mal unless I had to drag her away from hard objects that I couldn't move out of her way. Her eyesight and reasoning were both suspect once the grand mal ended, so a quiet environment and gentle voice made her feel safe even though she didn't recognise me right away.
Sorry to go on for so long, but I hope I've helped in some small way. I surely do sympathise.
In loving memory of Sikoshi and Aphrodite
My beloved 19 year old cat, Magic Bear, let me know. I can't tell you how, it was just the way he looked at me. It was a look that said, "It's okay, Mom."
I finally realized I was keeping him alive for me, not for him. That's when you'll know it's time.
It's heartwrenching. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
As an animal lover , my condolences
I have had to made that decison so I understand completely
Whatever decision you make have peace knowing that you gave your cat a most wonderful life and yes there truly is a Rainbow Bridge
You'll know when it's time. When the pain and the unhappiness outweigh the good times, you will know. Try to be clear-eyed for the sake of your kitty, and think of his good first.
The seizures are much scarier for you than they are for him, BTW. But if he seems as though he is in pain or stops eating, that's a different story.
Prayers for you both.
You have Freepmail
I don't know what to do for our 11-yr-old Bengal. He collapsed, we didn't know why, and we spent more than $1K to get him better. That was a LOT of money to this old-fashioned one-earner family! It's been 3 weeks and he is still confined to one room with chronic diarrhea. The vet's next step would be ultrasounds and biopsies to check for cancer. Well, we can't afford all that. So we don't know what to do. We have tried everything with his diet but he still has diarrhea. He is weak but seems otherwise well and doesn't seem in pain (though he did after he collapsed). The smell is killing me, though...
I wish you well, whatever you decide. We all have our time.
Like you, I faced a dilemna. An operation would possibly (the odds were 50-50) fix it but he would not be able to move the legs for a month at the minimum. Might never. And the doctors told me that he seemed miserable at not being able to walk. Meanwhile the cancer had spread into his prostate.
After much soul-searching, my wife and I decided to do what was best for him and let him go. Since she was not there it fell to me to be the one to hold him at the last moment. Man, it was the worst moment of my life but I did it. I owed it to him after 16 years.
Thankfully, the process is short, the doctor told me that death occurs within five seconds.
I cannot really advise you in your instance, only that you try your best to recognize that when an animal's time has come to go, do not let it suffer. The catch in such cheap advice is that it's damn hard to know when is when.
You have FreepMail.
Oh - and I forgot to add that we stayed with our kitty right to the end. As we promised her, we never left her.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.