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.
I'm so sorry. These situations are so very difficult. I have no suggestions for you. Just offering some moral support. I'm going to have to make a decision like this about my dog soon and I am not doing a very good job of facing it myself.
I have two fifteen year old cats. They are healthy now, but I hate thinking about the next couple of years.
For those with cats over seven years old, I strongly advise feeding a cat food designed for older cats. I feed mine Purina One. It eliminated a kideny problem one of them was having. I'm not sold on specific brands, but I think a special formula is important.
Several years ago - it was much the same with our beloved kitty, Selma. She was lying on a mat on the living room floor - recovering from an accident and subsequent surgery. Our daughter, who was around 13 at the time, suddenly sat up from the couch where she was sleeping, looked at her and said, "Selma sees angels". I knew; and I think that canedawg will know too.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE join this Yahoo Group right away:
If there's anything that can be done to help your kitty, this group will know it and will answer FAST. It's a very rare vet that knows as much as the old-timers in this group about kidney failure and related problems. In addition to extensive medical knowledge, practical advice, and info on where to get supplies for a fraction of what vets will charge, there is plenty of emotional support there. EVERYBODY in the group understands this situation.
Wobbly hind legs are often the result of potassium deficiency (common in cats and people with imparied renal function) which can be remedied VERY easily and inexpensively. Please don't wait to address this, as low potassium can cause the heart to stop suddenly.
Sorry about your cat.
One thing I learned early as a kid, growing up in the country, is that animals have different expected life spans than humans. Sometimes, it is very difficult to understand that, but it is true none-the-less.
15 years of your care and concern makes one lucky cat. I wish you both the best.
I'm happy to report that all was well when I arrived home. I shed many tears at work today through this thread, and I had hoped it wasnt a sign that something bad was happening at home.
The kitty's fine tonite and he thanks you for your prayers.
"if kitty isn't in pain, give him the phenobarbital and see how well he does. Make sure he gets enough water and monitor his litter box output."
That is probably the way we'll go for the immediate future. The phenobarb delivery is coming Sunday.
Thank you all for sharing this catharsis with me.
I don't know where you live, but here in NY, at the Animal Medical Center, they offer support groups for people caring for sick pets and for those who have lost a pet. I almost checked out the latter group after my beloved kitty, Crystal, died at 15 from cancer last October, but I got tremendous support from friends and family.
Now I am facing another heart-wrenching situaion: my new 8-month old kitten contracted some kind of neurological disease (the vet thinks it's an infection, but he's not sure; we are treating it as such). I have to give her 3 meds 2x a day, and it's been pure hell trying to pry her mouth open, subdue her, and squirt in the meds with only 2 hands. She seems to be getting a little better, but it's too early to tell. It's been tremendously stressful, and I'm thinking of trying out the group for sick-pet owners.
I'm sorry to here your kitty's not doing well. You may want to see if any such support groups exist in your area. Good luck!
Hint on phenobarb: start with a VERY small dose, and work up gradually. This will usually avoid the severe lethargy that often accompanies starting phenobarbitol, and you may find that the cat requires significantly less than the prescribed amount to control the seizures. In the case of my 20 year old CRF kitty, his seizures (little tiny brief ones, but a dozen or more times daily) ended up being absolutely controlled with 1/8 of the dose the vet prescribed (which the vet said was already a "very low dose").
I tried giving my cat 1/2 the prescribed dose on the first day (1/2 of a 1/4-grain tablet), and he slept all day and didn't eat a bite of food. The one time he groggily got up and walked through the kitchen, he briefly glanced at his food bowl and seemed like he wasn't sure what it was. He now gets 1/4 of a 1/4-grain tablet twice a week, and has no side effects.
AMC definitely saved my 20 year old diabetic, renal-impaired cat a few weeks ago, when he had a hypoglycemic seizure and I raced him in there (totally unannounced) at 3:30 in the morning. A vet grabbed him and ran him into the back to get a dextrose drip into him literally within 30 seconds of my running in the door yelling "he's 20 years old and diabetic and having a seizure!". I don't they'd even gotten my name yet.
This has been mentioned before but the vet assured me that when my German Shephard was having seizures, that they were harder on us than her. The phenobarbital
worked well and she lived 12 years - good for a shephard.
It is a sad but noble decision. Think of it as a final gift of love and comfort.
I have put several animals down but I have never stayed with them. And I don't regret not staying with them. I like remembering them alive. I'm telling you this so you won't feel guilty if you elect not to stay. I personally just don't have the intestinal fortitude to do so. My presence there with the vet never superceded the animals unhappiness with being in the office. I figure being there for the last visit won't make them any happier either and will certainly add exponentially to my unhappiness of the moment.
It is a very hard decision and I feel for you.
I'm so sorry to hear this! It is a tough time. I had to make the decision with two of my cats. But we didn't put them down until it was *really* time for them to go. They got to the point where they couldn't move at all, and whenever they did have to move, they would cry. One's lungs were filling with fluid and she couldn't breathe because she had a bad heart. The other had cancer that spread throughout her body. At least there is some hope for your cat with the seizure medication. We knew when it was time to say goodbye, and you will know when it is truly time to say goodbye. If you aren't sure about it, sometimes it's best to wait and see what happens.
Added note, I stayed with Magic Bear for the procedure, even though it was terrible for me. The vet gave us some time alone, and I talked to Bear about some of the fun memories we had and petted him. Those moments alone with him, talking to him, were special. I've never regretted my decision to stay with him.
Oh good! I posted before I skimmed through the rest of the posts on the thread. I hope the medications work.
Prayers sent for your kitty.
No advice to offer, but prayers have been sent. I know how much it hurts to see your companion suffer, I've been through it far too many times myself.
Last summer I had to put my 22 year old kitty to sleep. I found myself regrettably allowing her to struggle on longer than I probably should have. There is no easy way to decide.
I pray you get through this time.
You will always be with your sweet animal, even after he is gone.
Take care and please be strong.
Cane, Sorry you have to make such a difficult decision. There is no easy answer, so I pray G-d be with you.
"your cat wants you with him when he goes."
I will definitely be there to comfort him.
The voice he last hears, the touch he last feels, will be mine.
Best of luck to you, Canedawg. Not a cat person here, but when my current dogs' numbers are up, I'll put them to rest knowing we had our good times, and start checking the local listings for the hundreds of other dogs that need a good home.
Happy to read that your Kitty is better!!
It was over very quickly, but it was one of the hardest things I'd had to do in a long time. I brought him home and buried him in the back yard and that was comforting. I felt that way I was keeping him close to me and in surroundings familiar to him. For the longest time I would come in from work, expecting to hear his voice and I couldn't open a can of tuna without half expecting him to come looking for a handout. I still miss him very much. I want to get another cat, but just haven't gotten there yet.
I wish you peace with whatever decision you make. I know how hard it is. *Hugs*
It tears me up to think what is coming, but I know I have to do what is right by him.
I made the decision to have one of my cats put down the early part of January. It was a hard decision but I have no regrets.
Starting last summer she would stake out a small area and wouldn't venture more than a few feet away. After we realized what she was doing, we began to accomodate her by moving her litter box and feeding bowl to each area she'd stake out. For the three months prior to having her put down, I moved her into my study where she wouldn't be alone.
While she never was a fat kitty, she did weigh around 9 lbs and felt quite solid. After she developed her "kitty altzheimers" she lost quite a bit of her weight. She didn't look emaciated but when I'd pick her up she felt light as a feather and had no substance.
I made the decision to have her put to sleep after she quit eating and would gag frequently (this started about 3 days before I had her put to sleep). Thankfully she had led a long life so it wasn't near as devastating to me as it would have been if she was younger.
There are times when I still expect her to be here and I still miss her but I believe I did the best thing for her.
Having a beloved pet put to sleep is different than euthanizing people. With pets we can't always make them comfortable and they don't deserve to live in pain.
Whatever your decision is, I wish you well.
January 23 we made the decision to let our little boy cat Moses go. He was diagnosed with FIP a week a before after exploratory surgery to investigate a mass which showed up in anultrasound the week before that. He began to slowly eat less and lose weight noticeably in November but we thought it was only a little sickness. Before his exploratory, we first we feared a tumor, or leukemia, but it was not.
He weighed 13 or 14 pounds back then. When he left us, he weighed maybe 7. I cannot believe how quickly he deteriorated. We don't even know how, or when, or why he got and developed the disease.
As little as a week prior, he was still eating (just a tiny bit compared to his voracious appetite before) and I anticipated the vet fixing him up and sending him home with us.
The vet told us he wasn't in pain as we'd think of it, but discomforted the way you would be if you hadn't been eating, which he wasn't doing at all. So we decided not to keep him unhappy and uncomfortable as he was.
He went quickly and painlessly, in ours arms. The only hurt left was ours. Neither of us has ever had to do that before, and I don't EVER want to do that again. But the way we love animals it certainly won't be the last. I look at our dog and kitten and know that one day the time will come.
So all I can say is keep in mind: Is he in pain? Is he comfortable? Is his quality of life what he had before? Are you keeping him alive for yourself rather than letting him go for him?
When the time is right, you will just know. May God bless.
Cripes this makes me sad.
My experience is that when kitty starts to barely move around, and hide - ours tend to go under a bed in the spare bedroom - it's time. Still meeting you at the door, to me at least, is a good thing. The seizures *are* worse for you than kitty.
I always stay at the end. My vet hates doing it, but she's good and they just slip away. It's hell on me but I figure kitty deserves it.
I understand what you are going through. In August 2005, I had to put my dear Taffy down for the same disease. She was 18 years old and even with the subcutaneous fluids and other medications, her quality of life was going downhill. It was the worse moment of my life but I held her and let her know I was there till the end.
I had a hard time letting go and I probably should have done it sooner. I just couldn't stand losing that part of my life. I emphasize with you and with the decision that you now have to make.
After a month of giving him phenobarbitol, and continuing the subcutaneous fluids three times a week, I did have to put down my little friend on Friday.
It's very difficult, and there is guilt, and a heavy heart, and all the other whirlwind emotions that go along with it.
It is just so heart-wrenching.
I can't walk in your shoes and I can only imagine the emotions, but please do let the guilt emotion fade quickly. Your cat would be very upset knowing you felt guilt when all you did was help. You dug deep for the courage that allowed you to help.
What would he have done without you?
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