Could use some compassionate advice about cat dying.

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Country4ever, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Country4ever

    Country4ever Songster

    Oct 26, 2007
    As some of you may have read in my other post, my 12 year old cat is dying of hyperthyroidism.
    I've always felt that our pets should die at home with us there, provided they are not appearing to be suffering too much or for too long.
    Maybe I shouldn't even worry about this yet, but I have to plan ahead.
    I might say some things that upset some people, but I'm looking for support, I guess.

    My daughter is moving to another state to go to graduate school. We've rented a moving truck and have planned to take her on Saturday. That's the only time we can do it.

    What if kitty appears to be dying Saturday morning???
    Here's what I'm wondering: Just as with the sick/dying chickens I've had, the cat has been hiding, and doesn't seem to appreciate our wanting to be around him and comfort him.

    Yes, I will feel bad if he dies while we're gone on Saturday, ....and maybe I'm just making excuses.......but I'm honestly wondering if it really would make any difference at all to our cat, if we weren't there. I'm not sure he would even be aware of us. He spends 99% of his time sleeping now.
    I think it would bother me more than the cat! But life goes on, and I need to help my daughter on Saturday. It will be an all-day thing.......maybe 16 hours.
    Does this sound callous? It will be hard for me to leave Kitty, but I don't see an option.
    Hopefully, he will pass peacefully before then.
    Dang. I hate these dilemmas.

  2. He's had a loving and busy life for 12 years, now he needs a peaceful and safe house that you have provided and he trusts you, I think he'd appreciate the time alone to pass into the Lord's house with many rooms, to await the arrival of those who have loved him, Peace, Love and Joy. Act like it is any other day for him, that is the important part and a great kindness for him. And, a hug for you when you do discover he has passed on, a loving stroke between his ears for him...happy, new adventures for your daughter. Life is a journey.
  3. ducks4you

    ducks4you Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    East Central Illinois
    From one who, in the last year and a half, has lost a beloved dog, and 2 horses, one of which was my favorite ( I owned him for 23 years)--as long as you have provided a loving home and safe environment for your cat, he/she will understand. One of our favorite kitties came home from our neighbors after ingesting antifreeze--we couldn't do a thing for him but make him comfortable. His brother found the same garage, but died in the barn and we found him afterwards. I know that you'll grieve after the cat is gone and find a place to bury the body. But, if you beat yourself up about this there will be no place for a new cat who needs a good home.
  4. Chicks_N_Horses

    Chicks_N_Horses Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    South Alabama
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I will send prayers your way for your cat and you [​IMG]

  5. Nana2KJS

    Nana2KJS Chicks-n-Ahs

    Mar 21, 2009
    SE Kansas
    I understand the pain you are feeling. We had to let our 16 year old cat go a few months ago.

    She did the same thing... hung out under my hostas for a few days, then disappeared. We thought she was gone, until I heard her cries outside one day. She had obviously come back to us for help, and we had to let her go. It would have been too cruel to leave her to her own devices when she was obviously in pain.

    Perhaps your kitty will come back and ask for help like our Poo-ki did. I hope the Lord will help you make the best decision for both of you.

    They are like family, I know. I cried all the way to the vet and all the way home, but I know we did the right thing. And I think she knew we would, too. That's why she came back one last time.

  6. MidnightChickenLover

    MidnightChickenLover Songster

    Jul 13, 2009
    I had a cat die of cancer. She was born with it, so unbreventalbe, and her mother died of it right after birth.
    I suggest that you take him to the vet. See if you can do anything for him. Personnaly I would rather my cats die peacefully if there was no other option except dieing without "drugs".
    I had a cat that got ran over. His pelvis was crushed. There were only two option for him: Death or a very expensive suregeory. Lets just say he is a very expensive cat [​IMG]
    I hate the death of any animals and I truely hope for the best..
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    <big hug>

    I've been in pretty similar situations, and I can't tell you what's right but I can tell you how I looked at it and what I did and how it worked out.

    I had a cat named Cato, who was 15 when his heart gave out. I'd moved to Canada and gotten married about a year previously, and had just then gotten my Permanent Resident card and thus become able to move all my stuff out of storage in NY state and bring it across the border. So I rented a somewhat expensive truck for Sunday-Monday (wasn't sure how long unloading would take).

    That Saturday night, it became clear Cato was not going to be around a lot longer but he did not seem to be afraid or in pain. So Sunday, we drove several hours across the border to pick up my stuff -- and realized that they'd rekeyed the locks due to a break-in, and I couldn't GET my stuff til the next day when there'd be an employee around. (I actually remember getting a letter about this, but I attribute my massive brain fart to being in the early stages of pregnancy, I did not even know about it til several days later [​IMG]). So we had to turn around and drive home with an empty truck.

    When we got home, Cato was very restless and seemed kind of scared about how he felt, couldn't walk more than a few steps, trouble breathing, etc. So, call me a terrible person, but given that his days (hours, really) were VERY numbered already, and he needed somebody to be with him, and it would have been pretty expensive to re-rent the truck for a later date, I took him to the vet's that night (actually it was to the vet's home) and he was put to sleep. I suppose we could have stayed home the next day and tried to comfort him, but frankly I think we would have been taking him in to the vet's *anyhow* that next morning, so, you know. I don't really have any regrets about it.

    OTOH I have had two other cats die who seemed to be reasonably ok with it, and I "let them be" as long as they seemed comfortable and at peace. Like you, I was hoping that they would die in their sleep. Unfortunately neither of them did, and both eventually got to where they seemed like the kindest thing was to get a vet to help them along. But, as long as they seemed like they were ok with what life they were living, as long as they did not seem upset or scared or in pain, I would have had no hesitatation (regrets at things not working out more conveniently, of course, but not *hesitation*) about leaving them alone for the day.

    Really as long as the cat is sleepy and 'out of it' and not seeming like they have a problem they're trying to get away from or can't deal with, I think it matters a whole lot more to US than to the cat.

    One of the two latter-mentioned cats of mine, whom I frequently had to leave for an 8+ hour work day while she was, basically, slowly dying of kidney failure that had progressed beyond any treatment, I used to leave her with a worn (unlaundered) tshirt of mine, and a spring of catnip in a sock. I got the impression that she did notice and appreciate the familiar smells, although of course it is hard to be certain. So, you might consider something like that, both for the cat's sake and to make you feel like you're still sort of 'there' for him.

    All the best wishes to you both,


  8. ohiofarmgirl

    ohiofarmgirl Songster

    Jan 22, 2009
    i'm so sorry. i lost my beloved cat of 19 years over thanksgiving weekend. honestly it was horrible watching her die. i laid down with her for almost 12 hours...most of the time i dont think she even knew it was me. we absolutely would not take her to the vet - it was over an hour away and i didnt want her last moments to be terrified in the car. but having to watch her was really awful. i still have her sister who is 20 now and i hope with all my heart she'll just lay down to go to sleep and not wake up.

    your dear little friend had your love every day for 12 years.based on my experience, if she wants to be with you she'll wait until you get home - otherwise its ok if you go.
  9. KDbeads

    KDbeads Songster

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    Only advice I can give is not to let him suffer. Listen to him, he'll tell you if it's time, you just have to be willing to accept it. But for me... I couldn't leave him to die alone.

  10. thebritt

    thebritt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    I would probably fix up a cozy bed + food/water (even tho he's probably not eating - it would be for ME more than him) in a large carrier. I wouldn't be able to bear imagining him dying under the house or a bush etc. I've done this with 2 of my old cats that were obviously dying (one was 22 yrs old!), even tho we were home. As Patandchickens suggested, you could leave him with familiar items for comfort. I liked the carrier idea because sometimes when a being dies, the bladder relaxes...that way there won't be an unpleasant chore in addition to the sadness of the passing. Don't beat yourself up about what you have to do for your daughter. You need to concentrate on the living. He may even wait for you...or not. You'll see when you get home. At least, if he's confined, you'll be able to find him. It's going to be OK. [​IMG]

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