My cat is dying of old age - what can I do to make him more at ease at home?

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  1. ChristinS profile image38
    ChristinSposted 12 years ago

    My cat is dying of old age - what can I do to make him more at ease at home?

    He is very old, it is natural causes and I believe the most humane thing is to let him stay home with us where he is comfortable rather than put him through the stress of a card ride to get him euthanized.  Please don't judge my choice or criticize - I merely want to know what I can do to help him be more comfortable in his final hours here at home?   The closest vet is 45 minutes from here and I won't put him through that.  My heart is breaking and I just want to know I did all I could to help his transition...

    He is listless and his breathing is labored he appears to be resting.

  2. tlmcgaa70 profile image60
    tlmcgaa70posted 12 years ago

    I know how you feel. my dog of ten years just died about 10 days ago. our closest vet is roughly 50 miles one way. with her i simply did not have time to take her. we got up around seven am to take her out and she had difficulty with motor control. once we were outside she pooped while in a standing position as opposed to squatting. she took a few steps and sort of collapsed. i carried her (60 pound dog) back into the house and laid her on the floor. it still wasnt eight oclock yet. i knew she was dying. i laid down beside her and put my hand on her rib cage so i could feel her breathing and heart beat and to let her know i was there, if she was even aware of me. she went quickly. if you are going to let your cat die at home and you are with him, be aware that they will gasp for air and this is hard to watch. even after they appear to be gone, they will sometimes suddenly start gasping again. at this point i do not believe they are aware of anything and may even be brain dead, it is their body fighting not "them". when Delta did this three different times, i was afraid to speak or move lest i cause her to become aware and try to fight to live. you will know best how to make him comfortable, at least as far as you can...mostly just being with him. try to not cry til he is gone.he may sense your distress and struggle harder to live. anything you can do to make him let go easier will be the best thing you can do for him. i am so very sorry you must face this and for your upcoming loss. it will help greatly to get a kitten right away. the kitten will help keep your mind off your dead cat until you can think about him without crying. when Delta died, i had not planned on getting another dog but mom and dad needed a puppy to help them, and so i searched and ended up with two puppies. we felt that we had this surplus of love that was directed at Delta but she was not here to receive it anymore and we needed someone to give it to. the pups helped a great deal. i hope i have been able to help you through this. if you need to talk feel free to contact me.

    my mom wanted me to tell you that there is nothing inhumane about it. her vet told her to take her cat home (dying of kidney failure) and love her til she passed on. she was 14 yrs old.
    if it helps focus on the fact that once he is gone he will not know or remember anything and will not be suffering anymore. let that be a comfort to you.

  3. FloraBreenRobison profile image60
    FloraBreenRobisonposted 12 years ago

    Oh, I am so sorry. My cat is quite old too, although she hasn't reached the stage of your cat yet. She likely will reach this before the end of 2012 if not early 2013. Do you live in a winter area? My cat has strong arthritis in her legs and feels the cold terribly even when it is not that cold. As a result I have the heat on all the time now that it is about 20 below freezing. You are not really supposed to have the heat on at 70 or 80 overnight, but I don't care. I don't even care that it is difficult to sleep when I am too hot. Her comfort is all that matters. I have plenty of time to sleep when she is gone. For sure, keep everything at a high heat with afghans, electricity, fireplace, whatever. Your cat's aches and pains will be less.

    I know that part of my financial difficulties are the result of wanting to do everything for Amy. But how could I not? She is my family.

  4. faria_lupin profile image60
    faria_lupinposted 12 years ago

    i can feel your pain because i lost my pet last year on 5th April sad
    what happen to him i mean your cat? one of our city's vet killed my cat by giving wrong medicine sad... ohh i cant remember that day....he was only 2 1/2 years old.
    listen try to mix with him and if possible call help you and your cat.
    how older is he?take him to the hospital if possible but don't disturb him sad
    i don't know what should i say to you i am speechless.....
    try to give him more time that's all i can say now and pray to god that would he give your cat more time to live with you people....?

  5. moonfairy profile image73
    moonfairyposted 12 years ago

    I'm truly sorry for what you're going through and my heart is with you. If it were me, I would just stay with him and let him know you love him with your words and your touch. Pat him and tell him how you feel.....tell him what a good kitty he is and how much you love him. keep him warm and comfortable. Just stay by his side....
    I lost my cat as well and I hurt sooo bad sad but I gave him all the love I could with my words and my touch...and I knew that he knew.....
    take care and all the best.
    p.s. kitty heaven is a wonderful place=)

  6. profile image0
    Breen Bergstromeposted 12 years ago

    My dear Christin,
    Keep him with you on the couch, right next to you.  It's quite possible he has had a heart attack, wth laboured breathing and apparent resting.  He may be purring gently, this helps keep him calm.
    If it were me, I'd find every reason to stay in the frontroom with him, watch TV, chatter away to him quietly, do some crosswords, keep the tv or stereo on...preferably tv so there are no sad songs to cope with....
    Your are a blessed person to care for and love your pet so much.  Helping him through this transition is what will ultimately  give you peace.
    Be very kind to yourself...keep looking up.  You are grieving already....try not to grieve too much.  Let his little spirit rise to the clouds.

  7. ChristinS profile image38
    ChristinSposted 12 years ago

    Thank you everyone SO much for your words of comfort.  He wanted to rest on the couch so he laid there and we talked to him and petting him and then he just meowed a couple of times looked up, took a couple of gaspy breaths, purred and was gone - it was very difficult, but I am glad I was able to give him some comfort at the end.  I stroked him and talked to him calmly until he left and then I lost it for awhile. 

    It means the world to me that I was here for him at the end.  He was my first baby - he came along a couple of years before my oldest son, who is also quite devastated.  He's been with me through so many memories so that is what I want to keep and focus on.  I appreciate everyone's warmth - it helped me very much to know others have been there and dealt with it to.  Thanks so much!

  8. TKs view profile image60
    TKs viewposted 12 years ago

    You are incredibly brave for how you handled this transition.  Often times, we look outward for help from a expert, but the amount of stress your cat would've gone through in transporting him and placing him in a unfamiliar environment filled with strangers, would've made your last hours together so much more shallow.

    My heartfelt condolences for the lose of one so dear.
    Over the course of the next few days, you may, on occasion, question if you did the right thing.  That's a natural part of grieving and it will pass. 

    Know that the greatest comfort you could provide is exactly what you did provide.  Companionship of loved ones.

  9. profile image0
    wwolfsposted 12 years ago

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your cat and for the pain you are feeling. It makes me sad to hear of anyone losing a beloved pet as many people have strong bonds with them as they are your family, too. I feel you made the right choice by keeping him in his own environment with his loved ones around. You could not have given him any better comfort than that. My best to you.

  10. profile image51
    angelabillieposted 12 years ago

    Oh my dear; my heart goes out to you.  I am 64 yrs old and have had to make these horrible decisions so many times.  Will your vet come to your home? It wilcost extra, but if you can at all afford it this would be the most stress-free situation for her.  A quick shot, and that's it.  NO suffering. 
    Lacey was 20 yrs old - the most beautiful black & white girlie-girl.  As her spirit left her body, my face was on her face, I was telling her how much I loved her and promising to see her again  -- when I possbily could.

  11. DzyMsLizzy profile image85
    DzyMsLizzyposted 12 years ago

    I am so, so very sorry for your loss.  I've been there a number of times over the course of my 63 years.  It always hurts terribly, and it never gets "better," only easier as time goes by. 
    We ease the pain with our fond memories and many photos of our beloved furry friends. 

    I'd like to refer you to this touching poem about our pets who have crossed over:

    and here is a short poem that says it all so perfectly as to why we have pets in the first place:

    My most sincere condolences, and may your future life be filled with many more furry companions, with whom you will surely meet up again in a better place.

  12. thoughtfulgirl2 profile image82
    thoughtfulgirl2posted 12 years ago

    Hi there,

    I had a cat like yours, her name was Penelope, and I let her die peacefully at home.  I just made her comfortable and gave her whatever food she wanted.  She was my fluffy girl and lived to be nineteen.  I loved her with my whole heart.  So, for me to love her meant not to drag her to the vet to get euthanized.  She died in my arms listening to a Tony Bennet cd and the Double Fantasy cd by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

    Just make sure your cat is hydrated.  Older cats dehydrate very easily.  I gave Po water in a dropper every couple of hours.  I brushed her and carried her around like a baby because that's what she preferred at that late stage in her life.  I'm glad I opted not to take her to the vet.  A lot can be said for the power of love.

  13. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image82
    Marcy Goodfleischposted 12 years ago

    I'm so sorry you're facing this sad time. What a good person you are, to care for his comfort.  Maybe he would enjoy gentle massages now and then, and the comfort of something special and familiar kept near him (a blanket or pillow he likes to sleep on). You've probably already put him on one of the foods designed for older kitties. Just continue to let him know he's loved.

  14. bscott4388 profile image60
    bscott4388posted 12 years ago

    I am really sorry to hear that.  It is always so difficult to experience the suffering of our pets.  They really do become like family and friends.  Have you tried feeding him warm milk and fresh cook fish, like tilapia or tuna?  You can five him a half of a baby aspirin if he is in pain.

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