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Time to put my cat down?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by lneal, May 2, 2006.

  1. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Well, we have an old calico cat about 18 years old, pretty darned old for a cat and I think it may be time to put her down and I was wanting to hear some of your experiences with this. Here's what's happening: she has severe arthritis in her hips and back legs and the vet says osteoporosis may be a factor too, as a result she walks sideways and has trouble getting up; she begs for food all the time, even immediately after she's been fed (dementia perhaps?), has lost about 3.5 pounds over the past year or so; she goes to the litter box but has trouble squatting and just hangs her butt off the edge of the box and pees on the puppy pads I keep down there. Also she has to go several times before she gets it all out. And she has terrible breath from her bad teeth (we feed her canned food). She pukes a lot more than she used to, not hairballs, just plain puke. Nasty puke.

    She still has a good appetite, is alert and her coat looks ok (although it used to look better). She doesn't pee in any odd places, either. She seems to know who we are still but it just seems that her poor old body is failing her. My wife and I are up in the air on this; I want to take her to the vet and do the deed, but my wife isn't sure. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thank you.
  2. My cat is getting up there too, he's 16. I dunno, I think it's a thing where you have to think of the cats best interest. My cat isn't experiencing the problems yours is, so I assume he's still happy, just old. Is your cat happy, or just pushing onward and in pain? It sounds like the arthritis and stuff would be painfull. My suggestion is to just do what your wife decides is best, since it's a hard decision and it'll make her happy whatever she decides.
  3. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    Put it to sleep...
  4. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    If she still seems happy and in no pain I'd keep her, as long as you don't mind looking after her. On the other hand if she's suffering then it's time to hold onto your memories and let her go.

    About half of my friends do it themselves, preferring to spend the pet's last moments together, rather than in the car and then the place that they never really liked, the vets office.

    The other half take them to the vet.
  5. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    I agree with the first part of Akami's post - if the cat's suffering then it's time for her to go, if she seems okay then let her have a little longer. The bit you said about the arthritis is probably the thing that would make me decide to let her go, but then we haven't seen her and you have.
  6. bigtexashonk

    bigtexashonk Supporting Member

    As hard as it is to let go of a long time friend, if your vet says she's suffering, you know what needs to be done. It's the last thing you can do for her.

    I'm not a vet, but the bad breath can be a symptom of feline renal failure. A tough thing to try and deal with that eventually leads to the same end.

    Know and trust your vet, but make sure they understand they can shoot straight with you. I've had a vet not come out and say "it's time" when it was.

    Enjoy what time you still have with her.
  7. Your mom's probably 70ish, eh? Probably got arthritis and what not, on plenty of medications.

    Why don't you put her down?

    I hate the double standard between humans and animals for things like this. Unless your cat is in serious pain and doesn't want to live anymore, don't make that decision for them.

    Wouldn't you want to live even if you had bad arthritis and walked sideways?
  8. ras1983


    Dec 28, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    our family's kitten is only 5 months old. but this thread made me think of the future. i couldn't see myself putting her to sleep, i've grown too attached to her.:meh:
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    I had to put a cat to sleep after 17 years of companionship. He could have hung on for a while, but he was just worn out, and in moderate pain.

    It was very, very, very hard to do but it was the right thing for the cat. All I can tell you is to think of your pet first, and the decision will become easier.

    Sorry that you are going through this.... it's very sad, but it sounds like your cat had a good long life.

    All the best,

  10. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    I appreciate everyone's input on this. I really don't want this to turn into a discussion on the morality of euthanasia, but I do respect everyone's opinions on it. We have a lot of thinking to do here...........................
  11. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    We just had to do that with ours 2 weeks ago. She was 18 1/2. :(

    We tried all sorts of stuff... the vet gave her an anti-inflammatory for her hind legs, that stuff was a miracle - she started running around and acting like a cat 10 yrs younger! But it was her digestive problems that finally caught up with her. She was puking all the time too... eventually it got to the point where she couldn't eliminate waste, got another kidney infection, couldn't eat anymore, lost a lot of weight. Had to say goodbye.

    Sorry bro.
  12. We all get old and when we do, stuff doesnt work as good as it did as we were younger. Its sad to put a pet down, I had to a few months ago. Buddy had issues and was in pain. It was tough to do, but had to be done. She was a stray, a little puppy we picked up off the street and took here in. We put her to sleep 12 yrs later. Her quality of life degraded, rather quickly. One day she could get up on her own, the next day, You could see it in her eyes, she was in pain, and looked like she knew her time was up. She didnt fight it. You can see she didnt want to live that way. I think dogs have that instinct. My kids were devistated. My wife and I were in the room when she was put down. No Pain, and fell asleep with her eyes open. She looked very peaceful. We did the right thing. We have her ashes. She was a great dog and lived a great life..

    A few months later we took in another puppy that little runt!
  13. My wife is a Vet Nurse in a specialty practice, so they see cancer, kidney failure, etc. There is an ongoing debate concerning euthanasia. In some cases, it's way too early and in others they just can't let go even though the quality of life has gone.

    It's a tough decision but you'll know when the time is right. My friend's cat had stomach cancer. He actually treated it for a while. Surgery wasn't an option due to it's location. He had good days and bad days and enjoyed whatever time he had left. Eventually more bad days than good... and that's when they put him to sleep.

    IMHO, in addtion to the task at hand, sometimes people worry about what others will think of their decision. Nobody walks in your shoes and if they're truly your friends, they'll respect and understand your choice. Just think it through and get it right in your head.

    If you'd like to chat further, please PM me. This is a subject very close to my wife and I. Although I don't actually work in the business, I share in many of her stories.
  14. I've got an old tabby about 17. She did the puking thing 'till the vet diagnosed a thyroid problem. She's now doing fine.
    But I know I'll have to face that decision soon.

    Please don't keep your pet around if you know its in real pain everyday.

    Good luck.
  15. So, you should have a cat to man talk with your feline over dinner and discuss it with her.
  16. It was a good number of years ago when we put our dog down. She was a golden, and 14 years old. Her arthritis got to the point where one day she just couldn't get up... that's when we knew it was it.

    It's very hard... but I would probably put her down. It's just going to get worse if you keep her longer... your cat had a good long life with you.
  17. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    We got a pomeranian (sp?) puppy on saturday.

    If anyone wants to put it to sleep... go ahead.
  18. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    last year my dog got cancer and we decided to have her put down. the vet was going to come out to the house so we could do it in the back yard instead of the cold clinicle environment of the vets. fortunatley, as the vet was on her way, my dog started the process and i rushed her outside and sat with her as she died in my arms. i say fortunatley because i really dont think i could have lived with the decision to tell the vet, ok kill my dog. even though i think it is humane to stop the suffering. this is the toughest call in the world i think.
  19. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    i'm guessing here that you have NEVER watched a person or animal die? i lost my mom and fortunatley was holding her hand as she passed. same with my dog. i also lost my best friend to cancer in 1993. plaes dont make smart ass comments when it is obvious that someone has to face a life decision like this. as you get older you'll understand.
  20. I've had a few pets put to sleep, and know the difficult decision. one vet recommended thinking of your pet's 3 favourite things to do. once they can't do 2 of them anymore, it's probably time.

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