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Old 04-21-2013, 06:07 PM   #1
ChisJo
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OT: Should I euthanize my cat?

I have a 16 year old cat who is and has always been awesome. Very friendly and beautiful. She is getting old and is starting to display many symptoms which concerns me. Over the past year, she has steadily been losing weight. She was around 9 lbs; today, I would say she is around 4 lbs. You can feel every rib, and her spine/hips protrude. She is hungry all the time, howling for food, running to the kitchen when we get up for anything with the hopes of getting some soft food. I know she's got a hyperthyroid, but I'll touch on that in a bit. She's so hungry, she wakes me 2-3 times/night for food, but she rejects the food we give her 50% of the time. About 25% of the time, she throws it right back up. She throws up alot otherwise. Sometimes its just bile, other times its foamy clear, other times its undigested food and sometimes, its a hairball. Over the past 4 years, she has developed seizures after her throw ups, but not often. When it does happen, its awful to watch. The vet says this is a vagal nerve reaction and not to be concerned, but when you see your cat have a grand mal seizure, it sucks. Her teeth are terrible. She's already had 3 removed and I'm sure a few more could come out. Her eyes are terrible...you can see the cataracts just spreading through them. Her fur, although still lovely and so so soft, is starting to look a little ragged. You can see the "old"-ness set in. Her nose isn't as furry/soft, she has the old pet head shake, she's getting very grey in the face. Her arthritis is getting quite prominent as she is having trouble jumping up onto the bed/furniture. She is able to get up and down the stairs, and she still uses the litter box. We have 3 other cats in the house, all of them under the age of 5. They have over the past few months progressively gotten a little aggressive with this old cat. I have this idea that they are doing it because they are doing "survival of the fittest" and can sense her sickness.
I know she has a hyperthyroid (not tested, but we have had other cats with this and she is displaying the exact same symptoms). I know that this can be resolved with medication. The problem is this: she is SO frightened by car rides and this medication requires frequent trips to the vet to have blood work done. She HATES getting pills, and no matter how I disguise it, she fights it tooth and nail (and trust me, I've tried EVERYTHING). Also, this medication requires her to have good liver function. The last blood test we had done, her liver function was already compromised, but not to the point of worry. She also already had minute crystals in her urine. This was 2 years ago, so I'm sure that this has only gotten worse. Its not that I wouldn't care about the cost to have all of these tests done, but I just don't know if its worth it for a 16 year old cat.
I've had 3 appointments made to have her euthanized, but on those days, she's active, and playful and I just can't do it. I feel like I'm murdering my cat. However, my DH and my mother think that the time has come. I guess I just want some unbiased opinions. It kills me to think of her gone since she really has been the worlds best cat, but if its for the best, then I will do it.
Any thoughts would be appreciated....thanks in advance!
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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I've been in the same position before with an old buddy of mine. She was a Calico short hair and a sweetie ... she really loved me. Although at the time, I doubted I was doing the right thing, I believe now that I did the right thing.

Nothing will take the sadness out of this .... its all about how you perceive mercy. Best wishes on whatever you choose!

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:17 PM   #3
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This sounds like my 20 year old cat to a tee as she was dying from renal failure although it sounds like you fur baby is even worse. It as so hard for me to see my sweet Sheba suffering and even worse for my mother who the cat had pretty much adopted and stayed with the majority of the time (we live in the same house) but then there would be good days where she didn't seem to be in pain, would eat a little bit and would spend her day sleeping in Mom's lap. But the seizures started and she was injuring herself during them, my mother spent a weekend doing all she could to comfort her until Monday would come and she could take her to the vet that had cared for her for so many years, knowing that it was time to stop the suffering, Mom gathered up her favorite blanket and little stuffed animal that Sheba loved and left them with our precious cat at the vet, it was Mom's choice to not bring her home after she had been put to sleep because she didn't feel that she could look at a grave in the yard and not be miserable. That lovely little barn cat that was a Christmas gift for my young niece was so loved, so spoiled and so much fun but it was time to say goodbye. I hope you have the courage to do what you feel is best for your kitty.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #4
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One last note, we only had one cat so there wasn't any chance of Sheba having something that could be passed to others, but I would have been concerned about that if we had other cats.
I will go on to say that Mom missed Sheba even more than I did and about a month after Sheba was put out of her misery I found a beautiful kitty at a private shelter to give to Mom. I looked for the complete opposite in a cat - boy instead of girl, short hair instead of long etc so that it would not be a replacement for Sheba. I fell in love with a 3 year old kitty that is deaf "as a post" as they say who had been abused, and in fact the private shelter had taken him in from a public shelter when he was due to be euthanized because no one wanted him. It has been a little over a year since he joined out household and he has turned into the most loving cat you can imagine, quite a change from the holy terror he was when he came, howling at all hours for no reason, hardly eating and usually vomiting after eating (from being starved the vet said), not allowing anyone to touch him (from being beaten and kicked) to sitting for hours on end in Mom's lap, sleeping with her at night etc. He loves to be petted - well most of the time, he is a very active boy and has his rounds to make around the house you know!
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #5
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oh, why is it that pets must inevitably break our hearts?

I don't think anyone can answer the question for you - but my thoughts are - do her bad spells/days outnumber her good times? You mentioned she still has active, playful days. How often? Are they a rare exception?

I hope you reach your decision with peace in your heart. I have no doubt that she has had 16 wonderful years and knows she's been well loved
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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If you have a good vet that you trust go and talk with him/her.

It sounds to me like your kitty is trying to tell you something....losing half her body weight, trying to eat but can't, seizures and vomitting??????? My dog had similar symptoms.....turned out she had organ failure. We were left with only one option and it was very hard to deal with but it had to be done out of love.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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I'm so sorry you have to make this decision. I can tell it is an awful one for you. We have two cats and I love them beyond reason. They are simply part of my family and I can only imagine how much this hurts for you.
From what you described it sounds like the end is near. I'd like to think it will be clear at the end in our case but it isn't always so, is it?
When you feel quality of life is no longer there, and she spends too much time suffering instead of enjoying her sweet life, then I believe you have your answer. The constantly being hungry would be the biggest factor for me, as I imagine that would be an awful feeling. I can't make this decision for you. I can tell you will decide what is best out of love and compassion though.
Sending you strength.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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Better for you to make the choice, however hard, than to delay it and have her die on her own in discomfort or pain one day or night.
You can rest easier knowing you helped her leave this world without pain and that you gave her the best life a cat could have.
It's awful. They give us so much joy and so heartbreaking at the end.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:13 AM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your kind words. This has been a very difficult decision for me, but I think it's time. This cat, without sounding melodramatic, saved my life. I got her at a very dark time in my life and she honestly brought me back to the light. It's going to be so hard to say good bye, but knowing that she won't be suffering anymore will help ease the pain in my heart. We're going in tomorrow so I hope all goes well.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChisJo View Post
Thank you everyone for your kind words. This has been a very difficult decision for me, but I think it's time. This cat, without sounding melodramatic, saved my life. I got her at a very dark time in my life and she honestly brought me back to the light. It's going to be so hard to say good bye, but knowing that she won't be suffering anymore will help ease the pain in my heart. We're going in tomorrow so I hope all goes well.
Two times now I've delayed that decision too long. It is so agonizing even though you know, deep down, that is the right thing to do. It is never, ever easy but it will bring you both peace.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:50 PM   #11
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{{HUGS}} to you my friend. We went through a similar situation in 2005. The cat had lost more than half his body weight, and we could tell that he was physically struggling with walking, stairs, and the litter box. I should have put him down at Christmas, but we were going to Disney early Jan and I had myself convinced that if I did that, I was really only doing it so that no one had to look after him while we were gone ... I think it was guilt getting the better of me. We held out until early March, and in hindsight, I wish I had done it earlier. Watching him suffer was more painful in the long run.

Know that your agonizing over this is only proof of your love and dedication to your precious fur-baby. She will Rest in Peace.

More {{HUGS}} ... especially for tomorrow.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:39 PM   #12
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We had a Calico cat for 22 years , and lots sound just like yours. She had Thyroid problems with losing weight , but our vet was excellent, got her on tablets which helped her when she was about 16, then started having fits at about 19, tablets for it, but she was very active even at 19. She started going downhill at about 21, sleeping prob 20 hours a day and eventually only waking for food and sleeping again, and then seemed to have memory loss or dementia the vet said.
after much deliberation with our Vet who we trust, said wshe thought it was time for her, but to think about it, ,we had her home and after about 5 days , and much tears shed, decided that it was time, and we where only delaying for our feelings and not what was best for our much loved cat. i took her to the vet and stayed with her, and it was prob the hardest thing i had even done,[shedding a tear now with the memory of her and this was 4 years ago].
I swore there would be no more animals after i did this as it really affected me bad, but after 3 years we got another cat who we love dearly and getting another later this year, Oh! and also got a horse LOL
i hope what ever you do, you will have lots of happy memories of years of happiness you had with your fur baby.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:34 PM   #13
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Hi Hon
Just thinking of you and wanted to send some



Hugs Mel
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:12 PM   #14
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I hope you were able to make what you felt was the right decision for you, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Old 05-06-2013, 12:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted in Halifax View Post
I've been in the same position before with an old buddy of mine. She was a Calico short hair and a sweetie ... she really loved me. Although at the time, I doubted I was doing the right thing, I believe now that I did the right thing.

Nothing will take the sadness out of this .... its all about how you perceive mercy. Best wishes on whatever you choose!

Ted
You took the words right out of my mouth! My Calico was my furry friend and loved me alot too! she was my girl! she was only 12 but threw up constantly. It was the hardest decision to have her euthanized when we where posted to Edmonton from NewBrunswick. I don't think she could have Made the trip or settled into our new home, it was the best thing for her, although at the time it was the hardest thing for me! She was wonderful, and a sweet companion for so many years. It is so hard to say goodbye to our fur babies, but sometimes that decision comes.....one day you will be able to smile through the hurt and remember the joy she gave you and your family for so many years. You will make the best decision, and know that she lived a long and loved life.
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