A few simple practices will keep your beloved kitty comfortable in her final days. Keep a close eye on cats who want solitude without being intrusive. Do not force the cat to eat, as this can cause an already gravely ill cat to choke. Set your cat’s bed in a quiet, low-traffic part of your home. In the wild, a dying cat understands that it is more vulnerable to predators, so it seeks out a place where it can pass away in peace. Some clingy cats seek out solitude towards the end; other cats want and need the comfort of their human companions. Spend time with the cat, talking, gently stroking and comforting him or her. Their appetites wane. 10 Comments . Some sick kitties have trouble going to the bathroom, and snipping the hair prevents feces from tangling in their fur. He was only four though, and I don't know what's up with your cat. Red was always eager to eat, loved his food, and craved food nearly round the clock in his old age. Add a soft blanket to her bed for extra comfort. Switch your kitty to soft canned food if she had trouble chewing hard kibble like many terminally ill kitties. Trim the hair near your kitty’s anal region to avoid messy, matted hair. Never administer human painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin or tylenol/paracetamol to a cat. Caretakers put down the food at prescribed times, the cats eat it and it’s over. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. A cat that refuses to eat can develop serious medical problems. “I want her to die peacefully at home,” is among the most popular death-related lines whenever the issue arises––usually with respect to extreme geriatrics or pets with terminal conditions. Palliative care is designed to provide physical and emotional comfort to the cat, however, there will reach a point where palliative care is no longer effective, and euthanasia must be considered. Hospice care is needed when a cure is no longer possible for a disease, or where a choice is made to discontinue treatment, these can include: The goal of hospice or palliative care is to maximise the cat’s comfort and minimise suffering. If she is in pain, your vet will prescribe medication to ease her discomfort. Hospice care (sometimes referred to as palliative care) is a multifaceted approach to care for a cat with a life-limiting illness. If she won't eat her regular food, try baby food, boiled chicken cut into small pieces or put through a blender, or chicken broth. The treatment plan will cover all aspects of medical care the cat will require, including medications, nutrition and regular veterinary appointments to monitor the cat. For the cat who wants to be near people, let them. A feral cat (spayed) that I leave food out for hadn't been eating much and has what appears to be pneumonia based on the symptoms. which consists of several questions the veterinarian marks from 0-10. Check the pet food aisle at your local supermarket, and you'll find dozens of varieties of food to entice your cat. Dying animals often have trouble regulating their body temperature, and a heating pad will keep your kitty warm. Your cat’s veterinarian can prescribe a high-nutrition food such as Hills a/d. Minimize noise and activity around your cat. Keep the bed, litter trays, food and water bowls nearby. This is especially important in longhaired breeds. A bedroom is an ideal place. Can the cat be around other household pets? Keep boisterous pets away, especially towards the end when health mobility seriously declines. Stops Eating and Drinking. If I feel the dying cat is restless or distressed, I will give them a homeopathic remedy that gives them the ability, by removing the fear, to choose whether to stay or go. The nutritional requirements of a cat who is near the end of life are going to differ from a healthy kitten or adult cat. Stay up to date with the latest cat news and published articles. We must always put our own feelings aside and do what is best for the cat. Meat provides your cat with protein and vitamin A that are necessary for her overall health. There are several options the veterinarian can recommend to relieve pain. Your cat might take nourishment if you coax him or force-feed her. One of the signs your cat is dying is its disinterest in food. It's hard to know if she's sick enough to be put down without details. Keep fresh water available and close to the cat’s bed. I … Full author bio Contact Julia, (adsbygoogle=window.adsbygoogle||[]).push({}), About   Privacy policy   Disclaimer   Linking policy   FAQ   Contact   Sitemap Copyright © Cat-World.com - All Rights Reserved. It is up to the caregiver to relay symptoms to the veterinarian who can prescribe the right medication to make the cat more comfortable. Do not expect a cat in the final stages to have to navigate stairs or travel long distances for food, water, or to go to the toilet. Ensure the cat receives adequate nutrients, and in some cases, prescription diets to help manage or slow down the progress of a condition. Pressure sores can develop in cats with limited mobility, provide a soft bed with plenty of padding. The aim is to provide a good quality of life, by making the cat as comfortable as possible in the last few days, weeks or months of his or her life. When you are looking for new cat food for a dying cat, make sure it is in line with their taste buds. What to feed a dying cat? They can recommend a high-calorie gel such as Nutrigel and/or appetite stimulants, or insert a feeding tube if all of the above methods fail. Julia lives in Sydney with her family, four cats and two dogs. At the very end, the cat will stop eating and drinking completely; this is normal as the cat’s body is shutting down. If these interventions fail to get a cat to eat, I resort to tube feeding. Lift her tail gently and trim the hair to a length of no more than 1/2 inch to keep your kitty clean and happy. process begins before the cat has passed away. During this period, it is important to work closely with the veterinarian who can prescribe medications where necessary to relieve discomfort and suffering. Ultimately, it falls on the caregiver (with the guidance of a veterinarian) to make the final decision. Seek veterinary advice if the unwell cat has an infectious disease that could be transferred to the visiting cat. She will need a calm, quiet environment that is free of noisy activity and chaos. Signs a cat is in the active phase of dying, At the end of a terminal illness such as cancer, A decision is made not to proceed with curative treatment for a disease or injury, After a diagnosis of a chronic disease such as liver or kidney disease, A decision is made not to pursue treatment for a life-threatening disease, When the cat and/or the caregiver are unable to cope with the management of a disease (for example, a cat strongly resents receiving medical treatments such as injections or pills), Diseases or conditions which severely impact the quality of life, such as advanced arthritis, Cats are hardwired to hide signs of pain and discomfort, and the caregiver must learn to recognise, A transdermal patch which provides continuous pain relief. It's no reflection of your cat's love for you, it's just a natural tendency as she nears the end. Offer food on your finger. Your cat’s veterinarian can prescribe a high-nutrition food such as Hills a/d. She enjoys photography, gardening and running in her spare time. Make the transition to soft food slowly, swapping one-fourth of her normal hard food for canned food for the first few days. When cleaning the anal area, wipe away from the genitals to avoid transferring bacteria to the genitals. She is emaciated and weak, and in desperation, left the outside cold, and went into my laundry room from my garage. However, the prolonged use of a syringe or a feeding tube for force-feeding can cause pain to our little tiger. Sometimes our emotions can cloud our judgment, but at this time, we must put the cat’s needs ahead of our own emotions. At this point, the goal of treatment focuses on providing comfort, pain relief, and managing clinical signs but not curing the disease. No two people are the same, some experience guilt, most experience sadness, and loneliness, and it is not uncommon to feel relief once the cat passes. Hospice care is a type of care provided to a cat with a chronic or terminal illness with a goal of relieving pain and symptoms. Every cat in our house gets their own bowl of wet food and the dried food bowls are shared. Cats have shorter lives than we have, so having to deal with our grief as well as the best for the dying cat, is a certainty. What will the cat miss out on if he or she is not here tomorrow? A lot of cat owners forget to do this! An immobile cat can develop pressure sores, ensure they have a cozy and well-cushioned bed. Nobody wants to lie in their own mess, and that includes a terminally ill cat. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for dying pets is to let them go peacefully. If the cat has stopped grooming, gently brush the coat to prevent mats. Feeding exclusively moist food doesn’t solve the problem. Dying animals often have trouble regulating their body temperature, and a heating pad will keep your kitty warm. The grieving process begins before the cat has passed away. Supporting the cat and relieving symptoms and pain. Dying cats already have a compromised immune system, so the visiting cat must be in good health with no parasites or infectious diseases. That doesn’t take away from your love of the pet, but caring for a terminally ill family member (and that includes pets) is emotionally and physically draining. Dying cats typically lose their appetite. A cat’s life has gone through enough changes with the death of her furry friend, and it won’t do her any good if you start implementing changes in your home. No two people are the same, some experience guilt, most experience sadness, and loneliness, and it is not uncommon to feel relief once the cat passes. Cats are hardwired to hide signs of pain and discomfort, and the caregiver must learn to recognise signs of pain. Now he's 100% fine and has no memory of that time everyone thought he was dying. For more detailed information, please read our article on dying cats. Avoid bullying and competition for food by feeding your cat out of direct eyesight of any other cats/dogs; Show a little tenderness - be patient and give your cat your undivided attention. Is the cat still participating in daily activities he or she used to enjoy? Cats are obligate carnivores and cannot be vegetarian. This is a decision which ultimately must come from the cat’s carer, but with the guidelines of a veterinarian. Signs of dehydration include poor skin tenting, dull eyes and tacky gums. When cats are dying, they tend to seek out hiding places, sleep a great deal and even isolate themselves to some degree. Step 4 Switch your kitty to soft canned food if she had trouble chewing hard kibble like many terminally ill kitties. Or, add tasty treats to the top of the cat’s food such as a small sample of tuna, or a gourmet cat gravy such as Dine Creamy Treats (available in sachets from your supermarket). 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