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hard decision 16 yr old cat

(22 Posts)
anneey Fri 02-Jan-15 19:06:52

My 16 yr old Remy, has had 3 mini strokes in the last week.. The vet said it will not go away without treatment.My dilemma is do I put him through extensive treatments, traumatising him with fasting for blood tests and several visits to the vet.
At the moment he is eating well, and jumping up to the kitchen sink for his water. (Eccentric cat wont drink from a bowl)
I ask myself, do I end his life while he is reasonably happy?
I guess only I can make that decision.
I would appreciate your comments please.

whitewave Fri 02-Jan-15 19:12:37

What sort of treatment? It might be as simple as pills (fingers crossed) He does sound OK though. We tend to carry on until our animals have given up themselves if you know what I mean? This usually means refusing food and fluid or being so ill that it is obvious that the time has come.

tanith Fri 02-Jan-15 19:14:47

If it were me, while the cat is eating and has a quality of life and isn't in pain I would let him live his life but if there is any doubt about him being in pain then I would make that difficult decision. I wouldn't put him through any extensive treatments .
I know there are those who will do anything to prolong pets lives and they are entitled to their choice but its not for me.

MrsJamJam Fri 02-Jan-15 19:18:23

If he is happy at the moment can you just let him carry on as he is, knowing that a major stroke may carry him off at any time? Our cat is 17. Last time he was poorly we declined the offer of tests at the vets to find out what was wrong, because we would not have wanted to put him through an operation or anything like chemotherapy. So long as he is eating and sleeping happily and not showing distress we will keep him going. When he is in pain or distress will be the time for his final journey.

It is a tough decision but I feel we will know when life is no longer good for him.

HildaW Fri 02-Jan-15 19:21:33

So sorry anneey - its a horrible dilemma and in truth only you can decide. All I can say is that 6 months ago our very elderly cat started to loose a lot of weight very quickly. Our vet,who had seen her for regular annual check ups could find nothing specific. We watched her a while and, although she would wander outside and lay in the sun and was also eating well enough, we felt she was declining slowly and becoming little more than fur and bones.
We had a very special holiday on the horizon and the thought of putting her into the cattery albeit a small well run local one, was a cruel fate for such an elderly (18years) cat so we took the painful decision of ending her life gently and whilst she was still reasonably content.
It was a sad day but we do not regret it, she might have had a few more months or she might have suddenly gone down hill whilst we were away. We though none of that was fair so on a sunny day we said our goodbyes and took her to the vet.

Everyone will have to go through a similar situation if they have an elderly pet and I've always seen it as our duty as human 'owners' to do the best for them. The thought of this dear old lady suffering was not an option and although she might have had a little more time the situation meant that we had to be brave and ensure she did not suffer.

Its very much your decision, there will never be any hard and fast rules but if we care we must ensure there is as little suffering as possible.

All the best and I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right thing for you.

granjura Fri 02-Jan-15 19:25:13

anneey- it is not a hard decision- a very sad one- but you know that it is best not to prolong porr quality of life.

We have 2 elderly dogs and 1 elderly cat- and we will not prolong their life. Let Remy enjoy his jumps, food and water- and when he gives you the look, don't hesitate. Be brave for him ((((hugs)))))

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 02-Jan-15 19:28:45

I wouldn't put him through any treatments. If you had to fast him for blood tests he would obviously not understand why, and would be upset at being so hungry. If he is not feeling very strong, visits to the vets would be the last thing he would want. Let the poor old thing carry on living his life quietly and comfortably. When the big one comes then, hopefully, he will pass away peacefully. You will have cared for him to the end.

anneey Fri 02-Jan-15 20:04:28

Oh you have all been so kind.
That is what I am going to do.....Let him e joy the rest of his life while he can. Without any help from the vet. I will know when the time comes.

AlieOxon Fri 02-Jan-15 20:18:56

This is what I am doing too. My cat is 21 (I got her as a 6-8 week old kitten in February 1994) and very deaf and doddery but is still eating well and not too unreliable as to cat box....she just sleeps most of the time.
I will not put her away for my convenience, I have decided....I think I will know when the time comes too.

My last cat had liver cancer, but as she was not in pain, I took her home from the vet' morning a few weeks later, she was dead at the bottom of the stairs. Better, I think, than last moments in the hands of strangers.

HildaW Fri 02-Jan-15 20:21:42

All the best I've never been in favour of putting elderly animal through a lot of treatment. They have no understanding as to why they feel so poorly, an animal lives in the moment and as soon as those moments are painful or something to be endured we know what to do. flowers

merlotgran Fri 02-Jan-15 20:27:55

You are right, anneey. You will know when the time has come. Our pets trust us to make the right decisions for them so that is what we try and do. flowers

tiggypiro Fri 02-Jan-15 20:44:51

I am so sorry anneey that you are in this predicament but I am complete agreement with what everyone else has said and glad that is what you have decided. When we love our pets in the good times we have to love them in the bad times too. flowers

Deedaa Fri 02-Jan-15 22:04:24

One of DD's cats had a stroke when she was having some teeth removed. When she came round she couldn't walk properly and seemed to be blind. DD kept her in her bedroom with the walls padded so that she couldn't hurt herself. She got a lot stronger and spent several months pottering about happily.
I would not put an elderly cat through a lot of treatment. I was talked into it once and have always regretted it. With animals it is definitely a case of quality of life rather than quantity.

loopylou Sat 03-Jan-15 06:33:30

anneey, like previous posters, you will know when the time is right, as sad as it will be. Sometimes I think it is more for the benefit of the owner than the animal when the decision is made to go down the treatment route, sadly often to little avail and merely serving to delay the inevitable - I speak from experience..
((Hugs)) to you x

Jane10 Sat 03-Jan-15 07:03:52

There's another side to this. We had an elderly cat -a very independent old boy. He was 19 and very thin. We had him at the vet and no specific cause was found. Gradually he looked worse and worse. Just old really. I was determined to leave him be and not subject him to further intrusive vet intervention. He was doing away quietly. However, someone saw him sunning himself outside our house and reported us to the RSPCA for cruelty!! As if. I've had cats all my life and was horrified that anyone would think I was cruel to one. When I was visited by the official I reckon that the situation was clear enough to him but it was an awful time for us. We finally had him put to sleep a few months later.

Gagagran Sat 03-Jan-15 07:46:43

All this has made me think seriously about the cat(s) we are hoping to adopt from the cat rescue centre if we pass the pre-adoption visit on Tuesday.

As cats can live the best part of 20 years and as I am now 71 (how did that happen?) perhaps we should be looking to adopt an older one? I know my DD and DGD would take over the cat if/when anything happened to us but it would be an added burden for them to think about.

On the other hand both my parents lived to 93 and were pretty self-sufficient until the last 12 months of their lives so who is to say how long I might last? confused

Greyduster Sat 03-Jan-15 07:47:24

The same thing happened to my daughter, Jane10. The vet was contacted to confirm that the cat was receiving every attention, and had been for some time, but was not expected to live long. My daughter was deeply upset by the whole thing. I sympathise with the OP, having had to make the same decision myself on two occasions.

whitewave Sat 03-Jan-15 11:55:09

Same happened to me with our family dog "Truly Scrumptious" she lived until nearly 18 and someone reported us because she was so thin. I didn't really mind, just wished whoever did the reporting had spoken to us and saved everyone a deal of trouble.

HildaW Sat 03-Jan-15 12:01:23

Gagagran most proper pet adoption schemes operate on a sort of long term loan all intents and purposes you have adopted them for life ( you can always choose an older animal anyway) But, if things do not work out such as an illness or worse the original animal charity should take the animal back. We have a dog from Dogs Trust and when we signed the documents it states that in legal terms the dog is still their ultimate responsibility.

bikergran Sat 03-Jan-15 12:14:37

anneey I agree with OP that if your little friend is eating and seems to be quite happy, then I wouldn't think there is any need for you to rush to the vets just now, as you say you will know when the time is nearer so enjoy for a while longer, we have 2 cats that came from rescue place when they were kittens they are coming up to 13 yrs old and both have started developing bits of things, but one of them Rosie who is so affectionate has a something on her mouth,I have taken her to the vets a few months ago and had an anti biotic injection (£60) I for one cannot afford vets fees now due to my circumstances changing, but I will be taking her up for another consultation most likely next week, she is quite happy and stuffing her face as normal, so we will just have to see what the vet advises which we already know.... biopsies/xrays/overnight stay etc etc.But I will at least get a professional opinion and go from there. I have a feeling it is a cancerous growth.

Deedaa Sat 03-Jan-15 22:15:08

Gagagran we adopted an 8year old cat from the RSPCA and he lived a long and happy life with us and the RSPCA were delighted to have a home for a cat that wasn't a pretty little kitten.

etheltbags1 Sat 03-Jan-15 22:35:31

I lost my little cat, Lily in October as I said on an earlier post.

Please do ask about treatment, my dogs life was extended by several months by a pill every day. They will give you an estimate of the costs.

Luckily my cat was insured so I had nothing to pay for her extensive treatment. However they can give you palliative care if she is facing the end so don't give up on her, every day is a bonus