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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Older Cat 14+

We have a female cat that will be 15 in December. Over the last few months she has lost weight and sleeps a lot. She will drink water, she laps the juice from a her food but does not eat the solid stuff. I realize this cat is old and most likely in her last days.

My wife is beside herself since this cat was a Christmas gift to her from me almost 15 years ago. I do not have the heart to tell her the cat is dying from old age. We are in a pickle because we do not have the cash for a vet to see her and at this point I do not think a vet is going to do any good.

My vet is suppose to call me tomorrow and I am going to talk to her and see what we can do. I posted this here because I am sure others here have aging cats and was wanting to get some opinions.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 07:34 PM
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. I would never let a cat go on its own. My regular vet didn't charge me for helping Cinderella cross over, maybe yours would at least give you a break on the cost.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by marie73 View Post
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I would never let a cat go on its own. My regular vet didn't charge me for helping Cinderella cross over, maybe yours would at least give you a break on the cost.
Well my wife is not going to go for that. Putting her down is not an option in her book. The cat does not appear to be in pain or agony though. Like I said she sleeps a lot but most cats do.....Don't know. Got to find another option some how.....

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 07:49 PM
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Cats don't die of old age. They die of some sort of medical issue. At 15 your cat is old, but not ancient...in human years about 77. Many of the conditions that cats develop in their senior years are treatable, others aren't. Assuming that a vet won't be able to help her has no basis in fact.

The symptoms you describe are very generic and could apply to many conditions. I think that having a vet check her out and possibly run some bloodwork before sending her off to the Rainbow Bridge is a reasonable thing to do. Our Sticky Forum has a couple threads with resources for help with vet bills. You could google in your area for additional resources. Care Credit is a life saver for many and it's OK if your credit history isn't great.


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 07:50 PM
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Cats are very good at hiding pain. I'm not sure why your wife would rather let her cat basically starve to death (you've said she's not eating solid food) than let her go peacefully. I'm not trying to be mean, but I could never let my cat die on her own.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 08:18 PM
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Agreed with the above. I know it's hard letting go - I lost my childhood pet, who had been with me since I was young, had experienced all of the hardship our family went through with us. She was taken from me and I was bitter and angry; I felt she had so much left to give. She wasn't supposed to go that young.

And 15 years old doesn't seem very long to us humans either. But, for them, it certainly can be a long time. Some animals just age faster than others, especially when they get sick.

I don't blame your wife for wanting to hold onto her. I feel the very same way - nobody ever wants to say goodbye to someone they love. It's selfish of us, but a natural feeling nevertheless. No shame in it.

That said, if your cat's quality of life is slowly going down the drain, the best option would be to let her go. The less she has to suffer the better. Instead of waiting for her to wither away, why not let her go on your terms? Maybe the vet (or another vet even) can come and do a home visit? That way you can take the time to prepare, say your goodbyes, and know that she didn't have to die a slow, possibly painful death.

It's horrible because in this case, both options suck. But no person or animal deserves to just wither away. They should be able to pass in peace, with their loved ones by their side. And in this case, you and your wife have the chance to do that for her.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 09:55 PM
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I agree with doodlebug. Either utilize care credit or find some way to pay for a vet visit. Ask your vet for suggestions too. Occasionally vets will agree to a payment plan or will know of other resources. It could be something treatable. From what you describe it could be anything from a bad tooth to kidney disease or thyroid problems or a host of other things. Most age related issues can be manageable if you act early.

It really sounds like you know it's not fair to the cat to just let the condition worsen without doing anything otherwise you wouldn't have already made plans with your vet to discuss options. I've had many cats over the years and have only experienced losing one without euthanasia. She died just as we got her into the door of the emergency vet's. It was the worst experience and I still remember her last moments vividly. As hard as it was to lose my other pets I have a better feeling knowing that they were with me and it was peaceful.

Again, I'm not saying to just assume your kitty's only option is euthanasia. She could have years left in her with some medical treatment and vigilance but if it does come down to it where the vet thinks her outcome isn't good then euthanasia is the kindest thing you can do.

Please let us know how your conversation with the vet goes and know that if you do manage to get her in for an exam and testing and some condition is suspected or diagnosed there will likely be people here who have had the same medical problems with their cats and they can help you. Make sure to get a copy of any bloodwork they do as there are people here who will request that info if you post questions about a condition.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 10:47 PM
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I do hope you see the vet for a physical on this cat. It might have just decided that it doesn't like its food. You don't have to decide on an expensive treatment, but a physical examination and blood work would give you a lot of answers.

The kitty may not necessarily be dying. She could have many years to live. Do you notice any weakness from the lack of food?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 12:23 AM
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And yes - please try to see a vet first! (sorry, forgot about that bit in my previous post )

Euthanasia may not even have to be an option if she can get checked out first. Not all ailments require a ton of money and she could easily live a good few more years with proper treatment.

I'm in a very tight financial situation myself at the moment, so I completely understand. But if you can utilize other methods then you definitely should.

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-22-2015, 01:04 AM
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I get not having the cash, I'm a broke college student so that's a common thing for me at times. However, I always have empty credit cards set aside for medical expenses for my cats. If you can't (or don't want to) get CareCredit, there are a ton of awesome credit card offers right now with 0% intro rates for 12 months+ and cashback rewards, like $100 back if you spend $500. I always check my credit on Quizzle and apply for cards there since they always show the top offers and show a breakdown of the rates, benefits, etc.

Like Doodlebug said, this could be such a wide array of things. Your cat most certainly is not dying from "old age", it's probably something treatable to some degree. In my opinion, I would rather spend the money to find out what's going on atleast than to just let the animal suffer. Bloodwork could give you so many answers.

When I was a teenager, my childhood cat was 17 1/2 and was declining quickly. My mom said "oh, she's just dying from old age". No... she suffered because of their inability to give a crap and take her to the vet. And as I got older and I now have my own cats and have done more research... I realized she most likely had kidney/urinary issues that we could've treated, but instead my parents let her continue declining and then just put her to sleep. This is something I regret to this day, even though it was out of my control at the time. I'm the type of pet parent who NEEDS to find out what's wrong, needs to treat things, etc. I feel like it's what our pets deserve.

I hope you can get your kitty the vet care she needs. I bet simple bloodwork and a physical exam could shed a ton of light on her condition. In the meantime, I would try any food possible to get her eating (if you haven't already). To me, 14 is still so young for a cat since my first childhood cat lived to be almost 18, and my parents still have my second childhood cat who is also nearing 18.
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