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Our Lily, who is only 17 months old, has F.I.P., which is always fatal. Our wonderful cats only vet initially made the diagnosis (with the understanding that you cannot TRULY diagnose FIP until after death) - 3 vets at the clinic examined her and came to the same conclusion. Today, my husband took Lily to another vet with someone from the rescue group we adopted Lily from, and the second vet reaffirmed the diagnosis.

For those of you who have had a cat with a terminal disease, how did you know when it was time to let them go?

Lily has dry F.I.P. If it was the wet form, they would recommended euthanizing this week. She is not yet exhibiting neurological symptoms. I think she is in pain, but she still acts like herself, or at least a less active version of herself. She's bright eyed, interactive, purry, and vocal, just like always. We are supposed to take her home and then watch and wait...they said we'll know when it is time, and that it could be days, weeks, or even months.

It's been very hard, but we've accepted her diagnosis and are focusing on making the end of her time with us filled with love and as comfortable as possible. I know we will adopt again, because Spencer would just be so lonely as an only cat - he simply doesn't know how to be without a companion!

This post jumps around a lot, I know, but I'm just looking from some insight and wisdom from those who have been there.

Thank you everyone!
 

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I'm sorry that you're going through with this.
Trust your heart, it will tell you when it's time.
My Samantha died in my arms when they administered the drugs through catheter in her hind leg, even though it broke my heart I knew it was time I just couldn't bear for her to suffer.
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's never an easy decision to make. When my almost 16 year old kitty began to drop weight (she had kidney failure) and was going to start needing to stay at the vet's for fluids, etc. I decided to let her go instead of subjecting her to something that would be so traumatizing. The vet said she wasn't in pain yet, but her appetite had disappeared and, in the end, the reality was easy to see.

As long as your kitty seems to find joy in its life, let it enjoy it.
 

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You will know. Two weeks ago we euthanized our terminal cancer kitty. She told me when it was time. I had wondered the same thing you do, how would I know? But I did, l and you will too.
 

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I am so sorry. My parents lost a cat to FIP years ago. We lost one to FeLV years ago, and just lost one to cancer last month.

With our cancer kitty, as long as he purred and could do the things he always loved, we waited. One day, after over a year of fighting the cancer, he could no longer purr, and he seemed very weak. We took him in, and the vet agreed that it was time.

Your heart will know. It will ache, but it will know.
 

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When my 5 year old kitty was diagnosed with renal failure, he was immediately hospitalized and the vet recommended to put him down. Although he was still acting like himself, it was already apparent that he was losing his appetite. But we started fluids at home and although at first it didn't always go smoothly, we learned and progressed. We were blessed with another half year to spend with our beautiful kitty before he passed in the comfort of his own home.
 

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I am so sorry. As others have said, you will know when it is time. With Luigi it was when he stopped meowing and was not happy anymore. The FIP had taken it's toll and It was the kindest gift we could give him. As with your Lily he did not seem to be in pain but he told us when it was time.
 

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With Cinderella, I knew it was time when she didn't want to eat any more. Since she was terminal, the forced-feeding and meds would have only prolonged her life for me, and I couldn't be that selfish. They actually thought it was dry FIP, then wet FIP, but it turned out to be pancreatic cancer.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for your advice and kind words. :)


May I ask, what makes you believe that she is in pain?

Laurie
She has a very inflamed pancreas and kidney. They originally believed she had pancreatitis until she didn't respond to any treatments when hospitalized for a few days. She's MUCH less active than she used to be, and the vet told us that her abdomen is definitely tender and hurting her. She's on pain medication. She also has a low grade fever literally ALL the time that the meds aren't helping with (2 kinds of antibiotics).
 

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With Cinderella, I knew it was time when she didn't want to eat any more. Since she was terminal, the forced-feeding and meds would have only prolonged her life for me, and I couldn't be that selfish. They actually thought it was dry FIP, then wet FIP, but it turned out to be pancreatic cancer.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. :(
I think we may get to this point as well. Lily has had very little appetite for the last 2 months, or maybe even more, and it's gotten much worse recently. We have a feeding syringe, and right now we are using it a little bit, but she still eats SOME on her own. Since she is good at masking pain and is a tough little girl, the appetite and losing weight is really the only indication we ever had until the vet was able to do the blood work, ultrasound, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Aw, thank you for thinking about us and for asking about Lily. :)

She is doing ok... she seems very tired and just lies around most of the time. She doesn't eat very much, but she does still eat on her own, mostly dry food. Today she threw up twice, which has me a little worried. The first time she threw up food, the second time was just liquid. Despite her obvious lethargy, etc, she still interacts with us, purrs when we pet her, gives little meows sometimes like she used to...but those times are becoming fewer. She still sleeps on our bed at night. She is SO skinny though...all her bones are so obvious, and it makes me so sad when I pet her. :( I know the time will come soon, but I just wouldn't feel right letting her go yet, when her personality is still there and her eyes are still bright and interested much of the time.

I am also feeling bad for her brother, Spencer. Poor boy does NOT understand what's going on. He keeps trying to play with her, which to him means lying in wait, pouncing, and wrestling...but Lily is obviously NOT having that right now, and not up for it...we had to stop him a couple times today. He is just so confused. :(
 
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