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Discussion Starter #1
Last night my mom and i were talking, and she told me that I should start thinking about putting Cally to sleep. She's 16 years old and very skinny, but she's always acted herself. But lately, she's just been laying around. She's losing her fur, even within the last couple months. I don't know what to do. My mom says she doesn't want to wake up one day and find her dead or she doesn't want her to suffer. It doesn't seem to me like she's suffering, it's just that she's old.

I really don't want to have to put another cat down. I really don't know what to do. I can't just be like "well, put it her down". I wish she could talk. I don't know what it'll be like when she's gone, because I've had her since I was 2. It's a really touch decision, and I know in my heart she is getting weaker. But i don't want to put her down if she is okay.

:( Everytime I look at her, I have to make sure she's breathing, is that a sign that I should put her down?
 

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If she doesn't actually have any diagnosed medical problems that you are aware of and you're just considering putting her down because she's getting up there in age, I don't think that's a good enough reason.

If you think that afterwards you'd regret or doubt your decision, I think that's a good indicator that it's not time yet.

Also, most caring vets wouldn't put a cat down just because she's old. I'd have her checked out, there may be something wrong with her if she's losing a lot of fur, but you should still know what it is before you make a decision about her life.

That's my opinion.
 

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Well, that is a personal decision that only you can make......maybe the hardest one you will ever make :(

That said, if she were mine, I think I would take her to the vet, and tell them about her weight loss. This is common in older cats, it can be caused by many things, some serious, some not so serious. They will probably do some blood work, then you could make an informed decision. 16 SEEMS really old for a cat, but it actually isn't. There are many cats that live into their early twenties.....my grandma's cat lived to be 26 :)

I'm sorry you are going through this...it sucks. I am dealing with my dog, who is about 13 or 14.....definately not fun stuff. *hugs*
 

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Maybe you mother is just trying to prepare you for the time that you will be without her. Your mothers words could be the reason for you checking her breathing pattern frequently.

If you haven't had a geriatric check-up done, I'd have it done. It should include bloodwork to check for hyperthyroidism and renal failure - the two most common problems of the senior cat. Both are treatable though not necessarily cureable but do cost money to treat. Loss of fur could be hyperthyroidism. Older cats need to have their teeth checked too. Poor dental health leads to other systemic problems.
 

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Forgot to say - you WILL know when it is time. Don't ask me how but you just know. Your vet may help you decide but they generally don't push you into a decision. They wait till you know it is time. And you do!
 

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I've only had one pet that we put down. Our family dog was 16, his arthritis was very bad, he had lost a lot of weight, and he was mostly blind. But we had intended to keep him as long as we could. One day, he couldn't stand up. He kept trying, but his hips and legs hurt too much and he would collapse. That's when we knew. It's time. He can't move at all and he would just lay there crying.

I only hope that when the time comes for Kitty. She'll let me know in a similar way.
 

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I have to agree and say that if she isn't in any pain - then you probably shouldn't put her down. Get her checked out and see what you can do. When you mentioned the breathing thing - somtimes I check my cat for that as well. And he's only 11 years old! :D

I think we all worry about our pets too much when they get older - are they ok? Are they breathing still? Etc...

If she isn't in any pain - then she could very well go to sleep one day - maybe years from now when your 22-26 maybe - and go to sleep peacefully and in the home she grew up in with the people she loved. I think that would be a much softer, and gentler way to die.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My grandmothers cat had a thyroid problem, and it seemed like when she was getting treatment, she just went downhill very fast.

But, I agree with what everyone has said. I'm just afraid of bringing her to the vet, and never bringing her home. In 2001 our cat Sebastain was sick, and the vets literally backed us against a wall. We decided to put him to sleep, but they couldn't do it unless we paid half the vet bill right then and there. If we didn't they would keep him at the vets until we could. It was just a very horrible experience. I think that's why I'd rather have Cally go in her sleep.

Her teeth are in really good shape. My mom worries a lot, and sometimes it'll rub off on me. So, until something drastic happens, she stays. She'll let me know.
 
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