Sunday, August 31, 2014

When To Euthanize a Mature Cat

When it is time to put euthanize your cat it is not easy to know the signs because a cat tends to hide sickness, pain and suffering from their people.  However if you have socialized feral cats in your home then these cats will hide from you when they are ill; in the closet, under the sofa, under the bed or other furniture.   People who have a close relationship with their cats usually know when something not quite right, but sometimes the cat will dodge their owners and keep their illness a secret.

An example my 18 year old rescue cat Gracie never changed her routine; she ate, drank, used scratching post and littler box, entertained me by being playful but I suspected that something was not right because she would stare at the wall as if she was in a trance. 

I made an appointment with the veterinarian for a wellness checkup and blood screen.  I suspected maybe a cat stroke or thyroid.  I did not expect the veterinarian to say it was time to euthanize my cat.  It never dawned on me that my cat would not be going home with me. 

The veterinarian told me that my cat was legally blind, that her vision was like looking through wax paper and that she had a mass in her abdomen , that was cancer. I could not believe what I was hearing because this cat did not act blind, we had no idea.  Cancer in her abdomen, Gracie was always fussy about us touching her there, we rescued her when she was nine year old and respected her wished to brush her fur but to not touch her there. 

There were other signs of illness that I should have been aware; Gracie lying in the metal sink; the coolness of the metal relaxed her.  We did not expect illness,  we thought she was just being adorable.  But our veternarian said the cool metal on her belly comforted her and eased her pain

Looks can be deceiving, as cats hide illness from their people my cat
Gracie photo taken nine months before she was eutanized.

When it comes to caring for a mature cat I would recommend that you take them to the veterinarian every six months for a preventative checkup. Gracie had yearly checkups, but the signs of illness were not observed  because her cancer and hypertension came on quickly.  

Gracie hid her illness from me and the veterinarian said she was suffering.   Learn more about my cat Gracie here: Rescued Cat Comforted me Before Euthanasia  
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