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Old 10-21-2019, 09:11 PM
2 posts, read 160 times
Reputation: 15


Hi everyone,

My 16 year old male tabby cat who I have had for 15 years, had had kidney disease for about 4 years now and has been holding his own. About 6 weeks ago he really started going downhill and started coughing. I brought him in and we tried a few things (more subq fluids, changing fiid etc) and nothing changed. Finally I asked for an x-ray and my worst fears came true. He is full of tumors--liver, lungs etc. I brought him home with unlimited refills or Predinolosone and pain meds and we are chugging along. He has good days and some not great days but doesn't seem to be suffering. He eats just ok. Some wet food and mostly Temptations treats, which I realize is not good but the vet said to just feed him what he will eat. I can see his respiration is increasing (38 breaths per minute at rest) but he isn't panting or anything like that.

What I'm getting at, is how will I know when to put him down? I really don't want to wait until it is an emergency and he is in distress (have done that before and will forever have regrets) but I also don't want to do it too early, while he still had quality of life.

Can anyone give me advice on signs to look for or other ways to help me determine when is the right time?

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Old 10-21-2019, 10:41 PM
Location: Alaska
4,991 posts, read 4,602,402 times
Reputation: 7198
I am sorry to hear of your Kitty's demise.

When my cat was suffering from kidney disease, I set parameters for when it would be time. The first one was when she stopped eating and drinking; the second one was when she could no longer go to the litterbox. What my advice is to do a little research on what the end stage of whatever cancer he has looks like and then to set your own parameters.

All that being said, it is an extremely difficult decision to make.

Best wishes!
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:54 AM
Location: Wisconsin
2,439 posts, read 2,238,301 times
Reputation: 3115
I'm so very sorry. We lost our Tucker to lung cancer five years ago. A vet told us that panting is VERY stressful for cats, so if you see panting, know that the end is very near. It's distressing to watch. In fact, we used a vet who did at-home euthanasia because we didn't want to stress him more by picking him up/moving him when he couldn't breathe that well.

Other signs: not eating, hiding in strange places, lethargic, and losing the "spark" in his eyes. I too wondered if I knew it would be time. One look into his eyes and I knew when he had given up the will to live.

Spoil him until then and treasure every moment you have.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:58 AM
Location: North State (California)
45,076 posts, read 3,426,875 times
Reputation: 14725
I am so sorry. Hugs.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:14 AM
Location: Florida
215 posts, read 40,471 times
Reputation: 319
We too just lost our cat due to cancer (lymphoma). Sorry you have to go through this. While our experience was probably different as it is a different cancer, some is still the same.

I recommend to decide how you let him go, if it’s time. Will you go to the vets office, or have a vet come home? We found a super nice lady that did it at home. I even filled out the paper work before. Also, think about if you will bury him or cremate. You will not be able to think clearly about anything when it’s time. We changed our mind 3 times, but knew what we do that day.

We defined critical points. E.g we decided to call the vet and let him go when he either stops eating (syringe feeding wasn’t an option for us), or if he cannot walk any longer (I read about a few cats that couldn’t use their hind legs). We also told him that and if he gives us sign, we respect it. For us both happened on the same day and we knew it’s time. He stopped eating and Could barely walk. He was never hiding and used the litter box till the end, but his eyes had no spark left.

we got compounded prednisolone (tasteless liquid) but The big difference was the CBd drops that gave him a months. He responded very well to them.

I keep you in my thoughts.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:20 AM
4,350 posts, read 4,295,402 times
Reputation: 3115
My best wishes that he can keep going but without anymore pain. I am too very sorry to hear of this. These type threads always make me feel alot of reality.
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Old 10-22-2019, 12:15 PM
Status: "Ezekiel 33 vs 1-7/John 3:16" (set 19 days ago)
Location: Ashe Co. NC
1,141 posts, read 888,875 times
Reputation: 861
My heart goes out to you..this is the hardest decision we make with our kitty buddies. I have had to do it twice and with "Punk" my 22 yr old orange tabby i delayed longer than i should've..i just didn't want him to go. But it was his time we had a lotta yrs past his normal life expectancy. Will pray for you and your kitty....
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Old 10-22-2019, 02:45 PM
2 posts, read 160 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you for all the replies--it is nice to know I'm not alone in all this.

To answer the above question, we have already found a vet who will do the procedure at home, when it is time. We will also cremate him so I can always have him with me. It is crazy expensive but it seem like the last kind thing I can do for him--to not make him go to the vet which always scared him so much.

Today is a good day, he ate and is snuggling with his housemate. The prednilosone has really been a miracle for him. I know he isn't actually getting better but most days he seems like his old self, except for the coughing which continues to get worse.

Thanks again.
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