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Old 07-20-2012, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I need reassurance (non-GSD - actually cat related)

I have a 16 year old cat named Tiger. He is my oldest pet right now. He used to be an unbelieveable example of what a cat should be. At 7 he got an inner-ear disorder where he couldn't even walk without falling over. He's learned to adjust and has a permanent head tilt as a result. In the past few years, I've watch him decline. He was diagnosed with hyper-thyroid, and is on meds, but is just skin and bones, despite the fact that he eats 6 cans (yes SIX) of cat food a day.

Lately, he has developed arthritis. He is limping pretty bad, and actually hisses at himself when he gets up from laying down. I know it is time to let him go, but I feel this horrible guilt for even considering it. I keep thinking "what right do I have to make this decision", but in my heart I truly do feel it is time.

Am I wrong for considering this? Should I just let nature take its course, or should I make that decision for nature and let him go with grace and peace. I'm so torn on this! I've never put a pet down that wasn't an emergency life or death situation....
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Jessica - I'm a firm believer is quality of life over quantity. Huge supporter of Dr. Kevorkian...but that might be because he helped my uncle die.

Tiger hurts and he's not getting any better. I do not think you are wrong in considering this. Whatever you decide, I hope you have peace.
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aw, I'm sorry about your kitty. Have you tried giving him joint support for his arthritis? Acupuncture and laser therapy also work great.

Is he eating grain free canned food?

My cat Cleo lived to be 19 years old and some change. She had a bazillion health problems and she and I worked through them together but finally her hip came out of the socket and she was in a tremendous amount of pain so I knew it was time. I also knew there was nothing I could do to fix that problem, whereas with all of her previous problems there were things I could do to make her feel better.

Ultimately though, you know your cat the best. If you feel there is nothing to be done to make him more comfortable then it would the best gift you could give him to release him from his pain.

Hang in there, I've been in your shoes more times than I care to recall and it's always so difficult.
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you guys! I've had him on meds and supplements and nothing seems to help him. I have been going back and forth with this decision...and everytime I think it is time, I think I'm being mean by making the decision to put him down. But it breaks my heart to see him limping and in obvious pain, and then I think I'm just being selfish by not letting him go. Again...just so torn!!
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I feel for you - these decisions are not easy ones! I cannot tell you what you should do, only you can decide what is best. I had 2 cats that lived to be 16 and 16 1/2 yrs old (sisters) - Happy ended up going into chronic renal failure and we had to give her subQ fluids daily for the last 3 months, but it got to where those were not even helping. Bashful went through about 6 months of consistently losing weight but the vet could not find anything wrong with her after multiple tests - and towards the end, she quit eating, couldnt get warm (constantly laying in the heater vents) so we had to make the decision.

I am also a firm believer in Quality of life rather than Quantity.

Sending you hugs and prayers that regardless of the decision you make, you are at peace!
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you asked your vet what his/her opinion is?

I don't believe an animal should have to live in pain like that. We have a CRF cat who is failing badly. We decided not to do the subQ fluid injections because he does not have the right temperament to withstand that treatment. We have not put him to sleep yet because he is not in any pain. If he were in pain, we could easily make the choice to let him go.

My mom just told me this in an e-mail, "It's hard to watch them decline, and it still takes a lot of love and courage to let them go when it's time."
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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16 years is a long life for a cat, my mini doxie live just short of 17 years and i was like you at the end, feeling guilty. i should have spared her the last 2 years of pain in her life, (they werent quality years). if your gut says its time, then its time. no one loves her more than you
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Old 07-20-2012, 09:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Your certainly not wrong for considering this.

I have a kitty who's 21 years old, I can't even believe she is that old! She is healthy, doesn't really act her age, altho she does sleep alot Her sister I had to put down last year I knew for her it was time I have had these girls since they were 10 days old.

I agree with lori if your gut tells you it's time, its time.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I truly feel for you that is the hardest, toughest decision to make. But you cannot allow your cat to suffer needlessly. Years ago, when my first dog, who was 19, couldn't walk. I called the vet, and I said it was time. When I pulled into the clinic, he came out and carried her in. His first words to me was: "this is the last gift you can give her, to put her out of her suffering".
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