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I have a cat who will be 19 this month, Snowball. She is still mobile, uses her litterbox. She eats her food ravenously. Doesn't do much except eat and sleep, but that's ok. At times, she seems to be in pain though, which, at her age, is probably to be expected??

My cats have hardly ever gone to the vet. The last time I took Snowball to the vet, he said there was nothing really wrong with her, that she may have had several small strokes and was almost blind, but probably not in pain.

I posted on a cat forum, asking for signs of pain that I should look for and the response I received was "You have to take her to the vet, complete blood workup, tests, treatments, etc., etc." My feeling on this is that I don't want anything for Snowball that is going to make her miserable. That includes tests for conditions that we probaby aren't going to treat anyway, pills, shots, etc. I feel she is just too old for these and she has had a good life. She doesn't deserve to spend the twilight of her life being miserable, stressed out, etc. I have no problem with taking her to the vet for pain management and getting something I could put in her food to make her feel better, but anything more than that I don't want. If/when pain becomes constant or unmanageable, I will have her put to sleep. So my question is...am I crazy? Or is my viewpoint understandable to others? When I voiced this to the cat people, one tried to educate me on all the medical procedures that could be done and the rest ignored me, presumably figuring I was someone who couldn't be educated LOL.

I just think when making these decisions about whether to treat, you have to weigh how much stress and pain the animals is going to suffer against how many good months/years they are likely to get out of it. Does this make any sense?
 

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You are not crazy, and I would do the same. You are the only one who can judge if she is in pain though. What is she doing that makes it appear that she is in pain? What kind of pain? I mean we all ache as we age but if she is really in pain beyond that it may be time to let her go she has served you well at the age of 19 and you would want someone to do the same for you.

I am going through the same thing with my 19yr old Shiba Inu. He has good days / bad days, and he was in liver failure a little over a year ago. They wanted to put him under and take a sample of his liver. I would not allow, we put him on some holistic meds and he bounced back. Its a personal choice but I think you are doing the right thing by your cat and if she could talk she would say so.
 

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So sorry you have to think about this. I always pray for "peacefully in their sleep" but we know how that goes. When my cat Woffie got sick he was around 20 and he stopped jumping up on his favorite chair and started to decline my vet had me giving him fluid by injection at home. I was able to do it for a while but eventually Woffie wanted no part of it. I felt really bad and think it would have been better to let him go sooner and not have done the fluids at home.
Right now I am waiting for the results of a sonagram on our 2yr old kitty that has cancer. He's been at the vet since Tuesday with a fever, it went up to 106 but finally started to come down last night. I will be facing that decission with him.
It's never easy, but I never want any of my animals to suffer.
 

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The eating ravenously would worry me a bit...

Old cats are prone to kidney failure....subq fluids can be easily administered at home and cats get used to this easily...I have had 3 or 4 that I did fluids on for more than a year....

At the least, I would get a kidney function test done as that is ***probably*** an issue - just because of her age...otherwise, just let her be herself

Lee
 

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Cats can hide their pain very well. You can get some basic blood and urine tests, should not be too invasive, then once you have the results - make a decision regarding treatment or no treatment. If the tests reveal signs of typical aging then let your cat just eat and sleep.

Often the pain source in our older cats was their teeth. We had one cat with failing kidneys we just let fade away for a while, he did not seem to be in pain. All he wanted to do was sleep on our daughter's bed. Our other senior could not get comfortable, was restless with kidney issues and the vet said he was in pain so we put him to sleep.
 

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Right now I am waiting for the results of a sonagram on our 2yr old kitty that has cancer. He's been at the vet since Tuesday with a fever, it went up to 106 but finally started to come down last night. I will be facing that decission with him.
It's never easy, but I never want any of my animals to suffer.
Oh gosh, I'm so sorry, that is far too young. I lost my cat at 4YO to cancer, it completely broke my heart. I loved that cat more than I can describe, he was such a funny little rascal, and my constant companion.

My (then) vet was lying to me. Told me his blood work was normal, he wasn't running a fever, it was a mystery. I got a second opinion (using his paperwork) and they told me his fever was through the roof and his blood work was totally messed up. I was so angry that they made him suffer longer than he needed to.

To the OP, you know your cat, and you will know when her quality of life is starting to suffer. Until that time, just cherish each day with her. And be ready when she tells you it's time. It's such a hard decision to make.
 

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Once my animals get that old, age is depending on the species I will only keep them comfortable. If that is no longer possible I will make that decision for them.
I refuse to put them through that stress as a last goodbye. it is not a service to them.
People who give you advice to keep treating are too afraid of death itself and also it often is a status thing; the more you spend on keeping an ancient animal alive, the better pet owner you are. This is often the feel I get in our community.
Our vet is great; he supports my opinion and actually has helped me make that same decision by reminding me that that animal has had such a good life and that the extra time you will give it by over-medicating is not helping him/her.
If you feel her time has come, I would say my goodbyes. Cats are notorious for hiding their pain and often will escape to die in silent hiding.
 

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I had to put my 19 year old cat down last month. His ONLY issue, he was forgetting where the litter box was and I was finding icky surprises.

About 3 months before I put him down, I'd had him at the vet because he was walking "old" and I wanted to see if there was something else up (besides old age). Did a basic blood work, and he came back perfectly healthy. Added some supplements to his food to ease the aches and pains of old joints and bones, and he was still alert, etc.

After find poops and pees in my bed, on the stove and on Kyleigh's bed (you should have seen the look on Ky's face when that happened!) I made the painful decision to have him put down.

My vet did NOT give me a hard time at all. He completely understood, and even pointed out that if he was doing this, then there was obviously something else going on ... was I willing to spend hundreds / thousands of dollars on a kitty, that at age 19, wouldn't be around for much longer anyway? I think we have to be realistic, had he been 10 or 12, of course I would have looked at more options, but 19's a LONG time for a cat to be around.

Just my two cents ... and I'm sorry about the decision that you are facing ... hugs to you. I didn't get another cat, and I still miss having a furball sleep on my tummy!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The last time Snowball saw the vet, he said just old age, nothing in particular wrong, but he did say I could give her fluids every day. I declined and she perked up. The reason I think she may be in pain now is the way she walks and yesterday when I picked her up and was petting her, she hissed and tried to bite me. But today, she didn't display that behavior, so I am thinking maybe it was just a bad day for her.

Carolyn, I will be thinking of you and hoping you things work out ok for your kitty. That is very young.

Kyleigh, I am sorry about the passing of your cat. It is always difficult no matter the circumstances or the age or how right you know it is.

Thanks for all the kind responses. It is funny that I have received so much more support, in the past too, from the "dog people" about my cat problems than from the "cat people."
 

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Yes maybe it was a bad day. Do you add water to her food? Ever since last year when Goo got dehydrated I add water to my cats food, since they have a tendancy to not drink.
I will be bringing Goo home tonight, his fever is down to 103 and doctor said she feels he'll do much better at home she doesn't have the report fromthe sonogram but was told there appeared to be something in his bowel.
It's always something.
 

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Cats do hide pain very well...

I will keep you and Snowball in my prayers. That Snowball lives pain free and that you've peace of mind...
 

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I had a kitty that lived to be 20 years old. He had always been a very healthy kitty. He started eating ravenously and it turned out that he was hyperthyroid. It is treatable with medication, if you choose that route. They can sometimes do surgery to cure it, but like you, I felt he was too old to put much stress on. He was always kind of a "big baby" personality-wise and had good enough health over the years that he did not have to go to the vet much at all. Multiple car rides and poking & prodding would have stressed him to max. He never seemed to be in pain though-just super hungry. We made sure to feed him multiple times a day and he just kind of faded out and died in his sleep. We have a lot of fond memories of this cross-eyed super sweet Siamese mix kitty! I am sorry you are going through this.


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I have a male cat that is nearly 15 and a female about 10. Pepper is my world. I do not know what I would do if I had to put him down. I nearly choke up thinking about it. I had him for about 2 years before I met my wife. He still has lots of life in him. Even though he sleeps most of the day, plus he got jealous after we got Maggie. I think if we did not get our dog 2 1/2 months ago he would still have the run of the house. Now he is somewhat confined to half. Until that day arrives I WILL NOT think about losing either cats. Since me and my wife do not have kids, they are our kids. :)
 
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