All animals exhibit some telltale signs that the end of their life is approaching and dying cats are no exception. Learn how to recognize these signs so you can help make your cat’s life more comfortable as he nears the end. I watch my cat smokey and my cat Samira going with these signs. Samira passed away 1998 in my arm March 12 in my birthday and Smokey died in my arm Dec 2019.
How to Tell if a Cat Is Dying
It is an unfortunate fact of life that death must also occur. It is difficult to watch a dear friend reach the end of his days as many cat owners will attest. It’s possible some cats will die unexpectedly or blessedly in their sleep. What cats do when they are dying can vary, but many cats will exhibit certain behaviors and signs before they pass on.
Some common signs of a cat dying are obvious changes in their normal temperament, a noticeable increase in hiding behavior, a loss of appetite for both food and water, and changes in their overall appearance. Appearance changes can include dull, matted fur, urine or feces in their hair, dilated or glazed eyes, lack of blinking and a “sunken” look. Cats dying will often have seizures as well and will have difficulty breathing. Smokey lost his appetites and he started to hide and avoid me, he drank more water because he was diabetic, he was 13 years old beautiful cat that I got; he was 5 weeks when I got him.
A cat that is sick and dying will often go through a drastic personality change. If he was formerly an outgoing fellow, he may now become something of a recluse and become irritable if you try to handle him. This is likely because he’s in pain and doesn’t want to be touched. On the other hand, some cats that were quite independent when they were healthy may now seek out the companionship of the owners as death draws near.
This can be a difficult symptom to interpret as many non-life-threatening illnesses can also lead to this behavior. Smokey also used to cry at night, I didn’t know at the start that he had heart problem and fluid in his lung but soon I decided to take him back to the vet as I take him every 6 months. The vet found fluid around his heart and his lung. They wanted to put him down and Euthanize him or he have to do an operation that cost 8000 dollars so I asked for the operation paid the money and he lived one week , they told me he might live up to one year! I cried for him more than I cried for my parents an I still pray for him.
Cats seem to have the ability to know that they are going to die. A sick cat will often begin seeking out places that are comfortable to him, yet away from his owners. For pet owners who allow a cat outside, this can cause problems. Cats will often seek out cool, shaded areas, such as under bushes, thickets of wild grasses or under vehicles. If you’re sick or aging pet has suddenly pulled a disappearing act, check in these areas around your home first. Indoor pets will exhibit a similar behavior, seeking out cool, dark areas in which to rest. Typical hiding places in the home include the cellar, under beds or in rooms used for storage. A dying cat may not even come out when it is time for meals, to drink water or use the litter box. Samira my cat used to hid and avoid me and refused to come out I paid about 3000 dollars for her operation back in 1998 and she lived one week only too after operation and died in my arms holding my arms and cried softly before she went.
Changes in Eating
Cats that are ill or dying will avoid eating food and drinking water as well. It’s important to note, that a cat that isn’t eating at all, even when you tempt him with a favorite treat, isn’t necessarily dying. This cat may just need help! While a cat may skip a meal or two occasionally, an animal that hasn’t eaten two or three meals in a row should be taken to a vet for an examination. A lack of appetite doesn’t necessarily mean your cat is dying, but it should be taken more seriously when seen together with other symptoms.
You must ask your vet to do these tests please when your cat get to age 9 or 10 even if she/ he look and act healthy; ask for heart test , liver and kidney blood tests as the early you find the problem the less pain and cost will be and you can help your cat asap. Cats that are dying may also sit near a water bowl, or even hang their heads over the bowl without drinking, and that exactly what Samira and Smokey did they almost drawn themselves with water due to fever or sweat. Death is heart.
Their eyes changed and you can see total dark less color or white and they were so tired and week. Try to use some holy water, water with your reading from your holy book and pray over them too ,ask God to have mercy and to ease the suffering as their soul just like ours and it will be taken exactly like human soul ,the only different is that pet souls have no judgment God take them in his mercy so ask God in your prayers to send them to heaven to be with you later ask him and it will happen ,don’t think you will never see them again ,they will wait for you like any other spirit at the end. They are part of your family.
Changes in Appearance
A cat that is close to dying may gradually develop more of an unkempt appearance. He won’t have the energy to groom himself as he normally would. In addition, his fur may even come out in small clumps or shed copiously. If a cat is extremely weak, he may urinate on himself and can develop an odor or matted fur from this. In addition to a sickly appearance, cat’s eyes may appear dilated when he is close to death. In other cases, a cat may appear to be blind or his eyes are glazed over. His eyes may also have a sunken-in appearance. If a cat doesn’t blink when touched near the corner of his eye, he is probably unconscious and very close to death.
If he’s severely dehydrated, the other 2 cats I still have felt the difference too, when they saw Smokey coming to end of his time they avoided him, they respect his self quarantine, sometimes they come kiss him and check on him and give him a head lick. Many times they look at him for far and run, like they know. Before Smokey passed away I took him to the garden and the window and his favorite spots he seem to recognize the areas and was looking and strong for a while then faded away. Took him to vet hospital 6.30 pm Dec 26 Boxing Day and he died on arrival. The vest and nurses rushed him to the ER and did CPR and all that they can do as they know he had operation in the same hospital but they couldn’t save him. I am crying writing these notes for his memory. He gave me wonderful 13 years memory; he came with me to so many cities and town to USA and Holland to Dubai and many other places.
One sign that is exhibited by some cats that are dying is a series of seizures. This is one of the reasons why pet owners should provide their cats with a safe and comfortable place when they are nearing death. A cat that is having seizures may yowl and throw his head backward, making an uncomfortable-looking arch in his back. A cat may have one or two of these seizures or much more over a period of several hours before death takes him. During severe seizures, the cat will be minimally responsive between convulsions and will not even try to get up. He may not know you or his surroundings. Smokey didn’t have this he was quiet, came to my life and left without causing me trouble beside the 8000 dollars. He was my Son.
A cat’s breathing may change when he is dying. Some animals will pant during their last hours or make wheezing sounds. The cat may keep his mouth open with his tongue hanging out. Toward the end, some cats will make little gurgling noises as the respiratory system begins to shut down. If a cat is panting and throwing himself around or rolling, he is in severe distress and probably about to die. In other diseases, a cat may have a gonal breaths, which are spasms in which his heart may already have stopped, but the breathing muscles still twitch as the muscles fail.
Making the Decision to Euthanize a Dying Cat
Some animals are so ill that an owner may take them to a vet to determine if it’s time to consider euthanasia. After examining your cat, the veterinarian can help you decide if it is time to put your cat down. You may want to choose euthanasia if your cat has any of the following conditions, and they cannot be treated:
Severe pain, Cancer that cannot be treated without invasive procedures, respiratory distress like my cat had due to his heart and lung fluid caused by bilateral ventricle enlargements Any medical state in which you or your cat cannot keep him clean from urine or feces
Kidney failure as my cat Samira died from. Pancreatitis, heart disease, and those factors caused by Smokey diabetic he was on insulin 2 injections a day 3 years before his death.
Caring for a Dying Cat
Cats often pass away without anyone noticing that they’ve gone. For pet owners who know that death is imminent, preparing for the event can help them say goodbye to their friend. Trust me it is so hard, until now I look into the sky and ask why? But I get used to it and pray for him every single day, it make me feel good. I did hear his voice twice in my house after his death .His body still raped in special bag sealed and in an empty freezer that I have, because I live in Calgary and the back yard still frozen. I will bury him in June 2020 when the ground is easy to dig ,in his favorite garden area he used to sit always by the pink roses .
Occasionally, taking a pet to the vet isn’t an option. In these cases, making the animal safe and comfortable is the best thing that you can do for him. If you have access to a large animal cage, place the cat in it along with water, a soft bed to lie on and a litter box. If no cage is available, a quiet room with a door will suffice along with soft bedding, water and a litter box.
It is never easy to say goodbye to a cherished pet and member of the family, but being able to see that your cat might just be a blessing in disguise. You’ll be able to give your pet some comfort in his final hours by telling him how much you love him, gently stroking him to comfort him, and just being there with him, don’t put to loud music or voices, don’t scream it is so hard for them, and don’t cry loud as they know and try to cry later, as he makes that journey over the rainbow bridge. I can still feel Smokey spirit in my house and when my other cats stair at an area with no reason and they stay still and move their heads like they are following a moving and invisible cat , when I see that i feel good and never scared as I know he is visiting his place that he love most and I pray for him and talk to him just like he was with me until he goes away.
I LOVE SMOKEY TO THE END OF MY LIFE, I LOVE YOU SAMIRA, NEMO, AMIRALD, Those are my cats that passed away, and I love you Mahera and Ashley the cats that are still with me 9 years old.
Steve Ramsey- Okotoks – Alberta.