Signs a Cat Is Dying

We all worry about losing our cherished feline family members as pet owners. While we may wish for our cats to age gracefully and pass away naturally, the majority of cats eventually succumb to a chronic, life-threatening, or fatal condition.

Fortunately, we have the choice to offer hospice care and euthanasia to lessen their suffering.

These are some warning signals to look out for as euthanasia and palliative care for cats approach.

Is My Cat Near Death? What Are the Signs That a Cat Is Dying?

The bodily symptoms of sickness are the most evident indications, including:

  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Incontinence
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding food
  • Ineffective coordination
  • Lethargy
  • Breathing gradually
  • Twitching of muscles
  • Loss of weight

As your cat ages, you could also see the following alterations in behaviour, hygiene, or physical appearance:

  • A deviation from their typical wake-and-sleep patterns
  • Unexpected vocalisation
  • Abnormal hygiene and grooming practises
  • Bad breath or body odour
  • Eyes with a glazed or lifeless appearance
  • Abnormal respiratory patterns or mouth-open breathing
  • Covering more
  • Abnormal actions, such as aggressiveness

Get your cat’s symptoms assessed right away by your veterinarian if any of these symptoms are present. It may be important to make a hospice care or euthanasia plan for your pet with your veterinarian if a terminal illness is identified.

Evaluating Your Cat’s Quality of Life

Monitoring your cat’s quality of life as it ages is also crucial. A cat’s overall quality of life should be evaluated in light of the following factors:

  • Is your cat still consuming food and liquids?
  • Can they still engage in the same pursuits and relationships with their animal and human friends?
  • Is your cat pain-free at home, able to walk about freely, and able to rest?
  • Are there more good days than bad for them?

If none of these conditions apply to your cat, you may need to think about euthanasia or palliative and hospice care as possible next steps (either at home or in the clinic).

What Is the Cat Dying Process?

Before your pet’s quality of life or their agony become intolerable, euthanasia gives you the chance to say goodbye. You can get assistance deciding which alternatives are best for your pet from your veterinarian or the hospice care staff.

The majority of the time, euthanasia is a really gentle method for your pet to go since they usually nod off and don’t wake up. Your pet will get medicine from your veterinarian to help them relax, generally followed by a last injection.

When the cat’s heart stops beating and they cease breathing, they pass into death. A transient muscular twitch, a final deep breath, and loss of bladder and bowel control may occur after death when their muscles relax. Seeing this might be highly upsetting for pet owners since they could think their cat is still alive. Your cat’s heart will be checked by the vet to make sure it has passed.

Both you and your cat may experience significant stress during the latter stages of death if your cat passes away suddenly and you are unable to contact your veterinarian. A hospice plan in place might lessen the burden of your cat passing away at home.

A cat’s respiration may deteriorate more in the final moments of an unmedicated death, and they may appear to be gasping for air. Their core body temperature will start to drop, and their extremities could even feel a bit colder. Cats often can’t stand up and aren’t interested in eating or drinking.

Do Cats Know When They Are Dying?

Although it is difficult to tell if cats comprehend the finality of their own mortality, they do appear to be aware of the idea of death and do understand when they are unwell. It is not unusual for a sick cat to start hiding as their time approaches, but this might be a symptom of their deteriorating condition rather than a clear indication that they are about to die.

Many cat parents are surprised to learn that cats purr more as they approach death. We do not fully comprehend this, unfortunately. Instead of only being a sign of happiness when a cat is happy, purring may also be a method of communication, an indication of hunger, or even a relaxing technique.

What to Do if You Think Your Cat Is Dying

It is crucial to get your cat examined by a veterinarian right away if you are worried that it could be dying. When the time comes, one of the nicest presents we can give our dogs is a peaceful death. Have your cat checked out by a vet immediately away if they are not eating, are very weak, are not getting up to use the litter box, are not drinking, or appear to be in discomfort.

How to Comfort a Dying Cat

It might be challenging to keep your cat comfortable as it approaches its end. You may make sure kids have access to a warm, cosy bed at home. It’s possible that you’ll need to groom your cat frequently and clean up any spills right away. Maintain your cat in a serene and quiet setting away from boisterous children, dogs, and other disturbances.

Your cat may want to cuddle up close with family members or spend their time quietly curled up on their own. Your pet is best known to you. Most crucial, make sure your cat is maintained as pain-free as possible by collaborating with your palliative or hospice care team.

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