Post # 1
I just noticed a rather troubling post on Facebook this morning. A dear friend has an older cat that is undergoing what seems to be his final days. He is going through renal failure. I don’t go on Facebook daily, so I read through her posts from yesterday. Apparently the cat has been very sick the past few days. He has been staggering around, breathing hard, refusing to eat and restless. She also mentioned that she took him to the vet on Wednesday, but she doesn’t offer any other pertinent medical details than that.
She has alluded to the fact that she and the vet don’t suspect he’ll survive the weekend.
If you were the friend (me) would you say something? Or would you just offer condolences or words of support? I know this is a tough time for my friend, and its not an easy decision, but if the cat’s prognosis is that dire, why wouldn’t she just do the humane thing and put him down?
**The money for vet expense is not an issue. I truly think my friend just doens’t want to let go…and I completely understand that viewpoint, I just have a hard time knowing that an animal is suffering when he doesn’t need to be suffering.
Post # 3
that’s such a tough situation 🙁 poor kitty. It really is up to your friend though. Maybe she wants him to pass at home, where he’s familiar, rather than in an office. It’s up to her, though. Just talk to her, offer her your condolences, and ask if theres anything you can do to help. Maybe you’ll get your answer in your conversation. Just don’t push the issue of home vs. office.
Post # 4
He might not be suffering at all times. If he has three good hours a day, where she can be with him and make him comfortable, then it’s not necessarily the “humane thing” to deprive him of that time. We don’t put our elders down even as they are struggling to breathe and actively dying; this cat is doing the same and his time is imminent. Why not spend the last few days together?
My perspective would be very different if, say, the cat had another several months or years of active suffering, or if he were severely injured (hit by a car) and she wasn’t seeking medical attention.
But all in all, no, it’s not your place to say anything or judge the last few days they can have together. It’s a hard decision that has to be made by the pet owner.
Post # 5
@Omgbunnies: Yeah…i guess I’ll keep my mouth shut and not press the issue. But if she does ask me my thoughts on this one, I will politely tell her that if its my cat and the prognosis is dire, I would probably have him euthanized.
**That’s probably the best course of action here. Initially, when I first read of all this on facebook I was ANGRY. I’m not a fan of people making severely ill pets linger and languish in pain. Unfortunately, life and death issues come along with pet ownership.
But then, I don’t want to come across too strongly. The decision is not mine to make…
Post # 6
@Dialysate: Well, definitely. If the cat had a shot of coming out of this…then this wouldn’t even be an issue for me.
Pet loss is not something I take lightly….but then on the other hand, this cat is in renal failure. Once his kidneys have completely shut down, he’ll be gone.
I guess I’m just looking to my own past experiences with this. I’ve had to put 4 pets down in the past. Vets don’t offer this unless they have exhausted every last resource and they know that the pet will not recover. I don’t know. It’s a tricky situation.
Is it really the “humane” thing to do to “put an animal out of its misery?” I know that’s what we’re all told and taught, but is it better to just keep the animal comfortable and let nature take its course?
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Some people just don’t know that much about pets and have never experienced the loss of a pet. If it’s a good friend, I’d text / message her to say something like “I’m so sorry about Kitty. Did you talk with the vet about putting her down? Sometimes that can be the best route, if the’re suffering and going to die…” Ya know? Poor kitty 🙁
Post # 8
I totally understand where you are coming from. I have watched two dogs (one moreso than the the other) suffer at the end of their lives while their owners tried to “get the most out of them”. It was awful to watch and I honestly wished I could just put the dog down myself…BUT, in the end, it is not your cat..and while you can voice your concern it will probably just make the owner mad at you because she’s so upset already struggling with the deterioartion of her cat. Should she put it down? Probably..but unless she asks you, it’s not your business. Hopefully the cat goes peacefully.
Post # 9
@lolot: I was actually going to do just what you suggested, but i didn’t know how it would be received!
This is (undoubtedly) a very hard time for her. I didn’t want to come across as pushy or judgemental. I know for me, if one of my cats was that sick and was in his last days and the vet suggested the option, I’d probably take it.
I just wanted to get a feel for what other bees have to say on this….plus, it does seem to be a rather personal and very private choice too.
Post # 10
It’s harder for some people to let go than others & giving your 2 cents won’t be productive if she’s not ready to. The best thing you can do is offer your condolences.
Post # 11
I am sorry, but that is none of your business. Geeze, that sounded harsh- but what I think is that you really can’t say something, it is just not your place. Poor cat! 🙁 You have to let her do that on her own.
Post # 12
Surely the vet would have said something to her about putting it down, in which case she probably already knows that’s best. It might be better to just let it go.
Post # 13
I experienced this with three foster kittens. Before they came to me they picked up a panleukopenia bug going around the shelter. They were 3 weeks old. I dutifully fed them, helped them poo, kept the warm, and did everything I could to make them happy, but other than a tiny bit, they weren’t growing like they were supposed to. They were starting to be hard to feed (refusing food) and lethargic.
I called the shelter, and they said they were worried that would happen – the bug was decimating their cat population and it was inevitable that some of the fosters too young for vaccines would end up with it. They told me to bring in the worst of the three for tests to see officially if that was the problem, and it was.
They told me that they were going to put this one down, as it was probably going to die very soon, and then they asked about the other two – did I want to bring them in to be put down as well? As they were almost certain to die of it within a few days.
I said no. I said I would do my best to care for them. If they had a few more days left, and they could die warm and comfy and loved in my care, I felt that was better than on the cold table at the spca. They both went downhill and died very quickly as predicted, but I felt good that the little bit of time they had, they had a home and love.
I’m sure your friend has thought this over. I’d probably do the same thing. If the cat isn’t 100% suffering all the time, getting to be around her is probably soothing and nice. There’s no reason they shouldn’t have a little more time together if they resonably can.
Post # 14
@cbee: this exactly. It’s none of your business, it’s an awful thing to lose a beloved pet, your friend knows her options and it’s her choice. Be there for comfort and support only.
Post # 15
@JaneyDcat: Dying from kidney failure is not the worst way to go, it’s very gentle. The kitty will slowly become confused and start breathing faster; this isn’t because he’s in distress, it’s due to the buildup of wastes in the body. Eventually he won’t be responsive, but not in any pain. Itching may occur, but it’s easily controlled with medications.
I definitely believe that in most cases, it’s better to keep the animal comfortable and let nature take its course. That said, I had to put my 8 month old kitty down last month because had an infectious disease causing severe neurological changes- couldn’t use his legs, couldn’t walk, confused and peeing on himself… I’m not against euthanasia, but it’s not appropriate in every case. Your friend may need a few days to say goodbye before she’s ready to euthanize (and is already considering this option) or she may not believe in it. That’s her choice.
I will say that if death is imminent and the cat is comfortable, why subject it to a confusing experience- a needle poke and injection of medication- right before it dies? She may not want that terrifying experience to be the last thing her cat experiences. If there were any way around it, I wouldn’t want that to be any animal’s last experience.
Hospice is a beautiful thing for humans, and it can be for animals too.
Post # 16
@JaneyDcat: If the cat was suffering, the vet would have recommended putting it down. If the vet suggested it and she’s ignoring their advice, then she probably would not take yours any more seriously. And if the vet didn’t suggest it, then the cat probably is not suffering. It’s usually better to keep very personal, possibly controversial opinions to oneself when you don’t know the whole story. I would just offer condolences, not unsolicited advice.