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Elderly cat

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by JudyN, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I know it's never easy when someone asks about when it's time to let your pet go, and that I will end up going with my gut feeling, but...

    Monty is 21.5. He never really got on with Jasper - Jasper is fine with him now, but he's pretty much decided to live in the (walk-in) airing cupboard & bathroom, and the landing close by. His back legs are suffering from severe muscle wastage and much of the time now, when he walks he's staggering like a drunk and sometimes falls over for pretty much no reason. I can't remember when he last came downstairs.

    He's getting incontinent - he can do a puddle on the bathroom floor several times in a single day, then be fine for a week. He's never 'leaked' in the airing cupboard or on his bed though.

    His appetite is good, he calls for his food when it's approaching his tea time, and he likes fuss and attention. He struggles with getting up/walking at times and I'm sure he's in some discomfort, as any human of an equivalent age would be, but I don't think he's suffering particularly. Sometimes he'll be a bit reluctant to get up to come & have a fuss - or he'll try to, then fall off his cushion, and I'll have to pick him up. But he's always managed to get up when I bring his tea!

    He last went to the vet for a checkup/booster sometime in the spring, and nothing has changed significantly since then - though he's got even more doddery and his bladder's got more iffy. I'm reluctant to take him unnecessarily because he could do without the stress. Last time the vet didn't think any medication/pain relief was needed, though he does tend to be very conservative in his approach. I could ask him to do a home visit to assess him...

    Thoughts? Quality of life for a cat who sleeps most of the time, rarely walks further than about 10 feet, and - with all the will in the world - doesn't get as much fuss as he'd like as I can't spend hours sitting in the airing cupboard? Has anyone else had a cat who has declined in a similar way?
     
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  3. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    So sorry to hear that you are facing this decision.
    My sons cat Miles was much the same as Monty although she was only 19 but developed diabetes as well.
    At first the insulin injections helped give her some quality of life but that became less and less until he decided that she was less of herself than a patient her good moments were few and far between so he let her go.

    Its never easy.
     
  4. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Wow 21.5 is a fantastic age!
    Like you say it's really hard to give advice on this it's a difficult decision.
    You know your cat better than anyone and I think you'd know deep in your heart/gut when the right time to let him go is.
    It doesn't sound to me like he's suffering, what old cat/dog doesn't get a bit wobbly and like you say so do old humans, doesn't mean they have a bad life.
    I would expect a cat of that age to sleep all the time, cats sleep a lot of the time even when they're young and fit don't they?
    I would just take things a day at a time and perhaps set up a phone call with a vet to discuss this? Then if they or you decide he needs to be seen try to get a home visit.
    I haven't been in this situation so I'm sorry if I can't be any more help.
    Thoughts are with you at this difficult time x
     
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Thanks both:emoji_blue_heart:

    Yes, I think at the moment he'd rather be snoozing than facing the vet, he just looks so pathetic when he falls off his cushion! He fell over in his litter tray the other day... thank goodness he hadn't just done a poo because it took a lot of struggling to right himself... :eek: At least now, when he does have a messy poo-related incident, he hasn't got the strength to fight back when I bath him!

    He also has slightly runny eyes and snuffly nose, but that's down to age-related narrowing of his eustachian tubes. I think it does make him a little less interested in his normal treats, as presumably he can't smell as well.

    There's nothing wrong with his lungs though - he can't half shout loudly when he wants you to know he's done a poo and the litter tray needs dealing with (or possibly the floor) :D
     
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  6. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh gosh, yes that fall could have been very messy!
    Awww bless his heart ❤️
    Haha, he still bosses you around
    Let us know if you talk to the vet won't you, bless him.
     
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  7. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    This is sad. Our little cat girl just turned 10, I only hope we have another 10... listen to your gut.
     
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  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    He is still enjoying his food and I believe that's a really good quality of life indicator. If he loses his appetite, I think that would be the time to look at your choices again.
     
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  9. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    All I can say is its a hard decision and in reality only you can make it. I was starting to worry about my cat, she was the same age 21 and had declined a bit. Over night she always made her way to a landing, (the boiler was below where she was), and when I got up she would tell me she wanted feeding. Anyway one morning I walked to the bathroom and she didn't react, I thought she must be getting deaf. But when I went to her she had died. It was a big shock for me but for her I was and still am happy, after all she had curled up in her usual place, gone to sleep then simply didn't wake up. I only wish all our pets could go the same way.
     
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  10. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I rather hope Monty passes like that, @Biker John , but what will be will be. He's already stone deaf... which I think is why he shouts so loudly!
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    This morning I decided to carry Monty out into the garden to see if he enjoyed it. He wandered around out there for quite a while till eventually I carried him back up the steps. Then he had a wander round downstairs before I decided he'd had quite enough unaccustomed exercise for one day and carried him back upstairs. This was more exercise than he's had for weeks, and hopefully he'll benefit from it. He managed not to fall over too!!

    I'm so annoyed I haven't been doing this over the summer. He might not appreciate it when it's cold and damp and it won't be so good for his creaky old bones.

     
  12. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh what a lovely old chap. He looks quiet bright and still interested in his garden.
    We have some lovely weather here today, what a shame the weather is due to change soon.
    Maybe decision time is not too far away, I'm sure you will make the right decision at the right time about him. I think your suggestion of a home visit may help you both.
    Thinking of you both,

    Best wishes.
     
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  13. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    He's started showing a new sign of senility - three times now, when I've been cleaning the bathroom floor, and have moved his litter tray to a nearby convenient position while the floor's drying, he's gone and performed where the litter tray should have been, not where it is :confused: :D I hope senility doesn't affect me in the same way...
     
  14. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Awww he's a lovely chap, how nice that he's had a little mooch around outside and downstairs, bet he really enjoyed the change of scenery :)
    Definitely do that as much as you can before the weather gets worse, bless him with his little senior moment!
     
  15. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    How is he doing now @JudyN?
     
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  16. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Pretty much the same, @JoanneF ! I haven't been able to get him out again thanks to the weather and my knee op, and he's not getting the cuddles he should as my mobility is great, but he's still pootling on as normal. You know some older people look like they're going to expire at any moment but carry on for years? I'm wondering if he's going to be the same!

    As of 2017, there were three recorded Birmans who made it to 23, and four who made it to 22. But then I dare say there's many more whose ages weren't recorded.

    I now have washable incontinence mats to put on the floor now, which makes life a lot easier: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Inconti-Pe...67&keywords=inconti-pet&qid=1570184036&sr=8-1 Though when thinking through what they might come in for when Monty no longer needs them, and wondering if they'd be good for picnics, I did think it might have been a mistake to get ones with a large 'Inconti-pet' logo on!
     
  17. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Glad he’s still pootling on Judy.
    Wow, very old kitties! He could indeed be one of those old people in cat form hehe
    I like the reusable incontinence pads, very handy. Yeah you would look a bit strange if you used it for picnicing...maybe just sit on the logo/cover it with food boxes :D
     
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  18. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Monty tends to get a runny nose & eyes as his eustachian tubes have narrowed with age, but over the last few days the snot was getting thick and opaque, so he went to the vet this afternoon. He has an infection in his nose, though his chest is fine, so he's on antibiotics. He also has antinflammatories for aches and pains, but the vet suggested that I save them for 'bad days' - only I can't really tell how much discomfort he's in as, with pretty much no muscle to speak of in his back legs, he's going to be slow and doddery anyway.

    So... I can give him tablets, but it's a bit of a battle and I don't like upsetting him. Any suggestions for things like fish pate I could wrap them in, please? It needs to be particularly enticing as he can't smell well with his snotty nose.

    The words 'quality of life' were used, but we're not there yet ;)
     
  19. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Smoked mackerel is quite easy to mould round things like tablets and is smelly and tasty.
     
  20. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    OH couldn't find any fish pate up the local shops, so had to make do with Brussels pate. It certainly did the job though! I was quite surprised, as I didn't think Monty would be keen on sprouts...:D
     
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  21. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    Excellent, very funny.:rolleyes:
    I hope it dosen't give him too much bad wind :eek:.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019

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