Pets are adorable, playful, and our daily entertainment source. Generally, cats are healthy and can live up to 10-20 years. Still, they are not immortal, so some warnings should not be ignored.
Do cats really show signs that they are dying? How do they behave If they feel sick? How can you know?
Yes! And, if you closely observe your feline, you will figure them out.
Okay, you found something is wrong with your cat-like she is less cuddly, doesn’t eat much, and her health also looks bad.
Now what? How would you comfort the poor kitty and console yourself or make up your mind to bear such loss?
Disclaimer: This guide is all about “comforting you (owner) and the dying cat.”
7 Warning Signs Your Cat is Dying Soon:
A dying cat may express physical and behavioral changes like appetite loss, lethargy, weakness, red eyes, weight loss, vomiting, depression, high urination, seizures, fainting, and many more.
These symptoms may likely result from old age, liver failure, heart failure, kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, and even cancer.
Read 7 alarming signs and their reasons why your cat might be living her last days:
1. She is No Longer Excited to Eat or Drink
One of the significant signs that depict your feline may be moving towards the final days of her life is when is she is no longer interested in eating her favorite cat food or even drinking water.
Gone are the days when she used to get excited after seeing you bringing her food and, now, all she does is smell the food and move back depressingly.
Loss of appetite could be one of the many signs that your cat is dying of old age, liver failure, or even cancer.
Pro-tip: Giver her food in a right-angled bowl to prevent vomiting and stomach aches.
2. Your Playful & Energetic Cat Has Become Weak & Quiet
Cats are playful, energetic, and full of cuteness.
But, when your kitty is sick, it’s hard to see her doing any activity. She feels weak, less energetic, and distant.
The puss cat that once used to rub her soft fur with your legs, expressing her love and affection for you, is usually seen sleeping and hiding in the corners.
Why? She might be sick, in pain, or sadly, dying.
Note: There could be some exceptions as every cat has an individual personality. Some may become extremely vocal, aggressive, scared of being alone, or even show clingy behavior.
3. Her Temperature & Will to Live Has Dropped
The average temperature of a healthy feline is 101°F-102.5°F (38.3°C-39.2°C), and one of the vital signs of ‘there’s-something-wrong-with-my-pet’ cat is lower body temperature.
When you notice a significant drop in her body temperature that even her paws feel cold to touch, it is a warning that your kitty needs to see a vet.
Lower body temperature also signals that your cat’s heart rate is slowing down, which may lead to difficulty in breathing, gray-blue tongue, weakness, and sadly, heart failure.
Loss of appetite or weight, sudden collapse or saddle thrombus (hind leg paralysis), high respiratory rate (avg. is 16-40 breaths a minute), and lethargy are other signs of heart problems in cats.
4. Her Health & Weight Are Declining
A dying cat becomes lazy, dull, and more sleepy. You may even notice her not moving at all. This weakness will be most prominent in their hind legs.
The reason for weight loss may be intestinal (worms) parasites, food allergy or infections, inflammatory bowel illness, stress, depression, or anxiety. Yes, cats have feelings too!)
She may stop eating or is trying to eat but vomits immediately, which has caused her to lose weight. Could it be diarrhea? Stomach infection? Or, are these the signs a cat is dying of kidney failure?
Pro-tip: Even if you notice a slight change in your cat’s behavior or health, remember to visit her vet instantly, or else it will be too late. And, all you will be left with is loss and regret.
Never ignore any unusual change as it may be among the signs a cat is dying!
5. She Looks Messy & Smells Weirdly
A healthy cat doesn’t smell and often grooms her coat herself. Yes, kitties are just so easy to maintain, and their cuteness, smartness, and adorable personality are just a bonus.
Cats are just full of love and affection.
The sad thing is dying, and a sick cat shows early symptoms like sleepiness, laziness, loss of appetite, foul odors, and trouble in bathroom chores like stool and urination, but most of us fail to recognize these signs.
These could hint towards cancer, toxins build-up in her body, diabetic ketoacidosis (sick sweet odor), or even kidney failure (ammonia-like smell).
Pro-Tip: Her fur might develop bald spots, clumps, or shed vigorously, and you may have to clean her up in nearing death days, so it is advisable to use a portable pet hair vacuum to groom her fur.
You should not let her spend energy on regular bathing as she is already weak.
6. She is Not Behaving Like Her Usual Adorable Personality
As said, “It’s not always the decline that’s alarming. Sometimes, it is the other way around!”
So, Other warning signs a cat is dying may include excessive eating, urination, hyperactiveness, aimless pacing, panting, increased thirst, appetite, and heart rate.
There could be many reasons why your cat behaves like this, among which hyperthyroidism is only one condition.
Note: Increase appetite may cause her to eat anything and everything in sight, like raw meat, almonds (find if she can eat almonds), onions (leads to anemia in cats) which could further create problems for her health.
7. Her Appearance Has Changed & So Is Her Love for You
Is your cat has started to hide in corners? Does she not respond to your affection anymore? Or, her eyes are always cloudy and watery even when she looks at you?
And, you think her love and fondness for her favorite human, you, have lessened? No! It’s not like that.
Her red, cloudy, or lifeless eyes may be due to a corneal ulcer or cataracts (common in diabetic cats). She’s not hiding from you, but her vulnerable personality has made her think to protect herself from everyone.
It is a usual behavior in cats that are nearing death. The best is to take her to a vet and let her be checked thoroughly.
Now that you are aware of all the signs a cat is dying. What’s next? You know her end is near, and you have started to prepare yourself to let her go.
Sadly, there’s nothing you can do to make her live longer if her health is in a critical condition, but how long will it take for her comfortable departure?
It may take hours or days, followed by irregular breathing, seizures, and anxiety.
What you can do is make her last journey comfortable and shower her with all your love, affection, and care.
7 Ways to Make Her Feel Comfortable & Loved in Her Last Days
There’s no easy way one can deal with a dying cat, but what you can do is to make the rest of the days comforting, relaxing, and full of your love and affection.
1. Provide Her with a Warm, Cozy, and Comfy Sleeping Place to Rest
When a cat is living her last days, she will start to sleep and rest more. You’ll always find her lying here and there or even hiding in corners. Get her a soft and comfy faux fur bed to let her snuggle as much as she wants.
Make her sleep softly while she’s with you.
2. Give Her Your Attention, Make Her Look Clean & Beautiful
Although, cats usually love to clean or groom themselves as they like to look beautiful but all of these normal things can become difficult to do for a dying cat.
Save her energy as much as you can. Use pet grooming gloves to brush her hair or a pet scrubber to give her a nice massage and bath.
She may be weak, but your love for her is strong as ever!
3. Let Her Eat Whatever She Wants To
Sure, some things can be unhealthy for pets, but when your feline expresses signs of dying, it is not harmful to offer her treats here and there. But make sure to measure the food quantity before giving it to her.
Sometimes, it’s okay to break the rules!
4. Help Her in Bathroom Chores
She is weak, less energetic, and tired. Keep her litter box closer to her or bring her yourself to help her poop and urinate.
Use her efforts to live longer!
5. Keep Her Pain Under-Control
Your feline might be in pain but can’t express it. Regularly visit her vet and, if possible, give medicines or pain-killers to ease the pain. You can mix the prescribed medication in her water or food.
Cats give us comfort. It’s time we console them too!
6. Shower Her with Your Love & Affection but Don’t Overdo It
It’s about time she might be leaving you soon so try to spend more time with her. Care for her and tell her that you loved her and it’s going to be okay.
Death ends a life, not a relationship. – Jack Lemmon
7. Consider Euthanasia If Her Suffering Becomes Extreme (Unfortunately, Yes!)
You may feel sad and terrible even thinking about this, but when her pain and suffering become unbearable and extreme. It is only better you talk to her vet for medical solutions.
Make her departure easy and peaceful!
5 Tips to Comfort Yourself from The Loss of a Dying Pet:
Loss of your loving pet is shocking. You might have numerous memories with your adorable feline that won’t let you ever forget her.
But the reality is she is no more with you. Thinking about positive things will help you. Think about all the good moments you shared together, and her adorable personality.
what more you can do to cope with your loss? Read these 5 comforting tips that might help you in dealing with the grieve you are experiencing:
- Accept the reality or unfortunate departure of your poor kitty. (Yes, this is the first and foremost step you should take how hard it may be)
- Meet other pet-owners who are experiencing the same loss as you
- Join a pet-loss support or a grieving group
- Pay attention to your other pets as they need your affection too
- Lastly, you can adopt a similar-looking cat that might be waiting for your love and affection
Because all cats are just adorable and want to be loved!
“Love and affection are intense feelings that may reach an extreme level when one fears loss.”
Loss of a companion or pet is something nobody should ever experience, and every pet-owner noticing the physical and behavioral changes in their sick pets would agree with us on this.
You never know, these 7 signs a cat is dying might even help her vet in an early diagnosis of the problem with your feline.
Lastly, we wish you never have to prepare yourself to experience the deadly moment when she’s no longer with you.