Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living organism. Death of the brain is usually used as the legal definition of death. The remains of a previously living organism normally begin to decompose shortly after death. Death is an inevitable, universal process that eventually occurs in all living organisms. It’s never easy to lose a pet. With cats, especially, owners get extremely attached to them as they will live anywhere from 12-20 years, sometimes even longer. However, there may be several different signs a cat is dying. As your feline grows old with you or perhaps gets sick, it’s best to be on the lookout for certain signs.
Signs A Cat Is Dying
1. Lack of Interest In Eating or Drinking
It’s common for cats to lose their appetite toward the end of their lives. Like all animals, their bodies know that it takes work to process food and drinks. Your cat could also be too tired and weak to consume anything. One of the most common signs a cat is dying will be their loss of interest in eating.
2. Loss of Appetite
Many cats become tired of food and water as their internal organs begin to pack up . If your elderly cat stops eating, and particularly if your cat stops eating and drinking, this could definitely be one of the signs a cat is dying.
3. Extreme Weakness
You will notice your cat becoming more lethargic and refusing to move around much. Their weakness will be very apparent in their hind legs and you will also notice they want to sleep more often.
4. Changes in Behavior
Different types of behavior can occur for several reasons, but marked behavioral changes are often signs a cat is dying. Your cat may lose interest in playing, become more aloof or become more social and need to be held. Changes in appearance, such as your cat becoming tired of grooming or unable to stay clean, also can be warning signs.
When the top is approaching, your cat may have much less energy for everyday activities. Your pet could also be less energetic, spend longer sleeping and be much harder to awaken for attention, grooming or meals. Of course, cats typically sleep tons, but if your elderly cat is sluggish and sleeping even quite normal, this change might be a crucial sign.
6. Decreased Mobility
Senior cats often have decreased mobility due to muscle loss and pain from arthritis or other health challenges. Weakness is usually progressive, starting with something small like not having the ability to leap up onto the kitchen counter, but reach difficulty navigating stairs and even being unable to urge in and out of a tall litter box.
You can help your cat by ensuring that each one of the items she needs are easily accessible. Provide ramps or stepping stones for her to securely get to favorite perches or resting places. If your cat is affected by arthritis, your veterinarian can prescribe cat-safe pain medications to assist her be easier.
7. Lower Temperature
A healthy cat’s temperature is between 37-38 degrees Celsius. One among the signs your cat is dying is once they have lower blood heat. Because the heart weakens, the blood heat begins to drop below 37 C. Use an ear thermometer or a digital rectal thermometer to see their temperature. You’ll also feel their paws, and if they’re cool to the touch, its often a symbol of their heart slowing down.
8. Low Pulse and Respiration
Likewise, your cat’s pulse and respiration may slow as its body begins to pack up . The resting pulse for a healthy cat ranges from about 150 to 200 beats per minute, and a healthy cat takes about 20 to 30 breaths per minute. If you check your lethargic cat’s pulse and find it sluggish, and if you notice your cat taking fewer breaths than usual, these are likely warning signs.
9. Changes in Appearance and Smell
Cats like to spend time grooming themselves, so once they are nearing their end, they lose the energy to groom and start to seem messy and unkempt. They’re going to also develop a detectable odour that’s thanks to toxins build up as their organs start to pack up . The smell gets worse over time since they don’t have how to eliminate the toxins.
10. Seeking Solitude
Cats hide in solitude once they are gravely ill. Within the wild, a dying cat instinctively understands that they’re more susceptible to predators. Hiding may be a thanks to protect themselves.
As the body prepares to pack up, the muscles begin to relax to the purpose where the cat not has any control over its eliminations. The muscles that control the bladder and sphincter relax, and therefore the cat has involuntary movements. This is often also likely to happen soon after the cat passes away.
Hiding is that the telltale sign of illness in cats but is often hard to define. Many cats hide tons normally. Things to observe for include increased hiding, hiding in new places, and not eager to begin even for routine positive events like mealtimes.
13. Poor Response to Treatments
Many of the diseases that plague senior cats are often controlled with medications and other treatments for an extended time. Over time, your cat may require higher doses of medicines or stop responding to treatment. This will be a symbol that her body is breaking down and not ready to utilize medications normally.
Seizures are often caused by a spread of things, including metabolic problems caused by disease or issues with the brain itself. A seizure that lasts quite 10 minutes or seizures that are available clusters one after the opposite are both emergencies. Counting on the cause, your veterinarian could also be ready to stabilize your cat and stop seizures with medications, but other causes might not answer treatment.
15. Not Curious About Their Favorite Things
As your cat’s health deteriorates, he or she is going to lose interest in things she once enjoyed. They may not want to play together with her toys, may turn their nose up at favorite treats, and should even stop purring when petted. Disinterest within the world round her and a scarcity of joy for things she once loved are signs that your cat is prepared to leave.
How to Comfort a Dying Cat?
It’s tough as a cat parent to observe them as they near the top of their life. Saying goodbye to your pet cat may be a sad reality. Help them feel as comfortable as possible during this era by:
1. Offer Special Treats
If your cat still has an appetite, offer tasty foods to ease your cat’s last days. Particularly pungent smells, like fish-flavored foods, may help tempt your cat to eat. If your cat doesn’t feel up to chewing, try offering some canned foods mixed with warm water, otherwise you can try offering baby food. Just make certain to check the ingredients.
2. Make a Clean, Comfortable Bed Available
To make your cat feel at ease, add special touches to their cat bed or whatever place your cat likes to sleep. Add extra blankets for cushioning, and make certain to vary the blankets regularly if your cat has trouble going to the litter box. You can also line rock bottom of the bed with a little hot pad or blanket to assist keeping your cat warm and toasty.
3. Put Your Cat’s Things Nearby
If your cat can still rise up, make the last couple of days easier by moving the food bowl, water bowl and litter box closer to your cat’s bed. Minimizing the trouble your cat has to go through especially if they are in pain.
4. Spend Time
Your cat might want some space and like to sleep in their pet bed instead of snuggle. But you’ll still be a soothing presence by working, reading or watching TV quietly within the same room.
5. Keep Your Cat’s Space Calm and Quiet
Try to keep your home calm and quiet, so your cat can rest peacefully. Minimize unfamiliar visitors and see if you can keep the commotion in your home to a minimum. If you’ve got family gatherings or activities planned, attempt to have them happen outdoors or in other rooms.
You may also want to play quiet calming music or sounds to supply extra comfort and block out other noise like music, birds chirping or the sound of rainfall can help relax and soothe your cat.
6. Pain Medication
If your cat is ill and in significant pain, ask your veterinarian about getting a prescription for pain medication. Pain medication can make your cat far more comfortable and happy in those final couple of days.
Conclusion: Signs A Cat Is Dying
As you can see, there are a number of signs a cat is dying. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, take your cat to the veterinarian before making your own judgement. If you are thinking about euthanasia, ask your veterinarian about scheduling a meeting (usually at the start or end of the day so you’ll have more privacy) or a house call.
If your cat hates getting to the vet or is stressed by strangers, research at-home pet euthanasia options or ask the vet for an oral sedative that you simply can give them to make the experience less stressful for them. Losing a cat can definitely be a painful experience, but it is a part of life and it is best you be prepared. To read more articles like this, check out my blog TheQuintessentialGuide.