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How have you coped with an elderly cat? Tips please

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Georgiexxx, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Georgiexxx

    Georgiexxx PetForums Newbie

    Sep 8, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Max is 14 years old. He's been with me 8 years after his owners moved out and appeared to leave him behind. There's just me and him in the house, so he has all the peace and quiet he needs.

    He's been deaf for about 1-1 1/2 years but he's really showing signs of ageing since March / April.

    He's drinking water almost daily and quite deeply (he eats wet food). The last time he was at the vets, they tested his kidney function because of his age and it isn't what it should be so it's no surprise.

    In April, he struggled to jump onto my bed. He was practically climbing. Then his back legs went weak and I parked him in front of a heater, made sure his water and food were a step away and in a few days he was back to normal.

    He thoroughly enjoyed the summer heat until the beginning of August when he began going to the toilet in the house and didn't want to go out at all. I bought him a litter tray which was upstairs on the landing which he was using as his toilet.

    Last week, he literally slid down the stairs twice and again was climbing onto my bed or the sofa. The litter tray is now downstairs and I've shut the door at the bottom of the stairs to confine him to the ground floor.

    Then last week and today, I noticed him bumping head first into the legs of chairs and the coffee table. He appears to have poor sight / blind.

    He purrs when I pick him up or groom him and gets jealous when I'm at my laptop, and tries to reclaim the space for himself.

    I was thinking about turning the spare room into his room with his food and litter tray. It's a large size double bedroom but I'm conscious of moving him around too much and upsetting his routine. I also think it will be warmer than downstairs when winter comes. And would it be wise to spoil him food wise? He loves cooked meat but I know that it may put pressure on his kidneys.

    I haven't taken him to the vet as I'm not working at the moment and nervous of agreeing to treatments that could get me into serious debt when he's at the end of his life anyway. Of course, my stance would change if he shows signs of pain and discomfort.

    If you have experience of looking after an elderly cat, your advice would be appreciated.
  2. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Jan 19, 2014
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    I have had three oldies and lost two of them in the last three years. Of the two the one girl had mild arthritis and died of sudden heart failure, the other girl had chronic kidney disease and the disease progression was slow but inexorable , and not nice to watch. Kidney disease is a progressive disease and it's speed of decline varies greatly between animals. Excessive thirst is a very noticeable symptom. Failing kidneys can make a cat feel miserable, the toxins make them feel nauseous and continual dehydration is common as is a lack of appetite and wasting away. In the end my girl was getting towards skin and bone and was on sub cutaneous fluids to improve her life quality. She also had chronic arthritis and couldn't jump or move about well and had to haul herself up things. The arthritis was primarily in her hips, lower spine and one front leg. Cats are masters at hiding g pain as it keeps them safe from predators to do so. It is therefore really hard to know when they are in pain or discomfort. My girl was in a huge amount of pain from her arthritis. I only realised how much when I started her on pain relief and her behaviour and mobility improved immensly.

    My boy who is still with me has arthritis and hyperthyroid. He is also deaf to certain frequencies and has cataracts starting to develop. He is on treatment for his hyperthyroid (thyronorm a liquid I just place on his food). Uncontrolled the hyperthyroid disease raises his metabolism makes him ravenously hungry, manic, racing around, restless, and it also gives him high blood pressure leading eventually to blindness and heart failure. When untreated it made him feel absolutely terrible and he still has periods when treated when he feels better or worse. Imagine a racing pounding heart and a frantic anxious feeling. :( He also has bad arthritis. Unfortunately for hihim metacam only works a little so I try and give him buprenorphine as well to alleviate the pain though he's reluctant to be treated. He too is very stoic about showing pain but is very purry and cuddly when feeling poorly.

    Your cat does need to see the vet. As said above cats are masters at hiding pain so they often look OK when they really aren't. The symptoms you describe suggest the your cat has one or more underlying health conditions. Once you know what the issues are you can make a decision about what to do next. It may be that the best option is put to sleep or it may be that medication can give your cat a much improved quality of life. It's not fair to let your cat just to put up with something. I appreciate you are lacking funds however it may be that the treatment your cat might need is inexpensive. Do you have insurance ? If your cat needs treatment you cannot afford then the options of pts or rehoming to a rescue are your only valid options. If your cat is in discomfort leaving them to suffer is not a nice thing to do.
  3. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

    May 4, 2010
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    If you are not working you might be able to access reduced cost treatments through PDSA, Blue Cross or ( in London) Celia Hammond.
    chillminx and kittih like this.
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