Losing a pet is extremely painful and hard to accept, especially when you have really attached to it as it can live anywhere from 12 to 20 years or even longer.
As your cat is growing old with you, make sure you are aware and watch out for the signs your cat is dying. By doing so, you will be able to comfort it during its difficult time. Here they are, the 5 common signs your aging cat is dying.
1. Lack of Interest in Eating and Drinking
As your cat is aging, there will be a decrease in their appetite. Just similar to other animals too, it’s also common for dying cats to lose their appetite as they approach the end of their lives. There are some other signs that your cat is aging and you really need to be alert of them!
Your cat will not be interested in drinking either. As a result, she is prone to dehydration. You can give her water by using an oral syringe or a squirt bottle. Never force her to drink too much water as it may lead to choking and aspiration pneumonia.
If your cat seems to lose its appetite, try to warm up its food or add some small amount of tuna juice. By doing so, you can increase its odor and make it interested to eat again. You can also refer to these best food for aging cats.
Lack of appetite and drinking can also be a sign of your cat is sick. So, never ignore this sign. Contact your veterinarian immediately so that you can find the best solution.
2. Extreme Weight Loss
Senior cats tend to loss their weight as they are aging. Some of the causes are normal muscle loss, less efficient in digesting and building protein and as a result, they loss their muscle mass. If you are concern about your cat sudden weight loss, read these causes of sudden weight loss in cats.
Weight loss can be as extreme over time. You may notice that your cat is extremely thin, with her ribs, spine and hip bones protruding under her skin. There are some causes, such as cachexia, a particular form of extreme weight loss caused by cancer.
Another cause could be hyperthyroidism and chronic kidney disease. Weight loss is also one of the symptoms of kidney failure in cats you need to watch out for!
3. Hiding a Lot
One of the telltale signs of illness in cats is hiding. However, it could be hard to define. Many cats just like hiding normally. The hiding that you need to watch for include increased hiding, not wanting to come out for some routines, such as mealtimes and hiding in new places.
The reason why they hide is because they prefer solitude or being alone when they are gravely sick. In the wild, hiding is one of the ways to protect themselves from predators as they understand that they are more vulnerable. Domestic cats, indeed, have adopted this instinctive behavior.
4. Lower Body Temperature
A healthy cat’s body temperature should range from 37 to 38 degrees Celsius. When she has lower body temperature than normal, then it can be an indicator that she is dying. As the body temperature lowers, the heart weakens, and other organs start to shut down.
Use an ear or a digital rectal thermometer to check her temperature. You can also check it by feeling their paws if they are cool to touch, then it could be a sign that her heart is slowing down.
You will notice that your cat is getting more lethargic, sedentary and even refuse to move. It is indeed experienced by the cat who nears the end of her life.
She will spend most of her time sleeping and becoming weak when she is awake. Some cats may also appear depressed too. If your cats seem to be lethargic, then spend some time reading about lethargy in cats.
Muscle loss and pain from arthritis also cause the aging cats to decrease their mobility. The weakness is often progressive, starting from small thing, like being unable to jump onto the kitchen counter to the more difficult one like unable to navigate stairs and get in and out of a tall litter box.
As your aging cat is dying, there are some things you can do to keep her comfortable. Here they are:
- Keep her warm and provide easy access to a cozy bed.
- Help her grooming by brushing her hair and cleaning up the mess.
- To encourage her to eat, provide food with strong smell or odor.
- Provide easy access to food, water, litter box and sleeping spots.
- Keep her surrounding peaceful and quiet. Don’t let other pets bother her.
- Consult with your vet about the best medications she can have.
- Spend more time with her. If your cat likes to be cuddled, then give more love for her. If she prefers to be alone, then give her time and sit quietly a little bit away from her.
- Tell her if it is okay to go and she can go whenever she is ready.