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View Full Version : My cat is doing something different after 15 years!Know why?



muppetlove
09-05-2007, 10:11 PM
My cat is 15 years old. She isn't doing good. I know she has high blood pressure and kidney problems and she went blind in December. I don't want her suffering but she still is purring all the time and it is hard to know what to do for her. Anyway, she has always hated it outside. If we brought her outside she would high tail it to the door. NOW she is always waiting at the door to go out! She loves it outside now but of course I will not let her out by herself because she is blind and cannot defend herself against the outdoor cats. (Also, I think her being blind is one of the reasons she can stand to be outside now.) At first when she goes out she will lick the sidewalk and deck (probably because she is lacking vitamins. I have heard of people feeling the urge to eat dirt because they lack vitamins.) But then when she is done licking dirt she will sit on my lap on the outside swinging chair. Then when I try to bring her back in, she will wait by the door again! She never attempted to go outside before so this is weird!

Does anyone know why she has suddenly started wanting to go out after 15 years? I'm curious! She has been the best cat I could ever ask for. I got her when I was 7 years old. Me and my brother each got to pick a cat from my Uncle's park maintenence building and my Mom said "You have to pick the cat that comes to you". Right after she said that, this tiny little thing walked across the room to me. I will never forget it and I know she will be leaving me soon. The funny thing is my Uncle just took his own life two days ago, so it's horrible that they both will be leaving around the same time. We've gotten two other cats since, but they aren't the same. This one is just so close to me. She feels the same things I feel. Literally my anxiety gave her anxiety/high blood pressure.

ah well, I didn't want this to become a novel. I was just wondering about my cat's strange change of habits! Anyone have any clue? thanks

DogMom
09-05-2007, 10:37 PM
Unfortunately, a lot of animals will leave their owners when it's their time to go. Though we'd like it if they'd pass away in our presence, many of them will try to get out and find a dark, quiet, secluded area to die in.

I'm not saying that this is what your cat is doing. It's highly possible that it simply just wants to be outside. You never really know. I have one that only wants to go outside once a year. The rest of the year he never goes near the door, never lays in the window, he just makes no effort or show any desire to be outside. But then there's that one period throughout the year, lasts about a month or so, that we have to really watch him because he will hide and try to bolt out the door. He's gotten out twice since we've had him and both times he came home extremely ill from being outside (because he can't seem to fend for himself).

So I don't know--could just be a new interest for your kitty. Looking for a new leash on life perhaps.

muppetlove
09-06-2007, 10:21 PM
hmm, that seems obvious. :/ When she isn't trying to get out, she is laying under my dresser and she never did that before except for a period of about a week when she first went blind a few months ago. BUT when she does go outside she sits on my lap! So she isn't running very far. haha. I wish she would pass in her sleep, preferably when she is curled at my hip like she always has. But I know that is too much to ask. I just hope she does not suffer too much.

It sounds like you have interesting cat habits of your own! thanks for your reply

DogMom
09-07-2007, 08:20 AM
Some animals do go to the comfort of their owners when they aren't feeling well or simply want something. It drives my hubby nuts because one of our animals can be all over me, meowing, crying, anything and everything and I will get up or stop what I'm doing, give the animal whatever and then he or she stops bugging me. One of my cats will even go so far as to urinate on my stuff. All of my cats will do their business in the bathtub when the boxes aren't clean enough (shhh don't tell my daughter me knowing she didn't do her chores isn't just some sixth mommy sense). LOL

On your lap, on your bed, on your clothes, under your dresser, etc, etc, etc are all comfort zones for your kitty. YOU have given her everything she has needed her entire life. You have cared for her and done everything for her. She knows that you will provide for her with physical things as well as emotional. You are her comfort zone and if you're not around or not able to handle her, she'll find the next best thing--something or an area that smells like you.

If she's still eating and drinking and is active as usual, I wouldn't be too concerned with pain or agony yet. If she stops eating, stops being active, cries or meows a lot and just seems "not herself" then I'd be concerned and consider a trip to the vet in order.

muppetlove
09-09-2007, 01:17 PM
Haha. Well at least the cats will use the bathtub and not the floor!

I will keep an eye on my kitty. I really wish she would just pass in the comfort of the house since going to the vet is so traumatic for her. The vet literally thought she was on the verge of death when we took her in December even though I was telling her that she is skittish all of the time. I will keep an eye on her, and if things get worse I will be taking her to the vet!

thanks so much for your advice and wonderful posts -- they are a big help!

muppetlove
09-09-2007, 09:17 PM
oh how things change. Since I posted 10 hours ago I have thought about taking her to the vet. She didn't eat anything today --cat or people food. I also forgot to mention that her back paws are kind of swelling for some reason. Her front feet were usually bigger since she has 7 toes on each front paw and 5 toes on each back paw. Now her back paws are bigger. I have no idea why. I'm petting her and she is still purring! That is what kills me. I have never had to put a cat to sleep before. We got another cat the same time as this one but he got hit by a car when he was two. So I have no idea how much it will cost or anything. Do owners usually go in with their pets? What happens if you want to take the cat and bury it at your house? Will they give you a box or something? argh. this is horrible. I could get a million other cats and they would not add up to this one. We have two other cats and they do not even compare, though I love those two as well. They just aren't as close to me as this one is.

DogMom
09-09-2007, 09:35 PM
I'd go in just to have her checked out.

Did you say if she had a hyperthyroid?? That can cause their nails to grow extremely thick (and fast). When the claws get too big (either thick or length) it can make it difficult or impossible for them to retract the nails. Then the pressure of walking on the claws causes the paws to swell. If she's dealing with so many extra nails, her problem with the swelling can very well just be extra long nails (cured usually by a simple nail trim).

And of course the pain of walking on the claws will turn them away from eating.

And a thyroid problem can also be the reason for not wanting to eat as much.

If she's not been diagnosed with a thyroid issue, a simple blood test will determine yes or no. And if she has, it's possible her meds aren't strong enough anymore. Change the dose and all is well again.

Euthenizing costs different depending on which vet you go to. I've seen it run around $25. And usually they will let you take the animal home once it's done. Most also offer cremation and boxes for the ashes for an additional fee.

But I'm sure her problem is probably a simple fix. Animal's immune systems tend to weaken as they get older. That's when a lot of diseases and issues pop up--as you know with the blindness and diabetes already.

muppetlove
09-09-2007, 10:11 PM
Well a couple months ago some of the nails in her front paws were actually growing INTO the pads of her toes. I've never had to cut the back paw nails before. It's just the front ones. We were giving her a lot of milk then so that is what we thought it was. Her front nails aren't even that long right now. I'm not sure if she has hyperthyroid but I know her kidneys are failing and she has high blood pressure. The blindness I believe is caused by high blood pressure and the kidney problems from giving her so much (unhealthy) people food all these years. Her breeath smells really bad (which is a sign of failing kidneys) and just recently noticed her urine smells the same as her breath!

When she went blind in December, I looked online for what may of caused it and then when to the vet. The vet had no idea what caused it! I had to tell HER, even though it said online that kidney disease and high blood pressure is common in older cats. I don't want to keep prolonging her life if she is not feeling good. It will only be a matter of time before she is gone - she is 15 years old! My brother already makes fun that we should build her a life support chair! He even drew a little picture.

Also, must I mention that the Uncle I wrote about earlier had 3 cats and 2 dogs. His wife wanted to put all 5 animals to sleep BEFORE my Uncle even passed -- when he was in and out of hospitals. She wanted to drop my Uncle, her pets, EVERYTHING. Luckily 4 of the 5 animals found homes among friends and family, but it is still especially hard for me to be thinking of putting my cat to sleep right now! I tried to sympathsize with this lady when it came to my Uncle but it is a whole other story when you are also trying to rid yourself of 5 innocent animals!

oh, and it was my uncle that was diabetic, not my cat. Between his wife leaving him and diabetes messing up his brain (his doctors even refused to treat him because he would have an attitude with them) he just couldn't handle it.

muppetlove
09-11-2007, 08:44 PM
I just wanted to let you know that I had to put her to sleep Monday night. On Monday she just got worse. Sunday she stopped eating any food all together (cat food and people food) and on Monday she was having constant diarrea. I was trying to make her comfortable all day Monday at home. She wanted to be outside and I placed a towel on the ground for her to lay in the sun. I just knew it was time. On Sunday my aunt mentioned getting a sleeping pill from the vet so when she is in the car on her way to the vet she isn't so scared. That was the main thing I was worried about -- her being scared in her last moments. So I got a sleeping pill gave it to her, and as she was falling asleep she was drinking a bowl full of milk. So much milk! I'm glad she had her belly full. She was very peaceful on the way there. I just didn't want to see her suffering any more.

I really fell apart Monday night. I literally could not feel my arms. I couldn't bend my hands. I have no idea why. It never happened before. But today I was surprisingly well. I guess I just didn't know how much it was worrying me that for so long I was worried about her health and worrying about finding her dead on any given day. So it's sad, but I don't have to worry about her suffering anymore! She lived a long 16 years. I could have a million other cats and they would not add up to my Cinnamon.

thanks so much for your posts. They really helped me out a ton. If I ever have questions about my other two cats, I will definitely come to these forums first (unless they need vet attention, obviously). I really really appreciate it.

celtechfarms
09-12-2007, 05:14 PM
I'm sorry for your loss, its good you were there for her and I'm sure she loves you all the more for your company and love. You did the right thing and its great she lived such a long life with you.

muppetlove
09-12-2007, 09:10 PM
aw, thanks