Pets

Physical Symptoms Of A Dying Cat – Comforting Guide

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People love to raise various animals as their pets. Cats are one of the most famous pets. Since cats are tiny animals, people keep them inside the house and even sleep with them. So, there are no words to express the closeness of cats with people.

But what happens if that lovely pet leaves you alone and says goodbye to his life. It will hurt you a lot. But suppose you notice the physical symptoms of a dying cat.

In that case, you can comfort it before its death, visit a vet if it is an early death, and if not, you can make your heart to bear the pain of the loss of the cat. Therefore, this article is all about the symptoms to identify a dying cat.  

So, what are the physical symptoms of a dying cat? Generally, a cat lives for about 20 years. Within that period, it may die early due to various diseases like; cancers, diabetes, feline leukaemia, viruess, etc. But if you can identify the symptoms of these diseases, you can give it treatments and postpone its death. And with the absence of any illness, if you notice physical symptoms like; not eating, not drinking, decreasing mobility, poor response to treatments etc., it is a sign that your cat is near to say goodbye to its life.

Then you can take steps to comfort it and try to bear your pain with the death of your pet. For that, you have to have a clear understanding of the near-death symptoms of a cat.

Accordingly, in this article, I have covered how long is the lifetime of a cat, the commonly seen diseases that bring early death for your cat, and the physical symptoms of a cat that is going to end its life.

Finally, I have provided some tips to comfort a dying cat and prevent the early death of a cat.

Let’s get started!

How long is the lifetime of a cat?

Cats are very close to people as a lovely pet. Anyone does not like to lose a pet for any reason. But, death is inevitable. Any living being that comes to this world has to go with their death.

Also, any living being has a specific lifetime to live. As an example, the life expectancy of people is approximately about 75 years old. Likewise, cats also have a specific lifetime. 

It has been found that the life expectancy of a cat is from 10- 15 years old. But this can change according to the place that a cat lives. That means there is a possibility that a cat that lives outdoors lives for about 7 years.

An indoor cat like your pet has the potential of living for about 14 to 15 years.  These are general rates of life expectancy of cats; it can be varied with the diseases, accidents etc.  

There is an exciting story when comparing the age of a cat with human years. Cats can have many more experiences in their first years than humans get.

Accordingly, it has been found that;

  • 0-1 month of a cat equals 0-1 year of human age
  • 2 years of a cat equals 24 years of human age
  • 10 years of a cat equals 56 years of human age
  • 15 years of a cat equals 76 years of human age
  • 20 years of a cat equals 96 years of human age

Accordingly, it is clear that, with 10 to 15 years, a cat experiences many things in its life as human experiences.

You can give your cat the chance to complete its entire life expectancy through careful treatments for diseases, providing better food, physical and mental stimulation etc.

Then, you can identify the physical symptoms of a dying cat when your cat is nearly to die and end its life. It will be helpful to comfort it when it is dying and to comfort you after its death. 

What are the commonly seen diseases that bring early death for your cat?

If you have a cat, it may be the most loving creature for you on this earth. That is the bond between a pet and the owner. So, if it gets sick, for sure, you may hurt a lot.

If you are unaware of those diseases, it will hurt you more than that because you can give treatments and save the cat if you know the condition.

Therefore, let’s consider some commonly seen diseases within cats that can bring them their death early. 

1. Arthritis

The researchers have found that about 90% of senior cats, those who are about 12 years old, are developing their arthritis or may have developed arthritis.

The thinning of the cartilage, which acts as the cushion between the cat’s joints, is known as arthritis. If you do not treat it in the long run, its bones will start to make contact by creating pain for your pet cat.

Also, you will not soon recognize the symptoms as cats can hide their pain with the natural survival instinct.

If you notice the movements of your cat decreases, even doesn’t go for the favourite perch, being less playful even with its favourite toys, changing its behaviours etc., maybe your cat is sick with arthritis.

Therefore, it is better to be careful about those symptoms and give better treatments because they are equal to the physical symptoms of a dying cat. 

2. Cancers

Cancer plays a significant role in causing the death of senior cats. The term gives the sense of uncontrolled growth of cells. When your cat is sick with cancer, its natural processing of the body’s systems is hindered by growing the cells around the body tissues.

It is essential to recognize and give treatments early because; cancers can be fatal and bring death for your cat.

Therefore, if you notice its weight loss with the loss of appetite, enlarging the lumps, bleeding etc., you should quickly give it treatments. 

3. Hyperthyroidism

The main body tasks of your cat, like; regulating the metabolic rate, digestive and heart functions, control of muscles, maintaining the bones etc., are performed with the help of the thyroid hormones of the cat.

When thyroid hormones are overproduced uncontrollably, hyperthyroidism can take place. If you don’t give treatments, it can harm the life of your cat in the long run.

Therefore, if you notice hyperactivity, the loss of weight, increase of appetite, urination, thirst, shortness of breath, vomiting etc., you may quickly give it treatments.  

4. Kidney disease

It has been found that in many senior cats, over 30% of cats are caught in kidney diseases. The kidney is facilitated for filtering the waste from the bloodstream.

And those wastes are removed from the body through urination. These issues can occur with the loss of functional abilities of the kidneys, collection of harmful toxins in the bloodstream etc.

Do you know that this disease is progressive? So, if your cat catches this, he can’t escape from it. But it can be controlled when you identify it early.

So, if you notice in your cat excessive urination and thirst, loss of weight, lethargy etc., it can be kidney disease. 

5. Diabetes

There is a risk of catching diabetes by overweight cats, which can be seen in many senior cats. When your cat’s body cannot control insulin, diabetes can catch your cat.

Insulin facilitates the digestion of a cat’s body; when it is at risk, your cat may lose the ability to yield energy from the food. Your cat will break down protein and fat as an optional energy source.

So, if you postpone the treatments for this, your cat may die soon. If you notice the increase of appetite with weight loss, the cat may have caught diabetes. 

What are the physical symptoms of a cat that is going to end its life?

Your pet cat may have taken ample space from your life. Therefore, there is no need to say how much you may hurt if you lose your companion. But, death is inevitable.

You have to understand that eternal truth to deal with that loss well. If you can notice symptoms of death of your cat before its demise, you can make your heart deal with it by comforting the cat at its last moment.

So, the physical symptoms of a dying cat are significant to understand if you have a pet cat. Let’s focus on it here in detail.

1. Lack of preference on food and drinking

It can be commonly seen that the cats lose their favour for food and drink when they are near to death. When we get food, there is an ongoing process inside the body to digest it.

So, it is the same for the cat. They will notice the weakness of their body when they are ready to die and feel more tired from consuming anything.

Also, when cats refuse to drink, it can lead to dehydration. So, there you can comfort its last moment by giving liquids by using a syringe or something. 

2. Excessive weakness

When cats are near to dying, they will become very inactive. If you notice that your cat is sluggish and refuses to move, it is a sign which shows that the cat is nearly to die.

There, you can see that the cat sleeps longer than it usually sleeps. 

3. Decreasing the body temperature

If your cat is healthy, it should maintain a body temperature between 37-38 degrees Celsius. So, if you recognize that the cat decreases its body temperature more than that range, it is a sign of its death.

When the heart of the cat is weakened, its body temperature will go below 37 degrees Celsius. You can check the body temperature by using an ear thermometer or a digital rectal thermometer.

And you can find this by touching its paws. If they are cool, it conveys that the cat’s heart is slowing and it is near its death.

4. Changing the appearance and the smell

Generally, cats like to groom themselves. But, when it is near its death, it loses its strength to groom, and it may look messy and dirty.

And even they may have excessive dandruff with flaky skin.  Not only has that, but they will also produce a detectable smell with the building of toxins when their organs begin to close their process.

As they are unable to remove the toxins, this smell becomes worse with time. 

5. Seeking solitude

Cats love to be alone in a private place when they are dangerously ill. When a cat lives outdoors when they are sick, they know clearly that they are vulnerable to predators.

Therefore, they hide to protect themselves. It is also the same for a pet cat; when it is near to die, they usually go to a private place to be alone.

Even they do not come outside for positive routine activities like mealtimes. 

6. Extreme loss of weight

When cats are subjected to ageing, this can be commonly seen. As the body is inefficient at digesting food and producing protein, the muscle mass may lose.

But, with the passing time, this condition can worsen, and they significantly lose body weight and become thinner.

This can happen due to various diseases like; cancer, hyperthyroidism, kidney diseases etc. So, if your cat shows extreme body weight loss, it can be cited as a symptom of its death. 

7. Decreasing the mobility

Generally, cats are unable to do activities like; jumping to a high place, difficult to navigate stairs, and get in and out of a tall box when they are near to say goodbye for their lives.

That is because of the loss of muscles and the pain. So, you can comfort the cat by placing its necessary things like food, drinks etc., near it. 

8. Changing behaviours

The behavioural changes are commonly seen within cats when they are near to die, and those behaviours can change from one cat to another.

Accordingly, they may become more irritable, cranky, and reclusive. Still, some other cats may become clingier, friendly, and love to seek your warmth.

Also, there will be cognitive dysfunction within some cats. Those cats will wander everywhere in the home at night and become more vocal.

On the other hand, your cat may refuse to have food, disappear for a long period and even alter its sleeping patterns. 

9. Poor response to treatments

When cats get sick, you can provide them with some treatments. Still, when they are near to dying, you may notice that the cat may need higher doses, and sometimes they will stop responding to the medications.

So, it is a sign of the breakdown of its body and inability to avail the treatments.  

10. Abnormal breathing

When a cat is nearly to die, their breathing patterns become speedier and randomly slows down. And you may see that for short periods the cat stops breathing and is subject to continue again.

You can recognize the difficulty of the cat when it breathes with its mouth open and stretching out the neck and the head straightly away from the body.

And meanwhile, there may be abnormal solid movements. This is a sign that the cat is struggling to get oxygen for its body. 

11. Seizure

Seizures can happen due to various reasons. Sometimes it may be a problem with its brain and various diseases that cause metabolic problems.

If the seizure lasts more than 10 minutes which comes in clusters, it will be an emergency. It can be controlled through the treatments depending on the causes.

Still, when it happens due to other reasons, the treatments may not be successful. 

Common causes for early dying cats

Here, it is also important to focus on the early death of cats. That means some cats die quickly without spending even about 2 years.

So, if you notice the symptoms like; abrupt stopping of nursing, being lazy, loss of weight, restlessness, frequent crying etc., it is a sign of early death of that cat. There may be various causes for it as; 

  • Within pre-birth: – Congenital abnormalities and uterine malnutrition.
  • Within the birthing process: – Difficulty to kitten, hypothermia, hypoxia and low birth weights.
  • In the weaning period: – Absence of compatible blood types within the kitten and the queen, inadequate milk intake, loss of fluid excessively and various infectious diseases.
  • Problems with the queen: – Absence of good nutrition, first litter, older queen and extended labour.
  • Environmental factors: – lack of hygiene, over-handling, overcrowding and extreme temperatures.

So, it would be best if you also were careful about your cat at its very early stages of life.  

How do you prevent the early death of a cat, and how to comfort a dying cat?

What happens if you can postpone the death of your pet? And how it feels if you can comfort the last moment of your pet cat? It will be the best comfort that your heart ever gains in this world.

But, before that, you should study the physical symptoms of a dying cat. Then you can provide necessary treatments for them. So, here let’s see how to provide those necessary treatments. 

First of all, let’s focus on preventing the early death of a pet cat. You may be unable to provide treatments for all their failures, but within some situations, you can do it and postpone their death. There, you can;

1. Give antibiotics

If you identify that your kitten has undergone a bacterial infection, you may quickly consult a vet. Then you will get the necessary antibiotics to provide them.

As their immune systems are not yet developed, giving antibiotics for bacterial infections as prescribed by the vet is very important. 

2. Give medications for parasites

Parasites can harm the specific kitten and can harm the other kits and sometimes even the human.

Therefore, it is very important to provide medications for parasites if you notice any signs of parasites.

But there is a possibility that the kit may undergo the same parasite infection. Still, it can be avoided by better parasite control and management.

3. Going to a surgery

The kits with congenital disabilities are necessary to go to surgery. But always, you may not be able to go to surgery with the age of the cat.

For some surgeries, there is a specific age limit. For example, if the kit has been born with a cleft palate, you may go to surgery once the kit completes 3 months or more. 

When talking about ways to comfort a dying cat, you can;

  • Provide warmth for your cat by keeping it on a cosy bed or anywhere that is warm with the heat of the sun.
  • As the pet is weak in grooming by this time, you may help it by cleaning the messes, brushing its hair etc. 
  • It is encouraging the cat to eat by providing it with strongly smelled food. And suppose you have been feeding your cat with the diets due to its specific disease directed by the vet.
  • In that case, you may not care about it now, and it is better to give any food that your cat loves as it will be its last diet.  
  • Keep water, food, litter box etc., near the cat and take steps to keep it in a place where it can easily access its sleeping place. 
  • Provide easy access to the napping perches and preferred window spots by building ramps and boosting them. 
  • Do not disturb it and try to keep its place calm and quiet. 
  • Provide medications until the last moment and try to save its life if you notice any symptoms under the vet’s guidance. 
  • If you feel that your pet wants your warmth at the moment, give it that by cuddling the pet and make it feel your whole love, affection and warmth.
  • Convey your cat that it is okay to leave the place with its death, and still you love it very much through your lovely words.

Likewise, you can comfort the last moment of your cat and release the stress of you by giving it a lovely goodbye. 

Final thoughts about physical symptoms of a dying cat

We have discussed; physical symptoms of a dying cat in more detail. I think this article will work out for all the cat lovers as I have covered all the areas of importance like; how long is the lifetime of a cat, what are the commonly seen diseases that bring early death for your cat, what are the physical symptoms of a cat that is going to end its life, and finally, I have provided some tips to comfort a dying cat and to prevent it from an early death.

Cats are a very close friend of humans. Many people raise cats as their pets. They love, care for them and always love the company of their pet. Therefore, although they know that death is inevitable, they do not like to see their lovely pet’s death.

But the life expectancy of a cat is around 14-15 years. And many dangerous diseases bring death for the cats soon like; cancers, diabetes, arthritis etc. But suppose you can recognize the symptoms of these diseases early. In that case, you can postpone the death of your cat with necessary treatments.

So, what are the physical symptoms of a dying cat? Refusing food, drink, excessive weakness, decreasing the body temperature etc., are some of those symptoms. Anyway, as death is inevitable, you can comfort the last moment of your cat by understanding that eternal truth.

There, you can provide warmth for your cat by keeping it on a cosy bed or anywhere that is warm with the sun’s heat. As the pet is weak in grooming by this time, you may help it by cleaning the messes, brushing its hair etc.

Likewise, if you can comfort the cat at its last moment, you also can bear the pain that arises with the loss of your loving pet. So, it is better to give your love, affection and caring until the last moment to your pet cat. 

Thank you for reading. Stay tuned with BestFamilyLife for more good content.

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