Unfortunately, nothing in the world lasts forever and death accompanies us throughout life. Of course, the loss of a loved one does not compare with the departure of another cat into the world. But sometimes you become so attached to your beloved pet that you consider him a member of the family.
Owners rarely have to watch cats die. And all because most of them prefer to face death away from home in complete solitude. But this does not always happen, since not everyone has the opportunity to go outside. To understand that the cat is dying, and it is time to let him go on his last journey, will help the specific symptoms of the approaching demise. After all, it is important to ensure proper care for him during this difficult period.
Where and why do purrs go before death?
In the wild, a dying cat seeks solitude. This is completely natural, because the animal is weakening and can no longer defend itself from predators. It finds a quiet secluded place to hide and quietly leave.. It is possible that death is perceived as a sign of illness. Therefore, the cat leaves his home in order to lie down.
Pets also have this instinct. And if they don’t go outside, then the closet or the far corner behind the furniture may become the last refuge. Moreover, the animal rarely appears from shelter and sleeps almost around the clock. This suspicious symptom should immediately alert.
There is an opinion that when leaving, cats deliberately protect their owners from moral suffering.
The British even have a sign that the death of a cat in the house attracts trouble. But you should not believe in these superstitions, because it is unlikely that a pet would wish his friend anything bad. It’s just that not everyone is able to quietly leave the hearth, especially if the old man is weakened and cannot move independently.
Signs of imminent death
You can find out that a cat is dying by the presence of a set of certain symptoms. If the pet is already more than 12-14 years old, then you need to carefully monitor its behavior and state of health. Some representatives of cats live up to 25 years, but this happens very rarely.
Before preparing for the worst, you should show it to the veterinarian. It is likely that the pet is just seriously ill, but it can be cured. Timely therapy is important for recovery, so do not delay with going to the clinic or calling a specialist at home. For example, older cats often develop chronic pathologies that are similar to signs of impending death. Nevertheless, upon reaching remission, the animal can live for several more years without suffering and pain.
But even if medical intervention does not help, the doctor will advise how to take care of each other correctly, prescribe drugs to relieve symptoms. If you do not have enough time to independently carry out supporting manipulations, the cat can be placed in a clinic where he will be provided with the necessary care.
1. Loss of appetite - an alarming symptom
Eating behavior of a cat before death changes dramatically. She eats little or completely refuses food, and then water. The following signs should alert:
- untouched food in a bowl;
- lack of excrement in the tray for two or more days;
- feces with impurities of blood;
- dark urine.
After a while, hunger makes itself felt with sunken sides, physical exhaustion. The hair starts to fall out, the pet no longer shows activity and constantly lies. Due to weakness, control of the muscles of the intestines and urinary tract is reduced. There may be stool marks on the floor of the house.
2. Shortness of breath - a sign of an approaching end
Other symptoms of cat death are breathing changes. The heart can no longer work fully, so the amount of oxygen entering the lungs and blood decreases. The pet draws air heavily and quickly, trying to make up for the loss. In a healthy animal, the frequency of breaths per minute is 20-30. Shortness of breath, weak or rare breathing are symptoms of an early death. It is not difficult to determine the indicator, it is enough to use a stopwatch and calculate the number of chest lifts per minute.
3. Decreased heart rate and blood pressure - dangerous symptoms
Signs that the cat is dying include a slowdown in heart rate (normally 140-122 beats per minute) and a decrease in blood pressure. The change in these indicators is due to difficulties in pumping blood with the heart and, as a result, overloads. You can measure the animal’s pulse as follows:
- place a palm on the left side behind the front paw;
- count the number of strokes in 15 seconds;
- calculate the heart rate per minute by multiplying the figure by 4. If the number of strokes is less than 60, then this sign indicates the approaching death of the cat.
Unfortunately, at home without special equipment, it will not be possible to measure the pressure of the pet.
4. A specific smell is a sign of imminent demise.
An unpleasant odor emanates from a dying cat. This happens due to a decrease in the working capacity of internal organs. Slows down or completely stops the elimination of toxins. Harmful substances gradually accumulate in the body, a symptom of which is the unpleasant aroma of the body and mouth of the animal.
5. Low temperature
Checking the signs of a cat's death, you should definitely measure your body temperature:
- special ear thermometer;
- a rectal digital device, the tip of which is carefully guided into the rectum.
The body temperature of a dying cat is much lower than 37.7 ° C, which indicates heart weakness. When there is no thermometer at hand, you can feel the pads of the paws of the animal. If they are cool, then this is also a bad symptom.
How to care for a pet?
Caring for a dying cat requires effort, time and patience. She needs to provide a comfortable and soft place to relax. A cozy and warm lounger can be made from a blanket. Two rules must be followed:
- Regularly monitor the cleanliness of the bed, washing the bedding daily.
- If the old cat cannot control urination, then lay disposable diapers on top of the soft base, changing them as they become dirty.
When the animal does not have enough strength to visit the toilet, then help is needed. To do this, it is carried on hands to the tray every 3-4 hours.
It is important to alleviate the symptoms of pet pain. Cats rarely scream, make a yap, or in any other way show their suffering. But you can recognize them if you have the following symptoms:
- decreased sociability and detachment;
- one point look;
- dilated pupils;
- refusal to drink and eat;
- intermittent breathing.
Is it humane to euthanize a cat?
If all the signs that are observed when death is approaching are obvious, then the owner must decide what to do with the cat. Some perceive artificial killing as a betrayal and murder of a dear friend. In this case, it is better to surround the pet with care and love, trying to provide all possible assistance.
But the disease can cause unbearable pain and progress for quite a long time. Especially severe are the symptoms of oncology and urolithiasis.
Watching the torment of a once active and cheerful pet is unbearable. Everything must be done for a dying cat to alleviate suffering.
Sometimes euthanasia is much more humane than the intolerable torment of an animal for several weeks. The veterinarian will inject the cat with a special drug that will provide a quiet and painless death in a few seconds. During the procedure, you can stay next to a friend, spending him on the last journey, or leave the room.
What to do after the death of a pet?
So the time has come to take care of the body, which is better to wrap in cloth and put in a plastic bag. Choose between cremation and burial. You can find out where the crematorium or a special cemetery is located at the veterinarian. If the law does not prohibit the burial of a pet on a private site or outside the city, then you need to choose a suitable place. A picturesque corner on the shore of a pond under a tree is perfect. It is impossible to bury animals in parks and squares.
How to deal with loss?
The death of a beloved friend and almost a family member is a big blow. If you can’t overcome the bitterness of loss on your own, symptoms of depression appear, then you should consult a therapist. Cope with emotions will help tips:
- Remove from the house the things of the deceased (bowls, toys, harnesses, brushes, etc.) so that they do not resemble a sad event. If you throw out a pity, then it is better to give them to friends or to a shelter.
- Remember the bright moments spent with the pet. How clumsy and amusing he was in childhood, how he liked to climb onto the table or hang on curtains, causing an uncontrollable laugh, as he purred and rubbed his nose gratefully. Do not go in cycles in the sad period, signs of death, do not scroll through sad events in your head.
- Do not get another animal. Wait until the pain of loss disappears completely.
- A sign that the time has come to bring a kitten to the house is the absence of tears and suffering from memories of an old friend.
Before you start a new family member, you should understand that responsibility will have to be borne throughout his life (an average of 12-16 years). In addition to information about baby care, you need to ask how cats behave before they die, and what are the signs of an approaching end.
But to realize the full degree of responsibility it is necessary that subsequently the old cat is not thrown to the mercy of fate on the street. After all, he expects from a friend whom he devotedly loved, support and care, and not betrayal.
Sooner or later, like humans, all cats die of old age. But how painful it is when death occurs against the backdrop of a progressive disease in a still very young animal. In order to prevent such a sad outcome, it is important to carefully monitor the cat's health and symptoms. At times, only an experienced doctor is able to notice signs of a beginning disease. That is why it is worth periodically visiting a veterinarian to examine a pet. Remember, providing timely medical care can save his life.
But if the pet died a natural death, then do not grieve and shed tears. Indeed, on a cat rainbow, he is comfortable and calm, there is no longer any pain there, and the old body does not limit any more movements. Do not doubt that you were a good friend. They loved and protected the cat throughout their lives, but more importantly, they did not leave them and supported them in difficult times. And this is a sign of true faithful friendship.