Dying Cat Symptoms: Signs That Show a Cat is Dying

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How to tell if your Cat Is dying. Check out for these signs your Cat is nearing end of life….

You have been a spectacular parent throughout your cat’s life and will be a comforting one during the feline’s last days of life.

Noticing, the signs of a cat dying, is hard for the family, however, it is harder for the cat to get disconnected as well. Besides the physical symptoms of a dying cat, some often show social detachment and hide away from the family.

Cat dying process is the toughest part which they find hard to cope up with and experience alterations in the cognitive function and undergo self-preservation once the body begins to shut down.

Read: Sick Cat Symptoms: How to Know When Your Cat is Sick

Though the symptoms may vary if there are severe cat health problems or the cat is terminally ill or has been suffering from some incurable disease, the primary symptoms of cat dying are more or less the same.

Many medical practitioners believe that a cat knows when it is about to die, and the behavioral changes are hard to ignore.

Try to minimize loud noise or uneasy events near the dying cat. Provide good bedding to the cat to make the last few days more comforting.

Signs a Cat is Dying

Behavioral Changes of a Dying Cat

  1. Social Isolation

The behavioral changes caused by any kind of disease or sickness are very common in cats. However, distinct behavioral changes are common at different dying cat stages.

One of the prime dying cat signs is social isolation. In this situation, cats often hide in a lonely place, usually in a bush or trees, away from any attention.

The emotional distress through which they undergo causes them to get secluded from the world and find a place where they can peacefully die alone without any kind of interaction.

However, cats dying at home might not show this symptom as they are used to staying indoors.

  1. Depressed and Crying

Crying is another change in the dying cat behavior. A cat is found to be depressed during the last few days. However, they might also cry or remain inactive because of some disease or other reason.

  1. Loss of Interest

A number of cats are found to have little or no interest in the surrounding and the events that occur around them. They often walk away from their owners and find a place to hide.

  1. Change in Cognitive Function

Dying cats experience changes in cognitive functions that include confusion and imbalance. They might not respond as before and show unexplainable behavioral symptoms before dying.

Read: First Time Cat Owners: Important Things to do Before Bringing a Cat Home

Physical Symptoms of a Cat Dying

  1. Distressed Breathing

A number of cat health problems might lead to death. However, a dying cat suffers irregular breathing, either too fast or too slow. Just seconds prior to death, the cat might be seen rasping to compensate for the respiratory system shutting down.

During the last few seconds, the cat might breathe at longer intervals of time or experience rapid spasms before it finally stops breathing.

physical symptoms of a dying cat

  1. Lowered Heart Rate

During the last few hours of a cat’s life, the heart weakens and is unable to pump blood efficiently. The muscles of the heart gradually weaken thereby causing an inadequate supply of oxygen in the blood.

This causes a significant decrease in the heart rate, and the pulse begins to fall and eventually stop at the time of death.

  1. Loss of Appetite

Loss of appetite is one of the very common symptoms of a dying cat. The signs of a cat dying include weakened muscles and loss of interest in food and water.

This can be noticed from a few days prior to the feline’s demise. Just before the day of death, the cat might feel thirsty but will be too weak to drink water.

  1. Lowering of Body Temperature

The average body temperature of a cat is usually between 100 – 102.5°F. However, the signs of a dying cat include lowering of body temperature up to 1-2°F with the temperature of the paws to drop in the very beginning.

  1. Urination and Defecation

Frequent urination and defecation can be experienced during several cat illness, and it is quite common. However, it is also a prominent symptom of a dying cat and might indicate diarrhea.

In some cases, cats might experience no defecation at all. After death, the cats body discharges waste products from the body.

During the last few days of the cat, they get fragile and are unable to move. Keep the food tray and water bowl close to the cat so that it does not have to get up.

Symptoms of Elderly Cats Dying

The symptoms of elderly cats dying are quite obvious. With age, the organs in the body start to fail which causes undue weakness, physical stress and eventually death.

The complexities occurring due to the failure of organs often get merged with the symptoms of a cat dying. Cats old age dying symptoms include irregular breathing – too fast accompanied by rapid spasms; too slow accompanied by reduced heart rate.

However, once a cat begins to age, it slowly progresses towards emaciation. Besides, they tend to have a foul odor which is hard to ignore. Sometimes the odor can be strong enough which makes it necessary to consult the vet.

Signs of dull appearance and sunken eyes are noticed during the old cat dying process. Besides, the cat might also choose seclusion and might be too weak to move around.

dying cat signs

Must See: Aggression in Cats: How to Effectively Handle an Aggressive Cat

Euthanasia of Cats

Cat euthanasia is one of the toughest decisions for a cat owner. However, it is also the best option in cases where the cat is terminally ill and left with no cure. It is harder to see the beloved suffer than it is to take the decision.

Thus, there comes a time when the cat has to be relieved of the unbearable pain. Neither the owner nor the vet has the right to allow the innocent life to suffer and the only option left, in such cases, is to bid adieu to your dear pet with dignity and pride.

The process can, however, be accomplished after the recommendation of vets. Euthanasia is a quick and painless way of death for the cats and is far better than the suffering.

Usually, the vet administers a high dose of anesthetics which causes the cat to fall asleep and within seconds die with a gasp or exhalation. Signs of defecation and urination may be observed as it is a part of natural cat dying process for most of the cats.

If you have kids in the family, do not break the news of your cat dying all of a sudden. Talk to them and make it easy for them to cope up with the loss.

Must See: Understanding the Death Rattle in Cats: Symptoms and Causes

Wrapping Up: Signs a Cat is Dying

Losing a pet has never been easy. Time and again, we are haunted by the thought of the time when we have to bid them goodbye. Losing a cat or any other pet for that matter, is equally painful and saddening.

However, keep a check on the sick cat symptoms and strive towards making their last moments as happier and comforting as possible.

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