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Older Cat Question
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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:19 PM
We have an older cat - she'd be around 14 years, perhaps a bit more (can't remember exact date we got her now). Anyhows the last year or so she has been evidently 'older' - she forgets things like she'll go to back door and go out, then sit at back door and go in and continue that over and over again as if she doesn't remember what she is doing. We just figured it was a getting older thing. She usually sleeps inside, then would go out onto the verandah and toilet in the garden somewhere, and come back to sleep inside. Or lounge under the sun on the verandah.
We also have a younger cat whom we keep in a large enclosure at night which is in our garage, but lined with carpet and with pillows, blankets and food/water/litter. It was more a place to put the younger cat at night as NOTHING keeps him still. He's the one who you'll find in the morning climbing upside down in the enclosure. Anyhows... the past week we've noticed that our Bubbles has taken to sleeping in the corner of the enclosure, day AND night - she won't leave it. She has stopped going outside, stopped eating as much and all she has been doing is sleeping on a pillow in the corner of the enclosure. She's got up once that I've seen to eat.
Is it a natural thing do you think to just let an older cat get old and die? I kind of feel sad that she just wants to sleep in the corner and do nothing else, not even wander outside. So I wonder what happened with your older cat. Do they continue this behaviour for a long time?
She hasn't had any other notable health issues.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:29 PM
She needs to be taken to a vet to figure out why her appetite has drastically reduced.
No I don't think it is "natural" to leave an old cat to die with no intervention, I think that sounds like a miserable way to go out. Be a responsible pet owner, take her to the vet, and either test & treat her (if possible) or kindly put her to sleep in a way that ensures minimal suffering
I hope I just don't get left to die of dehydration etc rather than being nursed and kept as comfortable as modern medicine can keep me on my way out.
Good luck OP, hopefully it is something simple that can be treated but you have no excuse to not take her to a vet if she is eating far less than normal.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:33 PM
She is eating now - I just went out to make sure she had some food and fresh water and she came over to eat. Maybe she's just found a new hidey spot that she likes. I know she is slowing down. The other cat has been to the vet this week and may need surgery on Wednesday. So it has already been a very expensive cat week and may be more so (he injured his paw very badly). So I'll see what happens in a few days and will make sure I watch her. She is overweight though... but that is partly because she is doing absolutely no exercise, just sleeping most of the time!
I guess I was just wondering if people do leave them to just get old and die. But I hate the thought of also having her put down - she's such a lovely friendly pussy cat.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:23 PM
14 seems young for that. My parents have a cat I found when I was 12 - he's 16 now. He's lazier than he was when he was young and generally tries to convince people to tote him from room too room (even full of kitten fire he lived to be carried, though...) but he still moves around and does things. Most of our cats don't slow down that drastically until 16-17.
I did lose a cat at around 14 not super long ago, but he had been sickly his whole life and we kept him on some painkillers by the end to make him comfortable.
One of the cats who changed a lot when he got real old I remember well from my childhood (I was about 11 when he died, he was 17) and he changed by mostly getting a bit dopier and a bit more forgiving of us kids... he had always been my mom's cat and we kids just lived in his house, but around 16 and a half he stopped caring if we Disgusting Half-Sized Denizens wanted to pet him and even allowed us to, which we kids were so brainwashed we felt honoured. But the week he finally died of old age, my mom says his last gift to her was, he had gotten real thin and his hair had mostly gone so he looked terrible and she wondered if she was stringing him out too long - but he, lifelong indoor cat, slammed through a screen-door and gave a cheeky squirrel the scare of its life and chased it down the block. My mom says she's actually very grateful he left that as a memory, because he died in his sleep a couple days later.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:28 PM
Maybe she is losing her memory a bit and feels comfy there because it is safe, enclosed and with everything she needs close at hand. My cats are that age, but not slowing down. I would get her checked out at the vet if she were mine and had such a large behavioural change.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:46 PM
My cat is 20yo. She no longer climbs to the highest point on her cat tree - but she occasionally zooms through the house and does burn outs on the tiles.
These days she spends a lot more time snoozing, and probably doesn't eat as much as she used to.
What I would be doing is getting your venerable kitty a full check up - bloods and dental included. At that age, if you catch problems before they become critical, your cat can be around and healthy for many more years. Not eating is often the first indication of serious tooth or gum disease, so it really needs to be checked.
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