Research and statistics on a broad variation of population reveal that on average cats can live for 12 – 18 years, and there are those that hit 20 plus years. Of course, many factors such as diet, whether a cat is indoor or outdoor, medicine and vaccinations come into play. But eventually, the life of these darling pets comes to an end. If you can pinpoint symptoms of a dying cat, you can help make its final days comfortable. On the other hand, if the same symptoms point to a health issue, you can help your cat recover.
How to Tell if a Cat is Dying
1. Reduction of food and water Intake
This one is easy to spot. Is your cat’s food undisturbed? What about her water?
A cat approaching the end will eat and drink less, or stop food intake completely. In fact, she will seem anorexic. There will be less stool in her litter box and darker urine and she may experience incontinence.
2. Seeking out Solitude
A dying cat will experience overall physical weakness. Her senses will not be as sharp as they used to be. This may lead your cat to seek out a quiet safe place away from too much activity or excitement. Isolation is her trying to be inconspicuous to make herself safe.
3. Drop in heart rate and strenuous breathing
Your healthy cat’s heart rate should be 140-220 beats per minute. A fraction of this rate indicates illness or a very weak cat. If there is spasmodic breathing and shortness of breath, in addition to the drop in heart rate, your cat’s respiratory system may be failing as death nears.
4. Lower body Temperature
The body temperature of a dying cat will drop as the heart weakens. Usually, cats feel warmer to the touch, as their temperature is higher than that of humans at 100.0 to 102.0 degrees F. If your cat is cool to the touch especially at her extremities, this could be a sign that her organs are failing and the end is close.
5. Bad odor
Toxins will build up in a cat whose body is shutting down. These toxins result in a foul odor in your cat’s breath and body, and the smell will get progressively worse.
How to Help Your Cat Recover
The best action to take if you notice any of the above signs is to visit the vet for a proper medical exam. If your cat is suffering from an illness, follow the treatment instructions carefully.
In addition to medical care, you can help your cat recover by:
– Feeding her warm moist food using feeding equipment or by hand
– Keeping her hydrated: You can give water using a medicine dropper
– Providing a warm cozy space for her rest
– Wiping off any wet excretion using a moist piece of cotton
– Maintaining a quiet environment around her
Bidding farewell to our furry friends can be heart-wrenching. But being aware and understanding that the end is near for your cat will make things easier. Once you notice any of the symptoms above or any unusual behavior, always consult with your vet. If it is indeed the end approaching, make your cat’s last days as comfortable as possible to ensure they have a peaceful end.