60 answers

20 Year Old Cat

Please help. My kitty is 20. He just lays around. He can still jump on the sofa and does cuddle sometimes. He does eat but with difficulty. He can only rarely go up and down the stairs consequently he is peeing around the house. We moved a litter box upstairs but he can't always find it (he's going blind too). We try to stay on top of it the best we can and the house does NOT smell. My question is how do you know when it is time to say good bye? PLEASE DON"T REPLY If you are going to say it is time if he is peeing in your house. Because it isn't that easy.

I know he is old and his "ills" are because he is old not being naughty. The vets have told us that it might be time. It is so hard to know, I struggle with putting him to sleep to make my life easier. It is not his fault he lived to be old.

********Here is where we stand. It really helped me to read everyone's replies. I can't respond to them all because so many wonderful people gave advice. I think you have all helped me come to the conclusion that the time is coming. Maybe not now but soon. I don't think he is in pain but how do you know? I do know he is not himself and is uncomfortable. I didn't think that was a good enough reason but you are all right, he chokes when he eats and his fur is falling out. I can't brush him to help him because he is too bony and it hurts. Maybe he is not in pain and I was using that as my judge. Maybe there is more too it. Just the quality of life and his comfort is where I should be judging. THANK YOU ALL.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My cat was just shy of 18 when I had him put to sleep 2 years ago. I have no clue what to tell you other then you will know. I think that just by you asking, you are thinking of it. I had no intention of letting him go when I did and I was just holding him one evening, like I always did, and he looked at me and I just knew it was time.
And yep, he too had a difficult time making it all the way in his box... we accommodated for that with piddle pads all around and under the box.

If you need an ear or an online shoulder, just give me a holler. I did have him cremated and now my Spike is always with me... and since this is making me cry, I should stop now.
Good luck... and again, you will know when the time has come.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom was having a similar problem with her dog, and she found doggie diapers and they work wonderful...she has also used some of my daughters' diapers by modifying them to accommadate his tail. Good Luck!

I feel for you P.! My kitty was 23 when I finally had to let her rest two years ago. It was the hardest decision of my life. She had kidney disease and was also having bowel and bladder issues. Fortunately, my landlord was forgiving at the time and I just kept cleaning up after her. That wasn't a deal breaker. I just got to the point one afternoon when I looked in her eyes and it seemed that she was too tired to go on. She hadn't been herself for quite a while. She used to run frantically around the house, jump on the counter, play with everything and occasionally steal my dinner if I wasn't watching. However, she'd just been laying around. Her coat became matted because she stopped grooming herself. She was hardly eating anymore and was very skinny. She just looked terrible. She had always been a beautiful long haired calico cat, except for the last couple of years.
I don't know if this story helps, but I really feel that we came to the decision together. I took her in to the vet and they were very supportive of me. I held her while they did it and we just looked into each other's eyes. It was very difficult, but I still know that it was better to let her rest in peace. Good luck!

More Answers

First, I want to say you are very lucky to have had a kitty companion for so long, 20 years is such a long time and he's truly become apart of your family. As much as you love him, it truly sounds like he's suffering. He's body is giving out and it may be better for both your family and him to say goodbye on your own terms and be with him when he goes rather than to come home one day and find him passed with no one there to love him. Good luck with your decision.

1 mom found this helpful

My cat was just shy of 18 when I had him put to sleep 2 years ago. I have no clue what to tell you other then you will know. I think that just by you asking, you are thinking of it. I had no intention of letting him go when I did and I was just holding him one evening, like I always did, and he looked at me and I just knew it was time.
And yep, he too had a difficult time making it all the way in his box... we accommodated for that with piddle pads all around and under the box.

If you need an ear or an online shoulder, just give me a holler. I did have him cremated and now my Spike is always with me... and since this is making me cry, I should stop now.
Good luck... and again, you will know when the time has come.

1 mom found this helpful

Is Kitty suffering? Is he in pain? That is when it is time. You need to think of how he is feeling and if he is having a good life. If he is hurting all the time, maybe it would be a blessing for him. I hope that you can decide quickly and that you can have peace with that choice. Good Luck, and God Bless.

The only reason a animal should be "put down" is if it is in pain and your cat doesnt seem to be in pain. And he seems to have some eyesight still left. But I do hate to say it that when his sight goes all the way he will have to be put down because he wont be able to see anything and to me that will be suffering to him. As far as him not eating much, you didnt say if he is eating hard food or soft food. If you are giving him hard food trying changing him to soft food and maybe that will help some. Good Luck to you and your cat.

My mom was having a similar problem with her dog, and she found doggie diapers and they work wonderful...she has also used some of my daughters' diapers by modifying them to accommadate his tail. Good Luck!

I am in the same situation with our 14 1/2 year old cocker spaniel. She is my baby. I am not going to put her to sleep because she has accidents in the house. You wouldn't do that to a human just because they are old. I feel that God will give me a sign to know when the right time is.

If your cat still seems content with his life and you don't mind cleaning up messes, then it is not time yet. I think you can tell when your pet is ready to say goodbye. If he is uncomfortable and unhappy, then maybe you should conside letting him go. Your cat will let you know...

I feel for you P.! My kitty was 23 when I finally had to let her rest two years ago. It was the hardest decision of my life. She had kidney disease and was also having bowel and bladder issues. Fortunately, my landlord was forgiving at the time and I just kept cleaning up after her. That wasn't a deal breaker. I just got to the point one afternoon when I looked in her eyes and it seemed that she was too tired to go on. She hadn't been herself for quite a while. She used to run frantically around the house, jump on the counter, play with everything and occasionally steal my dinner if I wasn't watching. However, she'd just been laying around. Her coat became matted because she stopped grooming herself. She was hardly eating anymore and was very skinny. She just looked terrible. She had always been a beautiful long haired calico cat, except for the last couple of years.
I don't know if this story helps, but I really feel that we came to the decision together. I took her in to the vet and they were very supportive of me. I held her while they did it and we just looked into each other's eyes. It was very difficult, but I still know that it was better to let her rest in peace. Good luck!

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