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Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 15591
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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My cat is about 17 and used to live outside but I have brought

Customer Question

My cat is about 17 and used to live outside but I have brought him indoors and he drinks water often but is only eating very little. His breathing appears laboured. He is very thin and his coat is scraggy as he doesn't appear to groom himself. Is he nearing the end of his life, and is it alright to just let him moulder on or kinder to bring the vet in to put him to sleep?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Rebecca :

Hello,

Rebecca :

Thank you for taking in this stray. I am sorry you are worried about him.

Rebecca :

I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

Rebecca :

If he is drinking well, but eating little, he could have chronic kidney disease. He could also have cancer, or other internal disease.

Rebecca :

As long as he is eating, I think it is OK to let him moulder.

Rebecca :

If he stops eating, and especially if he stops drinking, I think it is kinder to have him put down. Once he stops eating and drinking, he will eventually die of dehydration but that can take days with some cats, and can be hard to watch, and they are suffering.

Rebecca :

I hope you can see what I am writing!

Rebecca :

I am not seeing responses from you.

Rebecca :

I will try to connect with you another way if I do not hear from you here in live chat.

Rebecca :

Are you there? Can you see what I am writing?

Rebecca :

If you look at his gums, do they look pink in color?

JACUSTOMER-frodzpp5- :

I forgot to mention that he found me five years ago and I don't know his history. He has always walked very stiffly with a bad action and cannot jump at all. I will look at his gums

Rebecca :

You can check him for dehydration by gently pinching some skin over his shoulders and letting it go. It should go back into position in less than one second. If it takes longer, he is dehydrated.

JACUSTOMER-frodzpp5- :

He doesn't appear to be dehydrated - he has been drinking water constantly - I have put a bowl near him, but he has stopped eating anything but a few tiny bits of chicken in the night and nothing today so far

Rebecca :

To me, the best judgement of quality of life is the appetite. When a cat stops eating, they have lost interest in life, or feel so bad/painful/nauseous that they can't eat any more.

JACUSTOMER-frodzpp5- :

Yes I was afraid of that. I have already been in to my vet to warn them of a possible home visit for euthanasia, but thought I would contact you for a different viewpoint. Thank you for your help

Rebecca :

You are welcome.

Rebecca :

Is there anything else I can help with, or answer?

Rebecca :

You have been kind to this kitty.

Rebecca :

Is there anything else I can answer, or help with? I am here for your questions, until you close the conversation by rating my answer.

JACUSTOMER-frodzpp5- :

He came in from the cold Christmas Eve five years ago when it was 20 degrees below. I came home from work and my son said 'there is a surprise on your bed' and he has been with us ever since. He had been living rough and I expect his regulars who fed him were all away for Christmas. He was very thin with an abscess under his neck, but we sorted that and he has been a very sweet cat. The vet said he was about 8 or 12 he wasn't sure how old he was but probably about 11 at that time.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Roxanne,
The website tells me you are now offline. Please let me know what other questions you may have.
Kindly rate my answer, but only if all your questions have been answered.
Good luck with your cat.
Rebecca
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I think that I will go with my instinct when I think he has had enough. Thank you for detailing the things to look out for when it is the right time.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome.
Let me know if there is anything else I can answer.
Rebecca
Rebecca and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Roxanne,
How are you and your cat doing?
Rebecca
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the great rating.
Rebecca