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Dr L Simmon
Dr L Simmon, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 2717
Experience:  Veterinarian MVB MRCVS
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My 19 year old cat has renal failure. He is eating very

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My 19 year old cat has renal failure. He is eating very little no matter what I give him but still drinking water and going to the toilet. I fear this is the end for him as he is weak but he doesn’t seem in pain. I know he’d rather die at home than be put to sleep but am I being cruel? He is still sleeping and in the past has shown me he is in pain. I think also a lot of the problems are caused by not being able to eat with his teeth but they wouldn’t operate on him in this condition would they?
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. The Expert will know how to help the cat. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Sweep
Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Sweep?
Customer: no
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few minutes as I type my response
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Also would it be worth trying a liquid cat food in case it’s his teeth more than his kidneys?
I'm very sorry to hear you are in this difficult situation with Sweep.
As incredible an experience as it is to have pets, it can be really difficult to deal with their end stages of life. And this is further complicated by the fact that we have the option of euthanasia.
I would encourage you to focus on his quality of life. This is the key thing. If he no longer has more good days than bad days and is struggling, this is a concern. This survey can help give you an indication as to what stage he is at : https://journeyspet.com/pet-quality-of-life-scale-calculator/
Kidney disease is a progressive condition which sadly means it gets worse with time, regardless of what we do. In the final stages, cats stop eating, they vomit, they lose a lot of weight and become lethargic. In their final days they will stop eating and drinking completely, sleep a lot more and may hide away.
My worry is that he is not eating which may be due to nausea or his teeth. You could try to tempt him with chicken, fish etc or wet food such as Hills A/D which is highly palatable. This can be liquidated and even syringed if he won't eat it voluntarily. Dont worry too much about a prescription kidney diet at this stage as it doesnt taste good so he will likely refuse it.
You may find that his appetite improves with appetite stimulant tablets or anti nausea tablets so do ask his vet about these.
If he is under-weight, dehydrated and/or very frail, an anaesthetic and dental would likely carry a high risk. However, discuss with your vet if it may be worth building his strength with e.g. a couple of says of iv fluids and then considering the dental (especially if his teeth are in a very bad state and are causing pain).
Kidney disease doesnt usually cause pain but the build up of toxins can lead to confusion and nausea and the lack of muscle can make it hard for cats to get around. They don't understand why and this can be distressing for them.
With regards ***** ***** animal to die naturally vs euthanasia, I would say that in 99% of cases a euthanasia is actually kinder. If you like, this can be done at home rather than a clinic. Allowing a cat to die naturally can actually mean days or even weeks of them becoming more dehydrated, confused and uncomfortable. Death from renal disease can be drawn out and euthanasia means that we can prevent unnecessary suffering at the end.
I am unable to make a phone call at this time. I do apologise as I know the website offers this automatically. You wont be charged for this and I am happy to continue talking via chat if that's ok.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok thank you that is helpful.

No problem and please do feel free to keep me updated and to ask any further questions you may have.

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