Category Archives: Elderly Cat Care

The Importance of Annual Physical Exams for Cats

Maybe you adopted a new cat or have had your cat for years now—in either case annual physical exams are highly recommended for maintaining the optimal health of your cat. Your cat may be low-maintenance, but that’s no reason not to take them for a wellness exam every year. This article will highlight the reasons why annual physical exams for cats are so important.

Cats mask when they are sick or feel bad—they can hide suffering and pain very well, it’s an evolutionary trait—so you may not know that they’re suffering. And just because your cat lives indoors doesn’t mean they can’t get sick, or don’t have a congenital or chronic disease, bacterial or viral infection, severe tooth decay or gum disease, inflammation causing health issues, or a possible stress-related illness. All of these are possible for indoor-only cats.

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The Dreaded “H” Word – Treating Hyperthyroid Disease in Cats

Hyperthyroid disease in cats is very treatable and manageable, and though I had always feared being told one of my cats has “hyperthyroid disease,” I have found that it isn’t the dreaded word or disease that I thought it would be.

Hyperthyroidism in Cats
Beautiful, blind Godiva

Godiva was our first cat diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.  She’s a beautiful blind chocolate Persian who as a kitten, was taken to our local animal shelter where she was adopted by a volunteer. But at five years old she was given up again, and found her way to our rescue group where we became her foster parents. When Godiva was never adopted, we adopted her ourselves and have found her to be a courageous, determined blind girl that navigates our house beautifully, despite her blindness and many cat “obstacles.”

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Cat Hospice Care Has Prolonged Our Cat’s Life

The decision to give cat hospice care to our cat Pumpkin has prolonged her life significantly. Now a year and half later after almost euthanizing her, she’s still alive and still enjoying life. Today she’s going to our vet for a checkup to see where her general health is and to understand if we need to make any adjustments to her medical regimen.

I wrote about Pumpkin over a year ago when our vet had recommended euthanizing her to relieve her obvious pain and suffering. She had declined quickly, had lost a significant amount of weight, and was diagnosed with possible lymphoma. But I wasn’t ready to make that decision to end her life and wanted to give Pumpkin another chance, so we worked with our vet to create a palliative care plan for her that would make her as comfortable as possible, address her symptoms, and possibly extend her life. Continue reading Cat Hospice Care Has Prolonged Our Cat’s Life

Cat Hospice Care Extends Senior Cat’s Quality of Life

Sometimes miracles do truly happen. Or maybe they are simply second chances. My cat Pumpkin definitely got her second chance with giving her daily hospice care, which is keeping her alive and comfortable. Here’s her story.

Cat Hospice Care Extends Senior Cat's Quality of Life
Pumpkin Lived 1.5 Years Longer with Hospice Care

 

When I last wrote about her in November 2012, she was literally on death’s doorstep. Although she is a 19-year-old cat, she had previously been very healthy up to last year. She rarely had anything but “annual” or “bi-annual” routine vet visits. But early last year, we noticed her mouth smelled and learned she had Stomatitis, which was followed by dental surgery to remove several teeth, and she was put on the steroid Prednisilone to treat the Stomatitis inflammation. Continue reading Cat Hospice Care Extends Senior Cat’s Quality of Life

Caring For Our Dying Cat in His Last Moments

Caring For Our Dying Cat in His Last Moments
Our Last Days With Red

Our sweet, darling Red passed away almost four months ago to this day, the day after Christmas. We cared for him up to his last moments, and honored his death with his cat friends and proper burial in our backyard.

I wanted to honor our beautiful Red by writing about him and sharing his story of survival, challenge, and incredible transformation. Red touched us everyday of his life with his beautiful soul, his profound courage, his hard earned trust, and his huge heart and unending love. I believe we were meant to find each other on that fateful day thirteen years ago, and I’m forever grateful for crossing paths with Red and having the honor of knowing him and sharing every day of his life since. Continue reading Caring For Our Dying Cat in His Last Moments

Making An End of Life Decision for Your Cat

For the first time, I’m faced with making an end of life decision for one of my cats. Though I knew this time would eventually come, I always felt it was far off in the future and I didn’t need to think about it. But suddenly that time has come with my cat Pumpkin and I’m forced to examine what the best, kindest, and most loving path is for my terminally sick but beautiful 18-year-old cat Pumpkin—to let her die a natural death at home with pain-killers or euthanize her.

Some backstory: About two years ago, my once sprightly, independent “Princess Pumpeedo” (my friend’s nickname for her) started showing signs of slowing down. She was my first rescue cat in 1998. She had been living outside of my apartment in the parking lot for almost a year, living under parked cars where she hid from the constant rain and weather. I fell in love with her the day I set eyes on her. Continue reading Making An End of Life Decision for Your Cat

My Elderly Cat – Signs the End is Near

I’m sensing the time is close now for my elderly cat Red. I instinctively felt it early this morning that Red is close to the end of his life, and could even be in the early stages of the dying process. He is getting weaker, slower, more feeble and fragile, losing weight and appearing more gaunt.

He came to me in bed this morning seeking to be close—very close, nosing to get under the covers for warmth and safety. He gently plows his head into mine messaging me he wants to lie next to me. I cuddle him, hold him, embrace his frail, skeletal body. As he lies stretched out along the length of my body, I cuddle him to comfort him. I gently run my hand over his thin body. He purrs loudly, strongly, breathing and purring. I can’t sleep to his constant machine of a purr, but somehow it comforts me. I will miss this purr, this beautiful soul, this survivor, this brave cat that has endured so much. Continue reading My Elderly Cat – Signs the End is Near