By: Taylor Oberkramer
Whether you’ve just received the news that the end of your cat’s life is near, or it’s something that you’ve been expecting for a while, it’s never easy to face the impending loss. Approaching the end of life calmly can help minimize distress or discomfort for your cat and help you with the grieving process. Here are some things you should know about end-of-life care for cats to make you and your feline friend more comfortable.
How Will I Know When It’s Time?
While this is a common question, the most straightforward answer is that your cat will tell you when the time comes. You know your cat better than anyone, which means you know when your cat is happy or uncomfortable. As your cat ages and nears the end of its life, it’ll likely show signs of being uncomfortable or not as comfortable. Some behavioral and physiological indications you may notice include reclusiveness, excessive panting or gasping to catch a breath, pickiness with food, and a reluctance when it comes to moving.
Hospice Care for Cats
There are times when no further treatment will improve a medical condition, and any aggressive treatments could cause unnecessary discomfort or pain. At this point, hospice care may come into place. There may also be a time when euthanasia is the right course of action. If euthanasia is not an option, keeping your cat as comfortable as possible becomes the priority.
Hospice care for cats will allow your pet to spend the remainder of its life in a comfortable environment without pain or suffering. This means that your cat will receive pain management, most likely with pain medication prescribed by your vet. Keeping your cat comfortable is another aspect of hospice so that your cat should have access to clean, comfortable bedding and a way to stay warm. You should also place a litter box and food nearby.
Quality of Life
Ensuring your cat has a good quality of life before they pass is the most important thing as we discuss end-of-life care. To keep up with how good the quality of life is for your cat, one thing you can do is make a list using five marks. One could be for food, water, and social interaction; the rest are up to you. As you mark the days down and the numbers dwindle, you’re getting more two out of five days than three out of five; it may be time to speak with your vet about hospice or euthanasia.
Take Care of Yourself as Well
The seriousness of losing a pet is nothing to take lightly. It’s essential to take care of yourself throughout this as well. You may need help with grief or emotional support, and it’s okay to ask for help for yourself. One way people cope with a pet’s death is to memorialize them, seek help from a counselor, or simply reach out to friends and family for support.
If you’re located in NW, Wisconsin, and are looking for someone to help keep your cat healthy and happy, the Purple Cat Mobile Vet Clinic is here. We’re a high-volume, high-quality, low-cost spay and neuter clinic that sees cats exclusively. You can find scheduling information and answers to common questions on our website. Our Facebook page is also a great resource for helpful information on all things feline!