Is it time to help my lo boy cross the Rainbow Bridge?

Bonnie GBonnie G Member Posts: 2
edited 9 December, 2012 in Senior Cats
My 16-17 year old boy has been slowly becoming less and less of himself over the last year or two. In the last year he has quit bathing himself for the most part, requiring us to trim his hair every couple months and bathe him regularly. He apparently was having some difficulty getting into his litter box so we bought him one that was easier for him to step into. About six months ago we adopted another special needs senior. They seem to get along but aren't what I would call "bonded". It now seems that our old boy has recently started urinating on our clothes, couch, and occasionally on the floor. Sometime last night he pooped on the couch and urinated on a blanket that was also there. They have both been neutered for several years so I don't believe that it's an issue of territory. He has also recently started hissing and swiping at our other kitty and even my husband. This is not at all typical for him. He still tolerates my 3-year-old son cuddling him and loving on him but I am worried that my old boy may hurt my son without even meaning to. I would really appreciate any advice. I'm not sure if I'm ready to make this decision.


  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 29 November, 2012
    This is Delyte. First thing, you need a vet visit immediately to determine if this is some illness that is causing the soiling. Cats are very clean and will not give up using the litter box unless there is something wrong. It could be some kind of infection or disease. Also possible could be a pinching of the nerves in the back that control the bowels and bladder. This can be repaired sometimes, and it can be painful, which can cause irritability and lashing out. Any kind of pain, such as arthritis, can cause that, too. You need the vet to see if there is any kind of treatable illness going on, and then if not, decide whether the cat is having a good quality of life. If he is in pain and it cannot be medicated, that would be one reason. Cats do not like to make messes or not be able to clean themselves, so that contributes to a poor quality of life. The cat could have vision problems and not be sure who or what is touching him. And the cat could be senile, and not be sure of what is going on around him. But first you need to make sure he doesn't have a bladder infection or some other illness. I am teetering on the edge of the road to the Bridge myself, but I have my good days and bad days, and I am really happy on the good days, so my person keeps me around for those days. I do not much like these other cats around here, but then she brought them in without my permission and I do not like sharing my person with anyone!
  • Bonnie GBonnie G Member Posts: 2
    edited 29 November, 2012
    Unfortunately my husband was laid off last month and then had surgery the same week, so funds are extremely tight. I think we will just have to figure out some way to swing it. I'm not comfortable with putting him down without being sure that it's the right choice. I've had him his whole life so I don't want to fail him now. I'm not certain that he is in much pain, at least not regularly, because he loves my son loving on him and still tolerates being handled and pet. His behavior seems odd though because he has occasionally taken to cowering when you approach him, as though he's been hit, and I'm absolutely certain he hasn't been.
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 29 November, 2012
    Need help with vet bills? There are so many things that could be causing these changes in behavior--from declining eyesight, to pain, to dementia, etc. If you can scrounge enough money for even a basic exam at the vet, it could, at least, give you some idea as to what he's facing. Then you could make an informed decision about how to proceed. Sending purrs of healing and comfort! Please keep us posted. |:|
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 29 November, 2012
    This is Delyte. The cowering is a pretty good sign of declining eyesight, as is the attacking other cats. Have a family meeting and explain that everyone must approach Charlie slowly, with their hands low, so he can smell who it is if he cannot see for sure. He probably doesn't mind your son because little kids smell more strongly than adults, and once he starts getting petted, he knows who it is. You might do a careful test, touching his joints, especially around the hips, to see if there is anything that hurts when touched. Is he using his tail okay? Nerves that control bowels and bladder also control tail. Has he had any injury to his tail--that would cause all of the symptoms. Is there any particular food that seems to disagree with you? I just had an accident on the floor and my person thinks it is because I have been getting too many people food treats. Good luck, and follow up on the ways to find low-cost vet care. Hope Charlie feels better and calmer!
  • Faye DufourFaye Dufour Destrehan, LA/New Orleans areaMember Posts: 4,648
    edited 29 November, 2012
    You have gotten alot of good advice. CATSTER members are always so helpful in cases like this. Had to make this decision about eight years ago, but the cat was 19, and she was unable to stand up, and lost control of her bladder and bowels. So we knew it was time to let her go. It is never an easy decision, and it sounds as if you all are trying all ways of making the right one. You are in our thoughts, purrs and prayers. Keep us posted. And a big "Fake Cat" Hello to Delyte and The Grays....good to see you all posting. The New Orleans Kitties:-k
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 6 December, 2012
    This is Delyte. How's Charlie? (^^
  • Amber MurphyAmber Murphy Member Posts: 41
    edited 8 December, 2012
    I remember a time like this just two years ago. I used to attack my brother, even though we used to be best friends for 12 years, but he was sick and I didn't want mom to get sick! My brother would hide under the table all night long and vomit first thing in the morning when mom would wake up. She was frantic and soon realized something was wrong. It took a week for a vet appointment and during that time mom realized that he couldn't see at night to use any of the litterboxes. The light from the windows and street lamps weren't enough. So mom put nightlights by our litterboxes, and one that lit up the stairs. My brother was vomiting from holding his urine all night long. After his vet visit, mom found out he was in stage 4 kidney failure. She was real sad, so I let him do his thing and I quit attacking him unless he was constipated or smelled different again. With herbal supplements for his kidneys and arthritis, he did better and we played a few times and snuggled like old times. I knew it made mom sad when I would attack him. She did everything to make him feel better, and in the end he got a tumor in his mouth which could not be removed due to the kidney failure. Thats when mom told me he was going to the Rainbow Bridge. It is a personal decision you and your boy make together, he knows when he wants to go.. he won't have a quality of life, and you will see this and then you will know as well. It's a very personal decision to make, but in moms past experiences she tries whatever she can to accomodate, and when that isn't enough or they don't have pain free happy days and nothing works, then she has made that decision. I recently started attacking my sister now, so mom knows something is wrong with her now. I hope Charlie is doing better.
  • Patti DevriesPatti Devries Curled on a warm robeMember Posts: 1,374
    edited 9 December, 2012
    Sending you purrs and hugs...fortunately all my guys are only middle-aged by cat standards. But I had to make the choice for my hubby's dog some years ago. In her case her kidneys were shutting down and the river of pee in the kitchen got bigger every morning. You just have to sort through when the bad days outnumber the good days...maybe there might be some local vet who would give you some guidance for free?:m
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