How to know when it is time?

cspressler

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First, a background on my cat, T'pol:

He is 17 years old and will be 18 in February. I got him as a kitten when I was 24 and now here I am at 42 and he is still here. In 2018 we found out he has kidney disease. So far, he is hanging in there. He drinks a lot of water and pees a lot. He is also deaf now. He sleeps a lot, but is still active. He also has tooth absorption and some gum disease, bad breath. I waited too long to take him to get is teeth cleaned and now its too risky because of his age and kidney diseases. He walks around the house and cries a lot. When he drinks water, he howls before he drinks.

Last week we took him to the vet for a check up on his kidney disease. At our old vet, they took urine with a catheter. But this vet decided to use a needle in his bladder and when the needle went in, she hit a mass. They don't think the mass is cancerous, but is polyps. They did ultra sound and the mass takes up about a third of his bladder. Not sure how long he has had it.

He is still loving, sweet, purrs etc. I just need some advice on how to handle his last few months, years, etc. I don't want to wait until something bad happens and he is in severe pain, but I also don't want to prematurely take him in. Definitely not now, that seems crazy, but given everything I just would appreciate anyone's advice. Thank you. I love him and he's been such a companion to me for almost half my life.
 

klunick

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First, a background on my cat, T'pol:

He is 17 years old and will be 18 in February. I got him as a kitten when I was 24 and now here I am at 42 and he is still here. In 2018 we found out he has kidney disease. So far, he is hanging in there. He drinks a lot of water and pees a lot. He is also deaf now. He sleeps a lot, but is still active. He also has tooth absorption and some gum disease, bad breath. I waited too long to take him to get is teeth cleaned and now its too risky because of his age and kidney diseases. He walks around the house and cries a lot. When he drinks water, he howls before he drinks.

Last week we took him to the vet for a check up on his kidney disease. At our old vet, they took urine with a catheter. But this vet decided to use a needle in his bladder and when the needle went in, she hit a mass. They don't think the mass is cancerous, but is polyps. They did ultra sound and the mass takes up about a third of his bladder. Not sure how long he has had it.

He is still loving, sweet, purrs etc. I just need some advice on how to handle his last few months, years, etc. I don't want to wait until something bad happens and he is in severe pain, but I also don't want to prematurely take him in. Definitely not now, that seems crazy, but given everything I just would appreciate anyone's advice. Thank you. I love him and he's been such a companion to me for almost half my life.
In the past, when the purring stops, the cat is telling you it's time. Love on him as much as you can and you will know when it's time.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. How is his kidney disease being treated? Some of the things you describe about his mannerisms are more likely tied to the kidney disease than to the mass in his bladder. If the vet thinks the mass are polyps, did she think they are, or could become, painful? Depending on his level of kidney disease, he may need sub-Q fluids administered at home to help with dehydration, which is a common event when the kidneys are compromised enough. Even with a mass in his bladder, I doubt that would preclude sub-Q fluids, but certainly the vet can advise you on that aspect.

The walking around the house and crying (different from howling?) could also be associated with his hearing, the CKD, and even high blood pressure, which is common in cats with kidney disease too. I also believe I have read that cats who are deaf tend to make more noise, as they use the vibrations from their throats as part of the compensation for loss of hearing. I doubt if I am explaining that accurately, and don't know if it is true or not, but something I have read. Not sure about the howling before drinking water, but if he wasn't a prolific water drinker before the kidney disease set in, he may not be too happy that he constantly feels thirsty (due to dehydration) and has to drink more than he would like to bother with?

I guess what I am saying is to see if there is more you can do to help him with the kidney disease - e.g.; sub-Q fluids if the vet thinks they would be a good idea, and any other ideas your vet might have as well. See if those added treatments help any. How is his eating, btw?

Everyone has their own set of 'guidelines' about 'when it is time' - for Feeby (`17 yo) who is hyperthyroidic and has kidney disease too - it is making sure she is eating and drinking well, moving about adequately (she sleeps a lot too), carrying on routines that she has come to rely on and seems to enjoy, showing interest in her surroundings, and of course purring and interacting with her humans. I am sure some of these will slide as time passes, and tbh, I will re-assess my guidelines accordingly. But, I do feel all of the above guidelines would have to be severely compromised for me to consider it might be Feeby's time.
 
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nomeowing

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I know how hard it is. They are part of eras of our life, just part of our life really. I am lucky in that my last old girls passed at home with me naturally, both old age. One of (probable) kidney disease or failure, she went down fast, one of quick lymphoma.

If they are in pain, then I would take them. As hard as it is to watch, I was grateful they lived their natural lives and died in their surroundings. I'd never let my cats suffer though and would have taken them in if they were. I agree the meowing may be related to the hearing loss. I have heard this. Perhaps they don't hear themselves so they meow.

There is a process to this. Intake subsides, stopes, breathing changes. It doesn't sound like your kitty is there yet and you will know what is best to do.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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When he starts having more bad days than good, then it's time. But seriously talk to your Vet about that mass on his bladder to make sure it isn't causing him any pain. The drinking more and peeing more are normal for kidney cats. But when they hide most of the time and refuse to eat for what seems like days on end, then it's time to really start thinking about it :alright:
 

amandag1

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Check out the website
Tanyas CKD
Alot of info on kidney disease
Many cats can continue having good quality of life with help, diet, subq fluids etc
 
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