I Really Need To Vent... Life With Our Elderly Cat

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FeralRussian

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HK takes his thyroid medication transdermally - we clean his ear flap, then rub the medication as a thick liquid into the ear flap very gently. no pills, no liquid. and it works
I wish all cat meds were like this! Sounds Perfect
 
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basschick

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I wish all cat meds were like this! Sounds Perfect
a surprising number are. vets just aren't aware of it. HK took his pred for IBS for years, and to him the taste was so bad he lived in fear of it. i talked to our compounding pharmacist, who said he had a few patients using it transdermally, so i called the vet, told her about this, and she agreed to try it and called it into the pharmacy. and it works just as well transdermally, although i believe it's a little higher concentration for him to get the same dose.

it's always worth asking the compounding pharmacist, just in case.
 

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I was interrupted with damage control. It’s my living space, but also a working studio and they are curious about everything. The last thing I need is for them to stick their noses/paws into half cured plaster.

My former partner has a seventeen year old. He’s always been very thrifty and frugal. Since Kit Kat (he named her Cat, not being a cat person previously ) successfully converted him he fell into a routine of feeding her wet food in the evening. But what he would do is portion out a third, stick the rest in a container which went into the fridge. The next evening he’d portion out another third, heat it for seven seconds in the microwave to “take the chill off” and she would be at it no issue.

It’s extra work and some have issues with using a microwave, but economically it could help. Having two small glass Tupperware bowls works best for the bigger cans, but fancy feast is so small, one itty bitty glass one would do.
 

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a surprising number are. vets just aren't aware of it. HK took his pred for IBS for years, and to him the taste was so bad he lived in fear of it. i talked to our compounding pharmacist, who said he had a few patients using it transdermally, so i called the vet, told her about this, and she agreed to try it and called it into the pharmacy. and it works just as well transdermally, although i believe it's a little higher concentration for him to get the same dose.

it's always worth asking the compounding pharmacist, just in case.
I’ll let him know about that as he gives Kit Kat predizone for her joints. Though being the thrifty guy he is he goes to Mexico for them. She hates them with a passion. I found quite a few of them chucked in a corner after I gave them. He on the other hand was used to her antics and would stand there making sure she took it, massaging her throat. No food till she did. That said he is a gentle guy, though stubborn.
 
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basschick

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oh, no - cats with plaster hardened on their whiskers and noses does NOT sound like a good thing! and if that plaster was something you made, paw prints probably won't add to what you made.

thanks for the suggestion. we tried that a few years ago, and discovered that HK would only eat food fresh from the can. i can't even imagine how he could tell the difference, as i heated the food exactly to the temp of a fresh can, but he's always been supremely picky, even as a kitten. maybe worth trying again - i'd love to save a couple hundred bucks a month!
 

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oh, no - cats with plaster hardened on their whiskers and noses does NOT sound like a good thing! and if that plaster was something you made, paw prints probably won't add to what you made.

thanks for the suggestion. we tried that a few years ago, and discovered that HK would only eat food fresh from the can. i can't even imagine how he could tell the difference, as i heated the food exactly to the temp of a fresh can, but he's always been supremely picky, even as a kitten. maybe worth trying again - i'd love to save a couple hundred bucks a month!
He had a low wattage microwave and figured it out to be seven seconds exactly. He’d then mash it about. He’s a chef hence the precision even for cold cat food. If the micro you have is over 1100, try five seconds and the mash about.

Paw prints would be cute, but not at the expense of worrying myself silly for days anxiously watching them. The plaster is the outer sheath for silicone molds of game pieces that will eventually be made with epoxy resin. These are some of the second stage mock up pieces.
 

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He had a low wattage microwave and figured it out to be seven seconds exactly. He’d then mash it about. He’s a chef hence the precision even for cold cat food. If the micro you have is over 1100, try five seconds and the mash about.

Paw prints would be cute, but not at the expense of worrying myself silly for days anxiously watching them. The plaster is the outer sheath for silicone molds of game pieces that will eventually be made with epoxy resin. These are some of the second stage mock up pieces.
we'll try again.

those are neat!!!
 

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Winchester Winchester basschick basschick we're the same with with our asthmatic. When he has a bad stretch of days, like you both we don't wish him gone at all, but we think it would be so much better for him if (when his time comes) he would just curl up in his little bed, get cozy, drift off to sleep and just not wake up.
We had a cat slowly wind down at 22 years old. One night she curled up in front of a warm, roaring fireplace with a snowstorm happening outside, fell asleep, and slowly stopped breathing. It was the most peaceful, non-traumatic way for her, and for us. I guess we just wish it could always be like that when their time is up.
 

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HK turned 20 last fall. he's got a variety of issues including IBS, hyperthyroid, kidney disease and so on. he's on a variety of meds, lactated ringers, injectible B12. his IBS means that sometimes he vomits when he poops. he has arthritis, but cosequin, which helped a lot, also gave him diahrrea that led to weight loss.

ah, weight loss. for years he was an overweight, 16 1/2 pound cat. not a REALLY fat cat, but chunky. but his IBS (the vets used to speculate on whether it could be cancer) is leading to his absorbing less nutrition from his food as time goes on. he weighs in at only 7 1/2 pounds now. he's REALLY thin, but here's the thing - he still climbs up on the couch with the help of an ottoman, my bed, which has a second ottoman. he talks to us, sits with us, will let us scritch his ears or rub his chin for long periods of time. he still watches if a moth flies by or there's some kind of action. he's engaged.

he's never been a cat who likes to be alone, but after his companion died a few years ago, he didn't want another cat, so i've become that companion. luckily i work at home.

but it's exhausting! and in the last month, as he gets hungrier more frequently and just wants more company, i average 3 1/2 to 4 hours of sleep, thrilled if i get 6 interrupted hours as i rarely sleep more than 2 1/2 hours at a time. yesterday he woke me up mowing loudly. i started to pet him and he pooped on the bed. for some reason, he always tells me when he is going to poop even if he goes on the tray, but i was mostly asleep yesterday and didn't register what might be happening.

luckily he does this frequently enough that the bed is covered by a tarp, then a sheet, and now a doubled over blanket. then a towel, which he lies on and pooped on, so it wasn't a disaster, but it woke me up and got me dealing with it. then i lay back down and he informed me he was hungry. there were 4 different plates of wet food on the floor, but he's always liked having us feed him, and he's even more flavor-picky than he always was.

i'm so tired all the time, too tired to have fun or think clearly. we worry about HK all the time - he's mentally alert but he's an elderly cat with all sorts of issues. two weeks ago, we took him to the vet thinking this might be a 2-day warning, and instead it turned out he was VERY low on potassium, so now he's on a supplement and doing much better. my husband and i cried while they ran the tests. part of me would have been relieved to let HK go, but the rest of me wanted to take him home, save him and protect him. my husband felt the same. and that's what we did. for now. now is what we have.

we're spending $800 a month or more on HK. $400 of that that we don't have is on cat food because he rejects at least 14 cans a day and then there are the partial cans he eats - oh, and the paper plates are up to about $12 plus tax a week. he's on $160 or more of medications, his lactated ringers and tube sets, the B12, potassium and the vet costs. we've maxed our care credit card. the cat who used to live with us and HK who died, his rare heart condition took all our savings.

our vet isn't top notch, but the other vets in the area haven't been, either, plus the other vets have dogs in the office. if we had a great vet, i might feel better about stuff. as it is, half the time i have to research stuff and ask her about things, as she often doesn't think of stuff. when he was severely depleted of B12, with absolutely textbook symptoms, neither the vet nor her boss thought of B12 deficiency.

my mom developed dementia in 2008, and i became the point "man" for her care. it was exhausting and awful, and before she passed away, my husband developed an odd type of kidney stone, and these never passed on their own and lead to a number of infections that lead to numerous 4- to 8-day hospital stays as well as procedures. just before that, jeep was diagnosed with a rare type of congestive heart failure. this led to many specialist trips, an entire plethora of medications, and each time his chest would fill with fluids, we'd have to take him in to get his chest tapped.

so you can imagine when HK began to have more health issues, i was already virtually out of emotional resources. my husband is the best, but we were... words fail me. my son (he's an adult and lives fairly close) has helped with a trip to the vet and repeated prescription pickups.

i have lost track of my friends. i can't make plans any more because who wants to go to disneyland or the beach on 3 hours of sleep? we're broke, and we're sad and it's so hard, so exhausting. the few people who still come by ask "are you sure you're doing the right thing, not putting him to sleep? are you sure he's not suffering?" yes, i'm pretty sure. euthanizing someone who's mostly happy, loves to eat and enjoys life isn't something i would do. why are so many people convinced that elderly equals suffering?

we love HK so much. his health issues seem to bother us more than he. he still purrs when we pet him, talks to us conversationally, he's loving, demanding and doesn't even know he has issues most of the time. and we wouldn't do anything other than what we're doing.

i thank you for "listening". no one who's not a certain kind of animal lover gets this. they see HK thin and assume he must be very poorly off, and we're keeping him alive even though he's suffering. he has maybe 10 rough minutes a day some days, none other days. i wouldn't do less for him than for anyone i love, and i'm happy he's still with us. and when he passes on, we'll know we did our very best for him and that he's had an exceptionally good life. but for now, we cherish him and care for him, spend all the time we can with him and do our best.
I know you struggle and I empathize how difficult it is, but at the same time, I sort of hope I’ll be in your position in around 20years, as it would mean my now young cats will make that far. :redheartpump:
 

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HK turned 20 last fall. he's got a variety of issues including IBS, hyperthyroid, kidney disease and so on. he's on a variety of meds, lactated ringers, injectible B12. his IBS means that sometimes he vomits when he poops. he has arthritis, but cosequin, which helped a lot, also gave him diahrrea that led to weight loss.

ah, weight loss. for years he was an overweight, 16 1/2 pound cat. not a REALLY fat cat, but chunky. but his IBS (the vets used to speculate on whether it could be cancer) is leading to his absorbing less nutrition from his food as time goes on. he weighs in at only 7 1/2 pounds now. he's REALLY thin, but here's the thing - he still climbs up on the couch with the help of an ottoman, my bed, which has a second ottoman. he talks to us, sits with us, will let us scritch his ears or rub his chin for long periods of time. he still watches if a moth flies by or there's some kind of action. he's engaged.

he's never been a cat who likes to be alone, but after his companion died a few years ago, he didn't want another cat, so i've become that companion. luckily i work at home.

but it's exhausting! and in the last month, as he gets hungrier more frequently and just wants more company, i average 3 1/2 to 4 hours of sleep, thrilled if i get 6 interrupted hours as i rarely sleep more than 2 1/2 hours at a time. yesterday he woke me up mowing loudly. i started to pet him and he pooped on the bed. for some reason, he always tells me when he is going to poop even if he goes on the tray, but i was mostly asleep yesterday and didn't register what might be happening.

luckily he does this frequently enough that the bed is covered by a tarp, then a sheet, and now a doubled over blanket. then a towel, which he lies on and pooped on, so it wasn't a disaster, but it woke me up and got me dealing with it. then i lay back down and he informed me he was hungry. there were 4 different plates of wet food on the floor, but he's always liked having us feed him, and he's even more flavor-picky than he always was.

i'm so tired all the time, too tired to have fun or think clearly. we worry about HK all the time - he's mentally alert but he's an elderly cat with all sorts of issues. two weeks ago, we took him to the vet thinking this might be a 2-day warning, and instead it turned out he was VERY low on potassium, so now he's on a supplement and doing much better. my husband and i cried while they ran the tests. part of me would have been relieved to let HK go, but the rest of me wanted to take him home, save him and protect him. my husband felt the same. and that's what we did. for now. now is what we have.

we're spending $800 a month or more on HK. $400 of that that we don't have is on cat food because he rejects at least 14 cans a day and then there are the partial cans he eats - oh, and the paper plates are up to about $12 plus tax a week. he's on $160 or more of medications, his lactated ringers and tube sets, the B12, potassium and the vet costs. we've maxed our care credit card. the cat who used to live with us and HK who died, his rare heart condition took all our savings.

our vet isn't top notch, but the other vets in the area haven't been, either, plus the other vets have dogs in the office. if we had a great vet, i might feel better about stuff. as it is, half the time i have to research stuff and ask her about things, as she often doesn't think of stuff. when he was severely depleted of B12, with absolutely textbook symptoms, neither the vet nor her boss thought of B12 deficiency.

my mom developed dementia in 2008, and i became the point "man" for her care. it was exhausting and awful, and before she passed away, my husband developed an odd type of kidney stone, and these never passed on their own and lead to a number of infections that lead to numerous 4- to 8-day hospital stays as well as procedures. just before that, jeep was diagnosed with a rare type of congestive heart failure. this led to many specialist trips, an entire plethora of medications, and each time his chest would fill with fluids, we'd have to take him in to get his chest tapped.

so you can imagine when HK began to have more health issues, i was already virtually out of emotional resources. my husband is the best, but we were... words fail me. my son (he's an adult and lives fairly close) has helped with a trip to the vet and repeated prescription pickups.

i have lost track of my friends. i can't make plans any more because who wants to go to disneyland or the beach on 3 hours of sleep? we're broke, and we're sad and it's so hard, so exhausting. the few people who still come by ask "are you sure you're doing the right thing, not putting him to sleep? are you sure he's not suffering?" yes, i'm pretty sure. euthanizing someone who's mostly happy, loves to eat and enjoys life isn't something i would do. why are so many people convinced that elderly equals suffering?

we love HK so much. his health issues seem to bother us more than he. he still purrs when we pet him, talks to us conversationally, he's loving, demanding and doesn't even know he has issues most of the time. and we wouldn't do anything other than what we're doing.

i thank you for "listening". no one who's not a certain kind of animal lover gets this. they see HK thin and assume he must be very poorly off, and we're keeping him alive even though he's suffering. he has maybe 10 rough minutes a day some days, none other days. i wouldn't do less for him than for anyone i love, and i'm happy he's still with us. and when he passes on, we'll know we did our very best for him and that he's had an exceptionally good life. but for now, we cherish him and care for him, spend all the time we can with him and do our best.
I completely understand. It is very hard caring for a ill person or pet. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and know that other folks are hear to listen. Keep the HOPE, that is what I do. With 5 cats and now one blind it is hard to sleep sometimes. The worry for their well-being, money fir vets,etc and the emotional roller-coaster can be overwhelming. I am single now and try my best to manage with not so good a salary. Best to you!
 
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basschick

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I completely understand. It is very hard caring for a ill person or pet. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and know that other folks are hear to listen. Keep the HOPE, that is what I do. With 5 cats and now one blind it is hard to sleep sometimes. The worry for their well-being, money fir vets,etc and the emotional roller-coaster can be overwhelming. I am single now and try my best to manage with not so good a salary. Best to you!
and best to you and your cats!
 

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your situation sounds worse, and i'm so sorry. but there may be a little help! HK takes his thyroid medication transdermally - we clean his ear flap, then rub the medication as a thick liquid into the ear flap very gently. no pills, no liquid. and it works - his thyroid numbers have been normal for a few years now, and that helps him eat more and retain a little more weight.
Oh wow! Thanks so much for posting this! Pepe has a geriatric vet appt coming up and I'll ask her about the transdermal thyroid meds. I hope they have it and that it will help her gain a wee bit of weight anyway. Thanks!
 

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I just wanted to tell you, I understand and empathize. We lost our 17-1/2 year old boy in February who had pretty much all the diseases you mention; kidney, hyper T, heart murmur, food allergies (chicken the big one) he'd had diabetes at one point but luckily went into remission on that, and last *some* kind of cancer that we didn't exactly find out what it was; all the other health issues made it too risky to put him through testing and at his age and health in general it wouldn't have made a difference to how we were treating him.

So, he was in a hospice situation for us. We too, lived a life of fluids, meds, constant vomiting pf bile and food (we still 2 months later of him gone, walk around the house gingerly as if we're expecting to step in a pile of it), sometime pooping outside the box due to loss of bowel control, mental cognition issues etc etc etc. At the very end, he was having small seizures which is what led us to realize that something was seriously amiss and that was what led to us letting him peacefully leave the earth.

We went through tons of food like you too. So much money got tossed out. Lots of it our other cat wouldn't touch - really good quality food but she wasn't interested. We'd open a can, he'd eat a bite or two and then walk away. He liked it, just...didn't want to eat it all. Or would get bored. Or only want one specific thing for weeks on end.

Throughout though, he was pretty much, a very happy cat. Not in pain until the day before he left us (another reason why we made that decision). Sweet, and still energetic and playful at times. But yes it sure did hinder our personal life to a large degree at times. My husband is pretty much retired so luckily he was home all day for the most part to watch him but being able to have fun time ourselves was rough to do. We hated leaving for long periods of time, meals for the cats were particularly difficult to deal with because we knew if we didn't feed Casper regularly several times a day we'd come home to piles of vomit. Smaller more frequent meals were better for him. We're lucky to have close friends to watch them to allow us a vacation now and then but it always caused us some amount of worry to know that they then might possibly have to deal with a health crisis.

But, we wouldn't have done anything differently and when the time comes for our other cat to be older and ill, we'll give her equal care and attention.

I'm so very sorry you are going through this. The only consolation being so many of us know what you are dealing and I wanted to be one more voice to let you know you are not alone. Our Casper was a ginger too :redheartpump:; my best to your sweet boy and you!
 
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Oh wow! Thanks so much for posting this! Pepe has a geriatric vet appt coming up and I'll ask her about the transdermal thyroid meds. I hope they have it and that it will help her gain a wee bit of weight anyway. Thanks!
i can't imagine why they wouldn't give it; it's very common and very helpful. for us, it was one of our miracles - HK stopped zooming, stopped losing weight, slept more, ate more. let us know what the vet says.
 

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Oh wow! Thanks so much for posting this! Pepe has a geriatric vet appt coming up and I'll ask her about the transdermal thyroid meds. I hope they have it and that it will help her gain a wee bit of weight anyway. Thanks!
I gave Muffin and Tiger their thyroid medication transdermally and it worked fine. I was just not able to give them their medication in pill form.
 

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I gave Muffin and Tiger their thyroid medication transdermally and it worked fine. I was just not able to give them their medication in pill form.
We gave Casper his thyroid meds via pill but, luckily he only needed 1/4 a pill so it was very easy to hide. Used a dollop of cream cheese and stuck it inside. He never turned it down. We tried using a transdermal medication for something else once and found out he hated having his ears messed with. He wasn't a candidate for any other method of treatment due to age/health.
 

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oh, no - cats with plaster hardened on their whiskers and noses does NOT sound like a good thing! and if that plaster was something you made, paw prints probably won't add to what you made.

thanks for the suggestion. we tried that a few years ago, and discovered that HK would only eat food fresh from the can. i can't even imagine how he could tell the difference, as i heated the food exactly to the temp of a fresh can, but he's always been supremely picky, even as a kitten. maybe worth trying again - i'd love to save a couple hundred bucks a month!
We have been using this food warmer for a while now. Found out about it at a cat show we went to and forgot about it and then in a pile of tossed aside mail discovered the brochure. Figured we'd give it a try. It's perfect. Keeps the cans at "mouse" temperature. It stores quite a few more than it appears it would especially if you use those 3 ounce cans.

I highly recommend it. Made a huge difference in our cats food enjoyment and we've been using it for about 2 years now - no problems with the unit at all. Very low voltage. Especially good on cold mornings. The microwave is sometimes tricky with food warming leaving hot and cold areas, over cooking is possible too. It is a bit pricey but in the long run I feel it's a good investment.

Animals Instinct Pet Food Warmer
 
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We gave Casper his thyroid meds via pill but, luckily he only needed 1/4 a pill so it was very easy to hide. Used a dollop of cream cheese and stuck it inside. He never turned it down. We tried using a transdermal medication for something else once and found out he hated having his ears messed with. He wasn't a candidate for any other method of treatment due to age/health.
HK really didn't like his ears being cleaned - we're too quick when applying the medications for it to really bother him. but over time, he's decided it's okay if my husband cleans his ears. me, not so much. he lies there relaxed while my husband gently cleans, while with me he does everything he can to roll, squirm or otherwise find a way to escape.

We have been using this food warmer for a while now. Found out about it at a cat show we went to and forgot about it and then in a pile of tossed aside mail discovered the brochure. Figured we'd give it a try. It's perfect. Keeps the cans at "mouse" temperature. It stores quite a few more than it appears it would especially if you use those 3 ounce cans.

I highly recommend it. Made a huge difference in our cats food enjoyment and we've been using it for about 2 years now - no problems with the unit at all. Very low voltage. Especially good on cold mornings. The microwave is sometimes tricky with food warming leaving hot and cold areas, over cooking is possible too. It is a bit pricey but in the long run I feel it's a good investment.

Animals Instinct Pet Food Warmer
"mouse" temperature :flail:

btw, we're going to try it. thanks for the suggestion.
 

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HK really didn't like his ears being cleaned - we're too quick when applying the medications for it to really bother him. but over time, he's decided it's okay if my husband cleans his ears. me, not so much. he lies there relaxed while my husband gently cleans, while with me he does everything he can to roll, squirm or otherwise find a way to escape.



"mouse" temperature :flail:

btw, we're going to try it. thanks for the suggestion.
I think you'll be happy with it. If for no other reason you won't have to guess when the food is the right temperature. It always will be. FYI, I use only 3 ounce cans even when Casper was around because him and Cocoa had different tastes/needs and larger ones would just be a waste. I can easily fit about 15 cans in that unit at a time. So, several days worth of meals. I also use single serve pouches but I'm careful not to let them touch the sides of the unit *just in case* - I slikde them between the stacks of cans.
 
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