need advice; am i giving up on my cat too soon?

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Quixotic667

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hello everyone, i'm brand new to this community. it looked very welcoming and supportive so i hope i can get some advice here. apologies if this is in the wrong thread.

my cat, Sarah, is almost 20 years old. i've had her since i was a kid and she was a 5 month old kitten. she is my best friend and we've been through hell and back together.

she got diagnosed with CKD 3-4 years ago and i've been giving her subcutaneous fluids. after the last round i noticed swelling in her back legs so i took her to the vet. they told me it was cancer. i was, and i still am devastated and in shock. the vet said given her age, and kidneys, that there's really no way to treat it and recommended euthanasia, but said that i still have some time with her as she's not suffering too much yet.

i said i wanted to let my family say goodbye and at least spend one last Christmas with her if she's still stable.

that was a couple days ago and i'm already seeing her decline. less interested, just kinda lays around, doesn't eat much anymore. she can still walk and drink and use her litter box, but she just seems less happy and looks uncomfortable.

i have been grieving A LOT since the diagnosis and have been doing a lot of hard thinking. i think i want to schedule her final sleep a day or 2 after Christmas if she's still doing ok.

i told my family this and they were pretty upset with me. they think i'm giving up on her too soon and cutting her long life short.

but here's the thing, i spend all day with her. i see how she's acting and how she's struggling. i don't want to wait to see her wither away and then decide to let her go after making her suffer for so long. i want my last memories of her to be happy ones, or at least not traumatic.

i'm sure it sounds like i'm set in my ways, but i'm not. i'm extremely torn and feel so guilty. if anyone else has had to let their friend go earlier than they hoped, any advice would really help me get through this.

i don't want her to go, she means everything to me, but i don't want her to be unhappy and uncomfortable.
 

Furballsmom

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have been grieving A LOT since the diagnosis and have been doing a lot of hard thinking. i think i want to schedule her final sleep a day or 2 after Christmas if she's still doing ok.
You know your cat, and you love your cat. You are her strength and rock now.

It's so unfortunate that your family has decided to be that unsupportive in this incredibly heartbreaking situation. Don't let them cause you to second-guess a decision you have made on her behalf, out of love and compassion.
 
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Quixotic667

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It’s always better a day to soon than a day to late.

I do have to ask, how did they diagnose cancer? Did they give you any pain medications?
physical exam and based off her other health issues. no they didn't give me pain meds as they didn't feel that she was in a lot of pain. just told me to continue the sub-Qs
 

neely

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i said i wanted to let my family say goodbye and at least spend one last Christmas with her if she's still stable.
First, a warm welcome to TCS! :heartshape: Second,, you're absolutely right, i.e. this is a very welcoming and supportive site.
Regarding your above post I wanted to share one of my similar experiences. We had a very dear and beloved black persian that adored our youngest daughter. He followed her, slept with her and we knew he was "her" cat. When he was almost 14 y.o. he had some difficulties which led to renal failure, would not eat, extremely lethargic and rapidly going downhill. I knew it was time and like you did not want him to suffer. It was our daughter's birthday and I didn't want her last memory of him to be PTS on her special day so I waited several days before bringing him to the vet. I was so heartbroken at the thought of having to tell her I was coming home without him that I couldn't leave the vet's office for quite awhile. However, I learned from our previous cat that it is better to end their suffering a day too soon than to let them endure pain.

She is your cat and, as you said, you are with her day in and day out and notice her struggling. She should be your main priority and you should't have to bear the burden of your family's wanting to postpone her suffering. Please know that either way we are here to support you in your decision. All my best to you and your sweet girl. 🤗
 

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physical exam and based off her other health issues. no they didn't give me pain meds as they didn't feel that she was in a lot of pain. just told me to continue the sub-Qs
My son went through this with one of his cats, giving her sub-qs daily, until she couldn't get up out of her bed. Heartbroken, he finally took her in. He didn't ask my opinion, so I didn't say, but it seemed to me like he waited too long. Do what your heart tells you - you know her the best.
 

CaseysMom

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I just went through this this past summer with my 15 yo beloved Casey. I found this site then, and am so grateful. My heart goes out to you, because I know what you are going through.

I agree that you know your cat best and do not want her to suffer. She has had an amazingly long and beautiful life with you, and this will be your final gift to her. Hugs and love and support from us. I am sorry you are not getting it from your family, but sometimes that is how it is.
 

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Given your cat's age and everything in your first post, I don't think you are erring on the side of too soon. Your kitty has had a good long life and its our duty to ensure their final days are as pain free as possible, even if that means cutting their days short. You'll make the right decision.

The only thing I will add is that based on research I did a year ago when I had to make that decision I learned that the majority of people error on the side of keeping the pet around too long. That tracks with how I feel about the particulars around my situation a year ago and if I had to do it again I'd probably not have waited as long as I did.
 

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Like the above post, I feel we waited top long with my late cat. It was partially pandemic issues. I was trying to find a place that would let me go in with her and couldn't afford one of the places that comes to your home.

I don't think you're erring on the side of too soon from what you describe. But, I think it's best to be a few days early than late.

This is always a hard decision.

There are also many quality of life scales that can help you make a decision on timing. I found them comforting.

The Feline Quality of Life Scale Helps You Determine If It's Time to Say Goodbye to Your Cat - Catster

Quality of Life Scale for Pets online calculator
 
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Quixotic667

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hello everyone, thank you so much for your well wishes and advice. i didn't forget this site! i was just extremely busy with the holidays.

this evening, i took her to the urgent vet for a possible bowel obstruction/severe constipation, and she was discovered to have several cancerous tumors throughout her body which were beginning to affect her heart, and were compressing her intestines so she could not have any bowel movements.

i made the decision tonight to put her to sleep. i am devastated, but i feel that i made the right choice and ended her suffering before it got too severe. when the vet administered the first step (sedative), she quickly faded away. i think she was tired of fighting, and i let her know that she could rest.

if anyone would like to see a picture, i included one here.
her name was Sarah-Elaine, and she was everything to me.
2003 - 2022
 

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iPappy

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hello everyone, thank you so much for your well wishes and advice. i didn't forget this site! i was just extremely busy with the holidays.

this evening, i took her to the urgent vet for a possible bowel obstruction/severe constipation, and she was discovered to have several cancerous tumors throughout her body which were beginning to affect her heart, and were compressing her intestines so she could not have any bowel movements.

i made the decision tonight to put her to sleep. i am devastated, but i feel that i made the right choice and ended her suffering before it got too severe. when the vet administered the first step (sedative), she quickly faded away. i think she was tired of fighting, and i let her know that she could rest.

if anyone would like to see a picture, i included one here.
her name was Sarah-Elaine, and she was everything to me.
2003 - 2022
First, I am so sorry for your loss. :hugs:
Second, she was so beautiful! And so long lived too.
Third, as hard as it is, I feel like you did the right thing. I had a cat who began to swell under his chin/side of his throat with watery fluid. The vet did some work and determined a tumor on his trachea (which she was suspicious he had years ago, but couldn't determine it for sure) had grown and was cutting off his lymph system, and affecting his ability to get air. Like you and Sarah-Elaine, the only other option was bringing him home to slowly pass in a painful way.
When I lost my Tag back in September, a friend of mine said "Never easy. Even when (the right decision) is so clear. No matter the age, no matter the circumstance. Always just awful for us." And she's 100% right.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Rest well, little beauty. :angelcat:
 
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Quixotic667

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So sorry you lost your Sarah-Elaine, but you absolutely did the right thing by her, letting her rest before her pain got worse.

Love her aeroplane ears in that photo.
thank you. she didn't do the earplane ears often, but it was so funny when she did!
 

neely

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Thank you for the update albeit Sarah Elaine getting her wings. :angel: She is running pain free at the Bridge now and is grateful for all your love and support. Having to make that final decision is one of the hardest things you had to do but watching her suffer is far worse. RIP sweet girl.:rbheart:
 
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