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Very elderly cats...

Cats, books, life is good.

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Apr 29, 2007, 9:48pm Top

This is not a life is good question... I have two very elderly cats, 21 and 20. I've never had a cat live this long. How does a person decide when it is time for them to visit the big catnip patch in the sky? Their hips don't work so well anymore. The oldest can't jump on anything at all, nor can she squat to pee (damaging wall, carpet, furniture). But she still wants to be petted. How does a person know when it is time...

Apr 29, 2007, 9:52pm Top

xorscape, I've never heard of cats living that long - obviously you're a very good mum/dad. To answer your question, I would say that as long as they are not in pain and have some real quality of life, let nature takes it's course. What has your vet said about this?

Apr 29, 2007, 10:40pm Top

I agree with kayaalder. It sounds as though they don't have any serious health problems, just old age. If they look like they're hurting, or stop eating, or eat and waste away anyway, that's a different story. What does the vet say about their general health?

Apr 30, 2007, 2:43am Top

The vet says it is up to me. The younger is in much better condition than her mother so I don't have to make a decision about her for a long time yet. I have been trying to evaluate quality of life but I'm not sure where the line is.

Poor Mama Kitty (not very original, I know) has hips that don't work, she can't jump, she sits oh so gingerly, she has little seizures (but not for a while that I've seen), she is going deaf/blind, she can't clean herself very well and my grooming hurts her poor bones (she's long haired and mats easily). She is thin and bony and falls asleep just sitting up in the middle of the room (or doorway).

And the urination is a real problem. I've put litter boxes all over the house but she just goes where she wants. On the plus side, she's talkative, eats and drinks well, wants to be petted/loved, follows me around (when she's awake). I just can't tell if she hurts!

Sorry to dump. This God stuff is hard and not in my line. Oh, and my 12 year old male chases her when he's in the house. He doesn't seem to hurt her though. He just likes to make her run under the bed.

My family says it is time, but they are more concerned about the pee in the carpets. (I buy dollar store plastic table cloths and spead them over the rugs with newspaper on top. I've had to do that in three rooms now.)

I just wondered if anyone had anything I should be watching for or words of wisdom for me. And, as I re-read this, I think my head is telling me it is time, but my heart is just reluctant... I got her from the Humane Society back in 1986 so she's family.

Thanks for the kind thoughts. They are appreciated.

Apr 30, 2007, 2:59am Top

{{hugs}} It's such a hard decision, isn't it? It's amazing how much our 'pets' really are parts of our families.

As crazy as it may sound, perhaps you should ask Mama Kitty what she wants. Several years ago, my poodle developed congestive heart failure which slowly started getting worse. Finally, I sat down with him one night and told him that I didn't know what to do. That I didn't want him to suffer and I wanted him to stay but that if his time was up, then I wanted him to know it was ok. He died peacefully the next day.

You never know how much they understand. Maybe Mama Kitty will let you know, too.

Apr 30, 2007, 3:25am Top

That is excellent advice. I believe that our loved ones are tied here sometimes and need to be set free. I will do just what you suggest. Thanks!

Apr 30, 2007, 6:30am Top

xorscape, there is no easy answer to this. But on a just a practical level, you might enhance Mama Kitty's quality of life by giving her her own space: a room with all the amenities (comfy fuzzy baskets and such, sunlight) where she will not be bothered by the younger male, where she doesn't have to jump or walk around more than she wants to, and where you can easily clean up any messes and not worry about furniture, carpets, etc. Reducing stress on both of you will surely improve her quality of life. I hope this helps.

Apr 30, 2007, 6:56pm Top

Thanks, Doc, for the tip. I will try it to see if it will work (she never took to being confined when she was younger and she even learned to open doors!). The neighbors have adopted a feral colony and they like living in my yard as much as their own. My male has become more territorial because of it.

Apr 30, 2007, 10:26pm Top

xorscape, my sympathies, this is not an easy time. You have taken excellent care of Mama Kitty for her to be so relatively well at such an advanced age.

Our cat passed away two years ago after 20 years with us, we're not sure how old he was as we adopted him as a stray, so I do understand how you're feeling.

In his last year, he was at the vet's several times and we thought the time had come, we steeled ourselves (and so did the vet, he'd been one of her first patients.) But she'd try this or that, and he'd rally enough to show us he still had an interest in life. He ate well right up to the end, purred, and enjoyed sniffing outside (accompanied on a leash.)

I think DoctorRobert's suggestion is good, you could keep her confined a good part of the time and put up with the accidents in the rest of your home while she shares some family time with the rest of you. If Mama's eating and enjoying being petted, and not in pain, I'd carry on for now.

Just my opinion! She sounds like a sweetie. My best to you all, human and furry.

May 1, 2007, 8:25am Top

Iago (who's sitting hunched over my computer, watching the cursor creep across the screen like a tasty looking bug) and I will look forward to hearing how it goes.

May 15, 2007, 2:03pm Top

xorscape, how is it going so far?

May 15, 2007, 6:09pm Top

I'm not sure it is better (maybe for me a little). They don't like change much and every time I open the door she escapes back into the rest of the house... When she was young, she used to open doors if they were shut. She has just always wanted to be where the action is!

Thanks for asking.

Sep 14, 2007, 4:56pm Top

Well, an update. I am off to the vet with my special kitty. She hasn't been eating or drinking much this week and is almost nothing but skin and bones. She's only 20+ and is my hands down favorite so I am really concerned. Last time the subcu(?) fluids did the trick. I have hopes...

The older one is a little better but sleeping more and more. She is still eating, drinking, sleeping and pooping just fine though. But she's also thin (but I see her eat quite a bit). I always have food out for them.

Sep 14, 2007, 8:07pm Top

Long response, because we have a lot of experience with this.

If the jumping up & down is related to arthritis (it is with my 18yo cat), there are a few fairly easy things to help with that:
* a quarter-tab or half-tab of baby aspirin (80mg aspirin pill) 2x/week; check with your vet to make sure she doesn't have any other health problems this could exacerbate. But my hannah runs like a kitten sometimes on aspirin.
* adding glucosamine to the diet has been recommended by a number of vets, and works well with one of our friends' cats
* we moved a chair to our bedside, and recently just bought a little piece of cat furniture -- steps -- to facilitate her getting on & off the bed. Other than that we frequently perform elevator service to help her onto our laps. But, she can jump when she wants; I just think she's much more hesitant about it, a little uncertain and not as springy as when young.

... If she's peeing in a lot of places, I imagine you've had her checked out by your vet for urinary tract infections and kidney disease. Kidney disease is very, very common with older cats, and you see them getting very thin (you can feel their spines), drinking lots of water (because their kidneys are basically not working any more, so they need the water to flush the toxicity from the system), and consequently having more trouble with litterbox issues. You can help the process by giving fluids at home, which is really pretty easy -- you just buy a bag of saline solution, and the needle just goes under their skin -- it looks scary but actually it's totally easy and can make the cats feel much better. Other than that you just want to make sure they eat enough to keep weight on -- so, contrary to what you might think with kidney disease, let them eat whatever they want, including higher protein food.

But, if she's having seizures that may be a signal that it's toward the end stages of kidney disease.
One of our colleagues (MD) told us that kidney disease would actually not be a bad way to go for an older kitty, because the toxins would build up in their system making them feel rather loopy, but not particularly bad. However, if the kidney disease or related issues is incapacitating them in other ways -- making them have trouble standing up or cleaning themselves -- then THAT can make them unhappy, and I think it's a quality of life issue for them.
Our much-loved T-Cake died from kidney disease a year and a half ago. She had been declining for several months, in sharp decline for the last few weeks. We were having to move and, on our moving day, it was obvious she was near the end. We had decided to take her in the following week. We weren't able to spend time with her that day, because of moving, but that night in our new home we set up the bed so we could bring her into bed with us. I truly believe she was just waiting that last day to say goodbye to us, because she died about an hour later.
One last thing: It's very hard to have to make these decisions for our friends, and we sometimes aren't sure that we know what they want or need, or that we're making the right decision. We second-guessed whether we should have taken t-cake in earlier, for instance. But the important thing is that you are making the decision with love and in the best interests of your cat, and honoring the relationship you have with your cat. If you do that, I think they will know it, whatever you end up deciding.

Sep 14, 2007, 8:27pm Top

lquilter> Thank you for that informative and thoughtful email. You explained things better than my vet did.

They did more bloodwork and gave her (Babaloo, not what we named her but what we ended up calling her) the fluids. They will call me tomorrow with results. But she has lost almost half her body weight in the last year and a half. I just hope there is a little more time with her. A year and a half ago they told me she had kidney disease and was probably dying, but she got so much better after 3 subcu fluid injections. I never got the hang of it so I was very glad.

I am sorry about your T-Cake. Your pets are very lucky.

Sep 14, 2007, 11:04pm Top

xorscape-My heart goes out to you. We lost one cat, Sam, to old age last year. It is not easy being a caretaker.
She was peeing all over toward the end and was a bit senile. It was hell, but I would do it again, because she was part of our family and we loved our grumpy puss. The loss hurt more because we had a 10 mo kitten die of FIP 6 months earlier and 2 other cats die (one of old age and one of unknown causes) within the 2 years prior. Over those difficult years, we always expected Sam to go first, go next but always we had another loss first.

Only one of ours was euthanized. I know it was necessary, but that cat's decline was sudden and unexpected, so we were unprepared for the loss and didn't have a chance to say goodbye. Since then I have chosen to simply make our cats comfortable and wait out the end. I have not regretted being with the kitten and Sam when they died, and with a second cat we lost to FIP after Sam's death. I'm thankful for each moment I've had with these wonderful little beasts.

Whatever you choose to do, know that you have been a good owner, and your cats are very fortunate to have you to take care of them.

Sep 15, 2007, 9:52am Top

your stories are reminding me of my mama kitty who also lived past 20 years old. She was the softest, sweetest kitty I even knew. I have not bonded to another kitty since she died, kind of a traitor, I've switched to dogs. But I still miss my mama kitty and I treasure every photograph I was able to take of her.

Sep 15, 2007, 4:32pm Top

The vet says her kidney readings are off the chart. I can have her hospitalized and they can do iv's to try to flush the kidneys. OR they can just have me start doing subcu fluids daily. OR I can just let her go. I am trying to decide which is best.

The vet says that if I hopspitalize her and she isn't better in two or three days I should have her euthanized. I said I would rather bring her home until she passes away. The vet said that wasn't humane. But I think lquilter had it right; they just get sleepy and loopy.

How does anyone ever make decisions like this?!! (Rhetorical, I know.) Thanks for listening.

Sep 15, 2007, 6:49pm Top

you love them... that's all you can do is love them.

personally, I'd bring her home & do the subcu fluids as frequently as she could tolerate it. but that is me, not you.

BUT... only what YOU & your family can handle as far as your wonderful kitty's life. Everyone is different & that is not a bad thing... just different. Don't feel guilty if you let the vet handle it. You can be there when the vet gives the shot, or you don't have to be. They will love her as she leaves, too. Most people who work with animals love them very much, too...

Remember her for all the wonderful life & love she has shared with you.

Just love her.

Sep 15, 2007, 7:54pm Top

Cats are often suffering when we do not realize it. I've both heard it from veterinarians that I trust, read it in responsible sources, and seen it happen to my own beloved kitties. They are stoic, even when they are miserable. It is a precious final gift that we can give them. Yes, it's painful for us, the humans, but the veterinarian is correct when he/she says it is inhumane to let the kitty suffer until she dies. After all the love and companionship that I received from Mozart, Samantha, and Lucy over the years, it was both my duty and privilege to ease their departure. I held them, thanked them for being with me and making my life good, said "I love you" about a zillion times, then cradled them in my arms while the doctor gave the I.V. medication. Each time this happened the kitty was calm and simply relaxed peacefully in my arms.

Yes, I cried buckets, yelled and pounded things, and for a while felt as if I couldn't go on. Even years later, the sense of loss is still palpable at times.
But there is one thing I don't have to live with: guilt. Whose needs would I have been meeting If I had chosen to let the kitty suffer longer just because I didn't want to face my own pain? I would have felt cruel and selfish had I not done what I did. Ultimately, I gave myself a gift too because I have warm and comforting, albeit sad, memories of our time together at the end.

It is often NOT true that the animals just get sleepy and loopy. They are VERY APT to be in great discomfort. They just don't show it in human terms.

Sep 15, 2007, 9:40pm Top

Agreed we can't necessarily tell how they're feeling, and that they -- a doctor friend who is an expert in kidney disease was just giving us information based on our cat's symptoms and diagnosis. But I think it very much depends on what their exact symptoms are, and what other kinds of stuff they've got going on.

A couple of other thoughts.

(1) The subcu fluids does make them feel good and is really not that hard. It's not an IV -- hooking into a blood vein -- the way it looks. Their skin is very loose, and it just injects fluid under the skin where it absorbs slowly. It's a good idea to warm the bag so it's close to body temperature, but -- if she seems to feel okay, then doing subcu fluids would keep her more comfy, and may revive her. I don't think of subcu as a major medical intervention; more along the lines of aspirin (albeit a bit more time-consuming).

(2) If you do decide that she's in discomfort or quality of life is slipping, check into the euthanasia options. Some are better than others. In one option, they give the cat two injections -- the first one basically paralyzes them, which gives *us* the illusion that they are calm and not in pain, but really we have no idea how they are feeling because they are simply paralyzed from the first one.

I might also consider how they are at the vet. Some cats are really upset by going to the vet and being near strangers, and that might suggest that it would be better to let them die at home. Other cats are very bothered by not being able to take care of themselves. ... purring can sometimes indicate fear or anxiety, too -- usually i think if it's accompanied by faster breathing.

anyway -- it's hard to see them going, and hard to figure out the best solution. good luck.

Sep 15, 2007, 11:54pm Top

Perhaps I should have mentioned that we did the subcu fluids the last time. It gave us another year and a half. The vet says that this time we are in renal failure territory as opposed to just failing.

I spent the afternoon just holding her the way she likes. I took her to the vet's and authorized the iv fluids, to flush her kidneys and give her some nourishment. If there is no improvement in her kidney readings, then I will let her go. I don't have a lot of hope, but her temperature was back up to normal and she had four more ounces on her frame today. The fluids from yesterday obviously helped a little.

It was a hard decision. She is shy of strangers and I do not want to think that the possible last days of her life will be spent in a strange place, poked with needles. But this episode happened so quickly, that I wanted to give her that chance for a measure of recovery.

It is in God's hands now. Thanks for all your kind words and wisdom.

Sep 17, 2007, 2:46pm Top

Sorry to hear about your kitty. We had to deal with the same thing last fall and our other senior kitty is starting down that path.

In regards to taking her in to the vet when the time comes - have you considered finding a vet that does house calls? I don't know if you live in an area that has them but it would be an alternative to taking her in. (FWIW, our girlie was so out of it I don't think she recognized that she was in the car or that she was at the vet's).

Good luck with your kitty

Sep 18, 2007, 4:06am Top

Thanks for all the kind words! The news tonight is that her readings are way, way better. It looks like she'll be coming home from the vet's after all!!! They have had her on the iv and she wasn't eating until today, but the bloodwork is actually quite good all things considered. Above normal but way below the Friday readings.

I have to go out of town (no choice) and the vet will keep her until Saturday giving her fluids. I am very hopeful that I get to keep her with me for a while longer. The vet was surprised I think.

Sep 18, 2007, 5:43am Top

Whew, thanks for letting us know the good news, that's just great xorscape.

Sep 18, 2007, 2:28pm Top

My heart goes out to you and your kitty. I'm glad you're both doing better! She sounds like a very sweet cat.

Sep 19, 2007, 1:40pm Top

It is tough when the kitty loves get ill, especially when they are old. My baby passed away after 23 yrs of keeping me company, but towards the end she still wanted love, but slept more and more and eventually just found herself a comfy place and passed peacefully.

I am soo glad your's seems to be rallying :) its a great relief when the light at the end of the tunnel turns out to not be the train we were dreading.

Nov 11, 2007, 12:45pm Top

I am going thru a similar problem with my Sabrina. She is 19 yrs old. But altho she can quite squat much, she will pee in an empty litter box which I keep in the bathroom. I wash it out several times a day- she does go in the basement to use the other litter boxes. she gets urine all over her back legs. I had never bathed her in the tub in all the 13 yrs she been with me, but now I give her a weekly bath & she does not seem to hate it like she would have. I fluff her up with a warm towel and brush her dry - she seems to enjoy the one on one attention (I have 3 cats) She can stil jump up to her favorite purches so I guess she will be with me for awhile yet. I WAS wondering when it would be time to take her to the vet for her final trip. But these messages have been most helpful.

Jan 22, 2008, 4:52am Top

Mama Kitty, age 22, passed away tonight in my arms. I think she waited until I was home so we could say our farewells. There is a feeling of emptiness in the house.

So it is just the Babaloo kitty (Mama Kitty's daughter, age 21 in April) and Mr. Squirt (my young male cat, age 14 in April) now.

Odd things: Babaloo hasn't wanted to go outside for the last 20 years. Now she wants to go outside all the time. And she and Squirt haven't ever gotten along and now they are sleeping together. I can't explain it...

Jan 22, 2008, 5:00am Top


We inherited a cat, Zoe, when we bought our house a year ago. I've never understood them until now and I can't imagine losing her, she's even my LT picture. Our thoughts are with you.

Edited: Jan 23, 2008, 1:00am Top

xorscape thanks for posting about your long lived cats. I've never seen cats get to such ages, so your thread is a real insight into the problems of the exceptionally old. It's food for thought.

Sorry about your loss of your longtime companion.

Jan 22, 2008, 4:52pm Top

xorscape, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm sure Mama Kitty did wait for you. Back in 2002 I studied abroad in France for a semester, leaving my cat Cupake (age 18) who had cancer back in the USA. She went downhill so quickly after I got back, I have no doubt she waited for me to return. I'd had her since I was three. It broke me heart to have to put her to sleep, but it was the kindest thing to do. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Jan 22, 2008, 5:10pm Top

We had 2 half-Siamese cats (the noisy half). Sugar chose my daughter as her Favorite Person. After Mary Leigh left for college, I made the b-team, and she used me to cuddle, but was always so excited when her college girl came home. In her final illness, we told Mary Leigh to come home so that they could spend a last weekend together, and then we would have her put to sleep on Monday. Sugar died in her own time and in her favorite place - Mimi's lap - on Sunday afternoon.

Jan 22, 2008, 8:37pm Top

Cats are remarkable creatures. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and wonderful advice. I know that I will have to make some decisions this year about my beloved Babaloo, even though she is doing quite well right now.

Jan 22, 2008, 9:05pm Top

I'm sorry to hear about Mama Kitty's passing. I know you did all you could to make the last months of her life as easy on her as possible.

Jan 22, 2008, 9:22pm Top

Thanks, Doctor. It is impossible to know what I should have done, but I did what I could and what I thought best at the time.

I have heard that the departed come to visit us in our dreams. Well, early this morning, I dreamt that Mama Kitty jumped up on the bed (she hasn't been able to do that in quite a while), pranced around waving her tail straight in the air (she always had "attitude", looking as beautiful as she did when she was young (big blue eyes and long white fur). I was surprised and amazed that she wasn't dead. I woke up and was grateful for the "visit." It made me feel that she has gone to a place where she is young, beautiful and full of vinegar.

Jan 22, 2008, 11:29pm Top

That's beautiful xorscape. I've had similar experiences after losing cats to illness and age.

Have you started working on a scrapbook or photo album? That really helped our family through several losses.

Jan 23, 2008, 12:33am Top

Wow, xoroscape, your post really moved me--Mama Kitty's waiting for you, the other cats' response, your tender care at the end, your dream, and their ages. I've never been through this, but with aging special needs cats, it's something I wonder about--I get the empty feeling just thinking of it. Much sympathy, ER

Jan 23, 2008, 2:23am Top

Thanks, ER. Folks here have been more than kind. I truly appreciate it.

Jan 23, 2008, 2:25am Top

xorscape, so sorry to hear of your loss. You must have taken excellent care of Mama Kitty, to have her live so long.

Edited: Feb 4, 2008, 4:18pm Top

I had to put my Babaloo Kitty to sleep last Friday (she would have been 21 in April). I thought she was doing so well! She wasn't drinking much or eating much and she was very, very thin, but she had enough muscle tone to climb the stairs and jump on the bed. But the last two days she was getting weaker and could no longer manage that. And then she pretty much stopped eating and drinking. (Whoo boy, every time I think of her I start bawling. I sure love that kitty.)

Anyway, my house is EMPTY without her. And my 14 year old male kitty is not letting me out of his sight.

I believe I did the right thing, but good heavens it was hard.

Feb 4, 2008, 4:23pm Top

Very sorry to hear, but what an amazing life-20 years old!

Feb 4, 2008, 4:24pm Top

Thanks! She was my sweet baby.

Edited: Feb 5, 2008, 11:27am Top

I am so sorry xorscape. That is a da** tough double to have to take. At least Babaloo is now in the same bright place that Mama Kitty is. I know how much you miss the two of them, though.

I'm almost in the same position. My cat-who-is-almost human had to have a back leg amputated about 12 years ago. Her back and opposite hip have about given out. She is getting periodic Cortisone shots and daily arthritis meds and still has a sparkle in her eye. Eats well, fur still looks good, but very little movement and she cries when another cat bumps her. Although I have several other cats and a sweet dog, she is my middle of the night comfort and 'best friend' in my band of four legs. (My 30 year marriage broke up unexpectedly a few years ago). Just thinking of the soon to be made decision reduces me to tears.

Hugs to you and Mr Squirt.

Feb 4, 2008, 4:39pm Top

xorscape, my heart goes out to you. Really, truly.

Feb 4, 2008, 4:50pm Top

Thank you so much.

stream, I know what you are saying. My Babaloo got me through my divorce.

Feb 4, 2008, 10:01pm Top

So sorry xorscape. We know what you're going through. Hold Mr. Squirt close and have a good cry. My thoughts are with you.

Feb 4, 2008, 10:12pm Top

Oh no, how awful to lose two dear friends in such a short time.

Feb 13, 2008, 9:26pm Top

I'm joining in late- but know where you are coming from, and am sorry for your losses. We went from 3 geriatric cats to one over a couple of years, then about a year ago- got two "kids" from a rescue and now are looking ahead to losing the last old guy. he's 18+ and has had failing kidneys for several years- now takes a steroid pill to limit vomiting and eats prescription food- he is a love bug- my lap kitty- but thin as a rail- he still jumps up and climbs over to the kitchen sink to check for meat scraps - and will let the young ones know if they get out of line.

Mar 20, 2008, 9:47am Top

I've just read all about your quandry and my heart goes out to you. I'm in exactly the same position and really need some advice. My cat is 21 in May - I had her for my 6th birthday and I absolutley adore her. Last year she got diagnosed with an over active tyhroid but her kidneys and liver were still functioning ok. She's had tablets for it but lost quite a lot of weight. She then went off her legs. We think maybe she a stroke and lost the use of her left hind leg. She's had complete movement in her upper body and been eating really well. The vet came out but said as long as i was happy to care for her there was no reason she couldn't carry on. I've been sleeping downstairs with her where she's got a bed the ritz would be impressed with. She eats chicken, tuna, cod and even has her tablets in pate! A couple of days ago she took a turn for the worst and has gone weak in her front legs. The vet has said to try 5 days of quartisone and see if it makes a difference. She's eating well but I just don't know if I'm doing the right thing waiting those days or if it would be kinder to let her go. I only want what's best for her.. She still purrs and eats... what do I do. I don't want to give up on her if she's still fighting. I'm completly torn.

Mar 21, 2008, 3:04am Top

49> Helen, Thanks for the sympathy. I understand about your love bug. He sounds like a big sweetie. Hang in there and love him.

50> Oh, bizzy, it is so hard to know what to do. You have my deepest sympathy. I'm sorry I didn't put Mama Kitty to sleep when I had said I would (right after Christmas), but I don't regret giving my sweet Babaloo as much time as I did. My advice? Keep loving and caring for her as long as she is fighting and has some quality of life. You both are in my prayers.

Mar 21, 2008, 11:38am Top

51> Thanks - he seems to have taken it out of our hands - see the "Lost cat" thread for the story. it is never easy, each story is different. Knowing you have done the best you can and made reasonable decisions along the way helps, but doesn't remove the sense of loss.

Apr 20, 2008, 6:17pm Top

My 16 1/2 year old kitty Imsai started sleeping in the sink. I seem to remember somebody telling me that was a sign that they were in pain.... one day she gave me the sweetest, most loving look, purred, then that night got out of the house and we never saw her again. I'm sure she was telling me good bye.

Apr 27, 2008, 7:21am Top

I finally had to make the decision last weekend. Maggie May was 17 and I had had her since she was weeks old. I didn't plan on it but I think I knew as I was going to the vet's that she would not be going home. I couldn't justify making her deal with yet another round of shots, pills, etc. just to keep me happy. She was in discomfort and it just wasn't going to get better. So I held her and petted her and let her go.

Apr 27, 2008, 7:55am Top

heyjude... lots of hugs to you. you know that many of us have shared the sorrow you are feeling. take comfort in knowing we care, too.

Apr 27, 2008, 4:22pm Top

heyjude, thank you for not putting your own interest before Maggie May's. Hugs from me, too.

Apr 27, 2008, 11:21pm Top

heyjude - it is never easy, but it seems you did the right thing. hugs from me and headbutts from Orion and Luna..

Apr 29, 2008, 9:02pm Top

Thanks to all and head butts accepted.

I had planned to go "petless" for a while and that lasted barely a week. A friend who had been "fostering" an older (4-5 yrs old) declawed, neutered male for 5 months to save him from the pound had to move out of the area and could not take him so he has moved in with us.

He seems fairly agreeable to the situation so far other than one day of bowel problems (probably nerves). We are still working on names - Mittens is just not a "manly" name. ;-)

Apr 30, 2008, 12:36am Top

I foster kittens and sometimes the hardest part is the naming! Would Socks or Sox (or, I guess, Soxx) work better? Or maybe Sneakers?

May 1, 2008, 12:11am Top

My son had a very large toy stuffed tiger when he was about 3- named it Paws. Seemed to be adequately manly and impressive....

May 1, 2008, 4:24am Top

Our now-8-year-old adopted-us-afer-an-ice-storm very male gray tabby started off as Kitty because we were trying to find his family and didn't want to get attached. Once we realized he was ours (way after he did, probably) nothing else stuck, so to make it more manly we added William. Kitty William is such a schizophrenic name we laugh every time we say it.

Hope you have better luck with a manly name.

May 1, 2008, 8:53am Top

heyjude--hugs for your tough decision on Maggie May. Scritches for the new guy.

Nature abhors a cat vaccuum. ;-)

I also have one of the male gray tabby's that 'followed my daughter home' when she was young. She named him Kitty or Kit for short. Daughter now in college, Sir Kit still happily running the place.

May 1, 2008, 8:19pm Top

How about Mitt? Nah, too political. Sir Mitts, maybe.

May 2, 2008, 5:53am Top

My male cats have been named Taffy, Herschel, Eli, Magic (one of my 4 current kitties), and of course Kitty William.

Magic is a good name. Not manly, but not squishy either. We also have a female cat my daughter named Merlin when she was 3. Everybody assumes Merlin is male.

May 2, 2008, 6:06am Top

One of my favorite cat names was Burke. I had a stray adopt me and I also had a wrong number caller at the same time. Someone was always calling for "Burke." So I just figured they must be calling for the cat and that must be her name!

heyjude, my sincerest condolences on the loss of Maggie May and I wish you joy with your new family member!

Aug 2, 2008, 12:46pm Top

My best friend's Scottish Fold is about 13. She no longer jumps and walks very gingerly because she has calcium deposits in her feet/ankles. Their vet hasn't really had any useful suggestions. Anybody else have any suggestions?

Aug 2, 2008, 1:40pm Top

>66 varielle:, varielle, I have never heard of that problem, but my almost 15 year old diabetic cat went through a stage about 5 years ago when he could hardly walk do to diabetic neuropathy and so I started using pet steps of different heights and makes all over the place. Used to be most pet steps were heavy--wood or board, usually covered w/carpet, but then a couple years ago Petmate came out w/this super lightweight plastic set of steps that can be easily lifted and relocated with one hand, yet is real sturdy. Just the right width and height for my cats too. Price is very reasonable.

Also, here is a link to the Handicapped Pets website.

Aug 2, 2008, 2:36pm Top

Hi varielle--My vet has presribed Cosequin for my elderly arthritic cat. It's a combination of glucosamine and chondroitin.

Aug 19, 2009, 10:08am Top

My 13-year old boy kitty, Magic, has suddenly decided that he will not come in through the kitty door anymore. He then stands on the Bird food can outside the breakfast room windows and yowls to come in. Plaintively. Loudly. Continually.

At first I tried to force him through the kitty door, to sort of remind him that it was there and was the fastest way to get in, but that didn't get him back into the habit. He even watches me put food down and won't come in by himself to get it.

So I think we're fated to open doors and gently grab Magic and bring him in.

Anyone else have a problem with a kitty all of a sudden deciding to not do something that they always did?

Aug 19, 2009, 3:12pm Top

KarenMarie, I've been letting my cat out on the back deck of my apartment. (I've got a baby gate blocking the steps & it is fairly safe & secluded for him there.).

But since I've been letting him in & out, I've seriously considered renaming him Finnegan.... as in "in again, out again, Finnegan!"

My 'kitty' just turned 12 years old this month!!

Oct 30, 2011, 12:59pm Top

We have two kitties. Our male cat, Mickey, is 18 1/2 and our female, Betty Boots, is 12. Both our peeing where they shouldn't and this could be because they get shut in rooms, but one of them has a thing about peeing over the heating vents. Needless to say, when the furnace kicks on it is not a wonderful aroma! Mickey is really quite healthy considering his age and only takes thyroid medicine. We have had several cats and dogs over the years, and it is never easy as only one has died on his own and that was a dog. Our animal pets help us discover our humanity, love us unconditionally, and become a large part of our family. My heart goes out to all who wrestle with this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Love to the animal lovers.

Oct 30, 2011, 7:41pm Top

>71 kckitty: If the cat has peed in a furnace vent, I have some bad news. You will have to take the vent apart and clean it thoroughly with either tons of hot, soapy water or an enzymatic cleaner. Chances are the cat is no attracted to the spot because it smells like a place to pee. You need to remove all the scent -- and that by a cat's nose, not yours. I would then spray the vent daily for several weeks with Feliway, which is a pheromone which does help with random peeing/spraying.

Good luck!

Edited: Oct 31, 2011, 9:10pm Top

My older cat, Java, is 'only' 10 (a youngster in this thread), but he has shown a tendency to sleep more than he did a couple of years ago.

He's also become much more affectionate, and sleeps at my feet every night. If I wake up in the middle of the night, he 'pads' over to me and starts buzzing, wanting to be petted.

So far, no other issues.

The younger cat, Moonpie has put on weight (he's 9), but he is on a urinary tract formula dry cat food due to UTIs in the past, and I don't want to switch to a low calorie version.

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