sudden cat death

KateLorraine0509January 15, 2012

Can someone please help? Yesterday, my beloved cat, Tom, who was 15, died very suddenly without any warning. He got up as usual, had his breakfast and went outside as he did everyday. After coming back in and having had a snooze, he went into the kitchen. The next thing I knew, he shot like a bullet across the room, crashed into some tables and just lay there. When I got to him, he was just limp and had stopped breathing. He had just died. He had no symptoms, he didnt meow, no paralysis, no warning signs at all. He was drinking and eating well. How can he just die? Everyone is telling me he had a heart attack but having looked this on the Internet , he had none of the symptoms. Please, i need to know what has happened to him. I am heartbroken and cannot accept be has gone until I have an explanation. I cannot put him through an autopsy.

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It could have been cardiac arrest but if you really NEED to know a necropsy is the only way to go. Sorry about your loss. No one can tell you why .

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I have no possible explanation for what happened to your boy Tom. Just wanted to say I am so sorry.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:45AM
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According to Cornell University, a fifteen year old cat would be the equivalent to a human in their seventies. Not exactly Methusala, but old enough that acute and chronic diseases are not unusual. Why would a cat die suddenly with no warning? For the same reasons it happens to other apparently healthy animals and humans.

No, without a necropsy you probably won't know but cardiac arrests happen for various reasons and aren't always a 'heart attack' and even those don't always present themselves in such a common pattern you can tell for sure. It could have had a stroke, an aneurysm, an unknown cardiac arrythmia causing a fatal rythm.

I have lost some animals where even the vets guessed at the reason and gave the option of necropsy. That won't bring them back and will only satisfy your need for closure or any nagging thoughts in the back of your mind you may have been able to prevent it. (We all second guess after the fact).

Have some comfort in the fact that he lived healthy up to the moment of death and did not suffer. Know that he was taken when it was time and you did not have the agony of deciding the proper time for euthanasia. Take some time to discuss it with your vet so that he/she can assure you that this occasionally does happen and some of the reasons why.

Loosing a beloved companion so suddenly is hard for you to wrap your mind around. There is no building up to it for you to prepare yourself. I'm sorry for your loss. It's tough.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 10:51AM
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I am so very sorry that you lost your kitty so suddenly. I know how heartbreaking that is.

Are there heartworms in your area? If so was he on preventives? I see you're in the UK. The other possibility is hyptertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 12:06PM
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I am so sorry for you. Not sure what happened, but I know it it tearing your heart.

I came home 3 years ago and found my sweet angel Sofie dead, and I still can't lose that. A necropsy showed no internal problems, (heart good, all organs, she ate so she felt good up until then or she wouldn't have eaten). My vet things it was a brain aneurysm.

So sorry for you. This is a loss not alleviated by tears, I know.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 2:02PM
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I am so, so sorry for your loss. Unexpected or not, it's never easy.


    Bookmark   January 15, 2012 at 3:44PM
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I'm very sorry about your loss. In all my animals over the years, a few have died like that. Perfectly fine, and suddenly dead. I'm not going to say the platitude..he lived a long life, because I hate when people have said that to me. However, I will say be glad he never suffered and if it was his time, he went well. I know you're grieving. Been there many times. You love them so much and then they're gone.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 1:35PM
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I'm so sorry. My daughters cat died just like this, they did an autopsy and it was Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, it's likely it was an abnormal rhythm, such as something similar to atrial fibrillation in humans. The vet told my daughter that the cat probably did not suffer, which was good! It always hurts so much to lose our pets, but at 15 years old, you gave him a great life...I have an old guy who will be 18 this year, so will be facing the same thing soon! :(

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 4:12PM
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I,too, am so sorry for your loss. I lost a beloved cat years ago like that. She woke on my bed with a scream in the middle of the night, went into shock, and was dead a few minutes later as I was headed to the emergency vet. No autopsy was done but the vet assumed it was a stroke or aneurysm. It was so unexpected and upsetting that, in a sense, I have never gotten over it. Hugs to you at this difficult time!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 6:11PM
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KL, sorry for your loss. 15 is a good age for a cat, and at least his passing was fast and he didn't suffer a long time. It's so hard to lose them isn't it?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 6:46PM
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The symptoms - adjusted for a cat - are similar to a massive stroke (CVA, ruptured aneurysm) in a human.

Walking around fine, feeling fine, no symptoms, and suddenly they stagger a bit, may have very brief convulsions, and drop dead.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 6:15PM
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Our beloved Tramp went to bed one night and never woke up. Out 14 yo granddaughter found him in the morning when he didn't come to us for breakfast. It was such a shock. My husband was his favorite person and it was so very hard on him, it was for all of us. I am so very sorry for your loss, we know how much it hurts.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2012 at 11:07PM
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