What killed my cat?

alisandeAugust 11, 2013

Bonesy, our first outdoor cat, died tonight, and we have no idea why. She was a stray who gave birth in our ice house two years ago. We kept one of the kittens, got homes for the others, and after having Bonesy spayed, kept her as an outside cat because she was at war with my indoor cats (through the windows).

She did very well, sleeping in the doghouse we put on the porch for her with warming disks in winter. She was tough and territorial, but enjoyed our attentions.

Last night she started howling, and this morning she didn't seem like herself. But she ate well (always a good sign, I thought) and carried her tail high, for whatever that's worth. My daughter-in-law saw her walking in circles and meowing, but that stopped. I thought she was drooling, so we looked to see if something was stuck in her mouth. Didn't see anything, and again she ate well. She had a rabies shot in November and wasn't due again until 2015.

We decided to confine her to a dog crate in the barn to be sure we'd be able to take her to the vet tomorrow. She seemed to be doing pretty well, although at times she panted rapidly. Then tonight we went to give her some food at bedtime, and found her lying on her side with blood under her head, possibly from her mouth.

I'll talk to the vet tomorrow, but do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone? We want to know what happened. Bonesy deserves that much, plus we now care for another spayed stray--and my Rocky, whom I've posted about before--spends his days outside.

Bonesy. She was such a good mother to her kittens. We gave her the name because she was skin and bones when she arrived here. But she filled out beautifully.

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I'm so sorry to hear about Bonesy......she was a beautiful cat.

If I had to guess, I'd say it sounds like poisoning...either something she ate or from being bitten. The pacing, howling and walking in circles are signs of pain. Did you notice any swelling.......wondering if she could have been bitten by a poisonous spider or snake.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 1:21AM
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My heart goes out to you, my first thought was a snake bite, like annz said. Your an angel for giving her the love she never would have gotten otherwise.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 8:05AM
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Thanks, Annz and Christine. I'm told she was bleeding from her nose and mouth. I wonder if she threw a blood clot in her chest. I have a call in to the vet. I realize I'm not likely to get a definitive answer, but you never know.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 9:07AM
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Oh, Susan, no! Such sad news and a shock to you. I have no theory but just want to tell you how sorry I am about the loss of your sweet Bonesy.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 9:56AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I'm so sorry for the loss of Bonesy. :-( I have to think that it sounds like some sort of poisoning too. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:03AM
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Alisande, I am so sorry for your loss of Bonesy. I'm afraid that the only way you'd get answers about the cause of her death would be with a necropsy. If you still have her body, you could get it to your vet today to have a necropsy performed. Otherwise, there are just too many possibilities.

I wish you a peaceful grief.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:48AM
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So sorry for you and your Bonesy..... :(

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 12:23PM
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How heartbreaking! She looks like such a sweetheart and what a beautiful girl.

Blood can come out of their orifices after death. So that might not have anything to do with the cause. It is shocking to see.

Circling can be neurological. Looking around, it does sound like it could have been a snake bite. Are you in an area with poisonous snakes? Maybe your vet can look her over for a bite if you cremate her. I'd probably take her over and talk to him anyway for some degree of closure.

So sorry and so sad for both of you. Such a sudden death is terribly shocking. Lucky for her she found a home where she was loved so much. All should be so lucky.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 1:38PM
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I'm sorry.......I have had semi-feral cats and know that even though that arrangement has some risk to the cat, it's the only way some thrive if that's the life they started with. I know she had a good life with you and what years she did have were secure and comfortable. No, those symptoms could be any of a number of things and I'm hoping your vet can narrow it down so you can put it to rest more easily. She certainly was beautiful.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 4:08PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

I, too, thought poisoning. You might want to find out, if you can, what happened, because if it was poison, your other outside cats are at risk.

There are sick people out there that possibly could have poisoned her. Or she may have gotten into something on your property. You just don't know.

I'm so sorry that you lost her. She was a real beauty!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 4:23PM
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My best wishes go out to you. (((Susan/Alisande)))

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 6:27PM
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I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl. I too had a cat many ,many years ago named Bones for the same reason ! My first thoughts were the same as mentioned many times above- poison :(

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 6:44PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I am so sorry, truly heartbreaking. I have no idea what caused her death but I would want to know. She had a good life with you.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 7:57PM
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What a beautiful girl...I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you find out what caused her death.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 8:01PM
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Very true, if it is from some sort of systemic poisoning, to try to find out what happened, to protect other animals.

She has such a presence, just in the photo. So hard to lose them.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 10:10PM
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What a pretty kitty! I'm so sorry for your loss.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 11:27PM
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