cat died suddenly

newhomeseekerDecember 13, 2012

a week ago today (in the evening) I noticed that one of my cats wasn't eating. He normally runs to greet me and rubs all over my legs and wants attention. That night he didn't. I petted him and put the food right in front of him but he didn't want it. He did drink water though. I kept an eye on him. The next morning he came up to me when I put the food out and he wanted to be petted. I spent a long time petting him before I had to go to work. He didn't rub against me. Just huddled on the floor. I put him on the couch and put a blanket on him and he seemed to like that. I called the vet and they couldnt' get me in until the next day. I made sure he drank some more water (still wasn't eating but it hadn't even been 24 hours)I loved all over him before I left for work that morning. When I got home from work I found him laying in front of the door (like he was waiting for me) he had passed away. Devastating.

I have 6 cats (now). Over the years two of them have stopped eating at one point- one was a kitten and after two days of not eating had to have iv fluids. Both were diagnosed as having some type of infection, given antibiotics and recovered. I also leave dry food out all the time so it was difficult to tell if he ate any of that. I had adopted this cat from a shelter about 2 years ago. Fell in love with him (I was a volunteer there) because he was so scared when came in and wouldn't let anyone near him. They said he was around five years old at the time. He had been sick one other time (right after i adopted him he got some type of respiratory illness) and I took him to the vet and he was given antibiotics. The day I noticed he wasn't eating he ate that morning but not in the evening and the next day he didn't eat in the morning and he died sometime when I was at work. I should have demanded an appointment that same day but I didn't realize how sick he was. He didn't have watery eyes or sneezing or anything. He just wasn't himself. I feel so terrible like I let him down. Only had him for two years! Any idea what could have been wrong with him? Was it something I could have prevented? He had all his vaccinations and was an indoor- only cat. None of my other cats are showing any signs of illness.

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Oh how utterly awful- the not understanding why would be making me crazy I think. I am not recommending this but just posing this as a question - might this be the type of situation where an autopsy or at least talking with your vet in great depth would be useful. A good vet understands that they are there to help the human too as much as the animal patient.

Is there any possibility he could have gotten into anti freeze or something toxic. Please be kind to yourself - there was no way you could have known - it may very well be that it was something like a congenital heart condition and that nothing could have been done anyway. You just don't know and that may be the most difficult part of it. My sincerest sympathies.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Very sorry you lost your cat. I have no idea what could have been wrong - he could have eaten something poisonous, ate something that caused blockage, maybe he had cancer or a heart condition - it could be lots of things. Try not to blame yourself. You sensed something was wrong and you made a vet appointment. Wasn't your fault his condition was so serious that it needed immediate attention, but you couldn't pick up on it. Even if you did get him to the vet that day, theres still a chance it was too late for them to save him. Lots of people (myself included) would not have understood what was really going on there, and lots of people would not have called a vet to begin with. They would have just waited a day or two to see if things improved on their own. If he didn't have any obvious behaviour that pointed to posioning, like throwing up, seizures, etc - how were you supposed to know what was wrong? You gave him love when he really needed it, and it's obvious you truly loved him, or you wouldn't be here now writing about it. He knew you loved him, and that's what matters. Sorry again that this happened, but one day you will see him again. Don't feel guilty - wasn't your fault.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 11:36AM
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Ditto re: the advice to not feel guilty. If it had appeared that death was imminent, or that his condition was at the very least, dire, you would have rushed him to the vet, appt or not.

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your other kitties give you extra love and cuddles, and vice-versa during this sad time in your household. (((HUGS)))

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 12:32PM
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I'm so sorry. I just loss one of my cats and I know exactly how it feels. You did nothing wrong. You noticed a issue and made an appointment. It did sound like how many cats act with simple infection.

In between my cat passing and visiting my vet for more answers, I read lots online about sudden death. Here's the things that came up again and again:
1. Poison
2. Heart Worm
3. Cardiomyopthy

If your cats are like mine, one getting into something wouldn't be possible without the others. I ruled that option out for my own house pretty quickly.

For heart worm and cardiomyopthy, I would go talk to your vet. I became so distrustful of my vet for a few days after my cat passed, but I felt much better after I just went in there and talked to the vet for 20-30 minutes. If you go to the same vet regularly, just go in and say my cat suddenly passed away and I have a lot of questions. That is what I said and there was no charge or anything.
The vet will likely explain the common reasons for sudden death and if anything else is needed to ensure your other cats are still healthy.

In the end, my cat concealed his illness very well until he started to lose weight just like many cats. Cats are not like dogs. If something is wrong, they may conceal it for weeks or months without ever giving a single clue until they are very sick. You can't blame yourself though. You did everything right.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 6:43PM
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I am so sorry, that is awful. We lost one of our dogs this way a few weeks ago. She had just been diagnosed with congestive heart failure that afternoon and put on meds, and when I got up at 4 am the next morning to give her one of the meds, she had passed away in her sleep.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:00PM
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Thank you all for the kind words and techigirl78 and petra I am so so sorry about the loss of your cat and your dog. I have spent every day since just spoiling my remaining cats.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:39AM
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