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HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Posted by petra (My Page) on
Mon, May 11, 09 at 11:28

One of our kitties has battled Inflammatory Bowel Disease for well over 2 years now. We've tried meds, change of diet, etc. She also had exploratory surgery with autopsies to verify the IBD. Her diarrhea is under control most of the time, but she is just skin and bones though she eats and eats.

The vet said her intestines are not absorbing enough nutrients. She has now gotten to the point where she seems weak and can't even jump on a chair. She purrs when we pet her and still eats and drinks, but she is declining rapidly. She hasn't groomed herself in a while and she is inconsistent about using the litter box.

But the fact that she still purrs when we pet her and wants to be with us and is alert is tearing me up and I just don't know if we are making the right decision or if we should wait longer. I don't think she is going to get better, so waiting would delay the inevitable. But I don't know if she is ready to go considering she is still alert and responsive. I just don't know what to do, we have an appointment at the vet this afternoon at 4:30 and I need to know if it's the right decision.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???


I'm so sorry to read of your girl's difficulties. It sounds like she may have more than just IBD going on. Have you had her thyroid level checked? Hyperthyroidism can also cause voracious appetite and weight loss. If she is hyperT and you get that under control, you may be able to put weight back on her in spite of the IBD.

Also, have you considered switching her to a raw diet? I have read numerous reports of IBD cats doing extremely well on raw diets. You may want to give raw a try for a while and see how she does on it before making that final life or death decision.

Such difficult decisions when you are dealing with chronic illness and a failing body, I know. My oldest cat is CRF and hyperT, and I just took on another hyperT cat. Caring for them can be both financially and emotionally draining, but I am very grateful that they are both doing well at this point.

I wish you and your girl the best possible outcome.


RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Yes, she's had her thyroid checked as that is what we initially suspected because of her voracious appetite and the diarrhea. And I've given her a lot of raw meats in addition to canned, hoping it might help. It hasn't. I think she is at the point of no return.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

How about probiotics and digestive enzymes? Have you tried them?

Could any part of her problem be associated with food allergies?

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

petra, the fact that you are asking here probably says a lot more than anyone can tell you.

Only you know if it is time and it sounds like you know the answer.

Bless you and bless your furry child.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Yes, she ate a pro-biotic supplement for cats for quite a while, my brain is a sieve right now and I don't remember the name, but it came in individual envelopes. We did a pea-rabbit diet for a while, she didn't really like it and it did not help the diarrhea. I think the root cause is the chronic URI she's had for ages, various vets kept giving her antibios for it, and I think that damaged her intestines to where nothing much helped. She is just too weak to try any more. I ordered sublingual Natural Factors (just B12, no flavors or other stuff) Vit B12 for her, it just arrived this morning. I gave her one hoping it might perk her up since sublingual is supposed to work fast, but it didn't do anything.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Have you tried feeding her a diet with absolutely NO grains, veggies, or fruits included? I have just read an article written by a vet who stated that some IBD cats simply can"t tolerate even the slightest amount of grains, veggies, or fruits in their diets.

Perhaps it would be worth trying a strictly meat, organs, bones diet for a while and see if that helps her.


She gets Evo canned, as well as raw meat. When she wants dry, she eats Core. I think it is too late, as weak as she is I don't known what could save her. If she were a person, she'd be in intensive care.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

The weakness could very easily be dehydration. If you want to explore all possibilities, ask your vet if hospitalization for a few days on IV fluids might help turn your girl around.

Or it might be time to let her go. This is a decision that only you can make based on your knowledge of Sophie.


RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Actually, her name is Baby. I think Sophie was Elly NJ's kitty who died suddenly?
I fully intend to ask the vet if there is anything else that can be done.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

I'm sorry, Petra. I'm getting names all confused these days.

I just did some more reading and found that both Evo and Core contain both fruits and vegetables, so if your vet thinks Baby can be made strong enough to try one more diet change, you might consider feeding her exclusively raw meat/bones/organs and seeing if that helps. The article I'm linking below has a brief section on IBD and diet, with a link to another site with additional info.

Here is a link that might be useful: Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Thanks for taking the time to research for Baby, Laurie, I really appreciate it. I will ask the vet about a complete diet change. I mentioned a complete raw diet to her before and she was not too thrilled about it, but at this point, it couldn't hurt to try if there is any way to get Baby strong enough.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

I wish you and Baby the best possible outcome, petra.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???


I am truly sorry your cat is suffering. I miss my
cat from 15 years ago. I can never have another I miss
him so much. Just thinking about him makes me tear up.
I can feel the pain in your post. So very sad for you.

A practical thought as your proceed would be
to ask the vet. "IS she suffering?"

The reason I ask this is one of our dogs, about 4 years ago was
gravely ill. Death bed ill. She could not stand
for 4 seconds. She was young (4 yrs) and we discovered she
had a rare disease effecting her immune system. Long story
short. She was not in pain. The vet told us she would not live
through the weekend but was not in any kind of pain.
Her body was deteriorating and she would die peacefully.

We cried our eyes out and planned for her funeral.
We took her home and hugged her and slept next to her.
Days went by and she began to look better. Now she could
sit up, walk about, use the bathroom outside, she could
even eat a bit of her food... Two weeks later we
brought her back to the vet and discovered she kicked
this illness. The Vet as SHOCKED. They even contacted
the State University to send samples of her blood work.
Everyone was amazed that she had not died. She will always
have a comprimised immune system but is still with us
years later.

She leads a simple life. She naps about 20 hours a day,
is not in any pain and is still a wonderful part of our lives.

However, if she had been in pain, I could not keep her
alive for my comfort. It is horrifically painful to have
to say good bye to a close friend/pet but keeping them
alive so we won't miss them is not the answer. I hope
your cat is not suffering and that she can live a simple
life with you.

Only the vet can truly advise you on what is going on
medically and how she might be handling issues related
to her boyd. The fact she is purring is a good sign.
This means she is tolerating her discomfort and that she
may be happy to live a simple life with you. Animals take
pain very differently than humans. What might drive a
human nuts would be a mild annoyance to a dog or cat or
wild aninmal.

The key is her pain factor. If she is not uncomfortable
and just weak. She might have a lovely life with you
but be more of a napper or quiet little lady watching
from a kitty bed or sofa.

Whatever happens, and this will be hard,
you must remember you have given her a wonderful life
and that her future will the best possible life you can
provide for her. Just reading all that
you do, I am amazed how truly lucky she is to have you.

please know you are not alone.
sharing our lives with animals is the greatest gift
we can give ourselves. We never forget

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

I'm almost afraid to ask, petra, but how did things go at the vet's yesterday? Is Baby still with you, or did you decide to help her pass?

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Laurie, thanks for asking. The vet said we could do more blood tests, but she felt something else was going on besides the IBD and was not too optimistic because Baby was in such bad shape. It was very fast, she was with us one second, gone the next. We buried her in the backyard, next to 2 of our other dearly departed cats. I feel sick about it, just really sick.

I am trying to accept the fact that sometimes animals, like people, get ill and deteriorate and though you try, they just don't recover. It is very hard to cope with, I am really struggling with it. I always feel like once they are diagnosed, they will be treated and all will be well. So many times, that's not the case.

We have 10 other cats and 2 dogs, but there is definitely something missing with Baby gone. They each occupy their own place and when one of those places is empty, you can feel it so much.

gammyt, I am so sorry I missed your reply yesterday. I was upset and did not even see it. Thank you for those words!

boxerpups, thank you, what a lovely reply. I know she is at peace, but it is an awful decision to make when the animal is still mentally "there", but the body is wasting and failing. It feels like murder, though I know it isn't. Rationally, I realize it is the kindest thing to do when quality of life barely exists any more, but it's just awful, regardless.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Oh, Petra, I'm so sorry. I've been in the same position more times than I care to remember. No matter how hard we try to stave it off, death is the inevitable end to all life. Treatment works often enough to lull us into the belief that there is always a way to overcome illness, but we know that that simply isn't the truth. We can't fix everything. I'm so sorry that Baby couldn't be cured.

I know about that hole in the family. I currently have 16 cats, 3 dogs, and 3 horses. Every time one passes, the loss is keenly felt. The dynamic is forever changed.

I wish you a peaceful grief,


RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

It's nice to "meet" someone else with many cats. :) Most people we know think we are nuts.

Yes, it is inevitable, but she was only 12 and I was really hoping she would be with us a while longer. The two sisters she is buried next to lived to almost 17. Baby's brother is doing quite well, he was ill with hyperthyroid a few years ago, so we had the Radioactive Iodine procedure done. That's why we thought Baby also had a thyroid problem, same symptoms as her brother, but all the tests came back normal, twice.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Petra, I am so very sorry for your loss.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Oh Petra, I am so sorry for your loss. May your wonderful memories carry you through this difficult time.


RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

Thanks so much, Sheltiemom and momof2doxies.

RE: HELP!! When do you know it's time???

(((hugs))) to you....

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