Many cats can live up to 18 years, so losing them often is distressing. If your cat is showing signs of a specific illness, seek qualified medical help immediately, however, if your pet is old and coming to the end of her life, here are some tips that can help you tell when her time has come, Although it’s almost never certain exactly when a cat will pass away, there are a few signs that might indicate your cat’s time is coming closer. Signs a Cat Is Dying. According to the doctors, many medical signs indicate a cat is near death.
Expect your cat to be near the end of life:
Cats are known to hide when they are gravely ill. Why? Because they instinctively know that in the wild, a sick animal is a target. They are likely trying to protect themselves by “hiding” from any threat that might take advantage of them in their compromised state.
Cats spend a lot of time and energy grooming themselves when they’re healthy, so it makes sense a cat with less energy to burn simply can’t keep up. Dying cats might begin to look messy and unkempt and might even develop a detectable odor. The odor is usually due to toxins building up in the body as a result of illness.
Low body temperature
Body temperature doesn’t usually drop until a cat’s final days. As death nears, your cat’s overall body temperature and particularly the temperature of his extremities like his ears and paws will become cooler, sometimes under 100 degrees.
If your cat is ill, even if you don’t realize it, he will probably become very weak as his body tries to fight off whatever is ailing him. You may notice weakness particularly in your cat’s hind legs, and you also may notice him sleeping a great deal more than he usually does.
For all animals, illness often culminates in a lack of interest in food or water. This is because an animal’s body knows it takes work to process any food or drink, and sometimes a cat is simply too sick or tired to expend the additional energy. Dehydration can set in rapidly during a cat’s final days.
Picking a Final Spot
When a cat knows she is about to die, she’ll often pick a comfortable spot where she feels secure. Just like humans, as a cat’s heart slows down, her body temperature drops as she loses circulation. The cat gradually will lose feeling in her body and be unable to move. Breathing will change; in some cats it is fast and shallow, in others it is slow with large pauses as the end draws near. Sometimes due to lack of fluid, a gurgling sound can be heard from the chest. Eventually, the heart will stop and she will pass on.
Social behavior / social development
Some cats don’t hide but in fact do the opposite as the end-of-life approaches. They become clingy to their human (and animal) companions and can seem more affectionate than usual. On the flip side of the coin, some cats completely withdraw socially during their final moments, appearing introspective and totally disinterested in engagement, but not necessarily aggressive.
It is very difficult to accept when the end is near for your cat and those final few days and weeks are fraught and complicated. If you’re concerned, speak with your cat’s veterinarian about your cat’s health, pain level, or even about humane options for saying goodbye on your own terms.