How To Comfort A Dying Cat? All You Need To Know

When your cat reaches the end of its life, it is a sad and upsetting moment. You’ll want to provide the most comfort and relaxation for your cat as its owner when your pet buddy reaches near death. You’ll need to take action to help your cat deal with the situation and feel more at ease because it’s doubtful that it can take care of itself.

So, How to comfort a dying cat? The best thing you can do for a dying cat is to provide a peaceful, tranquil environment to live in, without other pets and loud distractions. You can reward your cat with treats if it has stopped eating to encourage it to regain some energy. Because of the pain and discomfort cats may not want to be handled, taking time to pet and chat with your cat will make him much more relaxed and comfortable.

The last days of your cat’s life can be extremely difficult, and it is important that you stay with him, even though it is heartbreaking to see him suffer.

In this article, we will list some critical signs that indicate your cat’s health is declining; by recognizing these signs, you will know when your cat needs special care and comfort, so preparing for that moment can be easier.

Signs Your Cat Is Nearing the End of Their Life

Signs Your Cat Is Nearing the End of Their Life -Symptoms of A Dying Cat

Some cats pass quite unexpectedly, while others decline over a brief but noticeable period of time. The following dying cat phases can be seen in your cat at that period, among other adjustments to look and behaviour:

1. Sour Odours

Your cat could experience an unusual bodily odour before passing away because of the breakdown of tissues and the buildup of toxins. Depending on your cat’s health issues, the fragrance may range from being sickly sweet to disagreeable, like ammonia.

2. Lethargy

As it gets closer to the end of its life, your cat will become less active. It won’t have much energy left to move, so it will sleep a lot and save what energy it does have. The cat will seem frail and, perhaps, listless when it awakens.

Also Read: My Cat Has a Fever and is Lethargic: Sings of Fever in Cats

3. Loss of Weight

Your cat’s sudden weight loss is one of the first indications that it’s near to passing away. Senior cats frequently lose weight because, as they age, their muscles no longer work as well. The muscles become less defined due to the body’s less effective food and protein digestion. Even if your cat eats, it will still lose weight.

Check Out: Why Is My Cat Always Hungry But Skinny?

4. Loss of Appetite

In addition to losing their appetite and refusing to drink, ill or dying cats frequently suffer from acute dehydration. Some drugs also impair their sense of taste and smell, making them unable to enjoy meals. Sadly, if your cat doesn’t eat, it may become even worse.

Try warming up your cat’s regular food if it seems like it has lost its appetite. To make it more delicious, add some tuna juice. A veterinarian can also provide drugs to treat motion sickness and promote feeding if this doesn’t help.

Also, Check Out: Cat Not Eating or Drinking- How Long Can a Cat Survive?

5. Lower Temperature of the Body

The body temperature of a healthy cat is roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while that of a dying cat might drop significantly. A thermometer may be used to check the temperature of your cat.

6. An Untidy Appearance

When a cat is close to passing away, they cease grooming itself, which causes its coat to become oily and untidy. Mats form on long-haired cats‘ bellies, tails, and hind ends. Additionally, the skin is flaky and dry.

7. Behavioural Alterations

The latter phases of a dying cat’s life cause them to act differently. Although each cat has a unique personality and temperament, your cat may start working substantially differently, which can be difficult for owners to handle.

Pain makes cats irritated and aggressive because it makes them feel uncomfortable. 

8. Effortful Breathing

When cats are in the last phases, their lungs weaken and cause irregular breathing. Additionally, when the muscles try to contract, they start breathing rapidly and shallowly, speeding up and slowing down. If you think your cat’s breathing may be becoming worse, keep an eye out for these indicators:

  • Mouth open during breathing
  • Irregular abdominal motions
  • Extending the neck and head

These signs point to a crisis. So, to spare your cat from needless misery, you must get to the vet. 

Find Out: Why Is My Cat Breathing Heavily While Resting

9. Hiding

When ill or near death, cats tend to hide more frequently. They do this because they don’t want to be touched or disturbed and are driven by pain or discomfort. If your cat begins to hide more regularly or in locations where it never has before hidden, there is a problem, and it needs to be left alone. It’s better to avoid trying to coax your cat out of hiding since it craves alone.

10. Reduced Function of Mobility

Senior cats slow down and quit moving as frequently as they once did in the last phases. Several factors, such as weakness or muscular atrophy, can cause this. One of the most prevalent diseases that impair movement is arthritis. It becomes hard to accomplish things like climbing stairs and entering and exit the litter box.

How To Comfort A Dying Cat? Things To Consider

Look for a cosy spot for your cat to relax. Pick your cat’s favourite pet bed or a soft blanket to make him comfy, as you might not want to put him on your bed.

How To Comfort A Dying Cat Things To Consider

1. Remain by Your Cat

Without a doubt, you won’t want to stay away from your cat, but you should. Your cat won’t get up to follow you around if you visit close by. Assemble a heated cat bed with additional blankets or towels to give your cat a cosy, toasty place to relax. Make sure he has constant access to it as well.

2. Chat With Your Cat

You should keep conversing with your cat as if nothing is wrong since your voice will reassure it. Your cat will feel much more at ease and relaxed if you pet him and chat with him as you usually do.

3. Keep Water and Food Accessible

Even though your cat might not want to eat or drink if he is approaching death, it is a good idea to keep something available just in case. You do not want him to start walking around the home, especially if he is ill, because he could feel thirsty.

4. Remain Calm

If you’re upset, your cat can also be agitated. He could grow worried as a result of his uncertainty. You don’t want your cat to feel uncomfortable in his dying moments, even though it’s impossible to do.

5. Give your Cat a Fantastic Reward

If your cat is still interested in eating, you should give him a terrific treat that he has never had before. This will be his final meal before passing away.

6. Consult a Vet

Ask your vet if wearing cat diapers is suitable if your cat develops incontinence. The diapers can keep your cat dry and comfy because you don’t want them to lie in pee. If your cat is physically uncomfortable, talk to your veterinarian about giving it medicine to make it feel better.

7. Make Room for Your Cat

Your cat wants attention in its dying hours but also needs solitude. Your cat might occasionally want to be left alone. Your cat is not welcome to have human company if it acts aggressively and scratches you. You’re stressing out your cat, which might make it feel sicker or more disturbed.

8. Contribute to Grooming

Dying cats are unable to brush and tidy their hair. While bathing your pet is probably too much for it, you may help it feel more comfortable by brushing it daily and removing any mats and knots. If your cat is in pain, go after the areas that could bother it with extreme gentleness.

9. Administer Painkillers

Old and dying cats are unlikely to require medicine. Cats with painful or uncomfortable medical conditions could need medication to feel more at peace and less suffering.

Should I Leave My Dying Cat Alone?

You should remain with your cat whether he or she is dying at home or being euthanized at the vet. It is difficult for them, and they need someone they can count on to be there for them.

While some cats would instead pass away beside their owners, others choose to live alone or even flee their homes.

Should I Leave My Dying Cat Alone

Many cats hide somewhere to be by themselves when they’re on the verge of dying because their solitary tendencies start to take over. Because of this, you’ll find that your cat hides more often and avoids being stroked or disturbed.

Throughout history, cats have been known as the masters of disguise because of their ability to hide their pain, so it makes sense that they would want to spend as much time alone as possible during their final days.

Don’t be afraid to give your dying cat as much space as it wants. Adapt your living space to the needs of your dying cat, and respect its wishes.

How to Say Goodbye to a Dying Cat?

How to Say Goodbye to a Dying Cat
  • One of the most challenging things you’ll ever have to do is to say goodbye to your terminally ill cat. Every circumstance will be different, but being ready for the inevitable is the most significant way to give your cat the most peaceful farewell. 
  • Permit yourself to feel the feelings you’re having. It’s common to experience sadness, rage, and guilt. Taking care of an aged or ill cat can be difficult, but remember that you did your best. This will help you go through the mourning process when the time comes.
  • If your cat is strong and healthy enough, try to cross any items off your list that are still undone. Reliving memories and sharing them with your cat might make you feel more at peace and help you get ready for your pet’s passing.
  • When you are aware of impending mortality, it might be challenging to live in the present because you are too preoccupied with thinking about it. Spend time with your cat while combing, caressing, or simply sitting with them instead of worrying about the emotional load.

Since your cat can sense your emotions, try to maintain as much of a brave front as possible to make your pet feel at ease during its final days. You should feel more upbeat about the future due to doing this.

Things To Do With Your Cat Before They Die

In later years, your cat will not likely be very active. While you should spend as much time with it as possible, remember to respect its bounds and limit your actions to what it is capable of. Before your cat passes away, you can take the following steps:

Things To Do With Your Cat Before They Die
  • Treat-Feed, Your Cat.
  • Sit in the garden with your cat so it may enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
  • Take photos, so you have mementoes.
  • Let it sleep in the area of the house that it prefers.

Give your family a chance to say their final goodbyes one at a time when your cat is ready to pass away, and urge them to tell their pet how much they love them. They’ll always have this pleasant recollection to think back on. Because it was too hard at the time, many owners regret missing the opportunity to say goodbye. When your cat passes away, it must have its loved ones at its side.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do cats do just before passing away?

Feline buddy becomes more agitated and sluggish and shows sedentary behaviour. Sleeping patterns also get disturbed as they sleep more than usual. Leg muscles tend to weaken as they age. 

Do cats know when they are dying?

Cats are perceptive animals that can notice things that humans cannot. They have a keen sense of their bodies and can tell when anything is awry. They are far better at catching cues than humans since they have superior vision, hearing, and smell capabilities. Individuals can realise their bodies are weakening and failing if they notice a change, such as that they’ve started to smell differently.

Cats have the same ability to sense pain and suffering. Even if they are unaware that they are about to pass away, they may sense that something dreadful is happening to them if they feel very ill. They will consequently exhibit unfavourable behavioural features.

How long does it take for a cat to die?

There are different stages a cat can go through, so it can take anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks. To end the suffering your dying cat is experiencing, euthanize it humanely.

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The Bottom Line on How To Comfort A Dying Cat

It’s never simple to deal with a cat’s death. Given that cats can have extremely long lives, you could be mourning the loss of a cat you owned for 15 or even 20 years. Even if you were anticipating the death of your pet, that loss is never tolerable. So, giving him rewards, an excellent place to live, medication and spending time with your pet buddy is a good idea when she is near death. 

LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who Is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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