Is my cat dying? Or does she need a better diet?

She's been slow moving.  Stops in mid-floor and makes and frightened yowling sound.  Losing weight alarmingly and seems to be in pain a lot.  She's taken to stopping wherever she is and urinating or defecating.  She doesn't even look for her -clean- litter box.  She simply does her business and continues pacing through the house. She seems to be in pain.  I think her toilet habits come from incontinence.  She's 16 years old, very thin, very frightened.  Her appetite is half what it was a few months ago.  She can barely see.  The vet thinks she just needs blood pressure medication and an occasional dose of pain meds.

She seeks human companionship.  Holding, rubbing, massage, soft words, cuddling.  Still she will cry and burrow into the warmest part of her cuddle partner.  She sleeps close to her litter mate (healthy but overweight) when her human isn't near.

I'm giving her pain meds on a regular basis, not exceeding the recommended dose on the prescription.  It helps, but I want to know what to expect.  My husband will be devastated and I have no one to ask.  I believe she's dying, but I don't know how to tell him.


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rbabiera7 years ago
Hi! im an animal lover...i have 2 dogs and 1 cat....6 months ago a friend of mine was having a problem about his labrador retriever...there's too much allergies,  wounds and his dog was in bad condition. i asked a friend of mine who happend to be a veterinarian said that the disease of the dog was incurable....that the dog will soon die...my friend is so desperate and felt so hopeless....a friend of mine suggested me this juice....at first, im hesitant to tell my friend about the juice...its actually for human consumption but because of the amazing stories ive heard about this juice i immediately told my friend about it.....we secretly fed the dog with the juice...we were amazed that after 3 days all the wounds on the face of the retriever got healed....hairs were starting to grow and the wounds and allergies on his body started to disappear...after 2months of taking the juice my friend's dog is now very healthy....even the doctor that i once spoke could not believe what happend....i know some of you wont believe what im saying....but there's no harm in trying....the reason why i wrote this because i  just found out that my cat is losing her eyesight because she's getting old....i started dropping small amount of juice on her eyes....mixing the juice with her water...believing that she will recover....this is the 3rd day...and im beginning to see positive effects on her weight and the way she walks....i love my pet so much that i would do anything for them...ill keep you posted...hopefully i could also help some animal lovers prolong the life of their pets....tnx! Godbless!
Ahma (author) 7 years ago
Thank you all for your kind and heartfelt answers.  You're right.  It's very painful to think of losing her, but it's more painful to watch her in pain.

She had her last checkup about 6 months ago and the vet put her on blood pressure meds.  Patty's (the cat) arthritis is still an issue.  Other than that, the vet couldn't find anything else wrong.  I am changing her to the canned food or semi-moist and see if that will help with her weight loss.  Quality of life for her is the most important.

Husband is truly heartbroken over the thought of losing her.  She and her brother have been with him when he had no one else.  It will be hard, but I know that he will make the right decision.  Seems he's been here before.

Thank you, again.  All your answers and good wishes are greatly appreciated.
acidbass7 years ago
when my 19 year old dog died she was having similar problems granted she had 3 strokes before she passed but we had to change her food from hard kibble to soft canned and eventually mother nature took over good luck with your cat.
framistan7 years ago
My 18 year old DOG (pomeranian) was acting that way.  I found out it was her food. She couldnt eat the hard food anymore because of her teeth.  so i started giving her some milk. and soft food.. but not too much because she would spit it up if fed too much.  I thought she was dieing, but really she was starving.  That was about a year ago.  If i hadn't changed her diet, she would have died. 
orksecurity7 years ago
The sudden stop and yowl could be an arthritic twinge. Cats age just as humans age, but faster, and are subject to many of the same effects of age.

16 years is indeed a decent lifespan for a cat. I lost mine at age 19 to a combination of thyroid cancer and renal failure -- either alone might have been survivable, but the combination wasn't.

If you don't trust your vet, get another vet's opinion. Beyond that... you need to make decisions about quality of life, since the cat can't do that for herself. If she's really uncomfortable all the time and that discomfort can't be ameliorated, letting her go may be the kindest thing to do, however hard it is for the humans. If it's just episodic... well, we all get an occasional twinge; it's annoying but we get past it.

You're going to have to talk to your husband about how and where to draw that line, focusing on the cat's needs rather than those of the humans. At some point he'll have to let her go; the key is getting consensus on when.


We only have them for a few years. But they have us all their lives.  That's not a bad thing.


Unfortunately, I think you're right. It sounds very much like she's winding down, and probably won't last very much longer.
However, if the vet thinks it's humane to keep her on meds rather than euthanize her, then I have to assume there's a reason. The vets I know wouldn't recommend allowing an animal to suffer needlessly, so I suppose the vet must know something I don't. Based on your description and my own experiences, I can't imagine what that might be, though.
seandogue7 years ago
Sorry to hear that. It happens, but it's still always tough for folks who care about their pets in more than a "I got a beast pet" way..

Has she been checked for a thyroid imbalance? I had an older cat that suffered from a thyroid condition and spent the last three years of her life on a med to help an overly active thyroid. If your vet has not done the test, you may want to visit another for a second opinion.

I have one cat (a little black Maine coon, that I still crazily call  "the kitten") that's 17 and starting to wind down...doesn't go out except on rare occassions, doesn't eat all that well any more, whines alot, needs constant attention... although she was an affectionate (still is affectionate) though very independent (would stay out in -10 degree weather all night at her own choice...couldn't get her to come in during the winter except to eat or when I had her in already and refused to allow her out...wanted outside as soon as it rained, etc.) and avid tree climber when younger. And yes, it is devastating, especially for those of us who have no children and to some degree see our pets as our children.

I'm glad to hear that she gets along with her litter mate. That must help some...I got another cat for that purpose but they simply don't get along, so I'm still the only focus she has.

It sounds like it's time for you to sit down with your hubbie, hold his hand, and help him get thru it. He may just be a poor soft hearted sot like me and need someone to help him deal with something he has no intrinsic ability to cope with. At least he has you to help him deal.

best wishes


Burf7 years ago
I suspect that failing eyesight is the biggest factor in her change in behavior.  She is probably extremely frightened by her inabilitity to see as well as she once did.
Cats are visual creatures, relying on their keen eyesight for nearly all activities, unlike dogs who can adapt to less than perfect vision because of their sense of smell.
If you can place her food, water and litter box closer to her bed and without intervening obstacles, that may help allay some of her fearfulness, but as Steve mentioned, 16 years is a long life for a cat and you may want to prepare yourself for her time to end.
It sounds to me like she's wearing out :-(((
It happens to us all, she sounds like she's in pain. If it were me, I think it would be time to take her to the vets for the last time.

I'm sorry, its very painful to take that last trip, I've had to do it, but she sounds to me like she needs to go to sleep. Its the last thing we can do for our pets.

Best wishes

Steve