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Do cats feel pain? Do they let us know when they are in pain?

Started 1271200985.767 in Among Friends | Last reply 1272976274.15 by france54

My dear kitty has cancer.    He developed an injection site sarcoma on his hip.  He also has a tumor on his front leg and one is developing in his nasal passage.  He eats very good, gets around well and does his "business" each day.  He is 13 years old and sleeps at least 20 hrs. a day.  I've noticed lately he hides more for his naps, although we do know where he is.  Instead of being on top of the bed, he is under the bed.  His eyes seem to have that far away look.  I certainly don't want him to suffer.  I wish I knew if he is in pain or suffering.  When the time comes, he will be put to sleep, but I don't want to do it prematurely.  Anyone else been thru something similar?

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l_u_x_e1271203100.7531087 PostsRegistered 12/30/2008

Take him into his vet and get an official reading from the vet. We've all been there. It's a hard thing to do. My Rottie was 12, but she was suffering.

Good luck to you.

 

colson1271203696.9977438 PostsRegistered 10/23/2007East Coast

When cats start to fade, and know the end is near - dogs, too -- they have a tendancy to hide.

They do feel pain, but deal with it differently than we might. This kitty wants to be left alone. I had a cat that developed an illness, and she wanted to hide under the bed and in the closet. When your pet stops eating, that will be a huge signal. Get a new prognosis from your vet.

this cat has multiple cancers, and eventually he will have breathing issues so keep an eye out for that as well. If he has three that you see, and they are spreading, there could be others that you do not see.

Older cats do sleep a lot, and so do regular ones...but when she becomes less active and unable or disinterested in eating, that is the final sign.   

From my experience, and I don't know how to express this, you will know in your heart when it is time to help him with the next step.

Nanc471271208620.773461 PostsRegistered 3/15/2010PA

Bless you.  I had to put my beloved fur companion to rest three years ago and I still miss her so much.  She was still fairly active but was losing weight and throwing up a lot.  She was at the vet numerous times with some extended stays and they still did not have a definite diagnosis.  I was so torn as to what to do because in the past she had some intestinal problems and it turned out she had swallowed a penny and it had to be removed.  The vet that examined her the last stay felt that she probably had some delayed problems from the surgery and she was 17 years old so that complicated things.  They had no solution to her stomach problems and she also had a problem controlling her bowels.  She was a cat that never missed the litter pan so I knew something was very wrong and at times she would walk around making a very plaintive cry that was probably pain she was experiencing.  In the end I choose to put her to rest but believe me I thought me heart was being ripped out of my chest the day I said goodbye.  I am tearing up just posting this.  I have not gotten another kitty because I don't think I can ever bear to go through that again.  She was always there to give me comfort and I'll always miss her.  Just let your heart guide you.{#emotions_dlg.sad}

This is the day the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice in it

DiamondSki­Bunny1271209800.367199 PostsRegistered 5/19/2008

My vet called this evening and she suggested a prescription of prednisone to help with the swelling and to give him a little pep.  So hard to believe as he is eating good and is very alert.   On his last visit, they mentioned a very strong heart beat as well.  Only real difference at this point is the seclusion.  He only comes out for food and water.  I know it's coming and getting closer, but why is it eating away at me?  More so than grieving for a human.  That probably sounds bad, but I think it is due to the fact that our furry friends are around us more than relatives.  They really get to your heart.  By the way, thanks for your replys.  It gives me peace to know that I am not the only one to endure this.  We all must keep in our hearts the good memories our pets provided.

SparkleQue­en1271209803.893543 PostsRegistered 11/14/2008Wisconsin

You're post brings up so many emotions.  DH and I just went through the very same thing.  One of our kitties had an injection site sarcoma also.  It started out as a small bump and then grew over 3 months.  We had the option to do surgery and chemo but chose not to.  We did not want her to go through chemo as she wouldn't know why she felt so terrible.  I hate to say this, but there were also some monetary concerns.

We knew we had to put her to sleep but she seemed to be fine.  She was walking around, eating, purring, being her loving self.  We just bided our time.  The tumor began growing rapidly towards the end and we knew we were running out of time.  This was the week of Christmas.  I thought we had a couple of weeks.  On the 28th, DH called me (I was out with my sister who was visiting from CA) and told me the tumor burst.  He was cleaning her up and helping relieve the pressure. 

I rushed home and we took her to the emergency vet right away.  I feel guilty that she went through that because I couldn't bring myself to do it sooner.  On the other hand, she did not seem to be suffering prior to that.  She had slowed down and you could see a difference but it didn't seem to be a drastic change. 

Honestly, I don't know if I could have done it any sooner.  I was a complete wreck when we did it.  I didn't even care that I was sobbing in front of the people in the clinic.  (Mascara and eyeliner running- NOT pretty!  {#emotions_dlg.ohmy} )  Writing this has made me feel all those emotions again and I don't think it ever goes away.   I actually haven't posted since the board change, but I had to for this.

My thoughts are with you as you go through this, diamondskibunny.  I know you'll make the best decision for you and your kitty. 

DiamondSki­Bunny1271210521.213199 PostsRegistered 5/19/2008

Dear Oyounne,

Your situation sounds exactly like mine.  I feel so bad for you and your family. 

The tumor on kittys paw grew recently and started oozing blood.  The vet said to put neosporin on it and bandage it to keep it clean.  It has now closed up for the most part, but when he jumps it squirts some blood.  We as well choose not to put our friend through the chemo and surgeries.  At this point, we are pampering him as much as possible making his last days as pleasant as possible.  From the date of the rabies shot which was in September (size of a pea) to now (about a golf ball size) shows how fast these things can grow.  Just the thought of it spreading makes me ill.  I'm hoping we'll know when it's time.  I really don't think he has too much left.  Our vet will come to our home so we won't have to stress him out by taking him in for the final visit.  I'm sorry my post brought up so many emotions, but I thank you for taking the time to respond.

jo-di1271210843.18383 PostsRegistered 10/30/2009somewhere over the rainbow

Of course cats feel pain!!! Most animals tend to go off and hide when they are in pain.  There are pain meds that your vet can prescribe, please contact him/her immediately.  No living thing should be allowed to suffer when there is relief available.

miss_Moria1271210953.295537 PostsRegistered 4/15/2009Somewhere between Shangri La and Heaven

Our dear Ripley did the same thing last September.  He had kidney and liver failure but was faring well with the food and diet plan we had him on.  However, he did start hiding and sleeping where we couldn't get to him, especially under the bed and in my closet and in his closet.  He started not eating and not coming out to be friendly at all and when I did coax him out, he drank his water, ate a bit of food and then went into his closet again.

I knew then to take him to the vet and we confirmed he was starting to go downhill fast.  The vet said we could try the prednisone or B12 injections but he felt since Ripley was sequestering himself away from us, it was time.  It broke my heart because I had him for 14 years but we did put him to sleep. 

I pray for you and your dear cat.  I know what a hard decision it is but when they don't want to eat and be social, I feel its time.  Hugs to you and your decision, may your heart be comforted in this hard time. 

All we are is the result of what we have thought. Buddha

SparkleQue­en1271212376.373543 PostsRegistered 11/14/2008Wisconsin

Diamondskibunny:  Please don't apologize for bringing up the emotions.  It just touched me when I read your post and I had to post as I could completely relate.  I'm glad the tumor is closing up so you can have more time.  I wish I had pampered her more towards the end.  We had guests for a week over Christmas and of course the holiday stuff.  DH did indulge my need to open a can of tuna for her to eat some before we took her.  She did slowly get off the couch and come over on her own!  She did love her tuna!  Smile

Enjoy the time you have and come back here for support when its time.  {{{Hugs}}}

ladyroxanne1271217297.611001 PostsRegistered 3/25/2008northern ca

I'm so sorry that you and your cat are going through this.  It's a very rough time.

We lost 3 cats last year and 2 of them came to me when they were in pain.  They were like children following me around and crying for my attention.  They wanted all of my time.

I guess it depends on the personality of the animal how they behave when they are sick, probably the same as people.

Merle Byrd1271221578.824655 PostsRegistered 10/21/2009

Yes. Cats feel pain.

Merle


namealread­ytaken1271221854.147740 PostsRegistered 7/13/2009
On 4/13/2010 miss_Moria said:

Our dear Ripley did the same thing last September.  He had kidney and liver failure but was faring well with the food and diet plan we had him on.  However, he did start hiding and sleeping where we couldn't get to him, especially under the bed and in my closet and in his closet.  He started not eating and not coming out to be friendly at all and when I did coax him out, he drank his water, ate a bit of food and then went into his closet again.

I knew then to take him to the vet and we confirmed he was starting to go downhill fast.  The vet said we could try the prednisone or B12 injections but he felt since Ripley was sequestering himself away from us, it was time.  It broke my heart because I had him for 14 years but we did put him to sleep. 

I pray for you and your dear cat.  I know what a hard decision it is but when they don't want to eat and be social, I feel its time.  Hugs to you and your decision, may your heart be comforted in this hard time. 

My precious baby is conducting himself in this manner right now.  He is a well-bred blue persian who we have had for 14 years now.  He is in kidney failure and our vet gave us a diet for him and instructions, but he completelyh ignores it and I drop water from a dropper onto his gums and lips and he seems to perk up but a few hours later, he is sequestering himself again, hiding out "to die," perhaps and being very antisociable.  I am crying while typing.  I love that baby so much and he loves me more than anything or anyone ever has.

 

P.S.  My Himalayan was in labor (years ago) and could not have the kittens.  I just kind of figured out what was wrong as she was pacing.  She never complained and was upbeat until the minute before I had her put to sleep for Graves disease, when she weighed only 2.5 pounds.  I could cry just thinking about how she meowed as I stroked her when they gave her the shot.   So sad, but I wanted her to quit suffering.  She was just bones with some skin over it.

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Last edited on 4/13/2010

Angeleyes551272091694.167125 PostsRegistered 3/13/2009

I had a cat with breast cancer and she did well with surgery and chemo. When a cat hides they really are not feeling well at all, cats will go and hide to recover or some will pass that way. Your cat may be ready to leave now. You can assist in talking to the cat and also pray/ I thought I could not have my cat put to sleep I did'nt want to let her go , but her eyes told me she was in pain, and than I remembered what Joyce Meyer ( minister) said" You can do anything with the help of God. It is a tough deceision and heart wrenching to do, but your cat will thank you by coming and visiting you afterwards. Like a feeling that they jump on the bed or you dream of them. My two cats that I had sent to heaven, still come to visit me once in awhile in dreams or sometimes I feel them if you know what I mean.

rubyangel1272094361.663153 PostsRegistered 9/3/2005

Diamondskibunny:  Wondering how your kitty is.  I'm so sorry he is sick.

aprilskies1272105353.294791 PostsRegistered 7/26/2005

This a very hard decision.  My last cat that passed was sick for awhile.  She died naturally but I do wish that I had taken her to put her down.  It was tough because one day she was whirling around your feet and the next couldnt lift her head.  I just didnt know. In the end she went naturally but have always wondered if she suffered and I waited too long. 

Another one of my past kitties had kidney failure. Towards the end you can tell she was in a lot of pain cas she kept meowing.  I had to put her down. It was more obvious what my next step was.

It is heartbreaking but you make the best decision for them and that is all you can do.

 

abbycat1272120949.74618 PostsRegistered 5/19/2007Maryland

Oh my .... this does bring up so many emotions.   It's so hard to know when it's time to put our best buddy out of his/her misery.   I've had to do it twice over the years and hated it every time.

But, they do feel pain - they just don't show it until they're really, really, sick.   I'm so sorry about your kitty.   I'm looking at my 2 laying here on the bed with me and it grieves me just thinking about it.

My thoughts are with you,

abby

<*)))><

Melly1231272124250.5572547 PostsRegistered 2/2/2008

Aaawww...sad so many ways. Wishing you both comfort.

lkjhg1272158344.2533998 PostsRegistered 7/3/2008
On 4/13/2010 jo-di said:

Of course cats feel pain!!! Most animals tend to go off and hide when they are in pain.  There are pain meds that your vet can prescribe, please contact him/her immediately.  No living thing should be allowed to suffer when there is relief available.

 Ditto. I wouldn't wait if I were the OP.

shiningstar1272161034.037755 PostsRegistered 4/24/2010

Diamondskibunny...I know what your going through.  Last Monday I had to have my dear Sam put to sleep.  They are a part of our family and will be missed.

God Bless

Merle Byrd1272183022.4074655 PostsRegistered 10/21/2009

{#emotions_dlg.sad}I'm sorry your cat is sick.  I've been trying to avoid even looking at the full question.

YES...yes...Yes...Cats are warm blooded mammals.  Sick people torture (=pain) cats.

Cats feel pain.

 

When my Merle was dying, she was in pain.  I looked in her eyes, she couldn't eat, she went blind.  My cat was in pain.  I could tell even if she couldn't talk to me. 

Merle


ChillyTulip1272332693.8671720 PostsRegistered 7/15/2007

My little baby Muffin dies on May 13, 2009.  She had colon cancer that had metastasized and I had to put her to sleep.  I still think about her everyday and wonder if there was something else i could have done.  She was vomiting every meal and was starving.  The look on her face when I picked her up and took her that night is forever stamped in my memory.  Ok I need to stop typing now . . . 

hckynut1272338019.6119596 PostsRegistered 5/20/2006Nebraska

"I've noticed lately he hides more for his naps, although we do know where he is.  Instead of being on top of the bed, he is under the bed.  His eyes seem to have that far away look.  I certainly don't want him to suffer."

 

DiamondSki­Bunny  

 

When a feline starts hiding when they sleep, it's a pretty good sign that they are very weak. It is a natural inborn thing with most in the Cat Family, from BIG cats to domestic cats, it's their instinct.

When they are sick and feel weak, they are hiding from potential prey. Domestic felines do exactly the same thing when they are real sick.

That "far away look in their eyes" is also many times a sign that they are pretty sick. My wife and I have got to the point if we see a look that even resembles, "that look", we take our feline to see the vet. Many times it has been something not life threatening. Other times it ended up being something that greatly affected their lives, and ours.

We currently have 11 Indoor Only felines, and have has as many as 13 at one time. We've had to euthanize many of them, and it never gets any easier to make that decision. Nobody can tell a person when their beloved furry family member's time has come.

My wife and myself, personally struggled with this before having our 1st cat euthanized. We learned from that, it is better to do so earlier rather than later, to save their friend from any unnecessary suffering.

The main thing is to think of the cat first, and your feelings second. All of our furry animals trust us to take care of them, and that includes doing what is best for them when their time with us is ending.

Most everyone that owns pets for years and years, at some point usually has to make this decision. And I do not know a one of them that it does not crush to have to do this.

My best to your kitty and all that love him.



 

 

 

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Last edited on 4/26/2010


hckynut(john)




beauty jun­kie1272343869.0378367 PostsRegistered 11/1/2006Ft Laud

I am so sorry to hear about your cat.I can't imagine my life without miine and dread the day I may have to make that decision.Cats seem to hide when they don't feel well.I believe you will know when its time,until then i will pray for your sweet baby.

beauty junkie

The Rainbow Bridge-we do not remember days,we remember moments!!

purrsbythe­bay1272347702.303279 PostsRegistered 4/15/2010San Francisco

This thread brings up so many sad memories for me.  I'm always sorry to hear someone else is suffering with a sick cat or dog.  Cats are notorious for hiding their pain and it's very common for them to go off by themselves.

If your kitty still has a good appetite and is drinking fluids, that is a very good sign.  Your vet is the best judge and you will also know when the time is best.  I've always fought to keep my cats with me but, only as long as was reasonable.  If the chosen therapies weren't working, my cat was losing interest in food and other joys, that's when it's time to consider what's best for your sweet purr kid.

It's never easy to lose a cat and at times, I thought my heart would break.  Last year was a tough one for me as well but, today, I have two very happy and healthy (knock wood) cats who bring me so much joy.  I still miss my other babies but, there are so many kitties in need of homes and it's nice to be able to share mine with them.  Keeping you in my thoughts.

aka NancScents

AngelPuppy11272366740.0238719 PostsRegistered 5/26/2008

Yes, of course, they feel pain. All living creatures do.  My heart so goes out to you and your family and kitty.  

For what I have always experienced, it seems to be their nature to go hide or go off when they are gravely ill.  Also, what hckynut has said about the far-away look in their eyes is so very true.  

If a cat can no longer eat or drink and cannot control their bodily functions or has none, this is not a quality of life for him or her and she needs your help.  So, even though it hurts terribly, I believe that with their eyes, they are asking for you to help them.  

My prayers go to you!

"A day without sunshine is like, you know, night." - Steve Martin.

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