Do cats run off to die?

I think my cat may be dieing and I can’t find her. She went missing for 4 days and then in the middle of the night she wandered in and took a few sips of water moving very slowly. I thought she was back so made no attempt to catch her. I called her and she normally jumps right up on my bed but this time she just dissappeared again and I can’t find her. She appeared weak in the rear legs the little I saw of her. I have searched everywhere but no where to be found. It is really bothering me thinking she may be laying somewhere just suffereing. She hasn’t touched her food in 5 days now.

Mine didn’t, she passed away peacefully in her sleep, curled up in her favorite cardboard box with an old blanket, right in front of the heating vent where it was nice and warm. She was 18, kidney problems, trouble with her rear legs and it was just her time to go.

I haven’t heard of cats doing this - if your kitty has a nice comfy place where the people love her and that’s where the food & water and litter box are, I’d think that’s where she’d go. Check around, especially if she’s got weak legs she might have gotten into someplace that she can’t jump out of?

YES, cats do indeed do this. Their instinct tells them to hide from predators when they’re ill or dying.

I hope you find her soon. Please take her to the vet - at the very least you won’t be letting her suffer.

Well she showed up finaly. She doesn’t appear to be in pain and I can’t find any infections anywhere. She is weak and holding her tail funny. Very small bowel movement and she didn’t even have the strength to bury it. She is only 13 which I don’t think is old for a cat. I will take her to the vet.

I’m glad your kitty is back and that you’re taking her to the vet. I hope she’s fine. To answer your original question, I have known several cats to run off to die, and some that have just passed away peacefully at home. I think it really depends on the cat.

Yes ours did. She kept trying to stuff herself into crevices at around 18 years old and was incontinent and in pain. My parents finally called the vet to put her to sleep as they were quite attached to her. The day before she was scheduled my mom put her in her favorite cardboard box nestled in blankets in the sun on the deck one last time and when she came back an hour later saw her disappearing into the woods. That must have taken some time for her to do because she couldn’t move fast at that point. My mom could have probably tried to stop her or grabbed her but honestly felt that she was willing to let the cat run away to die on her own terms in the woods.

Yes, they do. And my 21-year-old cat went off to a church to do it. Such a cool cat…

Glad your puddy turned up. Hope you return from the vet with good news.

Yes, they do.

Cats are very good at not showing when they are injured, ill, or in pain. Often they tend to go away & hide (and sometimes die) at such times.

My oldest cat Paul hides always in the same place (bottom shelf of a bookcase, hidden behind a rocking chair) whenever he is hurting. So much that if I don’t see him in his normal spots and find him there, I check him over carefully to see what’s wrong with him.

As others have said, yes, they do. Years ago we couldn’t find one of our cats for a day or two. When we finally found her way under the furniture in a room we didn’t use much, she had a huge wound on her abdomen. This was back in the days when we let our cats go outside. We took her to the vet and she recovered fine. Well, except for the fact that she eventually died of feline leukemia, which she probably caught at some point from another cat outside. This is one of the reasons we don’t let our cats outside any more.

Take your cat to the vet.

Wow, 21 years! That is a very cool cat.

HoneyBadger, I am glad yours turned up and hope things turn out alright.

Do cats run off to die? Well, an Australian might tell you sometimes they run off yester-die.

Yes cats may go hide when they are ill or injured. It is instinctive to lie low when they are feeling weak and vulnerable, but they may be also be suffering and in pain. Animals can be very good at hiding pain. If your cat is behaving abnormally, please have him checked by a vet.

Glad she made it home. Let us know how she makes out at the vet.

Yep…they do it. My latest cat to pass, at age 19, fortunately made enough noise in the middle of the night as she blindly and desperately tried to burrow her way into the deepest darkest far corner of an overcrowded attic closet that I didn’t even realize she could get into (she’d forced the sliding door open just THAT much) that I was able to burrow desperately in after her and drag her out by her back legs, fighting me the whole way. If she had been quieter she would have died in that tiny space between the boxes and the baseboards and I would have had to deal with the resulting…results of an animal dying somewhere you can’t find them. And her sister-cat spent the weeks before her death doing the same thing, but fortunately only to one particular space, and we could hear her breathing. When we noticed a change in the sounds she was making, we dragged her out and held her until she passed. But generally she’d only come out once a day to sniff at the water bowl, walk through the litter box and then wander around the edges of the room until she got back to the hidey-hole.

Thanks, Taomist. She was, without doubt, the coolest cat in the history of very cool cats.

So what’s the news, HoneyBadgerDC?