My oldest cat is sick

I posted awhile back about how our oldest cat, 'Stache, has lost some weight and at times acts like she doesn’t feel well. I was upset at my wife because I kept telling her to make an appointment for the cat and she’d blow it off…sometimes telling me she’d made one only to backtrack and say she forgot.

I know Mrs, Jolly Roger said those things because she is afraid that 'Stache may be terminally ill. I understand her feelings. 'Stache is our oldest cat and first cat. We’ve had her since 1995. She’s PCSd with us 4 times, to Europe and back. But still, if she’s in discomfort its unfair to let her suffer just because we may not like the prognosis.

It came to a head this week. She’s been farting. Really bad ones too. I mean, BAD. And sometimes the farts are accompanied by the hershey squirts. So 'Stache has a vet appointment tomorrow. I have a military ceremony I cannot get out of, so the wife will have to take her. She’s worried it might be bad news, but I’m a bit more optimistic about it.

'Stache seems to have a problem with her bowels. She’s been gassy, and as I said, well, “poopy”. The wife is concerned saying that the other cats have been a bit more aggressive towards her because they sense sickness and weakness in her. I haven’t seen this behaviour, but she’s here with them more than I am. But to be honest, Patches is only a year old…she’s playful and just now getting big enough to assert herself in some way. So her jumping 'Stache every so often is kind of expected. Jet Jaguar is at least 5 years younger than 'Stache and he’s the only male (and he is pretty big for a cat) so I understand him flexing his top cat status a bit. He largely leaves her alone most of the time anyway. Banshee is a year younger than 'Stache and doesn’t mess with any other cat. She’s pretty big, and I’ve observed them sleeping near each other and Banshee grooming 'Stache.

Still, if there is something wrong with 'Stache that is terminal or beyond my means to afford…well, we may have to put her down. I don’t know how to feel. If its something the vet can fix and 'Stache will be ok, great. If not, well, I’d rather she goes out with dignity. But it will really be hard for Mrs. JR if that is so.

I hope your cat feels better soon.

I empathize - I found my cat Sunday night. She was really skinny feeling and exhausted. I took her into the vet only to have her transferred to an emergency clinic for severe dehydration, kidney failure, high blood pressure and pancreatitis. She had shown no signs of illness until Sunday night, but I still feel terrible for not having noticed sooner. I’m still waiting to see if she’ll recover, though I’m getting to the high end of my save-the-cat’s-life budget, particularly if she’ll get better only to live with pain and/or fail again in six months.

Best of luck to you and Mrs. J. Decisions like these absolutely suck.

I have a sick cat as well. Tybalt is only 10. He’s lost weight, about 5 of his 28 pounds in the last few weeks, very lethargic and does not seem to be eating, drinking or using the litter box. I took him in and he has a fever and is dehydrated. Blood work shows no liver damage, yet. And he is not diabetic. So he gets medicine and appetite stimulants and I have to hook him up to an IV drip every day. He seems to getting better but still not eating.

I’ve noticed the aggression thing with our two cats, too. Jim’s cat is 14 and has arthritis (and a really bad attitude, but that’s not new). My cat is 10 and still fat and sassy, and she seems to be acting more aggressively towards Jim’s cat than she did in the past, to the point where I’ll hear them hissing up a storm at each other.

Here’s hoping for good news, Jolly Roger, that kitty just has a stomach bug or something.

Thanks CW.

We just gave 'Stache a bath. She has become so skinny, it worries me. She also farted while being bathed so now I know Mrs. JR knows the smell I’m talking about. IT was thick and funky and Idon’t know how such a skinny small animal could let out such a powerful cloud of nastiness.

The wife is really worried that it might be bad news tomorrow. I hope not, but no one lives forever, not even a cat with supposedly nine lives. Not to sound like I don’t care. I’ll be very upset if anything happens to the cat. I just know though that she is nearly 16 yrs old and for a cat thats a long life.

Yeah, I’m on the downhill slide with my cat, Raven. I’ve been her human since January '92, so she’s now 18 and a half years old. She’s always been a tiny little cat. I think her max weight was 9 pounds. Now she’s not quite five.

She’s losing her vision, and her kidneys are going, but she’s still fairly happy being the cat.

I worry that I won’t spot when that’s no longer true. I worry that I’ll let her live in pain and misery instead of recognizing that it’s time to let her go.

So, yeah. I know what you’re going through. Here’s hoping 'Stache just has a GI bug.

Have you taken 'Stache to the vet yet, Jolly?

I just got home. The wife took her to the vet. (at Petsmart!!! If I had known thats where she had made the appointment I would have vetoed it. I’m sure a less costly vet could have been found)

Right now 'Stache is still there. She was dehydrated from the diarrhea and from what the wife says she has hyperthyroidism. We’re to pick her up in a few hours. She’ll be on medication for some bacteria in her colon and for her thyroid. From what I’ve seen on this siteit will probably be methimazole.

This has so far cost about 430 bucks. I don’t know what it will cost if she needs surgery or if we can afford it.

i had a cat on that med. she had quite the tummy trouble, and it really helped. it gave her many more good days than bad.

'Stache update?

My understanding is that the Petsmart Banfield clinics are pretty competitively priced. I know my (private) vet told me blood panels for the obvious stuff - thyroid, diabetes, kidney & liver – would be about $250. add the exam, hydration and meds, and holding her on site for a few hours, I think what you paid was not exorbitant.

Keep in mind that Banfield price matches, at least for medications. There was one prescription that they charged $50 for but I brought in a printout from some online site and it then cost me a couple of bucks. They were very happy to accept the new price, as well.

Good luck to stache! I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the little fuzzy!

I always need to comment when I hear about other cats with Hyperthyroidism. My cat Bo was diagnosed at age 14. I did methamezole for a month, then decided to spring for radioiodine. Basically I chose it because my cat wasn’t doing well with methimazole, but many cats do very well on it. Plus, I was giving pills and it got tedious. I had the money for radioiodine, so I did it. If you can get the transdermal gel you don’t need to pill. Bo lived for 3 more years after his diagnosis when bladder cancer got him, so don’t give up hope! Lots of cats live for many more years after a hyperthyroidism diagnosis.

There is a very good group on Yahoo that deals with cats that have it.

The update thus far:

Just obsevartion tells me she is feeling better. Begfore 'Stache walked as if she always had to take a shit. Now she moves normally and her eyes seem brighter. She still spends most of her time sleeping, but she;s a cat and an old cat at that. All in all, she seems on the outset to be be feeling better.

Giving her her meds is an ordeal. Holding her mouth open long enough to put a pill in is not easy, but we’ve managed. Mrs. JR will wrap her in a blanket so she can’t claw us while I put the pill in and squirt the liquid part of her med in her mouth. I can’t blame her for being pissed…which is the right word…today 'Stache pissed on Mrs. JR while getting her meds. But we’re hoping that she’ll be better in a week or so and trying to figure out an easier way ofgiving of ther meds. Hiding it in the food may not work since the other Three Stooges may accidentally eat it. We’ll figure something out.

Hide it inside a treat (like liverwurst or hamburger or something she really likes) and then give that to her alone. Maybe as a treat just after she submits to the liquid squirted in her mouth.

If it’s a treat she eats immediately, then no chance that another cat will get it. (But they may demand that you give equal-opportunity treats to all cats in the household.)

Quick update: I think Stache is feeling better. She’s getting her strength back for sure. She puts up a helluva fight when its medicine time.

We’ll have to look into the treat thing. Or buy more oven mitts.

Ask about transdermal gel, too. It goes in the ear, and lots of people say it is much easier than pilling. It wasn’t offered to me as an alternative and it might have changed my decision about the radioiodine if it had.

I’m so happy for you. I was going to recommend wrapping her in a towel, but it looks like you’ve already attempted something similar. Amazing how they can wriggle out of those things, no matter how tightly you wrap them.

Glad to hear she’s feeling better! The medicine may be making her sleepy too so that could be why she’s napping so much.