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Thread: Old Cat Problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Kutztown PA

    Old Cat Problem

    Greetings all

    This is an unusual one for me, but I am hoping someone here might have some suggestion. We have a feral cat living in our house. It is a long story, but suffice to say, many years ago, we took in a stray at my SWMBO's request. The cat was mostly dead, and during the process of getting her fixed up at the vet, something happened to cause even more damage to her brain. She was okay with family, but when we moved, she went completely off the deep end and no one has been able to even touch her for years.

    Now she is old, blind, and having trouble getting around. I noticed that she is having a lot of trouble with even simple stuff. It is time for her to go on to her final reward. The problem is this. Getting her into a carrier is going to be a real chore, and the stress on her (as well as the women of the family) is going to increase to extreme levels getting her to the vet. Now, I have plugged injured animals (including a cat) in the past, but this is the family cat, and SWMBO, while acknowledging that I am a good shot, is not willing to hold the cat while I double tap her in the head.

    We are thinking of getting her into a carrier, and then gassing her with the exhaust from the truck to at least get her unconscious and then plugging her in the head. Has anyone done anything like this before, or what might you suggest as an alternative? We want to keep the suffering for the cat to a minimum.

    Bill Grumbine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Constantine, MI
    Wow. bummer duty. I'm glad it's not me.

    As for getting the critter into a carrier, we've always had good luck using a large bath towel. Kindly drape it over her, pick her up, and wrap it around her before she knows what's happening. It effectively immobilizes them and saves you from many scratches. We've used this when it comes time for shots at the vet.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Coastal plain of North Carolina
    You know, Bill, they never just die for you. They always make you do the dirty deed. Whether it is humanely putting them out of their misery or taking them to the vet and having the vet do it, they always make us do the deed. I have the utmost sympathy for you as I hate doing this to a beloved pet.

    "When the need arises; and it does; you must be able to shoot your own dog. Don't farm it out; that doesn't make it nicer, it makes it worse....."

    Robert A. Heinlein
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I feel for you Bill, not the best situation to be in. My Mom had a similar cat, no one had touched it in years, and the cat was going a bit nuts, well a lot nuts. It hid under the sofa, and if you were sitting there, sometimes, for no apparent reason, it would lash out and scratch your ankles, not fun. Fortunately (I guess) one morning the came out and the cat had passed and was laying right next to the food bowl.

    How about this, I imagine the cat still eats......... put the carrier near the food bowl, move it nearer the food bowl daily until the food bowl is almost inside the carrier, then half inside, then more etc, until the cat gets used to eating from it's bowl near the carrier, then, when the cat is comfy eating inside the carrier, you could just close the carrier..... If your carrier does not have a ground level entrance, use a cardboard box or something similar. Once ensconced in the box, you can do what you will.

    Good luck
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    HI Bill. Last October I had to have our 17 year old Abby,Bob, put to sleep. He had been ill for quite a while with diabetes, arthritis, and the kidneys were not too good either.

    Our vet, who only treats cats, told us that Bob would let us know when it was time. That day came when he could hardly get around, and would not eat and wet on the floor, something he had never ever done before. We took him to the vet, and he just laid down as if he didn't care anymore. A quick overdose injection of sedative and he crossed over the rainbow bridge.

    So my recommendation is, the cat will let you know when it is time.

    BTW, find a farm supply store. They might have an injection that would be kind. The lady from whom we bought our present cats got her vaccines from the local farm supply.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    best possible solution to a bad problem.....send the girls away and have the cat buried when they come home....minimal drama for all concerned and minimal strife for the ol` cat.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Villa Park, CA
    I had a somewhat similar situation. I contacted the vet and he had one of his techs come by to give the animal a shot that calmed it down so that it could be handled. Cost $25 for the home visit, plus the meds.

    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    best possible solution to a bad problem.....send the girls away and have the cat buried when they come home....minimal drama for all concerned and minimal strife for the ol` cat.
    My dad did that when he had to put our dog down many years ago.

    I think Stu's idea is the best, especially since the cat won't let you near him/her. That's sort of how I got my (former) cat used to the carrier before we moved across the country. She finally got to the point that I could leave the carrier door open while it was in the car and she's crawl in there to sleep, but could get out to get to food, water, and litter.

    I don't envy your task, Bill.

    Nancy (93 days)
    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    I had to look after this exact case just a couple of months ago. Our old cat liked catnip, so we got out a burlap sack, smeared catnip all over it it, laid it out in the back yard, then let her find it. Once she had found the catnip, she just laid down on the burlap sack for a nap. My sweetheart (her cat) took the dog for a walk and I exercised a .22 short hollow-point (just one). I already had the hole dug, so cat, sack, all of it got buried before she got home. I don't like doing this, i wasn't very happy about it, but I figure it's less stressfull than the truck ride to the vet for the old cat who's been a good companion for many years, and I figure it's part of the responsibility of keeping them and looking after them.

    Anyway, if you can find some catnip, you might just catch the old cat asleep after it's O.D.'d on it.

    good luck - I feel for you.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central CA
    I don't know that I would "gas" it first. That might make you feel better but it really won't make the cat feel any better. Being in a confined space and not being able to get out while the oxygen levels are going down is something that will probably make the cat go beserk while its lungs fill up with carbon monoxide.

    One well placed shot, with the family away, should do the trick.

    It's always a hard thing to do. My best to you and the kitty.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

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