What Happens When a Cat Is in the Final Stage of Death?

by Melodie Anne Coffman, Demand Media Google
    In the end, she could go potty during her naps.

    In the end, she could go potty during her naps.

    Losing your furry companion is never an easy thing. She’s likely been a part of your family for her lifetime if not yours, too. Your pet will give you some signals when her final moments are near. Let your veterinarian know about her state of health. He will know when to suggest euthanasia so she doesn't suffer.

    Increased Pulse

    Strangely enough, when your cuddly buddy is nearing the end of the final stage of her life, her pulse will become rapid. This is her body’s natural response to the stress of trying to continue working. Her fragile little heart pumps quickly to sustain her blood pressure and keep oxygen going through her blood. While she might not show it, this effect makes her feel dizzy, lightheaded and very weak. Her pulse could be up for several days while her body is fighting for strength.

    Dilated Pupils

    When Agnus’ frail body is struggling to keep going, her eyes will dilate. Dilation may vary slightly depending on how bright your room is, but most likely you’ll notice that her pupils are much larger than normal. This is a response to her increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. Dilation may occur several days or hours before her death.

    Losing Control of Waste

    During Agnus’ last days and final moments, she could lose control of her bowels and bladder. Even if she’s still able to get up and walk around, she might not be able to make it to the litter box, accidentally leaving her business right next to her bed. She may even lose control while she’s sleeping, leaving a mess in the middle of her blankets.

    Hiding

    Maybe you know that Agnus is slowly fading and you've put together a comfy place to sleep. In her last days, she won't want to be out in the open, so she may seek dark, isolated places to rest. Cats in the wild do not like to show weakness when they’re dying or in pain, since this leaves them open to attack by predators. Your fluffy girl has the same instincts. She knows it’s her time and she’s trying to seclude herself for her own safety -- she knows she cannot protect herself any longer. You could notice her peculiar hiding behavior for several days prior to her demise.

    Behavioral Changes

    Agnus has been in your life for over a decade. Nobody knows you better than her. But suddenly in her weakened state, everything is foggy and she’s just scared. While she still loves you, she doesn’t quite know what is going on and might nip at you when you go to pet her. She could even stop purring or, just the opposite, purr nonstop to soothe herself. If she’s in pain, she may moan or cry, even if she’s normally not talkative. These subtle little behavioral cues let you know that she’s not comfortable and could be nearing her death as soon as the next few days.

    About the Author

    Melodie Anne Coffman has been writing for various online and print publications since 1996, specializing in human and animal nutrition. After receiving her master's degree in food science and human nutrition, she opened up her own nutrition consulting business in the New England area.

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