My Cat's Dying Days Coming Near,

by Jan
(Hammonton, NJ)

My cat Furby has Mammary Cancer.

I'll get straight to the point.

I had an extra year and a half with her as I was told she had 2 weeks no more then 6 months left of life without the operation that was needed.

2 month's ago she has been going down hill. As of now she is thin, she drinks the gravy from the cat food, more so then the food, in fact she hardly eat's the wet food, maybe a spoonfull if that. She will eat a very small amount of dry food and drinks water.

Her lump is huge and there are several small lumps in the same area. She is being such a good girl with using the litter box and being no trouble what so ever. She is purring and I get that loving look that lets me know she loves me.

I would like a straight forward answer to some questions (please).

I know when the time will come. I had put 2 other pets asleep, BUT do I put her down now while she is some what content?

Will it be very painful for her in the end without pain meds?

And does the lump burst or seep and things just go out of control and she has an extremely bad time?

I don't know what to expect with this type of cancer. My hope for her is to make her 100 percent comfortable.

I already decided to let her pass at home if it means she will be comfortable. Taking her out to the vet is very traumatizing for her and I want her to not be scared.

I do have access to a mobile vet that will come to my home if need be.

Do you think I should put her on pain meds leading up to making the call to the vet to put her to sleep? And how long should I keep her on meds before I make the call?

What are your thoughts?

Thank You,

Dear Jan,

I am very sorry for the difficulty you and your precious kitty are experiencing. My thoughts are with you both.

Some of the questions you ask can only be answered by you. Deciding if/when to euthanize a beloved pet is a very personal decision.

However, I will answer your questions in a straight forward manner as you requested.

Although cats do not show it, yes I believe the mammary tumors are painful or will be eventually.

Cat's mammary tumors do indeed ulcerate as they get larger and can become infected, inflamed and there will be a discharge.

This type of tumor can also metastasize to the lungs and cause respiratory distress which is extremely uncomfortable and painful to experience and to watch.

The decision to give your kitty pain medication or euthanize is up to you and your veterinarian. I personally never like to see my own cats suffer at all if they have a terminal illness and the time has come when they are uncomfortable. I prefer to let them go while they still have some dignity and quality of life.

I would choose a home euthanasia over letting my own cat die naturally. But that is just my personal opinion and decision for my own cats. Other cat owners may have varying opinions.

The most important thing is to make the decision that is right for your beloved cat, not necessarily the decision that is in our best interests. We want to hold on to them as long as possible, but in my opinion, that should not be done at the expense of their suffering.

I hope this has been of some help. I know you will find the right answer in your heart. Again, I am sorry you are going through this. Just remember how much she loves you and in the end, make the most loving decision for her.

Dr. Neely

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