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Hello everyone! It has been quite the emotional week. If you have been following me on either Facebook or Instagram, then you have noticed that one of my cats passed away on this week. It all took us by surprise because it was so sudden and it’s always a tragic thing when you have to sit there and watch. I have done this twice with both of my male cats, but it doesn’t get any easier. It literally feels like you are losing one of your own children, a member of your family.
I am hoping by telling my story, it would help some other cat moms or dads who may or may not be going through what we went through. It all started with our first male cat Artemis. He was such a good boy and he was by my side through everything. He was such a little cuddle bug and he always laid right up on the side of my belly throughout my whole pregnancy with my daughter. Then, one day I started noticing that he wasn’t around as much. Now, granted, he was an inside only cat and we lived in an apartment, but still he went into hiding.
Eventually, I had to coax him out because I also noticed that he wasn’t eating or drinking. I researched some home remedies and started trying them. He was so lethargic and weak so I basically had to hold the spoon of water or food to let him eat or drink. After we went into hiding and not coming out at all, I had to move him into a bathroom, so that way I can keep a close eye on him. On the day he passed, I was going into the bathroom and I saw that blood was coming out of his butt. So, as I freaking out, my husband and I called our vet, wrapped him in a towel, and we rushed to the vet. It was there that I heard the worst news that any fur parent dreads to hear….we had to put him down.
The diagnosis was that he was in kidney failure and there was nothing we could do about it. He could have had a condition from when he was a kitten and it went undetected by vets (where we took him every year for his check-up). So, there we were making the difficult decision of to try and reverse the process (it would cost thousands and many medicines plus feeding tubes for the rest of his life) or put him to sleep. Our decision was to put him to sleep and I was a wreck. I cried and cried…I just lost my baby boy, but I knew that he wasn’t in pain anymore and that he could watch us from above. He wasn’t even 2 years old.
Then, we moved and when we moved, we got a second male cat named Jiji. He was almost the same as Artemis. He was a cuddle bug, loved all of us, and had his own little quirks. Last week, he was totally fine and he was himself. However, on Sunday, he was acting a little lethargic, but he wasn’t hiding. He even ate a little bit, still going to the litter boxes, and even drinking water. I kept a close eye on him all day and even though he wasn’t acting like himself, he wasn’t showing any signs of illness or kidney failure.
Then, Monday came and I saw that he was laying down on the floor, so I thought nothing of it. About an hour later, he hadn’t moved, so I looked more closely and I saw that his breathing was slow and that he couldn’t stand up. I moved him to his safe space (my husband and I’s bedroom) and laid him down. Then, I started to notice that he was opening and closing his mouth like he was gasping for air. I started to freak out and called my husband. After I calmed down a little, I was trying to see if there was any obstruction like if he was choking or anything and there wasn’t any. Finally, as I was telling him that it was okay if he had to go, he took his last breath.
I lost it. I couldn’t believe how quickly it all came about and I was in such disbelief. Both my daughter and I were there by his side through it all that morning, but I cradled him like a baby and just couldn’t stop crying. It was horrible. My husband came home and I couldn’t get up…I was so depressed and just felt so powerless. We buried him and I really couldn’t get through the day. If my husband and daughter wasn’t there on that day, I wouldn’t have been as okay as I am now. I thank them so much for being there for me through that difficult day.
However, comes to find out that he probably went through some sort of kidney failure as well. But he didn’t show the usual signs like Artemis did. He was perfectly fine, acting like himself, drinking, eating, and not hiding at all, but it still happened. And before we knew it, it was way too late. He wasn’t even 2 years old.
As I was researching for anything about kidney failure in cats, I saw that male cats live shorter lives than female cats and they are more prone to health problems than females. I also saw that cats don’t usually show their symptoms unless it is too late. If you want to know the symptoms of kidney failure, here they are:
- Dehydration (not drinking)
- Not eating
- Not going to the bathroom
- Breath smells like ammonia
- Jaundice (either in the eyes or tongue)
- Breathing slowly
- Too weak to stand
After all of these events, I feel like the worse cat parent ever because my baby boys were not even 2 years old (both of them) and they both passed away. I don’t know what I did or how it came all about, but I felt like I literally failed them. I know that there really wasn’t anything that I could have done and that I gave them the best life and all the love that I could give, but I can’t help to still feel like I failed.
Even though they are gone, I still have my female cat Bagheera (she is about 5 years old) and she hasn’t left my side through this difficult time. I like to think that she senses my depression and everything that happened, so she is keeping a close eye on me. However, I know that my boys are not in pain, I will miss them dearly and our daily routine. Artemis and Jiji, you will both be missed and I love you both so much. I hope that both of you are on the rainbow road and living happily. RIP.
Now, it is time to go take care of our rats and Bagheera. If you have a cat or a fur child, hold them and love them. If you had to go through kidney failure with your animals or had to make/see the tragedy of losing an animal, I am so sorry for your loss and for what you are going through. It is tough and it is horrible, but we have to stand tall for them.
Well, I hope by sharing my story, I can help anyone out there who is going through this or to give anyone the signs to look out for when it comes to kidney failure in cats. As always, I hope you all have a great weekend and I will see you in the next post!