Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

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papa cat
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Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by papa cat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:48 pm

I have raised this before; here is a link if you want to read it again.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=7675

My cat Billy (7) has always had loose bowels, it got worse a few months ago and wherever he sat or laid he would leave brown marks and diarrhoea. Very recently it has got even worse and he is sometimes now peeing as well.
My bed, chairs and sofa are covered in plastic sheeting covered again in an absorbent bed sheet or towels which can easily be changed and washed. I am having to do that at least once a day and I frequently have to use a shampooer to clean the carpets.

I suspect it is involuntary, and he knows it is in the wrong place, because when he has done it he tries to hide it by scrabbling up the sheet/towel where it has happened.
He has had medication from the vet, been on two different special diets and treated for worms, but none of that has made any difference.
His latest "explosion" was on top of the litter box and went all up the wall and there was red blood in it.

I am at my wits end!!

I will take him to the vet again to see if there is anything else that can be done but I realise that euthanasia may be an option.

It doesn't seem right to rehome him as his problem would almost certainly continue elsewhere.

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MarySkater
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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by MarySkater » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:36 am

I'm glad I've never been in that situation, but if I were, I'd seriously consider euthanasia.

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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by booktigger » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:31 am

I would be looking at a second opinion first, this isn't normal, and the blood would suggest something wrong.

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Ruth B
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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by Ruth B » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:37 am

It strikes me that there is something very wrong with him, even if the vets can't find out what it is, blood in the urine or faeces is never a good sign and with everything else it does make me think there is a much bigger underlying problem.

I would also consider his mental welfare as well. Cats are notorious for being clean, he obviously knows that he is making a mess where he shouldn't and doing his best to try and clean up. He is also probably suffering if he is lying in it and constantly having to try and keep himself clean.

Your concern for him will also likely lead to you being stressed which i have no doubt he will pick up, reinforcing his belief that he is doing wrong even though it is involuntary.

So yes, in a situation like that where a vet can find no cause for the problem and it is likely to be causing stress for the whole household, human and animal alike, I would consider having him put to sleep. It is however, a horrible decision to have to make.

When I was a child we took in a cat that turned out to be pregnant and brought us 4 kittens. We had found homes for three of them and were just waiting for the last to grow a little as she had been the runt of the litter, when we noticed that the mother cat was going to the toilet anywhere she pleased for no apparent reason, and the kitten was starting to follow her lead. My parent talked to our vet and we were told there were three options. Build a pen for her in the garden and she could live her life in there, keep her and hope it sorted itself out and risk the kitten having the same habit for life and possibly losing both, or to have her put to sleep in hope that the kitten reverted to normal clean ways. We opted for the latter and it worked, the kitten was never rehomed, we decided to keep her. I was in my early teens at the time, but I will never forget taking the mother cat to the vets with my Dad for the final time. We never did find out why she acted how she did, cat behaviourists weren't around then, and unlike Billy there was never any sign of a medical problem.

In the end the welfare of the whole household must be taken into account. It does sound like there is a medical reason and it is getting worse. About the only other option I could see is to confine him to a single room so you can keep it clean easier, or we are back to a pen in the garden. It's hard, but if every other avenue has been explored and no one can find an answer then letting him go may have to be an option.

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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by Lilith » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:57 am

It's his youth that makes it so heartbreaking; I think most of us have dealt with disgusting accidents (and even laughed about it afterwards) or lived with a very elderly cat who made mistakes now and again, and you can think, oh well, it was a one-off, they're old, this won't go on for ever (and even then we wouldn't be human if we didn't think, oh no, not again!) ... but your boy's so young, and it's happening constantly ...

I think quality of life is the factor - both his and yours. Can you both stand this, for another ten years or more?

At the same time it would be wonderful if a miracle could happen and a cure found. I agree a second opinion is needed.

I'm so sorry you're both going through this.

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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by papa cat » Sat Mar 16, 2019 1:40 pm

Lilith wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:57 am
I think quality of life is the factor - both his and yours. Can you both stand this, for another ten years or more?
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! :shock:

Thanks for all your comments. I don't feel so bad now that he may have to be PTS as a number of you have agreed that it may be necessary and the kindest option.
That doesn't mean I won't be taking him to the vets again. I will also contact my pet insurers to see if they will cover the cost of treatment, but they may say it's a pre-existing condition from before I took out the insurance on him.
I am inclined to think that a CT scan might be useful but that alone costs hundreds of pounds.

My heart says to me "If it were a human you would spend endless amounts of money and time to find a solution"
However you can put a human into nappies or incontinence pants, but you can't do that to a cat (unfortunately).

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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by Mollycat » Sun Mar 17, 2019 11:08 am

A sad and tough decision, especially at this age.

With the blood it seems clear there is some kind of medical problem but if you know you can't afford to go through the tests and treatment even if the cause is found, and if he is miserable with it lying in it, then perhaps it is your kindest option. After all, cats are not aware of the length of their life, they only know if they feel happy and healthy or not. Also, what would it do to your cat to put him through lots of testing and treatment? Just because the science is there doesn't mean we have to use it.

It sounds like I'm advocating letting him go but that's not the way I feel writing this. I would certainly want a second opinion and some basic tests before making a decision, especially now blood has appeared.

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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by papa cat » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:22 pm

Well here's a surprise I don't quite understand !!
After the really bad situation a week ago he has improved !
In the last few days no diarrhoea explosions on the sofa just a few brown spots on the protective towels.
He's far more vocal and affectionate and wants fuss and is generally in a more cheerful mood. The only thing different is I have put another litter box near the sofa.
Downside though is my other cat has gone 'off colour', she is sleeping in different strange places (on top of the loo or on top of the covered litterbox !) seems to be shedding more fur than usual and leaves a brown 'film' (not spots) where she lays.

Perhaps it is an infection and he is getting rid of it and she has caught it ?

Vet has asked for poo samples for Billy so I think I will try and take some from both of them.

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Re: Would you euthanase a doubly incontinent cat ?

Post by Lilith » Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:45 pm

Papacat that does make you wonder ... sorry I can't give any veterinary advice but I do hope these guys get better; I'm so sorry to hear Lizzie seems unwell though it's good news about Billy.

All paws and tails crossed here for you all!

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