5 Loving Ways to Comfort a Dying Cat
Cats add more than just company to our homes. We form lasting bonds of love and companionship with them, which makes it hard to accept that a time will come when they will no longer be with us. While it’s essential to know the tell-tale signs a cat is about to pass, learning how to comfort a dying cat is even more important.
This knowledge allows you to plan for the inevitable and provide the best care and love to your feline friend. The least you can do when your cat is dying is to make sure they are as comfortable as they can be and experiencing as little pain as possible.
In this article, we will highlight ways you can comfort a dying cat as well as how to know what your cat is about to die.
Related: How to Comfort and Care For a Sick Cat
Ways to comfort a dying cat
As your cat approaches her final days, some of the things you can do to provide much-needed comfort include:
1. Provide a cozy environment
Making sure your cat spends her time in a comfortable, warm, and relaxed environment is important. Your cat will be lethargic and spend most of her time sleeping or resting. Provide extra bedding such as pillows and fluffy blankets. You can put them in multiple spots around the house for easy accessibility.
Providing extra padding for your dying cat will not only give them a comfortable spot to rest but also reduce pressure sores that could develop if they lie in one spot for too long. Fluffy blankets will help keep your cat warm at all times.
Other things you can do to provide a cozy and comforting environment to your dying cat include placing the essentials in an easy-to-access area for your cat, minimizing noise and activity around your cat, dimming any bright lights & letting your cat enjoy more natural light, and setting ramps or stairs out for your cat’s favorite hangout spots.
2. Give your cat tasty food and treats
A dying cat will start losing interest in food. The loss of appetite can increase weight loss and lead to faster deterioration of the cat’s health. To trick your cat into eating, provide tasty food and delicious treats on a regular basis. Foods with pungent smells suck as fish-flavored treats will boost your cat’s appetite.
Other options you can go with include fried chicken & turkey or their favorite canned food. However, make sure the food does not contain any toxic ingredients such as onion powder or garlic. The secret here is to give your cat foods with strong aromatic smells.
3. Show more love and affection
Cats love to rub against you for different reasons including to form a bond or as a way of showing their affection. One way of comforting a dying cat is by showing more love and affection. Such emotional support is essential for cats in their final days as it makes them feel safe.
You can show affection by petting your cat gently, holding her in your arms, or sitting beside her as your gently stroke her fur. According to research studies, touching, petting, and stroking a cat stimulate the release of cytokines, a type of chemical that signals the brain to release endorphins; a feel-good hormone. The release of endorphins helps relieve pain and anxiety in cats.
Make sure to keep an eye on how your cat behaves every time you touch, pet, stroke, or cuddle. Some cats are comfortable while others cannot tolerate excessive physical contact. Finding a balance is important to avoid overdoing it and becoming a bother to your ailing cat.
4. Maintain your cat’s hygiene
Another way to make your cat feel comfortable with herself in her final days is by making sure she remains clean. Hygiene is important to cats. Unfortunately, your cat may not be able to groom herself as it used to when in pain or dying. That’s why you should help.
You can comfort a dying cat by maintaining her hygiene in the following ways:
- Brushing her fur: It helps remove debris and minimizes the chances of parasitic infections and mite infestation.
- Trimming her nails: It helps prevent skin abrasions resulting from excessive scratching.
- Cleaning the eyes and ears: This prevents eye and ear infections.
- Bathing: This helps keep your cat’s fur clean and reduces body odor. You should use lukewarm water to bathe your cat.
5. Provide litter box help
A dying cat will struggle to properly use or even access the litter box. Your responsibility is to ensure your feline friend can relieve herself easily. Pick the right litter box depending on your cat’s physical state and station it in a strategic spot your cat can easily access.
You should also line the area around the litter box with towels to make cleanup fast and easy. Always clean the mess after the cat uses the litter box because a messy litter box is a huge turn off yet you need your cat to be as comfortable as possible relieving herself.
Related: 13 Warning Signs Your Cat is Crying for Help
Signs your cat is dying
The most notable signs that indicate a cat is nearing the end of their life include:
- Total loss of appetite
- Extreme weight loss
- Radical behavioral changes
- Unkept appearance
- Deteriorating coat condition
- Disinterest in favorite fun activities
- Lethargy and lack of movement
- Frequent hiding/isolation
FAQs about comforting a dying cat
a). How can I comfort my dying cat?
You can comfort your dying cat by providing an environment full of comfort, warmth & relaxation, showing more love & affection, and treating your cat to her favorite food and treats. Make sure to also maintain your cat’s hygiene and provide litter box help if the need arises.
b). My cat is dying how long will it take?
The active dying phase in cats is between 1-5 days depending on their age, health condition, and cause of the impending death. You should consult your veterinarian to see the best options available to you such as euthanasia.
c). What are the physical symptoms of a dying cat?
Physical symptoms that indicate a cat is dying include extreme weight loss, deteriorating coat condition, labored breathing, complete disinterest in favorite fun activities or treats, and lethargy & lack of movement. Be sure to check the signs of a cat dying from kidney failure if your cat has been ill for some time with kidney problems.
Patience and being kind and gentle are important when comforting a dying cat. Always take your time and never rush your cat into doing anything, including eating, drinking water, bathing, or engaging in fun activities. You should also be sensitive to your cat’s needs, provide healthy but tasty food, and make sure your cat remains hydrated at all times.