close up of a blue eye cat staring into the distance head resting on a pillow

How Do You Know If Your Cat Is Dying?

How do I know if my cat is dying? What are the signs a cat is dying? If your cat is not eating, is suffering from weight loss, behaving differently, is tired all the time, is colder, breathing slower, and hiding away these could be signs of your cat dying. Read on for more signs…

Anyone who had to deal with the death of a loved one knows it’s a sorrowful experience we would all rather avoid in life. For many of us, our pets are cherished companions or family members, and we treat them like people.

So, it’s just as sad when we have to say goodbye to our feline friend. The reality is nothing lives forever, and we all have to deal with death to understand the importance of life.

How do you know if your cat is dying? Are there any signs your cat is dying? If your cat isn’t behaving like its normal self, it could be due to many things. However, if you notice a combination of the signs in this post, your cat might be dying.

What are the Signs My Cat is about to Pass?

Do you think your cat might be dying of old age? Here are the signs to watch for in your kitty’s behavior.

Behavioral Changes

Behavioral changes occur in cats for several reasons. However, if you have a senior cat, changes might be a sign that your kitty is preparing for its last days.

Cats that are ready to pass typically lose their energy, and they start sleeping all day. They show little interest in things that would normally amuse them, and they don’t respond to your calls – they basically lose their spark.

Cats that are close to dying might also stop grooming themselves. Some cats might start getting closer to you, wanting to spend more time with you before they go. Others might spend more time alone, away from anyone.

Fatigue and Lethargy

a kitten sleeping comfortably in front of a fire in a fireplace

As mentioned, cats that are near death’s door typically become lethargic. They start to lose their metabolic energy, and they experience fatigue.

You might find that your cat is slow to move, and they don’t get out of bed, even when you call them. The body produces less adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the compound supplying energy to all living cells.

Food Avoidance

When your cat gets close to death, the gut biome starts to die off in its digestive tract. The reduction in ATP also spurs a drop in the hormone system governing your cat’s appetite.

The body no longer produces the signal to feed, and your cat starts avoiding meals. Even offering treats to them doesn’t create a feeding response or excitement in your kitty.

Noticeable Weight Loss

As the body shuts down and your cat stops eating, you’ll notice severe weight loss in the last few days to a week before the cat passes.

However, in the months leading up to the cats passing, its body becomes less efficient at processing the minerals, vitamins, and calories from its food. As a result, they start to look leaner, and their coat may begin to look duller than usual.

You’ll also notice their eyes become less alert and sometimes unresponsive to your gestures or facial expressions.

Lowered Heart Rate and Breathing

cat having heart listened to by a vet with a stethascope

The process of your cat passing away may start some time before you realize what’s going on with your furry friend. The cardiovascular system begins to lose its efficacy and efficiency as your cat enters its senior years.

When your cat is ready to pass, they might experience a lowered heart rate as the cardiovascular system starts to shut down. Healthy cats have a heart rate between 150 to 200-beats per minute. If you have a senior cat, they’ll be on the lower end of the range.

If your cat’s heartbeat is lower than 150-beats per minute, book a consultation with your vet immediately. It’s also important to note that the cardiovascular system affects your cats breathing in the same manner as their heart rate.

If you think your cat is breathing slowly, it’s a sign that they are close to the end, especially when combined with lowered heart rate. This article can help you measure your cat’s vital signs.

Low Body Temperature

If your cat is close to death, it’ll start to lose body heat. Typically, healthy cats have body temperatures between 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, a dying cat dealing with a drop in ATP production may find it difficult to start producing the hormones, proteins, and enzymes necessary to control body temperature.

Use a thermometer to take your cat’s temperature. If it’s under the normal range, it might be a sign your cat is passing.

Seclusion and Disappearance

Many owners experience their cats slinking off into a secluded area to die by themselves. It’s not that they don’t love you; it’s an instinctual response.

Your cat finds a secluded sport to protect them from predators that might take advantage of them in their weakened state. Often, you’ll find them in their favorite spot outdoors, under a bush, or in a hide.

Your kitty might visit this same spot in the yard in the days leading up to its passing. They’ll go there whenever they feel they’re close to the end.

What To Do When Your Cat Is Dying

a grey cat sleeping with tongue poking out

Eventually, all life comes to an end. You can thank your feline friend for staying by your side for all those years by taking care of them while they pass.

By making their last days comfortable, it gives you closure over the experience with your animal. Here are a few suggestions to help your cat.

Keep Your Cats Bed Clean and Comfortable

Add a few extra blankets or cushions and line the bottom of their bed with a heating pad to keep them warm. Make sure there are plenty of blankets on top of the pad to prevent them from overheating.

Place Your Cats Stuff Nearby

Keep the food and water bowls next to their bed.

Spend Time with Your Kitty

Take a few moments whenever you can to sit with your furry friend. Don’t pick them up, as they may feel grumpy and complain. They just want you there next to them to give them comfort and security.

Keep Things Quiet and Calm

Pick up a good book for a few days and start reading in the evening instead of watching that new action movie on Netflix.

During your cat’s final days, they’ll prefer it if things are quiet and calm around your house. Playing some classical music on low volume might help, and talk to your kitty whenever you can – they like the soothing sound of your voice.