Posted by: Tania | 2009/09/25

Old cats and kittens

Hi Chill, Cybervet and other' s. I need some advice - need to be as informed as possible. For many years I had 4 cats (all rescued and strays). They all travelled to Europe with me when I worked there for 4 years, and all 4 returned to sunny South Africa. 2 years ago I had to euthanase one, over 20 years old, and kidney failure. All are on renal diets and monitired every 3 months by the vet. Last week the time came for 1 of the twins (hand reared as strays from 1 day of age) to also go to kitty heaven at 18 years of age - abosolutely traumatic. Her sister (18) and another old girl who turns 20 nearly next year - have each other - sleep together, plod around the garden together - both are calling for their pal, but are slowly settling as they have each other. I know the times comes for us all, and although the 2 are " healthy"  and checked - renal impairment is visible, and controlled - but for how long. Where I want some thoughts - as they have never been seperated, and at least still have each other - what happens when the next one goes. I want to cause them the least trauma after a happy life. What is best for them - not me. Options: 1. when 1 goes, do I euthanase the other to spare her being alone at this old age. 2. Do I rescue 2 small kittens now - (am happy to take on little ones that need hand rearing) so that one day the remaining one will have friends - or is it too stressful for the old girls. 3. Or when only 1 remains - do I bring in 2 kittens - this option I feel will be stressful - as they lose a friend, and get 2 hooligans in. What are your thoughts? Hopefully any decision is still a while away, but one needs to evaluate what is best for our furry friends.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Dear Tania

Buy a Feliway diffuser and go with 2.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Tania | 2009/09/28

Thanks Cybervet - sounds like the best solution - will monitor old girls with my Vet, and in next month or 2 - see if 2 little orphans find us!!

Reply to Tania
Posted by: Tania | 2009/09/27

Thanks for your comments. Need to settle emotionally from the loss - but need to also think clearly. Yes, have been blessed with all the girls reaching a ripe old age - but also we always believed in that if you take any animal - only the best and the right things are done - lots of love, the best and right food for their age, sterilisation, a warm bed, preventatve care - vaccinations, deworming, other parasite control, teeth care, and when getting older, regular monitoring by the Vet. But all in all, they are always allowed to be a cat - even if it means they brought me a gift of a mouse, or pigeon in their younger days.
At the moment I am tending to the point from Carol - my first option. But still, in my mind, is 2 little kittens - orphans - as both old girls are very placid, the the older one helped me raise the twins from the very first day, though she had never had kittens - sleeping with them, cleaning bottom' s etc. I could keep the little ones in a seperate part of the house, and do daily slow introductions from the start, and see how it goes.
My mind will ponder a little more - but thanks for the support. On a lighter note - animals mostly found me - not the the other way round - years ago rescued a Rottlweiler bitch - was about 6 months old, and lived to almost a record - of 13 years old, then rescued over a period of years, 3 horses, all I had over 20 years, and they went to greener pasture at 28, 32 and the ittle pony we traced back to over 40 years. So life goes on, and will continue to care for the needy. Somewhere 2 little girls will find me....

Reply to Tania
Posted by: Carol | 2009/09/26

Bringing in kittens now may not be a good idea , older cats are set in their ways and may not appreciate younger kittens , but it also depends on the indivifual cat so its a tricky one .

I think it would be best to wait , and as hard as it is I think I would euthanize the one left behind :( if they were younger cats it would be a different story .

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Chill | 2009/09/25

I' m not the right person to be asking about cats - I like them, but don' t have any so I have no particular insights. What I can tell you, though, is that you certainly have a knack of taking care of them - to have four reach such advanced old age means you' re doing a whole lot of stuff right!

Hopefully Carol will read your post - she has what sounds like hundreds of cats(!)...

Off the top of my head - if you get two little kittens now, then the old ones and the young ones will both have company they can relate to, while the old ones get used to the babies, which means that when the next oldie departs, the babies won' t be too strange any more. By that time you' ll have figured out what the relationship is likely to involve - and will be able to decide whether life is still worth living for the last of the old ' uns!

Best of luck, whatever you decide!

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