Do cats favor dying alone? This is a frequently asked subject because some of us have found that cats tend to isolate themselves and keep to themselves after passing away in our homes. Is there more to it, though? Do we really need to abandon them? Cats do not prefer to die alone, despite what many people think. But people act in this way because of their inclinations. Instinct tells cats to hide from predators when they are unwell or dying. Additionally, they avoid social situations because doing so will guarantee that they get enough sleep.
Although it may seem morbid to talk about, you should be aware of it so that you can assist your cat in his final days. When the time comes for him to enter pet paradise, he undoubtedly does not want to be alone himself. We will thus discuss the causes of this conduct. In addition, we will discuss the symptoms you should watch out for to determine whether your cat is ill. Your presence will undoubtedly make your cat’s difficult time more meaningful.
Why do cats go away when they are dying?
According to Cat World: A Feline Encyclopedia by Desmond Morris, cats have a slight advantage over people when it comes to death because they are not aware that they are doing so. This may make you feel more at ease knowing that your cat was not afraid to die in his final moments. From an evolutionary standpoint, they just flee and hide when they believe anything is seriously wrong with them. This simulates what occurs in the environment, when weak cats must hide from larger predators since they are now easier prey and are unable to defend themselves.
This is also the reason that if your cat becomes very unwell, it is too late to take them to the clinic. They are hardwired to conceal their flaws in order to appear stronger. In a similar vein, mother cats behave in this manner after giving birth. Because they lack the strength to defend themselves, they often withdraw and keep their kittens hidden from their owners. You could wonder if this also occurs in a welcoming and caring home. Yes, it is the answer.
Since you have no other options, you must just blame “instincts” for this. No amount of cuddling with your cat will stop him from leaving when they are ill. Therefore, all you need to do is constantly watch his actions so that you can detect any abnormalities right away.
What are the signs to look for?
It is quite challenging to determine if cats are sick because of their innate need for solitude. The trick to figuring this out is to pay close attention. You might think that this is a lot of work, but since we are talking about your furry friend’s welfare, everything is obviously worthwhile. The Feline CRF Organization states that a cat’s last behaviour can differ. However, there are several universal behaviors that are a dead giveaway that your cat is terminally ill. These are listed below:
1. CHANGES IN PERSONALITY
Similar to people, your cat’s behavior alters when he is unwell. If you have an extroverted cat, you may discover that he doesn’t seem to need much care or that he avoids you. At the same time, he could become agitated if you try to hold him. This doesn’t necessarily imply that he wants to be released from custody. It might be because hugging him causes him too much anguish to bear. However, if your cat is extremely independent, you can find that he need a lot of care.
This indicates that he no longer desires to eat alone and instead requests that you provide him with food. Additionally, he might crave your constant company and insist that you always touch him.
This is a clear indication that your cat may be terminally ill, as we’ve already mentioned. Your cat will seek out a cozy spot to unwind where he won’t be harassed. Remember that they typically seek for cool, shaded settings. If you let your cat out, this could be an issue because it will be challenging to find them if they don’t come home right away. So, try looking behind shrubs or even underneath your car. However, indoor cats will perform the exact same thing while searching for dry, cool, and dark spaces. As a result, you can discover them in your closet, attic, basement, storage area, or under your bed.
Remember that you should locate your cat’s hiding area regardless of how challenging it may be to do so. The cause of this is that once a cat enters their hiding area while suffering from a major illness, they do not even bother to drink or eat. They also refuse to even use the litter box.
3. EATING BEHAVIOR
This is another crucial symptom to look out for. Usually, your cat won’t eat or drink before going into hiding. She even goes so far as to refuse to eat her favorite sweet. The bad news is that your cat probably has a short time left to live if you were able to find her and tried to feed or give her water but she refused.
You must keep in mind that a cat will typically turn down food or beverages twice. However, you must take her to the veterinarian for testing if she is still unable to consume food and liquids the following day. Although your cat’s refusal to feed is a major symptom that you should always watch for, you do not have to worry about this happening all the time. Additionally, your cat sitting next to her water bowl is another indication that she is sick or close to passing away. Even when she isn’t drinking, she might lean her head against the bowl.
4. CHANGES IN APPEARANCE
Cats enjoy taking care of themselves. In fact, they set aside time in their day to deal with their unruly hairs. As a result, if you notice that your cat is untidy, it means that they are bothered by something. He can’t groom himself since he is too frail. You might also observe that his hair bunches and sheds excessively. If your cat is extremely frail, he may even urinate on himself, matting his fur and eventually producing an odor.
In addition to having a sickly appearance, your cat’s eyes may appear dilated if he is on the verge of passing away. In rare instances, he might even appear to be blind or have glassy eyes. His eyes will appear sunken, which is another indicator of severe dehydration. If you touch the inside corner of his eyes and he does not blink, he is probably in and out of consciousness and on the verge of passing out.
Seizures are another significant indicator that your cat is dying. Even if having one seizure over the course of three or four months is nothing to be alarmed about, you should still visit your veterinarian as soon as this occurs. We’re referring to seizure episodes, which occur virtually daily. When your cat begins to yowl, throws his head back, and makes a strange-looking arch with his back, he is having a seizure. Your cat won’t be responsive and could not even attempt to stand up when he is having severe seizures.
It is a huge warning sign that your cat is on the verge of passing away if there are only a few hours between seizures. So please try to console him and support him through this difficult period.
How to Care for a Dying Cat
Really, there isn’t much you can do besides watch while death unfolds. Once you’ve located your cat, you can pick a location for them to make themselves at home. Make sure it is quiet and dark, and away from traffic. Give your cat a cozy area to lie down as well. Reduce handling to a minimum and focus on soothing your cat with gentle touches. Reassure him that he is secure and that you will be by his side at all times. As your cat is unaware that he is dying, doing this will lessen his fear about whatever it is that he is feeling.
Stay with him once you sense that it is his time. Even though he may feel the want to hide, he will value your companionship at this trying time because he will know that even when he is upset, he is safe and not by himself.