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My Cat Might Be Too Sick to Get Better

I'm posting this mainly for catharsis, but maybe also advice.

My cat had a scary, messy seizure last night. He's 9 years old, and this was the first time he'd ever had anything like this. It was pretty physical, and affected his entire body for about 5 minutes. Afterward, he lay there for a while recovering, and slowly got to his feet to limp into a corner to lick his wounds and recover. He seemed dazed, lost, and confused about what had just happened. This woke me up at 3am, and after checking on him and cleaning him up, I let him rest and went back to sleep.

Today, 12 hours later, he had another identical seizure in almost the exact same spot in the house. This time, I was more awake and observed the whole thing. I took video clips and noted the symptoms and movements. When it was over, he again seemed lost, and crawled under my bed to rest. I eventually coaxed him out and into his carrier, and took him to an emergency vet. Two hours and $900 later, they had no idea what was wrong with him. They said it wasn't rabies or poison or diabetes, and couldn't do any deeper tests without using a separate facility that costs about $3000 for a visit. And even then, they still might not know what's wrong with him. I don't have that kind of money to spend on something that may be a crapshoot, and had to tell them so.

They gave me a basic medication for him, and I said I'd watch over him for the next few days to see if these recur. I can take him to his normal vet next week and maybe get a second opinion. He might have more seizures, or he may never have another one. The vet said even if it's something chronic, like epilepsy, managing it with medication is very iffy and also expensive. She said he's not in pain during these seizures, but the comedown period afterward is disorienting because he doesn't understand what just happened to him. She said if it becomes a chronic, lifetime thing, I may need to think about whether his quality of life is suffering to the point that euthanasia might be the more humane option.

I feel horribly guilty over this in a way that surprises me. He's been my cat for six years, and neither of us is very affectionate with the other. He's not a lap cat, and we have our own little lives around the house. I never hurt him or abuse him, but I'm not as cuddly with him as other people are with their cats. I always told myself I'd be more affectionate with him tomorrow, and I have made big steps on that. But now he may be nearing the end of his life, and I'm left wondering if I really gave him as good a life as I could have. He has plenty of creature comforts and a nice quirky house all to himself basically, but I still think I should've hugged him more while I had the time.

He might still get better, in which case this needs to be a wake-up call for me to give more love. And if it turns out putting him to sleep is the most humane thing I can do for him, then maybe that one act will make up for working so many hours and forgetting to brush him every day.

by Anonymousreply 30June 10, 2024 1:59 PM

Is he a rescue cat?

by Anonymousreply 1June 9, 2024 2:59 AM

Sorry OP, that stuff is never easy. Years ago I had a Min Pin who jumped out of my friend's arms and hit the pavement hard. He had a bad seizure that night and another one the next morning and then he was fine for years. I hoe your pet will be ok.

by Anonymousreply 2June 9, 2024 3:16 AM

I know a lady who had a Maine coon that suffered from epilepsy and he was on daily medication to help control seizures which was expensive and challenging to get a cat to take pills daily. She bought treats specifically made to hide pills inside to trick the cat into taking the medicine. Not all cats are affectionate so don’t dwell on the past and instead remember you gave him a good home. Hope your kitty gets better soon.

by Anonymousreply 3June 9, 2024 3:42 AM

I'm sorry OP. Maybe it's time to start giving puss some extra affection today and not put it off any longer.

by Anonymousreply 4June 9, 2024 3:46 AM

We kid ourselves that they will live forever-let it go,move on

by Anonymousreply 5June 9, 2024 4:30 AM

Could be anything, even brain tumor. If it continues I would let him go. Vets would love to have you spend $10,000 trying to diagnose and/or treat it.

by Anonymousreply 6June 9, 2024 5:06 AM

My dogs on his way out,loved him but ain’t doin this again- fuck animals

by Anonymousreply 7June 9, 2024 5:10 AM

My beloved cat passed away because of seizures. Try to get immediate help. Vet can put your cat on medication. God bless you and your puddy cat.

by Anonymousreply 8June 9, 2024 5:13 AM

If he wanted more cuddles, he would have come to you for more cuddles. Cats are so different and some are just super independent, so try not to dwell on that regardless of what you decide regarding his health.

by Anonymousreply 9June 9, 2024 5:36 AM

Keep the words of Howard Jones in your head as you go through this. They helped this gayling a lot in the late 80s and early 90.

[quote] Things can only get better.

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by Anonymousreply 10June 9, 2024 5:42 AM

I hope he's better soon, OP. What is your cat's name?

by Anonymousreply 11June 9, 2024 7:54 AM


I agree. Cats will demand attention if they want it. Some cats are not affectionate and are quite content just to share your home. You have given him a comfortable home and attended to all his needs. Don’t beat yourself up.

by Anonymousreply 12June 9, 2024 8:17 AM

Fuck you R5

by Anonymousreply 13June 9, 2024 9:19 AM

[quote]Some cats are not affectionate and are quite content just to share your home.

Knowing cats, he may well have been wishing you would move out and stop cramping his style.

One thing I WOULD do is stop him going to the part of the house that provoked both seizures!

You're right not to let him have scans, etc. It would be cruel to put a senior animal through brain surgery, and if you're not going to do that, what does it matter what's going on in his head? My vet says dogs rarely develop epilepsy in old age, meaning that a seizure signals something more sinister. You might check whether this is also true of cats. If it's something more sinister, find out how you'll know if he's in pain, and if not, just spoil him a bit more from now till his quality of life disappears.

by Anonymousreply 14June 9, 2024 2:00 PM

Hope your kitty gets better soon OP X

by Anonymousreply 15June 9, 2024 2:14 PM

R14 is right, I think it’s rare for animals to develop epilepsy late in life. Sadly it’s probably a brain tumor. I’m (not saying this to alarm you, but it happened to a pet of mine.

by Anonymousreply 16June 9, 2024 2:25 PM

OP, are you two okay? Please check in and let us know.

by Anonymousreply 17June 9, 2024 9:09 PM

He made it 24 hours without another seizure. I'm still watching him to see what happens next.

The Urgent Care Vets gave him a dose of Gabapentin and a week's worth of pills for me to give him twice a day mixed in with wet food or tuna. He ate it this morning. I'm supposed to book an appointment with his normal vet this week to get his input, and a longer refill of the pills.

Gabapentin makes an animal sleepy, but cats already sleep all damn day anyway. He seems in better spirits so far, but I'll keep watching for the next seizure if there is one.

by Anonymousreply 18June 9, 2024 9:41 PM

And they didn't do an x-ray (because pet-scale x-ray machines and staff are rare even in a big city), but the vet's external exam made her fairly confident that he doesn't have a brain tumor. In cats, a brain tumor often leads to paralysis on one side or uncoordinated movements, and one or both eyes can go wonky or stop reacting to light and movement. She said he passed all those tests, and doesn't seem to have a tumor. But she can't confirm unless I go to the fancy ER downtown.

by Anonymousreply 19June 9, 2024 9:43 PM

[quote]What is your cat's name?


by Anonymousreply 20June 9, 2024 10:25 PM

If at all possible, avoid the notorious Blue Pearl emergency veterinary cabal.

by Anonymousreply 21June 9, 2024 10:27 PM

Vet care has gotten ridiculously expensive.

by Anonymousreply 22June 9, 2024 10:27 PM

I had a sweet cat who I believe had seizures for years. She'd fall to the floor and thrash and writhe and pee herself, then it would be over. She eventually started exhibiting strange behavior like sleeping in the litter box and not grooming herself. She started fading, getting weaker and lost her appetite.

One day before work I told her it was okay to 'go'. That me and the other cats would see her someday and we'd all be together again. When I came home she was dead on the carpet. She was twelve.

by Anonymousreply 23June 10, 2024 5:01 AM

Just see what happens, OP. I hope she's fine.

by Anonymousreply 24June 10, 2024 5:07 AM

If he doesn't get better, you know what you have to do as much as you may hate it. No suffering is the priority.

by Anonymousreply 25June 10, 2024 5:29 AM

Cut your losses and see what the Chinese place closest to you will give you per pound.

by Anonymousreply 26June 10, 2024 6:08 AM

Op the lady with the Maine coon who had seizures had her cat thoroughly tested and he did not have a brain tumor but I can’t remember exactly what caused his seizures now.

by Anonymousreply 27June 10, 2024 1:02 PM

'Coon huntin'.

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by Anonymousreply 28June 10, 2024 1:25 PM

Virtually the same experience with an older cat, OP: A rescue cat I had for 18 years. Extremely neurotic and stand-offish, but affectionate in her own way and nice to have around, for the most part. A series of things happened over the summer and fall and she appeared to be failing. Rather than shore up an animal I had mixed feelings about (but never abused or neglected), I made the hard decision to have her put to sleep on October 3. I hated myself for a while afterwards, but I did not want her to go into crisis on a weekend when no one is available, or (worse) slink off somewhere impossible-to-find in the house and die, leaving me to follow a smell trail. I got over the self-hate after a while and have not looked back. She was not living a good life and may have been suffering way more than I knew. I know you will make a sane decision about whether or not to pour more money into an ailing animal. You have my sympathy. It's very difficult, even when the relationship between animal and person is not the closest or cuddliest.

by Anonymousreply 29June 10, 2024 1:35 PM

Either way, it's helped me remember to be nicer to him and a little more affectionate.

by Anonymousreply 30June 10, 2024 1:59 PM
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