Learn The Signs Your Cat Is Dying – Say Goodbye

It is never very easy to lose your pet. With a cat, in specific, pet parents become so attached to them as they usually live somewhere between 12 and 20 years, sometimes longer. When your feline friend grows old or perhaps becomes sick, it is best to look for signs your cat is dying. This helps you offer them the best care for keeping them comfortable.


Signs Your Cat Is Dying

So, how to tell if your cat is dying? A cat exhibits different behaviors that let you know that it is near death. Here are some signs cat is dying:

signs your cat is dying

Lack of Interest in Drinking and Eating

It is pretty common for feline creatures to lose their appetite when they are nearing their end. This is common in all animals as their bodies cannot work for processing drinks and food. Thus, your furry friend may be too weak and tired to consume food.

Extreme Weakness

Pet owners can notice their cats rejecting to move and turning more lethargic. Their weakness can be apparently seen in their hind legs. Also, they will sleep more than usual.

Low Body Temperature

The temperature of a healthy cat stays between 37 degrees and 38 degrees Celsius. So, lower body temperature is a sign your furry friend is dying. As their heart weakens, their body temperature starts to drop down. Use a digital rectal thermometer or ear thermometer for checking their temperature. Plus, you can feel that their paws are so cool on touch. This can be a symptom of their heart pacing down.

Weight Loss

Your feline friend might not be eating or their body might not be taking nutrients as it used to be. In cats, weight loss could happen for various reasons. However, in an old cat, it could be a sign that the body of your cat is slowly shutting down. If your energetic and ordinarily healthy older cat has suddenly become so thin, you may have to begin preparing for their passing.

Changes in Smell and Appearance

Cats like to devote time grooming themselves. However, when they come closer to their end, they do not have the energy left for grooming and start to appear unkempt and messy. Also, they will develop an obvious odor because of the toxic build-up as different organs stop functioning. This smell gets worse with time as they do not have a solution to get rid of the toxins.

Seek Solitude

Usually, cats prefer solitude when they are severely ill. This is because a dying cat understands instinctively that they are more susceptible to predators in the wild. Hiding is the best way to protect themselves for them.

Low Respiration and Heart Rate

The respiration and heart rate of your cat may slow as their body starts to slowly shut down. The resting heart rate for healthy cats ranges between 150 and 200 beats a minute and they take around 20-30 breaths a minute. If you examine the heart rate of lethargic cats and find it slow, these are warning signs of a cat dying.

Behavioral Changes

Different kinds of behavior in cats occur for various reasons. However, marked changes in behavior could be a clue that elderly cats are getting prepared for passing away. Your furry friend may become aloof, find no interest in playing, turn more social, and like to be held. So, any of these changes can occur. Also, modifications in appearance, like if your feline friend shows disinterest in grooming or cannot keep themselves clean. These can also be warning signs. 

How to Make Your Dying Cat Feel Comfortable

signs your cat is dying

After you spot different signs a cat is dying, the next thing you need to do is to make them feel comfortable. It is tough for cat parents to watch their pets as they are nearing death. Bidding goodbye to them is a harsh reality. Helping them feel comfortable is something that you can do throughout this period. For this, do the following things:

Provide Special Treats

If your cats have an appetite, you can offer them tasty foods for helping ease their last days. Especially pungent smells like fish-flavored cat treats may tempt them to eat. If your cat does not feel like chewing, offer them canned food combined with water or just feed them baby food. Make sure that you examine the ingredients for anything that your elderly cat cannot eat.

Offer a Comfortable, Clean Bed

For making your furry friend feel more comfortable, you can add special touches, such as adding extra blankets for more cushioning, to their bed or the place where your cat loves to sleep. Also, make sure that you change their blankets regularly, especially if they are having problems getting to their litter box.

Also, you can line the bed’s bottom with an electric blanket or small heating pad for keeping them toasty and warm. You will probably like to put in extra blankets at the top for keeping the pad from making them too hot.

Put Their Things Nearby

When your feline friend cannot get up properly, make their last days a bit easier by bringing the water bowl, litter box, and food bowl closer to their bed. So, minimize the efforts that your elderly cat has to make during the day. This will help in keeping them more comfortable.

Spend Time with Them

Your furry friend may like some space and want to sleep in their bed rather than snuggling. However, you can be a soothing presence to them by reading, working, or watching TV in the same area quietly. Plus, if your friend likes snuggling, try to provide them with lots of affection and care.

Keep the Space Quiet and Calm

Try to keep the house quiet and calm so that your furry friend can peacefully rest. If you could, try minimizing unfamiliar visitors and see if you could keep the commotion to a minimum at your place. If you have planned some activities or family gatherings, try having them outdoors or in another room.

Also, you may like to play soothing music for providing extra comfort and blocking out other noises. Birds chirping, classical music, or the rainfall sounds can help soothe and relax your cat.

Offer Pain Killers

When your companion is in significant pain and ill, talk to their veterinarian regarding getting a prescription for pain medication. Pet owners can put the pain medication in the food of their cats, give them by hand, or using a unique pilling instrument. In their last days, pain medication can make them happier and more comfortable.

Watch this video to know more about signs your cat is dying!

What to Do If Your Cat Is Dying?

So, is my cat dying? Now, you know the signs that you need to watch out for to be sure that your cat is breathing her last. However, what to do next if my cat is dying!

The first thing is to consider whether you will let your furry friend pass away in a natural way or talk to the vet for medical options if your elderly cat is in pain. After that, you can anticipate how you would like to memorialize your feline friend. So, here are some possible options:

Cremation Services

Cremation is a simple and safe option. There are various pet cremation companies out there. After that, you can preserve the cremains or bid good-bye to your cat by burying or scattering them in any meaningful place. Also, you can go for communal cremations.

Cat Urns

Once cremated, pet owners may select to store that cremains in decorative cat urns for keeping the cherished memory of their feline friends closer. For this, there are various options available. You can choose something that fits the personality of your cat and your style.

A Keepsake or Memorial

Also, you may like to honor the memory of your furry friend with a keepsake or memorial. A scrapbook, a garden keepsake, a jewelry piece, a paw print, or other things – you can select what will be the most meaningful!


Now, watch out for signs your cat is dying.It is never easy to say goodbye. Watching your pet die could be disheartening and upsetting. By coming to terms and understanding the dying procedure, you could make some decisions based on what’s best for your feline friend instead of your emotions. Provide them as much comfort as you can offer while they breathe their last. If you still have queries, do not hesitate to post them in the comment section below.

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Luna Tran

My name is Luna and I am a great cat lover and a cat owner of three lovely cats. I have owned many cats till now and have dedicated many years to nurturing and caring cats. Through this blog, I am here to share my knowledge and experience about cats.