My cat died at 1am this Sunday at home. Her passing is really bothering me as I go over my decisions over and over in my head, as well as her last moments. I know that there is really no point as she is gone now and beyond any pain or suffering, but like in all such cases, it's those that are left behind that suffer, albeit in a different way.

She was in end stage renal disease and had really outlived all expectations, with her vet warning me she had a few weeks to live about a two months ago. She was a really tough kitty and clearly did things her own way. A few days ago, she started deteriorating faster. On Wednesday, I took her to the vet as she was building up fluid in her abdomen, which I know is not a good sign. But I wanted to bring her some more comfort by draining the fluids and giving her some medication to help it. Her back legs started to get weaker, but her spirits remained high. She still climbed all over me at night to cuddle, she had a good appetite and I was just happy that she seemed to be comfortable. On Friday, her legs completely gave out and she couldn't walk more than a few steps without resting. Again, she was purring, alert and had a good appetite. I spoke to the vet about what to do, and expressed my hesitation about bringing her in especially when she was lucid (we all know how cats love going there). I just didn't want her last clear memories to be of that place. So he was kind enough to suggest coming to my apartment on Sunday after his appointments were done. I decided to see how she was on Saturday, in case she needed to be rushed over there during the day. She was great on Saturday, she tried to scramble on to her favorite place on the couch, though I had to give her a push and help arrange herself properly. She had some visitors in the afternoon and she seemed to enjoy them scratching behind her ears and petting her. She ate a decent amount and used the litter box when I put her in. I went out for a few hours and when I came back, she had finished all her food, so I gave her more, which she ate up quickly. But close to midnight I noticed that her twitching had gotten more prevalent and her eyes were starting to become glassy. I got scared and wrapped her in a towel and cradled her, and put bothof us under a blanket. For a while she just lay in my arms, still twitching, but calm and quiet. Close to 1, I noticed her breathing came out more rapidly and it seemed like she was gasping for breath. Then she took a deep breath and let out a meow. After a few more breaths she did it again, and then finally another one and she passed on. I controlled myself and kept on stroking her and talking to her throughout, but the meowing really really upset me. I was so afraid that she was in pain. And because of this I am second guessing my decision not to take her to the vet on Saturday when she was comfortable. But I feel like it was a catch-22. She was so alert and so comfortable at home, and we had planned for them to come the next day. In fact I was worried that they would come and she would still be like that and I would feel bad...

This kind of thing is never easy, and for the most part I feel that she went when the time was right and did things on her own time. She lived her last year and a half as if her numbers weren't really as bad as the vet said they were, and basically ignored their predictions that she would pass away any time. And then when it was time to pass, she ignored the fact that they were coming to do it and went and did it her way. But I do feel responsible that she might have been in pain. And I am having a lot of difficulties dealing with that right now.
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I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. I lost mine to this terrible disease as well on Oct 9th. She was having the same types of problems near the end and on top of it she had arthritis in her back legs and horrible constipation problems throughout a lot of her life. Anyway, since I've been through my story enough on here, if you are interested you can read all about it in my thread, "Losing 1st Pet to CRF."
I've typed out the details enough and it's still really painful 2 weeks later.

Anyway I just wanted to reassure you that the thoughts and doubts that you are having right now are totally normal. We made the decision to euthanize my cat and while we might have spared her the final pangs of death. I'm guilty that we just simply gave up on her, granted there was no more we could do, but the timing was terrible. My birthday is Oct 10th and it also would have been 16 years on that day that we adopted her. Instead of celebrating, I was burying her instead. During her last days, she was peeing everywhere, not jumping up on things, not walking or laying down easily, and not eating well. But like your cat, she was highly alert, and still very much aware of what was going on. We originally wanted to do it at home, but were so afraid that she was going to die naturally on the 10th, that we just went in an said goodbye a day early. It was a decision that felt right at the time, because I couldn't stand to see her suffering anymore, but one that bothers me now, and prob will for a long time. I know that nothing could be done and we let her go on long enough, but I just didn't like to be the one that decided her fate. I wanted her to go on her own, but she was so strong willed and had a pretty good heart, so I don't know if she would have. One thing was for certain though, her kidneys were near kaput.

What I'm trying to say is that no matter what you would have decided to do with your cat, you would be second guessing yourself now. It's just normal, especially with this disease, it's such a roller coaster ride as you know, and when they are beating the odds at first, as both of our cats were, it's easy to think that you always have more time. I still think we might have had more time, but they just get so bad so fast it's hard to know. The poor thing was down to 3lbs at the end. I was keeping her alive for me, but deciding to euthanize is such a god awful decision that I think everyone second guesses if it was the right thing to do. It sounds like your kitty still went pretty fast and peacefully. I've read some pretty bad stories of kitties that died naturally with CRF and it sounds like something straight out of a horror movie.

The guilt will be there for a while, but it is normal. I tried to spare my kitty anymore pain, and I'm still tearing myself up about it. It's so hard to watch innocent animals suffer. Especially ones that you love so dearly. I know it's hard, but try to focus on the good times, it's not always easy, but people are always here if you need to talk.

Take care and God Bless,
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Hello.  I just wanted to say my heart goes out to you.  My original tribe of cats were three:  Prissy, the Fluffybug, and Zoe.  All three had CRF.  All three have crossed over.  Zoe was my youngest and the smallest.  She was only about 10 years old, but she had been battling this for the last 4 years.  She went to the Rainbow Bridge about a month ago.  She, too, seemed to deteriorate quickly, over the course of a week.  I knew the end was near, and I called the vet and asked her to come out to my house for Zoe's final injection, but she couldn't come out until a Tuesday.  Zoe couldn't wait.  She didn't seem to want to be held, and wouldn't stay on the bed with me.  She chose a place on the floor near the heater, and I spent the night alternating between the floor and bed.  When I was on the floor, I tried to make sure I wasn't too close and crowding her, but close enough to reach out and touch her, so she'd know I was there.  Somewhere in the wee hours her meowing woke me up.  She meowed three or four times.  I lay down on the floor and put my hand on her side.  I fell asleep that way; when I woke up, she was gone.  In a way, I was relieved; I was worried about the stress of having the vet poking her with yet another needle and having that be the last thing she knew.  I'm glad that she crossed over at home and on her own.  Your kitty wanted to be held until the last; I'm glad you got that close contact with her.  I hope you are able to take comfort from that.  I wish you comfort and peace. 
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My sincere sympathy to everyone here. I lost my cat at the end of May to end-stage crf. It is such a brutal disease. He looked much as you've described at the end. I saw a picture of him tonight, and it brought back a deep wave of grief. I thank you all for sharing your experiences. I think it helps us all in our healing.

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I too, lost my kitty to renal failure.  She died one week after being diagnosed.  It was extremely traumatic as just 3 months earlier she had been to the vet for a routine exam and bloodwork and everything was normal.  Although I know I did the right thing in ending her suffering, it still hurts.  I used to think - What did I do wrong???  My vet was wonderful and compassionate to both of us.  My hope is that in the future more research can be done to help cure this terrible disease.  God Bless to everyone on this blog.  One day we shall all be together again.
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I am so very sorry for the loss of your precious cat.
We are all here for you and we all understand here.
We all "what if" ourselves no matter how our baby left us.
When we lose someone we love we don't stop loving them.
You are in my thoughts.
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I'm am so sorry for your loss and you are definitely not alone. I lost my dear little Casper on October 19th this past year from kidney disease. When your kitty meows, he wasn't in pain. He was telling you, "goodbye for now, but don't be too sad. I'll be waiting for you by Rainbow Bridge". I know how hard it is and how sad you are because I am right there with you. I had Casper Cremated so he can be buried with me when Jesus calls me home. I haven't been able to look at the box his ashes are in or the patch of fur I had them keep or the paw print I had them make. It is all still in the bag they gave it all to me in sitting on my dresser in my bedroom. A couple months before he died I took my iPhone and recorded him purring. I want to listen to it but I'm afraid I'll start crying and won't be able to stop. Your kitty left this world just how she wanted to. You were blessed to have her go naturally at home. You gave her love and care and she loves you so much. You will be together again. Jesus said the only thing we will take with us when we leave this world is love. The love we share with our pets is just as real a Love as any other. I know I will see Cases Dr again. And you will see your kitty again too. God d Bless you and comport you. Jeanie
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Hugs, my sweet little girl passed away at home also. Heart disease. Miss her so. She was one of a kind.
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I am so sorry for everyone that lost their beloved pets.
After ten days of trying to fix a urinary blockage with countless catheters and daily vets visits ,vetinary diet my boy ended up with late stage kidney failure and died , it was the most distressing thing more like a nightmare,
I didn't know and the vets suspected but couldn't be sure until getting the urine and blood tests.
After returning from the vets he took a turn for the worse he was sitting in his water bowl thinking it was litter tray and he couldn't hardly walk and had a huge seizure , we rushed him back to the vets and they gave him IV fluids and told me to take him home and keep him warm and come back tomorrow.
As soon as I got him home he was so afraid his eyes were terrified and he was twitching and seemed to be seeing something that was upsetting him, then he had a huge seizure and was gasping for breath I cannot explain how horrific this was he was suffering so much I realised he was dying and rushed him back to the vets to put him out of his suffering , but he died on the way panting wheezing twitching and finally a huge seizure and then he was gone .
I can't believe my boy has gone , he was part of me he was the most gentle loving and special cat I ever saw , everyone loved him , his love helped me so much he was by my side through all the hard times in my life and life is empty now he has gone .
If your cat is suffering from kidney failure please be aware that this can happen and I really don't recommend anyone to see there cat suffer and die like this, I wish I did more if I could I wish I put him to sleep before but I didn't know until it was to late .
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Hello capoeiragirl, I am so very sorry for your loss, and I send you comforting thoughts.  Your story is very close to what I just went through with my sweet Miranda kitty who died 2 weeks ago at the age of 22. She had kidney disease and hyperthyroidism, which also then impacted her heart.  Our last few weeks/hours sound very much like yours with some good moments and some weak moments, some appetite, and some good loving moments.  She made such an effort to love me and to be alive in those last hours.  If I could go back in time and stay right there I would.  

The vet had told me not to be too concerned if she was rapid-breathing, because it could be due to her thyroid condition. But after watching her breathing rate increase over the weekend, and it worsening on Monday morning, I knew something wasn't right.  So off we went to the vet, where they told me it was her time to go.  Her heart had filled with fluid and there really wasn't anything they could do.  They also said we needed to act fast before she got any worse and really got into some pain.  So I held her while they euthanized her.  I barely got to say goodbye to her, but I did get to hold her for a long, long time afterward.  Once she was at peace again.  That whole morning was a blur.  It was a Monday morning, in a brightly-lit, cold vet's office.  They were nice to me, and they comforted me, but it was so rushed and so not the way I wanted my sweet Miranda to go out.  She lived for 22 years, which is an amazing thing for a cat, and I wanted her death to be peaceful and calm, but there's no guarantee of that.  Unless I had taken her in the day before.  But like you and others have said, the ups-and-downs make you wonder when the right time really is, and we always think we have another day.  

Anyway, my sympathies to you.  I send you healing and comforting things.  I also want to recognize the life of your sweet kitty. She was here and she mattered. 

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