Natashajane
My 16 year old cat is on 7 meds twice a day PLUS pain meds plus an injection every 2 days. I compound the meds into liquid meds but the combined volume she has to drink is ridiculous. The vet says if I dont give her all her meds she will die within a week.  Its become such a struggle and now my cat screams when I approach with meds, and spits them out. I dont know what else to do. She has multiple medical issues but when she has good days it is wonderful.  Trying to give all these meds is making our time left together just horrible and unhappy. Please can you advise how you handled giving so many meds towards your cat's end of life phase and at what point is it a loosing battle? 
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Memories_of_Marmalade
Hi Natashajane,

I am so sorry that your cat is not well and having to take so much medication. And that you are trying your best to administer it.  It can be one of the most challenging aspects of trying to help a cat when they are not well. 

In my case, my cat "Marmalade" (he was around 11 or 12 years old we think) had to take 14 different meds over the last 60 days of his life. He was such a good, good boy but like you are experiencing with your girl, he had just had enough. He couldn't do it anymore. I would wrap him up in a blanket and he would scream and hiss and bite the air in the end as I forced medications into his mouth (he would not eat his food with medication added to it) and I could tell that at ANY time he was going to no longer trust me and most likely go and hide from me. And I could not allow that to happen. We had a very deep and special bond and his trust in me meant the World to me. He was cooperative, patient, loving and kind to the end. And that really meant a lot to me. I didn't want to lose our connection.

He may have thought we were trying to help him, but he did not understand the science of it. And he must have felt very confused about the entire situation which just stressed him out more.

In the end I could not longer allow him to suffer from more medication and/or trips to the Vet's / Animal Hospitals where he would be poked, and prodded, and tested and examined and man-handled and operated on etc. He was fighting the Vet and his nurses tooth and nail in the end. He had had enough. So I felt I had to let him go. I could have opted to have steroids given to my boy (they are a curse medication and a blessing which can lead to serious side effects as you may know) but I opted out. It broke my heart into a billion pieces, but I had to think of my Marmalade's needs in the end and not my own. HIS feelings. HIS pain and discomfort. He had no way to tell me what he was feeling and experiencing internally.

I'm not sure of what your girl is suffering from health wise. And if the medication will save her life, not just prolong it. But as you may have read here on this forum, there comes a time where we need to make a call. We have to be courageous and protect our beloved's from pain and suffering. They say "You will know when the time comes." In my case I felt that I did and made that final, fatal call. I miss my boy terribly. Making that choice destroyed me. But I could no longer allow him to edure such pain and discomfort. Not on my watch. I owned him that much.

Kind regards,
James
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Natashajane
Thank you so much for your reply James. It is very much appreciated.  I think part of the dilemma for me is that my girl can still use the litter box, is completely lucid, is eating and drinking DESPITE all her illnesses. And yes, if I stopped her meds she would not be around longer than about a week. And like your boy, she is sweet and patient but I feel like these meds are ruining my bond with her. She always looks angry with me. In this situation, how does one know "when the time comes"? 
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Memories_of_Marmalade
My boy had lost weight. A few lbs. Which he really could not afford. But he was still somewhat strong and muscular. He purred, but it was too much. They can purr when they are in distress as you may know. He was still solid. He felt strong. But I could tell he was in pain.

I stopped giving him his meds as I knew that at any moment there was going to be a shift and he would no longer trust me. And as I wrote, I knew he would end up hiding from me. He had been so patient for so many weeks taking his medication, but you could tell he was just at the end of his rope in allowing me to administer it. Even if it meant he might not get better.

We had 4 1/2 incredible years together and his trust in me and our unique bond was priceless. He saved my life many times. It finally came down to my asking myself why was I trying to prolong his life? For me or for him? Was he in pain? Was he getting worse? What did the future hold? What could become of him? I had read so, so many tragic examples (including here on this forum) of pet parents waiting too long and what their beloved's and them experienced at the end. That there pet could no longer remember them in their final days as they became senile, walking in circles, wailing in pain, throwing a painful bloodclot and not being able to walk, going blind, becoming catatonic, bleeding from every orifice etc. I could not allow that to happen to my boy. I wanted him to go out while he was still "him."

There is no way for us to know what they are feeling internally. They don't speak English. They can't elaborate. So we need to take into consideration what they MIGHT be feeling. I don't buy into the notion that they "don't feel pain" when Vet's claim that. That is ridiculous. Our pets feel pain just like we humans do and they also feel fear, anxiety, confusion and distress just like we do. But they don't understand illness. They don't understand death. They just think that the pain and suffering they are feeling is going to continue FOREVER. That becomes their reality. Which must be terrifying for them.

So I weighed all of the above out. Obviously whatever your girl's health condition plays into your consideration. Is she terminal? Can she revover fully? What side effects is she experiencing from all of those meds she has to take?

You will know what do so if and when the time comes. Just please be mindful of the above sweetie. It is so easy to be confused and not make any decisions. There is evidence of that all over this forum and it is heartbreaking what pets got through in the end when they are not shown mercy and provided a peaceful and calm send-off. I still regret making that call, but I know it was the right thing to do. I could no longer allow my boy to be in pain and suffer with an unknown future and possible future detoriation. I could not prop him up for my needs. 

I will be praying for you and yours and send you my...

Kindest regards,
James
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