jerigraehl
I am really struggling with how to handle this. I have little personal support - I am in my 60's now and retired and my support system has gotten very low. I lost my last cat last year in Sept at 15.2 years. It literally broke my heart. I chose not to let him suffer but questioned my choice.  

Now I am facing a similar situation with Sugar Bear. She is 15.2 yrs now. I have seen her decline rapidly the last few weeks. I am sure she has chronic kidney disease due to her symptoms. I tried to get some prescription kidney diet but it requires a prescription. Sugar is a very shy cat and has never once been out of my house since I rescued her at 4weeks - brought her home at 7 weeks. I LOVE her so much and she helped me beyond when I lost Khaomanee last year. We sleep together every night and are together 24/7.  This is a hospice situation now and I am so devestated.

So I am hoping for opinions on how to handle the situation. I am not going to traumatize her with a vet visit and tests. She is not a cat who can tolerate it. She is very shy and untrusting of strangers. Even if my door to my house is wide open she won't leave. I have looked into a mobile vet. What I feel is right is to find the prescription diet. But vets want to follow protocol and test. I already know what is wrong. I am literally afraid she will die just from the trauma of the testing - even if it is from a mobile vet. I went through taking a former cat to 3 different vets from a fibro sarcoma from a rabies shot he did not even need. I tramatized him and he tried so hard to get away each time I tried to crate him to go. I regret doing it. 

What should I do?? Has anyone dealt with this? I am so upset that I can't get her the prescription diet - even online without traumatizing her. I mean what is that going to do except harm? But if she does not get the food..... I would gladly pay a vet for the prescription - I just don't want the tests. It is so obvious what is wrong.  I am SO upset about this. And I am so afraid of her suffering like I have seen in prior pets. I am also afraid of how this will hit me as this will be the first time in 30 years I will be completely alone with out a pet or human living with me. I am so used to my cats being with me all the time the loss will be terrible.  

I know this was long. And there are a few things at play to consider. Any feedback will be so appreciated. Thankyou. Jeri
jerigraehl
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P_Mom
Hi Jeri, I'm very sorry for your loss last year and that you're coping with all of this again now. I don't have cats, but my Chihuahua passed in February of kidney failure. As you likely already know hydration is critical and injections can be a part of the treatment, but sounds like that may not be an option.  (I did not opt for this as I felt it would be too stressful for my boy and the prognosis was poor.) 

If you can't obtain the food, could you make it homemade using a reliable source online? Also, do you think it's possible it could be something else not as dire/ more easily treatable like a uti?  My brother's cat gets these frequently and gets antibiotics. His vets also stress wet food over dry to help support the kidneys. 

Maybe in this situation there is something you can give to calm her if you need to get a test?  I know it's so hard, hoping someone who as experience with kitties can offer you more help.  Paws crossed for you and your baby.  
Jennifer
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Gracie4ever

Hi Jeri, I’m really sorry for your loss and your struggle right now. I just lost my girl to what I think was renal failure, August 19. My girl had kidney disease as well as pancreatitis and diabetes so it was impossible to treat all effectively since they were “competing illnesses”...I’d asked the vet a year ago if she needed special kidney food and was told no, but in order to treat her diabetes I went to low grain food but today I found out high protein probably wasn’t good for her kidney disease. Lose lose situation!  I had no idea! So I really feel your anxiety, I’m so sorry, dear.

You might maybe try googling for non prescription cat foods for kidney disease...I don’t know which websites would be more reliable but maybe with some research you could find a good choice? It’s the only idea I have. I wish I had thought of that, for my girl. She just seemed like she was doing pretty good, until she wasn’t.

Hopefully someone else may have other ideas. My heart aches for you, please know you have support.

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Orange_Cat
Theres some new thinking about food for chronic conditions like crf and diabetes - there are viable alternatives to prescription food that are as good as, if not better. Have you found any crf specific forums who can advise re: food and how you might proceed - I came across this one but dont know it enough to recommend or not - https://feline-crf-support.groups.io/g/Feline-CRF-Support

I just know when I had a diabetic kitty the online community at felinediabetes.com was INVALUABLE.... truly the internet at its best.    ideally you would have a diagnosis so you can know more precisely what to do for palliative care and to make end of life decisions (if you have to) with more confidence. As with Gracie's kitty sometimes there can be more than one thing going on, and it would be good to know.  

I am trying to take a more palliative approach with Orange (since he has multiple things going on) and my experience is that vets will generally respect a client who doesnt wish to proceed with endless diagnostics and invasive procedures..   One vet did express to me a concern that if I wasnt going to hosptialize or  do the further diagnostics and possible radiation and/or surgery that I not put him through prolonged suffering and she was absolutely right, I do need to be in tune with him and recognize when he has had enough.    But I would also say the same to a person who decided that they DO want to pursue the intensive medical intervention route.  

It's just SOOO frikking difficult.....  I feel for you.  Hang in there and I wish for you some peaceful pain-free days ahead for you and your girl.
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Jan_H
My cat was diagnosed with kidney disease and the vet recommended low protein and low phosphorous foods. I tried the prescription foods but he didn't like them so I buy food that doesn't require a prescription. I can't make him eat what he doesn't like. My boy is 17.

There is a chart on catinfo.org that is helpful.

https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf

I am not a vet so I hope you can speak to a vet who can recommend food for an senior cat.
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