Cats exhibit a variety of behaviors, most of which can seem weird to (first-time) owners, and it is important to be attuned to this behavior so that the meanings behind the behavior doesn’t go unnoticed. A lot of such behavior can be relegated to the category of the cat’s eccentricity, but there are some behaviors that are strong signals for potential health and emotional issues from which your cat may be suffering; seeking isolation is one of these types of behavior.
Some of the most important signals to look out for is that of aging.
There are many signs of aging exhibited by cats; however, it is the frequency and severity of those signs which may indicate a severe decline in health, or worse.
Entering The End of Life Stage
It is never easy losing a beloved pet, nay family member, but knowing the signs that a cat is entering the end of life stage can help make the transition a bit easier, both for the cat and his human family.
An aging cat will show the same signs as that of ill health, but they will be more frequent and possibly more severe. Some of the most telling signals of a dying older cat include:
- Noticeable reduction or change in bathroom habits
- Loss of appetite and related weight loss
- Extreme lethargy
- The seeking of solitude
As you’ll note, seeking isolation by a cat can signal the nearing of the end of his life.
These symptoms are not uncommon in younger cats who are unwell, and need medical treatment; however, in cats that have advanced in years, these signs are almost inevitable.
The seeking of isolation by a cat is simply an instinctual move. In the wild, a cat would seek isolation and hiding as he knows his increase vulnerability due to weakness, and inability to fight off or escape predators. This ancient instinct kicks in even in domesticated cats, and people will find their beloved pet who would otherwise be glued to them, increasingly, seeking isolation.
It is worth noting that not every domesticated cat will seek isolation in his final days. Some will seek comfort in companionship but still spend a lot of their time resting and allowing their deteriorating bodies as much room for comfort as possible.
Major Health Issues at The End of Life
The end of life stage brings with it major health issues, usually related to one or more of the major organs failing. The most common health issues are:
- Heart disease
- Renal failure
- Immune system failure
Whatever the cause for the decline in health, the important thing to keep in mind is that helping your cat be comfortable at the end of his life is the best thing you can do for him.