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Old 07-24-2009, 07:59 AM
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Cat Ethics Question

Please, please don't turn this into some sort of argument. I would just like good, honest opinions.

A stray cat has turned up in our backyard. It's obvious from holding him/petting him that he's old and lumpy (he seems to be in okay health, but he has a hard time swallowing kibble). I'm fairly certain he has cancer.

I'm not a cat person by any stretch of the imagination, and my two dogs despise the cat (who likes to lay in front of the glass door to tease them), so stray has to stay outside.

I've been feeding him some holistic senior cat food I got at the pet store (mixed with warm water to soften if up) and a can of senior cat food at night. So, the question here: I was wanting to take him to the vet, but as I mentioned earlier, I'm fairly certain he has cancer (I was pre-vet for three years, so this is a pretty educated IMO) and that the vet will either recommend expensive treatment or recommend putting him down. I feel like it'd be really mean to have to euthanize him because he picked the wrong house to beg for food at, but I also don't want him to suffer (and as terrible as it sounds, I don't really want to pay thousands of dollars to extend his life another few months or so if it turns out he's really sick).

So, advice please? I don't want to be accused of being heartless because I'm trying to take the best care reasonably possible of this old, lumpy kitty.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:14 AM
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I just wanted to say that as a cat owner, your post got me choked up

I think it's wonderful that you are feeding him and helping to take care of him. I would take him to the vet to get him checked out at least. Do you think he'd be OK at a shelter or another organization that can take care of him?
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by DarlinAnna View Post
I just wanted to say that as a cat owner, your post got me choked up
I think it's wonderful that you are feeding him and helping to take care of him. I would take him to the vet to get him checked out at least.
+1 to everything she said.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:33 AM
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I will probably get yelled at for this, but it really is an honest opinion.

First of all, if a shelter will take him, by all means, certainly do that if he's not in pain. If there's a way to treat him, and a shelter will do it, it's not very fair to you to have to spend a lot of money on him.

However, I'm a firm believer in euthanasia for both pets AND people. If the cat's in an extraordinary amount of pain, I don't see why it's not okay to help him out of it. I know there are people who will disagree with me on this, but I'm not saying it for argument.

either way, you're a great person for taking the cat in.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:39 AM
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Does he seem to be in pain? Can he run around outside and do what cats do? If he has tumors that are not painful (older animals sometimes have lipomas -- which are not problematic, do not spread, and are not a threat to their health) that cause them to feel lumpy. I guess I would want to know if he is just old and lumpy without pain, or riddled with pain and unable to do what cats normally do.

To me, the answer about what to do would be different depending on the answers to the above questions. Also, what is your climate and where does he find shelter (if you know)?

It's really kind of you to take him under your wing and feed him.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:01 AM
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I would say take him to the vet and let the vet figure out what's wrong. Either the vet will recommend surgery because they are fairly confident it will solve the problem (if the cat actually has cancer) or the vet will advise against it as there may be little chance of success. I don't think a vet would tell you to have the surgery if there wasn't a high probability of success since, like you said, this is just an old stray.

A lot of shelters I've seen will take in cats like that and if there is a strong chance surgery can correct an issue, they will do it.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:35 AM
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Well, Mr. Stanley Thistlebottom now has a vet appointment for next week. You guys are completely right, the least I can do is take him to the vet.

I'm afraid to take him to the shelter because there's not a no-kill shelter in the area and the ones we do have are full (and since he's old and possibly sick, I don't see him being on the top of their "save" list).

I think he's been finding shelter and catching food in the garden thing behind our yard, but I'm not sure. He's neutered, which means that someone loved him at one point (which makes me too upset to discuss), but judging by the frequency he's at our house and how hungry he is, I think he's now a stray. The weather here is pretty mild, but I put an old dog kennel with a bed in it out on the pourch just in case.

Thanks for all your suggestions and advice guys! I'm glad that there's other animal lovers out there!!
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:08 AM
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He's neutered, which means that someone loved him at one point
That is fucking filthy. What a terribly way to dispose of a living breathing animal.
It's very kind-hearted of you to take him to a vet.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazingAsh View Post
Well, Mr. Stanley Thistlebottom now has a vet appointment for next week. You guys are completely right, the least I can do is take him to the vet.

I'm afraid to take him to the shelter because there's not a no-kill shelter in the area and the ones we do have are full (and since he's old and possibly sick, I don't see him being on the top of their "save" list).

I think he's been finding shelter and catching food in the garden thing behind our yard, but I'm not sure. He's neutered, which means that someone loved him at one point (which makes me too upset to discuss), but judging by the frequency he's at our house and how hungry he is, I think he's now a stray. The weather here is pretty mild, but I put an old dog kennel with a bed in it out on the pourch just in case.

Thanks for all your suggestions and advice guys! I'm glad that there's other animal lovers out there!!
for being a caring individual.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:13 AM
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I will probably get yelled at for this, but it really is an honest opinion.

First of all, if a shelter will take him, by all means, certainly do that if he's not in pain. If there's a way to treat him, and a shelter will do it, it's not very fair to you to have to spend a lot of money on him.

However, I'm a firm believer in euthanasia for both pets AND people. If the cat's in an extraordinary amount of pain, I don't see why it's not okay to help him out of it. I know there are people who will disagree with me on this, but I'm not saying it for argument.

either way, you're a great person for taking the cat in.

Could not agree more.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:16 AM
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yeah, c8 you will not be flamed for that.

Amazingash, nice thing you're doing.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:21 AM
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There are thousands of perfectly healthy cats that get euthanized all the time.
This cat is obviously suffering and euthanizing the cat is the kind thing to do in this situation.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:34 AM
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That is fucking filthy. What a terribly way to dispose of a living breathing animal.
It's very kind-hearted of you to take him to a vet.
I've heard that when a cat get sicks, he/she will wander off from it's owner to die.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:43 AM
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I have heard the same thing. You might want to post a Found Cat notice on Craigslist and www.Pets911.com on the off chance the cat did wander off from it's owner. It's free.

I just wanted to add how wonderful you have been to take care of this poor little guy. First feeding him and giving him what shelter you could, and now taking him to the vet. There is a chance someone might actually be looking for him. If they are I'm sure they are hoping someone like you is taking care of their cat while he is lost. I know I would.

Anyway, good for you. Please keep us updated on his condition.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:44 AM
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I've heard that when a cat get sicks, he/she will wander off from it's owner to die.
Well, I've never heard that but compared to the other explanations for a sick pre loved cat without an owner, I hope you are right.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:48 AM
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^I have heard that as well, and think I experienced it. I did not know she was sick, but she was old and disappeared one day.
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:55 AM
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However, I'm a firm believer in euthanasia for both pets AND people. If the cat's in an extraordinary amount of pain, I don't see why it's not okay to help him out of it.
I am going to pull an ITA and say ITA.

If he is in fact riddled with cancer, do not put him through any surgery just to prolong his life a few more months. I'm not saying go ahead and euth him, but when the time comes you should.

I am glad you are taking care of him the best you can. I truly hope he doesn't have cancer and that he is just an old and lumpy dude. Do you know of any cat rescues in your area that would take him in?

Quote:
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I've heard that when a cat get sicks, he/she will wander off from it's owner to die.
I would say probably so if 99.9% of people weren't fucking assclowns.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:08 AM
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It sounds like the same kind of cancer that my cat has. Lung cancer. Does the cat shake all over and breathe really heavy? Imhotep helped my cat get on a medication that has helped her prolong her life and not be in any pain. A couple of months ago she was dying and turned around. She's starting to get worse again but at least I know she wont be in any pain. PM Vik and see if he can help you with the same medication.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:12 AM
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I would say probably so if 99.9% of people are fucking assclowns.
what do you mean "if"

I thought we already agreed on this
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:15 AM
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I think youre wonderful for caring for this cat even though you're not a cat person by nature. Its nice of you to just be giving him food and shelter. Thank you for that.
I agree with ceight
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:16 AM
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to you for taking care of him!

I'm not a big cat person but, at least in dogs, I've seen the same "lumpy" look...they're basically benign tumors made of fat that a lot of super-old dogs get. I see it more in hounds (my friend's doxie and our neighbor's beagle who must be 16+ by now). I hope that's what your new lil buddy has and not cancer!
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:21 AM
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As a kitty owner who just this week had the scare of her life with her kitty going missing, at the very least take it to the vet and have it scanned for a microchip in case it is someone's, and post around that you've found it. It is indeed common for pets who wouldn't usually wander to wander off when they are sick.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:28 AM
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I just wanted to chime in and say that you really are as your username suggests, Amazing. I'm sure your puppies don't appreciate being tortured by Mr. Stanley Thistlebottom (lulz at the name), but you're so wonderful for taking care of him anyway.

Brody, I think that making assumptions about the condition of kitty isn't the thing to do until after the vet at least, or until we're given more info from OP about kitty. Just because there are lots of cats doesn't mean that he doesn't belong to someone, or that he doesn't deserve to live.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:37 AM
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Mr. Stanley Thistlebottom

I give this name a 9.5 out of 10 for greatness.
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:45 AM
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what a wonderful and caring thing to do! As a lifelong kitty lover, I also support the appropriate use of euthanasia, and know how hard it is to make that decision. Let us know how it turns out!!
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