Behavioral Changes in Cats Before They Are About to Die

As a cat owner, you may want to know when your cat is about to die. This way, you can provide comfort to your cat in its last days, and can also be prepared for its death. When cats near their death, they display certain signs- both physical and behavioral.

Change in level of activity

As a cat approaches death, it is likely to prefer relaxation to activity. If your cat used to be very playful and full of activity in the house, it will avoid much of these activities as it gets closer to its day of death. This is because the cat’s body systems will be tired and not able to cope with the high energy activities it was previously engaged in.

The breathing of a cat approaching death is lowered, and this means it needs to take more breaths than it used to. This is also why the cat is unable to take part in vigorous physical activities.



Another common behavioral change in cats that are getting closer to death is a tendency to seclude themselves. If your cat used to enjoy playing with you, you will notice how it prefers to be alone and does not respond to your attempts at play. The cat is likely to find a place where it can die peacefully. Just like other animals, cats are evolved to defend themselves, and can understand when they are too weak to do this. In the wild, they would seclude themselves to prevent attacks by predators since they are not strong enough to either fight or take flight. Domesticated cats still have this instinct in them as they approach death and will commonly find a place far from the owner and other cats to die peacefully.

Usually, the cat will seek a place that does not get disrupted often. If your cat goes missing often, check in areas which get very little disturbance such as the store and in the bushes around the house.

Finding comfort

Cats that have previously had an independent attitude may develop a vulnerable attitude, and will likely turn to the owner often. The cat may purr incessantly. This helps the cat get through the pain it may be going through as it grows old.


A cat dying will also be evidently deteriorating. A dying cat will often leave its fur unkempt and may not be able to act as sharp as it used to. The senses of the cat will deteriorate and this can be seen in the cat’s movements. Such a cat will move slower, and may hit objects in its path since its sense of sight is not as good as it used to be. The cat may also make the house dirty by not making it to the litter box all the time.

In some cases, the cat may start to develop an odor. This is because of the deteriorating internal organs of the cat and the accumulation of toxins in the body of the cat.


Changes in feeding

As the owner of the cat, you know how much your cat normally consumes. If this level goes down, then this might mean that the cat is approaching its day of death. Dying cats tend to eat and drink less that they normally would. This can also be observed from the opposite end- a dying cat will have less amount of waste than usual. If you observe your cat enough, you will notice this change.

Other ways of telling that your cat is about to die

Apart from the behavior, a dying cat also displays physical changes. The heartbeat of a cat is bound to be slower than usual. Normally, a cat’s heart beat is between 140 and 220 beats per minute. If the cat’s heart beat is below this level, then the cat is probably approaching its death. The blood pressure of a dying cat is also bound to drop. To measure the blood pressure of your cat, you will need to visit the vet.

The cat’s body temperature also drops as it gets closer to death. It can drop to below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The normal temperature of a healthy cat lies between 100 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to measure the temperature yourself, you can take it by inserting a thermometer in the cats ear or rectum.


How to Help Your Cat Die Peacefully

If your cat is about to die, what you can do is to provide a comfortable bed for it. Get the litter box closer to the cat’s resting place so that it doesn’t have to walk longer distances to get to it. If the cat is clearly sick, get it to the vet as soon as possible.

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