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My cat passed away yesterday :( Looking for some insight....

December 1st, 2008, 02:40 PM
Hello all,

I registered on the forums in an attempt to narrow down the cause of my cat's sudden death yesterday, and being a university student I cannot afford to pay to have an autopsy done to find out what really happened. He was my best friend, and if anyone could offer me some possibilities of why he died would really help the grieving process.

The Facts

-4 year old male calico indoor cat named Cubbee
-visited the vet regularly (annual basis), healthy aside from scabs he would develop on his chest area from what the vet speculated as an allergy to rubber or leather (he always laid on my girlfriends leather boots while waiting for her to come home). He was given medication 2 years ago for it, and he has been healthy ever since.
-Nutram food, Temptations treats
-average weight and size
-playful, friendly, energetic, and always wanted to be right beside me no matter where I was

The Signs

-in the 4 years of having him, he never had a single bowel accident on the floor.
-2 weeks ago I came home, and he had pooped on the floor for the first time ever.
-last week I came home and their was a clear liquid on the tiles in the kitchen. Not urine, was unscented, possibly vomit (which also would have been a first)
-despite all of this, no differences in his evergy level or no signs of anything abnormal.

The Death

-I called him out to the kitchen to get some treats and was watching him eat them.
-all of a sudden he flew backwards and landed on his side with his back arched and tail poofed (similarly to when he was startled or scared)
-he let out 2 deep and loud breaths, then his pupils dialated and his tongue fell out of his mouth and was purple. (all happened within the course of about 10 seconds)

The Aftermath

-I was so shocked and had no idea what to do, so I was pumping his chest, shaking him, and put my finger in his throat to attempt to clear anything blocking his breathing passage (which there was nothing)
-Helplessness is a very upsetting feeling, and thats how I felt when I could not do anything to revive him.
-he died in my arms looking right at me with his eyes open, after eating the treats that I had given him. It is not my fault, but it is difficult not to blame myself for not being able to help him, and giving him treats in the first place.

I have been offered many theories on what may have been the cause of his death, and all are somewhat probable seeing as I cannot afford to have him examined. Some of them include:

-an ingredient in plaque fighting treats that causes a heart buildup
-a bacteria in his dairly flavoured treats (plenty of dairy recalls where I live in Toronto, Canada)
-he choked on the treat
-he had a heartattack/stroke

Upon researching it a little bit, it seems that a very likely explaination is that he either had a previous heart condition from a young age, or something called Cardiomyopathy which I don't know much about at all.

The purpose of this post is to get some expert advice, seeing as the only sources I have available at the moment are people in my apartment and the internet. If anyone has any idea of what could have caused his death, or anyone has had a similar situation and actually been in a position to have their pet examined, your input would be very much appreciated.

**On a side note, I have to say I am utterly disgusted with the animal organizations in my area. First off, on a sunday night at 6pm nothing is open and I was madly flipping through the phonebook for a 24-hour vet phone service similar to the 24-hour doctor phone line and could not find one. I called a place that happened to be open in the next town over, and they said they would pick up my cat for a $150 fee. Instead, my girlfriend and I wrapped him in towels, put him in a box, and stored him in a cold area until this morning when we could take him to the humane society. I was even more saddened when I was told there that it would cost $20 to take his body, $40 to creamate him with other animals, $150 to creamate him alone and have his ashes returned, and $500 to have him buried. These organizations do help animals that are alive and in need of help for free, but apparently after the animals life is over is how they make their profit and pay their bills. I realize that they do need to make money somehow to pay their expenses, but it was just an awful feeling not to be able to give my Cubbee his own creamation ceremony, let alone have him buried :(

December 1st, 2008, 02:49 PM
My condolences...
I've no expertise in veterinary medicine, but I'd say it was a heart attack. It's too bad you can't afford an autopsy...

December 1st, 2008, 02:52 PM
Trevor i am soooo sorry to hear about your little one, i also have no information on this just wanted to give my condolences:grouphug:.

one of our more knowledgeable kitty members will be along and maybe can give some advice, i will private message Dr. Lee and see if maybe he can help too.

:rip:little one.

December 1st, 2008, 03:00 PM
So sorry for the loss of your beloved cat. That must have been a horrifying experience. I'm not a vet and I would think that even a vet wouldn't be able to tell you definitively what happened without doing a necropsy, but given the sudden nature of your cat's death, I'd be leaning towards a heart attack. Choking wouldn't cause death that quickly, nor would any bacteria in the treats. There was probably very little that you could have done. I'm so sorry.

As for the cremation costs, those are pretty standard across the board. With the number of pets that die on any given day and the operating/maintenance of the equipment needed to cremate them, it can't really be expected that they would offer this service for free. I'm sorry you didn't have any other options.

December 1st, 2008, 03:05 PM
Sorry this happened to your boy. It does sound like a heart problem, which is not uncommon, although if you take the vomiting and 'accidents' into account, is it possible he ate something poisonous? Either way :rip: Cubbey, your dad loved you. It's very sad you couldn't bury him or have his ashes. I live in an apartment and have gotten around this by burying cats on public land after dark. I can't leave a marker but at least I know the cat is there, tucked in the earth.

December 1st, 2008, 03:12 PM
I have nothing to add but just wanted to send you my condolences. :grouphug:

:rip: Cubbee :candle:

December 1st, 2008, 03:51 PM
I am so very sorry for you loss. HUGS

December 1st, 2008, 04:43 PM
oh geez.. I am SO sorry for your loss.. I am so sad for you :(

I can't even imagine how hard it was for you to go through all of that.

December 1st, 2008, 05:31 PM
I am sorry for your loss :grouphug: It must have been just horrifying to watch your kitty pass away.

Normal signs of heart disease do not include pooping and vomiting, but are: coughing, lethargy, fainting, and difficulty in breathing. However the sudden death seems more like a heart attack, anuerysm, stroke, or heartworm.

December 1st, 2008, 06:22 PM
I am soo very sorry for your loss. What a terrible thing to have to go through!:grouphug:

Jim Hall
December 1st, 2008, 06:52 PM
i have had 3 cats die that way from cardiac problems and it happens around here at rescue orgs about 2 percent of the timeusually to strays thathave bee briught in what happens is that since the strays usually are malnourished as kittens , they develope weak hearts or have genetic problems due to in breeeding if in a colony its a b*** i know not having the money to find out ive been there and i would yhoink thay most of the folks here have too DOnt beat up yourself too much, you gave a wonderfull life to another soul in this world, be proud and happy and do it again somewhere down the road

January 6th, 2009, 06:24 AM
I am very sorry for your loss. I know how you feel in not knowing. My puppy was very sick and died over the course of 24 hours after her first symptom, because of a blockage in her stomach, she needed surgery to survive (over $1000.00 because it was an emergency and on christmas) but she died before the surgery - they said if we wanted to know what it was we'd have to go through with the surgery but we can't afford that for an autopsy. I wonder everyday what it might have been..

January 6th, 2009, 06:42 AM
Trevor,I am very sorry,what a terrible experience for you and Cubbee:sad:
The sudden death sounds like it was heart-related,but I certainly cannot say for sure,he was just a baby at 4 yrs old.

January 6th, 2009, 01:16 PM
trevor, I'm so sorry --- my sincere condolences on losing "Cubbee". What a horrific ending! It sounds like something very sudden, like a heart attack or aneuysm. I had a cat die at this time of year & put her in the freezer in a green garbage bag, until the spring when the ground was thawed out and buried her in our garden. I'm not sure from your post whether you went ahead and had him cremated or not when you took him to the humane society? If not and you still have his body, I like the idea of burying him somewhere else, perhaps in a conservation area, and placing a rock on the burial place. The one thing that does puzzle me is that you said he was a calico, which are usually females, it's extremely rare to have a male calico. If that was truly the case, "Cubbee" was more than unique!

January 6th, 2009, 02:40 PM
Hi Trevor, Just wanted to offer my condolences for your loss. I too lost a little puppy this August. She was healthy one day and then my ex-husband who was dogsitting (we were on vacation) came home from work and she was dead at the bottom of the stairs. She was only seven months old. It really, really hurts. I feel what you are going through.

January 6th, 2009, 02:48 PM
My condolences...
I've no expertise in veterinary medicine, but I'd say it was a heart attack. It's too bad you can't afford an autopsy...

Animals "autopsy" are called necropsy


sorry for your loss, but yea doesnt sound like you could have done much :(

January 6th, 2009, 04:02 PM
I am sorry you had to go through that :sad: At least with cancer or whatnot, it is difficult, but you get to say your goodbyes and can prepare somewhat...I should talk, I was in tears!

As far as knowing what went wrong, it almost sounds like choking...without an autopsy though...