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Elderly cat with kidney failure

So my daughters cat is 18 years old. Took him to the vet and has discovered that he is most likely in kidney failure. My daughter is very attached to the cat but I am not. It would have cost me $230 just to get blood work and a urine sample. I declined to get those because of the cost.

The vet has suggested that I at least put him on a prescription diet designed for kidney failure. The cost of the food is outrageous! $2.66 for 1 small can of food, and he would need 2 per day or supplement with the kibble that costs $40/ bag, and it’s not a very big bag.

My question is, would you spend the money on a cat who is likely dying, or would you convince your child to put it down. My daughter is 24, and has severe depression and anxiety and I fear that this may trigger a very depressive episode, but I am the one having to bear the cost. Thoughts??

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97 Responses

  1. I would pay it. I just found out my cat is diabetic and it was costly but he my kid. U can order the food on line for a litttle cheaper

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  2. If the cat is suffering I would put it down. If he is still enjoying some quality of life I would pay the money for the food and let him enjoy his end of days in style.

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  3. Just buy your daughter the dry food. Worst thing to happen is it won’t finish the bag.

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  4. Robin Sawers Robin Sawers says:

    My cat is 17 and exact same thing is happening.
    I spent the money on the blood test because it can give a difinitive answer on the severity of the kidney issues. What could be guessed as major could in turn be minor, which was this case for my cat.
    I do understand that age of an pet vs. Cost is a very hard decision, But if spending the extra $50/month on food that’s could make your pet comfortable, assist in a healthy life and allow them live 5 extra years it is worth it.
    There are also other alternatives. Talk to a pharmacist at GE pharmacy. They were very helpful and supportive to me when I was making the decision on vet prescribed food and vitamins.

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  5. I’d go into debt for my dog so yes, I’d buy special food for my suffering pet.

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  6. Shari Heiser Shari Heiser says:

    I’d euthanize. She’s 24 and this is a part of animal ownership. I’d suggest to adopt another cat to honour the last one. There are thousands that need love and support, I’m sure that’s something she can understand and get behind.

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  7. Honestly, having had 3 geriatric cats that I am still paying off vet bills for because I wasn’t ready to let them go, at 18, probably the most humane thing is to put them down. I personally don’t like how cold you sound about it as my cats were my family and I was crushed, but at this point you would probably only prolong his suffering. Possible kidney failure…the cat is in pain.

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  8. Codeh Timm Codeh Timm says:

    I had a 26 year old cat, had to put him down in November… when he started declining when he was 19 I didn’t abandon him.. He never did that to me ! That was his last ride 🙁

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    • Awe! Codeh! I like that you commented. This lady seems cold hearted.

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    • Codeh Timm Codeh Timm says:

      Thanks guys I did my best you know that.. I’ll catch him on the flip side he may be gone from here but forever in our hearts rip mojo he was well loved and had many friends.

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    • People with love and compassion for animals are the best kind of people. Lovely post, thanks for sharing.

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    • I’m sure my cats would hug you if they could read.

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    • Tiff Wapass Tiff Wapass says:

      How the heck did you get your cat to live for 26 years? Wow amazing.

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    • Codeh Timm Codeh Timm says:

      I can’t say for sure How, but one thing for sure is I never gave up once he got sick like the OP, mojo was with me ever since I was 1, I’m now 27 however I can say it wasn’t cheap and sometimes i wasnt sure what I could do many times I was put to the test for the little guy, the only reason he had to go home was because he had a abscess tooth and couldn’t handle the being put to sleep for the operation 🙁 he never gave up until the last night in bad him he never moved on my lap he just sat there and looked and slept the next day it was time.. He knew and I knew to this day I still have immense guilt but literally every card on the table was against me and it was only fair to do the right thing.

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    • Thank you for commenting!Here’s my handsome 18 year old boy. You bet I’m doing everything I can to keep him around as long as possible.

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    • Sue Dubya Sue Dubya says:

      It just shows that there are amazing, loving, caring animal parents out there. Thank you for showing such amazing love to your fur baby. I know he appreciated everything you did for him. He’s waiting for you on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
      We had a 13-year-old Cocker Spaniel who had colitis, epilepsy, chronic ear infections, bell’s palsy, and a plethora of other medical issues throughout her life, and we never gave up on her. We adopted her when she was two…and loved her deeply.

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  9. Kara Fehr Kara Fehr says:

    My brothers cat is 11 and he has kidney failure. He gets wet food, IV, and kibble. The vet brought him back from the brink of death. He is doing well and looking better but it’s up and down but he is still a happy and active kitty with lots of life left in him.

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  10. Ur daughters cat is like a family member to her.. maybe splitting the cost on the food could be worked out ..she loves her cat and u love ur daughter … hope the kitty isn’t in too much pain

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  11. Euthanize…not fair for the cat to suffer just to make her happy. Get her a new cat

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  12. M Lissa Sch M Lissa Sch says:

    I’m spending thousands on my cat this year even though I can’t really afford it – he’s a living being and deserves a chance.

    If you can afford it, suck it up. My cat cost me 80 a week on basic needs. Put him down when you have to, not when you don’t want to pay.

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    • Sara Cross Sara Cross says:

      This.

      We just had to put our baby down on Thursday night. He was severely sick. Only 3 years old. If we knew he could’ve had a good life we would have paid

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    • Sara Cross there is a big difference between saving the life of a 3 year old and prolonging the life of an 18 year old. All I’m saying is prolonging a life at 18 needs to be the best interest of the animal, not because you cannot bear to say goodbye. A lot of times all the tests and medicines and trying different foods only prolongs their suffering and as we are the ones with a voice, we need to do the right thing. A 3 year old pet is a different thing.

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    • Sara Cross there is a big difference between saving the life of a 3 year old and prolonging the life of an 18 year old. All I’m saying is prolonging a life at 18 needs to be the best interest of the animal, not because you cannot bear to say goodbye. A lot of times all the tests and medicines and trying different foods only prolongs their suffering and as we are the ones with a voice, we need to do the right thing. A 3 year old pet is a different thing.

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    • Shari Jeffrey 3 years old or 18 years old, you do what you have to do the animal don’t suffer. Whether that be medications or different food. The cat doesn’t nee to be put down cause this heartless human doesn’t want to pay.

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    • Shari Jeffrey cats can live very comfortably well past their 20th year, IF looked after, fed properly and given the support they need.

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  13. Kelsa Li Kelsa Li says:

    As a pet owner, it makes me sad that you would even ask this. You say that putting the cat down would trigger a major depressive episode in your daughter yet you are complaining about spending money on cat food? If the cat is suffering thats one thing. But if it can be managed with a change of diet then give it a try.

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    • Agreed! Do what’s best for the animal .
      I don’t get why some people do what’s best for themselves.

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    • Doing what is best for the animal is not keeping it alive and suffering.

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    • It’s a very hard decision. I work at a vet clinic and we see a lot of people who think they are doing what is best for their animals but the animals are in so much pain and doing horribly it’s more about the owner not being able to handle letting them go (understandably so), but it’s very hard to see some animals that are so bad off and you can see the pain and owners can’t/won’t afford treatment to help them.
      I think it is worth trying the food if you can’t pay for the rest but if the cat continues to decline and you can’t afford treatment than I would humanely euthanize so that the pet is not in pain. I would at least try the proper food first though to see if it makes any difference at all!

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  14. Terah Abel Terah Abel says:

    She has severe depression and anxiety so I’m going to say 100% yes it will become worse. Also, probably the worst thing you can do is try and replace it with another cat before your daughter is done grieving. I suffer with depression and have a geriatric dog and I will be devastated when she passes. I would be even more upset if my mother tried to replace her with another dog instantly.

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    • Katy Yorke Katy Yorke says:

      I agree with Terah. I will add, the cat is very old and, yes, your daughter will get more depressed, (it won’t last forever) but the cat should not have to suffer.
      There has to be a way for you to talk to your daughter about doing the humane thing. Ask her how or what can you do for her to make the cats passing easier for her to deal with. Plan on watching movies, going to movies, going for walks and tons of hugs.
      ♥️

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  15. Penny Miller Penny Miller says:

    I have put mine on organic Apple Cider Vinegar, A few drops in the morning in their wet food, has helped tremendously.

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  16. Why not let your daughter make the decision? Let her talk it out with the vet. Life is full of really hard decisions and now is her first one

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  17. I did have a cat in kidney failure she went thru some infections to I had her put down in my arms by the vet. They said it was best for her she was suffering it was more horrible to watch her suffer then to put her down I had her cremated and spread her ashes.

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  18. Put him down suffering by any means is not good.

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  19. Perhaps you should be having a conversation with your daughter. Euthanizing a cat simply because YOU don’t want to pay for it, is unacceptable. We aren’t talking thousands of dollars in vet bills.
    You’re being selfish. If you’re so concerned about your daughter, this wouldn’t be an issue.

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  20. Do whatever you can to make the cat happy and comfortable. But if it doesn’t have quality of life it may be best to put it out of its misery. Animals deserve the same love and happiness we deserve.
    And poster… you sound cold hearted. I personally think you need to work on your relationship with your daughter and the way you perceive animals. Perhaps a little more compassion and understanding could your daughter through her depression.

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  21. Why get a cat if you aren’t willing to help it when it needs you?!

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  22. Is she not able to work and help with costs associated?

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  23. Angi Switzer Angi Switzer says:

    people who let their animal suffer because they can’t let it go just can’t see the issue. Let the poor cat go. Kidney disease is a brutal slow agonizing way to die. Just because you need your cat and it doesn’t tell you it’s suffering horrendously does not take away from the fact that it is in fact suffering horribly. Your daughter needs to be a part of the decision though not the opinions on here.

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  24. If your daughter is 24, why isn’t she contributing to the health of her cat? It shouldn’t fall on you financially, she’s not a little girl.

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  25. Mel Maurice Mel Maurice says:

    She’s 24… I think she’s old enough to buy her own cat’s food?
    Anyway this is a conversation you need to have with the vet, with your daughter present, to decide what kind of quality of life kitty will have. If he’s going to be suffering, it’s probably best to say goodbye.

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  26. If the cat is suffering, put it down. It’s not fair to the cat if you can’t afford to treat the problem. Don’t let it suffer, that’s just cruel

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  27. Jeff Gorski Jeff Gorski says:

    It’s better to do it the day before than after.

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  28. My cat was 16 and she had stage 4 kidney failure and pancretis. There was nothing that could be done except a life of vet visits and meds and food . I just put her down a couple weeks ago. It wasn’t worth putting her through pain . She declined very rapidly .

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  29. You should consider contacting a few rescues for help if you truly can’t afford the treatment. Your cat deserves the treatment and food. You should also price check Vets. Lots of out of town vets (barrhead, Fort Saskatchewan, etc) are much more affordable. Even Edmonton West Animal Hospital has affordable rates.

    Please love your kitty as much as they love you. Don’t let their last year’s be spent in pain.

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  30. Ty Moss Ty Moss says:

    Not fair to the cat. Put it down, get another quickly.

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  31. New kittens fill big holes left by othervsnimals, plenty of experience

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  32. When we had to make decisions like this with our kids my husband told them that we gave them the best life we could and loved them with all our hearts but now is the time we have to think of the animals quality of life and be unselfish of our feelings. Even at a young age they understood. Maybe try explaining it that way. Good Luck

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  33. Our elderly cat had kidney failure. We put her on the Kidney Care Diet food from the vet, and also put her on a medication that would lower the blood pressure in her kidneys. She also was on potassium supplements as well as per the vet. We did all of the bloodwork, all of the vet visits. She lived happily for another year before other health issues arose. She was having breathing difficulties and it was time to let her go. I wouldn’t change that year for anything though – she was happy for another year after her diagnosis. She was an expensive cat to keep alive and happy, but she was family. She was our Gracie. I miss her everyday. Here’s a pic:

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  34. I’m sort of in the same boat. I recently spent hundreds of dollars on my 16 1/2 year old cat, she was sick and had ecoli; she also has dementia and arthritis. At this point she is ok but doesn’t do much else besides eat and sleep. If she gets sick again I’ll likely put her down-and I’m prepared for some hate if this happens. It’s not a matter of the cost for me, but financially it’s harder for some people to pay expensive vet bills and buy special food. Financial and personal circumstances can change; ignore the negative comments as no one knows your situation 100%. Good luck with whatever you decide.

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  35. Shawna Perez Shawna Perez says:

    My cat died from kidney failure due to diabetes and I spent around 7K on her in only 1.5 yrs. When she died the vet assistant actually snarled at me for not paying another $500 for an MRI to “see what else could be done”. I almost punched her in the face. Most vets are in it for the money, esp. that so-called specialist vet I overpaid for. Do what’s right for the cat. If he’s suffering and you can’t afford to treat him, put him down. No animal needs to suffer. Good luck.

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  36. If the cat is comfortable and not in pain…..yes, I would buy the food. If you want to save money, call around to vets….that is quite expensive for blood work….much more than my vet charges…..try Edmonton West on 102 ave and 142 st….excellent prices and the vets are wonderful.

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  37. Put it down, it’s suffering.

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  38. I wouldn’t put the cat to sleep I would budget his needs in …

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  39. The animal shouldn’t suffer. Find some way to help her deal. The recommendations are in the best interest of the cat. Nothing wrong with admitting it’s not affordable but the cat will eventually die. Slowly. Like a human who doesn’t get dialysis. It’s the kindest thing you can do to prevent that.

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  40. Marion Clark Marion Clark says:

    Vets are like dentists, over priced. Try the spay and neuter clinic on 66 street and 137 ave. They are better priced and the staff are great.

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  41. You are a heartless ass. Do whatever you have to do for the poor cat.m so he doesn’t suffer. Get him the medications. Why isn’t your daughter helping you with costs? She is 24.

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  42. What the hell?? There is no decision to make! Put the poor cat down! Oh my gosh the the cat is suffering, the money that has to be spent to keep it alive is ridiculous! Go get her a kitten from a rescue.

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  43. with the correct treatment, cats can live quite a bit longer after being diagnosed with kidney failure. The question is really, just because you do not like the cat, do you consider it a family member? What would you do to give a family member a good quality of life?

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  44. Irene Bakker Irene Bakker says:

    Contact zoieys foundation they will help u

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  45. Irene Bakker Irene Bakker says:

    They just ask for donations try to give something they will try to save him

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  46. Cory Pasner Cory Pasner says:

    Either medicate the cat or put it down. Not treating it isn’t an option. Unless you want the cat to die a protracted painful death, also your daughters gonna hate you regardless for being such a dick about something she obviously cares a lot about. Why don’t you just ask her for some of the money to treat it? Also why did you buy a cat if you don’t have the money to take care of it. It’s not a toaster

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  47. Emma Maguire Emma Maguire says:

    Definitely buy some food and talk to your daughter about the costs.
    I had a cat that cost me hundreds of dollars a month for years and I didn’t mind because I really loved her and made the money available for her instead of other things. The cat had kidney and thyroid problems that were fine with diet and ongoing medicine and bloodwork. Talk to the vet and see what your costs would look like and give your daughter a chance to have input and some ownership of the cost and responsibilities associated with it.

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  48. This is a sad situation. But an inevitable one too.
    You gave the cat a happy and long life. Be proud of that.
    Love comes in many forms
    Part of being a responsible pet owner, is to love the cat enough to say goodbye… when the time comes. That’s the best kind of love. It’s one of appreciation and respect
    It’s better to have loved and lost… Than to have never loved at all❤

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  49. Alex McGrath Alex McGrath says:

    Yes, the fact you can’t spend $300 is joke. You should be dieing and not get any help. I would spend $1000’s to save my animals even if it didn’t help. You should give your head a shake. Maybe do somthing better with your life if your mad you have to spend money.. that’s how life works

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  50. Dianne Slade Dianne Slade says:

    Why so many nasty comments. Not everyone can afford expensive food. And it’s no fun having a kid with issues.

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  51. my cats are part of my family. I’d never abandon them in their need, nor would I euthanize them if they could still have a few years in relative comfort and health. How about you give up one ‘special coffee’ a day and buy a can of special food and supplements for a cat your daughter obviously needs in her life??

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  52. It bothers me when pet owners bitch about the cost of the animal. You shouldn’t become a pet owner if you can’t afford cat food or such. Pets are not disposable. As others have said, if he is suffering euthanasia is the most humane and compassionate thing to do. But don’t let a 2.66 can of cat food be the determining factor of life or death. Appeal to rescue groups or other organizations for help. Where there is a will there is a way.

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  53. I would put it down, and let your daughter pick out another cat from the SPCA <3

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  54. The daughter can pay half for it, at least.This would teach her responsibility, and make things easier for you and your daughter in the long run.

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  55. You are a terrible person.

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  56. what kind of monster mother are you????? Your daughter oughta throat punch you

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  57. Doug Barrett Doug Barrett says:

    You never stop being a parent and doing what is right for your child, no matter what age , If you can help then that is the right thing to do.

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  58. Awe. Prescription diet (Hills) is a bit of a scam. Often overpriced for the quality. Talk to the vet have them tell you specifically what is the ingredients/minerals that are or are not in there that are concerning for the cat. I know you want LOW magnesium and can find good foods for less at pet supply stores (Walmart sells poor quality pet foods as do many grocery stores). Also you should mix water with the canned food for more benefit.
    TAlk to her about euthanasia as if it is kidney failure it will not be fair to keep the cat suffering and offer to take her to adopt another companion when she is ready.

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  59. Pat Scott Pat Scott says:

    OMG what a hard question my first thought is do the diet if it gives the cat some more time and helps your daughter. I guess it depends on what your financial situation is if you can afford it I would do it

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  60. Our cat is going through the same thing. She won’t eat the diet so we bought a kidney supplement
    Depending on the weight Of your cat you add a scoop of powder supplement to their food and mix it in
    We also add water to her food so that she gets extra water

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  61. Sue Dubya Sue Dubya says:

    Have some compassion for the animal AND your daughter. It may be as simple as a change in diet. If that’s enough to help your daughter’s cat to the end of his life comfortably, then it might just be worth it. If your daughter has any kind of income, ask for a bit of assistance if she can afford even half.
    While $40 sounds like a lot, your integrity and compassion are worth far more. It sounds to me like you’re not much of an animal lover, but it appears your daughter might be.

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  62. Cindy Mason Cindy Mason says:

    I would suggest trying the food. I had an elderly cat that was beginning to fail around the time I got a savannah cat which required a different diet. Switching her over to the new food gave me an extra 4 years with her.

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  63. If the cat is suffering and in pain, put it down. If it’s doing okay and just needs meds pay for them. In all honestly I would sell everything I own to keep my fur babies alive but if they were suffering it’s not fair to them to keep them alive.

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  64. Either spend the money to help the cat live happy and comfortably or say goodbye and put him to sleep. Why make the animal live in pain?

    What would you do if your daughter had celiac disease? Would you find a way to feed her specialized food that would help her or would you just watch her being in pain eating the cheap stuff?

    Depression or not, this isn’t about you or your daughter. It’s about the cat. Do what’s best for him

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