Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
Today our nine-year-old cat died suddenly. Last week I noticed his left eye looked a bit off–I remarked to my husband that I wondered if he was losing his sight in that eye. He was perfectly normal and healthy in every other way. This morning he jumped up on the couch and laid on a blanket as usual. A few moments later, he made a dreadful screaming sort of sound, his paws/claws dug into his head, and he died. It all happened in a less than a minute. Have you ever heard of such a thing happening? My three children are quite upset so it would be a benefit to be able to tell them what may have happened to him. Thank you for any help you may have.
Thomas: First of all, Liana, please accept our deepest compassion and condolences. It’s never easy to lose a beloved cat friend, especially when it happens so suddenly.
Bella: Sudden death in cats is pretty uncommon, and it’s hard to know why it happened without a post-mortem exam. But we suspect your cat’s death had something to do with a blood clot, and possibly a stroke.
Tara: Cats can have strokes. Generally they’re not catastrophic, but they can have symptoms like changes in vision, lack of appetite, head tilt, and circling.
Thomas: The most common cause of feline strokes is heart disease such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can cause blood clots to build up in the heart.
Bella: If one of those blood clots breaks free from the heart, it could go to the brain, where it would block the blood supply and cause brain tissues to die.
Tara: If we think of humans having strokes, often they have severe headaches as a symptom. That could certainly explain why your poor kitty screamed and grabbed his head as he passed away.
Thomas: The thing about feline heart disease is that it can go undiagnosed for many years, especially if the cat appears healthy.
Bella: Then, one day, everything goes catastrophically wrong, which results in sudden death.
Tara: Another possible cause of a stroke is a hemorrhage, where a blood vessel breaks and blood leaks into the brain, again, cutting off oxygen to those tissues.
Thomas: The most common cause of a brain hemorrhage in cats is high blood pressure, which can be caused by hyperthyroidism or a heart condition. Cats can also develop problems that interfere with the blood’s ability to clot, which can result in hemorrhages as well.
Bella: We’re not sure what you mean when you said your cat’s left eye looked odd. If the pupil (the black part of the eye) was of a different size than the other, that could have been a symptom of losing sight, possibly through a hemorrhage or clot in the blood vessels that feed the retina.
Tara: The retina is the place in the back of the eye where light is collected and transmitted to the optic nerve. The optic nerve then sends signals to the brain based on the light that comes in, and the brain translates it into images, and that’s how we see.
Thomas: The only way to know for sure whether your cat had cardiomyopathy or any other of these illnesses would be a visit to the vet and some tests including blood work and an ultrasound of the heart.
Bella: But please don’t feel bad if you didn’t notice any signs. Cats are notoriously good at hiding illness. As Mama says, “cats do great … until they don’t.” And by the time they’re obviously doing poorly, they can be very, very sick indeed.
Tara: Sudden death is the most terrible manifestation of this tendency cats have to hide their sickness.
Thomas: There’s really nothing you could have done by the time your cat was as sick as he was. As you said, it took him less than a minute to go from apparently normal to dead.
Bella: So, Liana, we can only guess at what might have happened. But we think–and keep in mind that we’re not vets here, so we’re relying on our “lay-kitty” experience–that your poor little guy may have had a massive stroke, and that’s what killed him.
Tara: Whether it was caused by a blood clot or a hemorrhage is something none of us will ever know, but we hope this helps you to find some kind of closure. We also hope you don’t feel guilty, although we’re sure you do. Mama says all humans feel guilty when their kitties die, and that’s especially true with sudden death.
Thomas: Our warm and consoling purrs are with you and your three children as you go through the process of grieving your beloved cat friend.
Bella: What about you other readers? Have you had the misfortune of having a cat die suddenly? Did you ever find out what happened? How did you cope with your grief? Please share your thoughts and condolences in the comments.
I did have a similar experience several years ago. One of the feral cats I had adopted 10 years earlier had always had a fast heartbeat. Although I took my cats to the vet regularly, none of them seemed concerned when I mentioned how fast this kitty’s heart would beat. Also I should mention that all my cats, including the feral kitties once adopted, were inside cats. I did not let them outside, although once in a great while they would ‘escape’ for a few hours or a day.
One afternoon I was in my son’s room putting away laundry and one of the cats came in, looked at me, crawled under my son’s bed, let out a scream, and went silent. I asked my son to check on him, and when he did, he said the cat was dead. I was devastated and felt so bad for a long time. He was the first of four to die within a 2 yr span. We did not have an autopsy, but I always believed it was his heart. But I’ll never forget the way he looked at me before he crawled under the bed and died…as if he knew and was saying goodbye. He never was a cuddly cat, like the other feral. He wanted to be near me but never liked being held. Sadly, the only time I ever really got to hold him was after he died.
I still blame myself for not taking him to yet another vet. Maybe there was something wrong with his heart that could have been fixed by medication or at least managed. Our other three cats all died of cancer, and so we knew what was happening and had a bit more time to prepare ourselves. But this guy, even though he was 10 yrs old, was sudden. I still feel bad, and that was 7 yrs ago.
Please don’t feel guilty! It’s such a waste of energy & I know your furbaby doesn’t hold you accountable for his passing – if anything, you gave him so many more years, love & care, food & warmth! He would of been gone far sooner and most likely in a much more painful way had you not opened your heart & home to a feral. Especially a “non-cuddly” cat. Junior, whom I adopted, was adopted & returned to the shelter TWICE because he was an aloof cat. After years he will finally come up to me and rub on me, but it isn’t often. That is just his personality, Letting him live the way he’s comfortable is giving him the best life we can (I don’t try to pick him up and/or hold him – he doesn’t mind, but is NOT thrilled – I never tried to make him like me. Once a cat comes through my doors he or she will never leave again until it is time to go to the Rainbow Bridge. You are such a special person to love your cat (and, I suspect he loved you, too, in his way) and to let him live in a forever home. It’s heartbreaking when they have to leave us, but, please, know you did NOTHING wrong and THANK YOU for adopting an “unadoptable” cat. XOXO
Thank you for your kind words. :-)
this happened to me and my baby..October 10, 2019.. he was a 2 and a half year old, 17 and half pound ginger… just had him to the vet two weeks prior. He and i were cuddling on the couch and out of a deep sleep he made this horrible noise and within seconds he was dead… it seemed like hours. First time that has ever happened to me. The vet said it was either a heart attack or stroke… i tried everything to save him…. I have another cat that has made that noise twice now…. once was about 15 minutes ago while i was sitting with her. So twice now i expected her to die…. a horrible feeling. I wish i knew why she makes that noise..
So sorry to hear about your kitty. My daughter had a beautiful cat named Tigger who died suddenly at the age of eleven. Although when very young Tigger was very active (an in and out cat) running so quickly in the grass and up a tree that we often referred to this orange tabby as an ocelot. Then he started to get what we thought was “lazy”. He slept a lot and laid around although he ate well and never seemed sick. This was over a course of a few years. One night he ate his usual soft food and went to sleep. The next morning he was gone. Just like that. I feel it was his heart. Sounds like, with your kitty, it might have been just what the kitties said, a blood clot or something with the heart as well. Thankfully, it was quick although that doesn’t lesson your pain.
I am SO sorry for your loss <3<3<3
I am so very sorry for your loss. I can only imagine how traumatic it was.
My kitty just died yesterday. Me and my son were watching TV and we heard this awful scream and then everything was silent. I called her name right away but she didn’t respond. I found her by the back door laying on her side, her tail was puffed out as if she was scared. I never cried so much and so hard. She was my baby. I called my mother at work right away and she suggested we bury her at my Grandpa’s. My sister suggested an autopsy but I knew it must have been heart related. I just wanted her to be put to rest, poor thing. I held her one last time and was petting her, in hopes she would start purring. Her death was so sudden and she was gone in an instant, that I felt it had to be heart related. But she was only 1 year 8 months old…and earlier that morning she was perfectly fine, running around, hyper, doing her normal routine. So, I’m still trying to wrap my head around what just happened. I still feel traumatized having heard her scream and finding her unresponsive.
Happened to me this morning. I’m a wreck. He was 5. Morning was normal. Got snuggles. He was purring. I was in the bathroom getting ready and I heard him scream. I ran out to kitchen and he was on his side with puffy tail. I can’t get the noise out of my head. Sorry for all your losses. It’s helpful reading your stories. ❤️
hi fellow cat lovers. i have been doing research since i lost my beloved phoebe this past sunday and came across this post. she was 13 years old, and according to her last vet visit, in perfect health for a senior cat. sunday was a day like any other. i woke up with her on my head where she always sleeps. she ate and drank normally. she licked my two other cats. she cuddled with me. she jumped up 4 feet to her favorite blanket-filled nook to nap. that’s where i last saw her alive. i went downstairs for less than 5 minutes to take the trash out, and when i got back, i found her lifeless on the kitchen floor, lying on her side. her tail looked a bit bushy and her eyes were open with dialated pupils. everything else about her liked totally normal. i am struggling with her sudden death and still in shock. i keep wondering what i could have done to prevent this, or if i missed any signs of her not feeling well (other than growling more frequently at my younger two boys, which i attributed to her older age and their youthful playfulness). reading your stories give me a bit of comfort that i am not alone in this sudden loss of my best friend. i’m sorry for all of your losses. know that i am grieving with you. i wrote up a post in memory of my phoebe which you may also relate to, if you’d like to give it a read. <3 http://www.cupcakesncouture.com/2017/04/for-phoebe.html
Your not alone. We lost our beloved Willie Fletcher who was always by our side for ten years. I found him in the engine block of a motor 10 years ago at work and we stomach tube fed him and bottle-fed him and he was the best cat we ever had. We just Took him to the vet because he had loss of appetite his blood test came back normal but they thought he may have lymphoma. The vet gave him a steroid shot three weeks ago and we were going back when my vet returned this week. Then a week ago on Friday he ran around the house screaming and started falling over and my mother helped him get back on the bed and he died right in her arms before I could get home from work. We are so heartbroken as well. Our doctor was on vacation but I took him to the vet covering for him l and they think something ruptured in his stomach. We feel so lost and the house is not the same without him. I am so sorry about your kitty. I will look at your link. Are Willy had a Facebook page.
I just woke up 3 hours ago by my cat screeching and growling really deep. She was running in and out from under my bed for 10 minutes, panting and in a panic. After not hearing her for 10-15 more minutes, i went to check on her and found her lifeless under my bed. One of her pupils different from the other and part if her body..wet.
I had two cats that recently died they suddenly got very skinny then screamed and passed away.
My fur baby Kali suddenly collapsed and started drooling. Took him to the vet immediately. Bloodwork showed he was anemic and his blood count was 10. He stayed at the vet, but died overnight. He was such a sweet boy. I will miss him. I love you Kaliber. 🐈❤
My 10 year old cat Al died this morning. One minute he was running to me by the back door and wanted in before I was leaving for work. The next he collapsed, cried out in extreme pain and then appeared to be choking. I tried to help him by doing the Heimlich and patting his back to get him to cough anything up. All that came up was a little foam and then he died gasping for breath right in my arms. It all happened in about 3 minutes. I am devastated. What happened to my cat?? As far as I know he was totally healthy. He just had his yearly vet visit in July.
The almost exact thing happened to my mom and I a week ago. Our beloved Willie just went to the vet a week before and his blood tests were normal but he was losing weight and not eating well. A week ago Friday he and started screaming out in pain, falling over as he was trying to get back in my moms arms. She held him and he just died a few moments later. He was 9 years old. My mom had called me and I could hear him screaming in the background and I drove right home I was home in 10 minutes and he died right when I got through the door. I have had many animals over the years but our Willie was so special. I found him in the motor of a car the day he was born and he beat all the odds. Our vet said he probably had lymphoma in the stomach area and something burst causing him to die. I’m so sorry about your kitty. It hurts so bad when you can’t do anything to help them. The only comfort that we have is that he died in my mother’s arms. I know exactly how you feel, it’s so quiet and lonely with out our Willie and even the other two cats have been looking for him. I’m glad you were home when your kitty died it sounds like the exact same thing happened us. We are sorry about your kitty. I wish I had some answers but I don’t we couldn’t afford nor would we have them do a postmortem . But I got online to see if it ever happen to anybody else. Take care.
On December 1st, our beloved diluted Calico of 16 yrs literally dropped on the floor in front of me after letting out a piercing yowl. We rushed her to the Vet who was only 4 minutes away but she was gone by the time we got there. I am absolutely heart broken still. They think it was cardiomyopathy and she did have a slight heart murmur but was otherwise amazingly healthy. I struggled very much for the first week, trying to make sense of it. But it is true about how they can mask illness. I am thankful she did not die alone but rather in our arms as she so often was. We are still grieving but remembering the happy moments, the funny little quirks she had, the silly nicknames we gave her….those things all help ease the pain a bit and allow the good memories to take over. We have her back in a beautiful heart urn and we still hold her. Blessings to all those who have lost a fur baby as they really are part of the family xo
My mom just called, really upset and crying, telling me that one of the two cat brothers me and my brother grew up with had died. We grew up in a rural area on a pinensula with lots of nature, and we used to go for long adventures with our cats all around the coast and forested hills. Felix, a tri-color male, was the quirky and cautious one, loving to patrol around his territory in all sorts of weather. Diego, grey with white boots and a white beard that wiggled when he came towards you, was the strongest, laziest and the most baws. He never flinched at the sight of a dog – he actually chased some that he apparently didn’t like. They were a great pair to hang out with, because their personalities were so completely different.
We have so many fond childhood memories of these cats, and now Diego is dead. The end of an era. Sorry for the rambling.
tldr; My mother called and said she had come home from work, and one of her cats had just laid spread on the floor next to the couch, awake but not moving. She said she had noticed him becomming skinnier the last couple of weeks. She tried giving him water, and tried to help him get up, but he just fell slump. She petted him for a while, and suddenly he gave a death cry and died on the spot. She noticed that he had blood on his claws, either coming out of his paws, or from a fight? Don’t know what’s more likely, as I haven’t seen it for myself. I’m guessing probably a stroke?
My cat died this morning. He had been off his food for two days. I booked in to have him checked at the vets, on the Saturday. She said he was dehydrated. Gave him booster cap hydration injection. Told me to feed him whatever will make him eat. So I gave him Tuna in Spring Water. He ate a spoonful and wanted to sleep. Sunday he was the same, this time I tried with the Tuna and he ate very little. I tried cat milk. He only had a few sips. On the Monday morning I took him back to the vet. She said he was very dehydrated still and needed him in to be placed on a drip. She gave him some Metacam to hydrate him. I decided to take him home as there were no staff overnight to monitor him.
That afternoon he got up and started walking to one side like he was drunk? I checked the side effects on the slip I of the Metacam. It said DoNot administer to a cat with Kidney problems or dehydrated. I called the vet and explained what was happening. They said bring him back. They could see how by this time he was struggling to walk and was falling on his side. She said he could possibly have had a stroke? Or a clot somewhere. Said she needed to keep in and put on a drip. Also would administer some Anadin to prevent any clots. I reluctantly agreed knowing he would be alone all night. Plus his full blood tests were not in till the following morning Tuesday! Today I got a call from the vet to say he was dead when they opened up the clinic this morning. So I went straight down. His results were in and no sign of any Kidney infection. Everything was fine!!! That it was a stroke he had that Monday afternoon. Yet they gave him the Metacam that morning and two hours later he had a stroke? I feel something is not right here? As he was fine prior apart from sleeping he would still walk about for a few minutes then go back in his cat bed. He was still strong enough to climb in and out of his cat flap. Can you explain please? As he was the gentle and loving cat.
I am lost for words and struggling with the loss of my Chloe. Her scream of pain haunts me and hope it goes away over time. Early Saturday morning, my husband was up and petted her on her head and by her ears as she sat on the corner of our kitchen countertop, where she greets us every morning and him since he’s normally the first one up. He said she seemed normal and fine, He went downstairs for like 3 minutes and the rest of my Family were woke by this horrific meow or scream, different than when she would cough up a hairball type of scream. My husband came running upstairs and as I was just sitting up in bed, since the meow woke the rest of us up, he said, Chloe just passed away. In shock and I walked into the kitchen there was my sweet furbaby lying on the kitchen floor, she had fallen after passing from the countertop to the floor, lifeless and I held her as I heard the gurgling coming from her tiny limp little body. I have no answers, but these comments and stores shared will help me to know that this is more common that I knew and without answers and may never know the answers this will help me thought it.
my cat ryan that we adopted from a on shelter on 10/28/18 Suddenly died broke my heart and my daughter is super up set he was about 17 months old and the sad thing is the day before he was wild like he always but on weds 10/16/2019 was a normal morning i got up went to work ryan was fine happy like always then about few hours later my daughter was getting up for school and heard him make a screaming noise and my daughter went to look and found him lifeless he was just a baby
We lost our baby boy 31/10/19. He’s a big black cat, weighs 10kg with extra toes. He was only 2 1/2 years old. We always take him to the vet to be check as we thought he was too big for his age and monitoring his weight, but vets couldn’t find anything wrong aside from his size. He was not a big eater as we always measure what he eats. He’s not an active cat, sleeps a lot and does not like to be held but loves chin scratches.
That day he passed away, we were getting ready to go out to pick his food. He was totally fine, woke me up with his purring and touching my face with his paw as usual, then sat by the window sill watching the birds. He went to have a nibble of his dry food then suddenly he run towards me screaming, hunched back and tail up then he went on a seizure and went limp, I saw he wasn’t breathing so I did CPR on him and rush him to the nearest vet clinic. I knew while I was doing CPR in the car that he’s gone. Me and partner are still devastated about what happened. The vets offered to have a post mortem but we thought it is unnecessary as it would not bring him back and thinking of it, our baby boy wouldn’t like to stay in the vets clinic for too long. He was taken to DIGNITY crematorium that day to be cremated. I hope Sixto knows that we love him very much and miss him dearly.
I just lost my 9 years old kitty. We were awaken in the middle of the night by an eerier screaming. He was convulsing next to the bed on the floor and continuously screaming. I tried to help him as I thought something got caught in his throat. But he was trying to claw himself, screaming, convulsing and gasping for air. His tail was puffed up just like in the other postings. Unfortunately my sweet kitty wasn’t as fortunate as others since this lasted for at least 15-20 minutes before he finally passed. He was acting perfectly normal just before he came to bed with us. Then 2 hours later he was gone without any sign of wrong.
I’ve just lost my 14 week old kitten, he was a bit poorly over past 2 days, he was sick and not eating as much but he still played so I thought he had just a little sickness bug, then tonight he was playing and he tried to get on the t.v stand and slipped and was hanging of the stand with his claws stuck in the table, so I jumped up to help him but he’d fell by time I got to him. It wasn’t a big fall and he landed on a cardboard box and he jumped straight up and he climes up the back of the t.v where there’s some books and all of a sudden he stopped and he screamed, I rushed straight over and got him, his body was limp on my hands. I put him on the floor and he never moved, I massaged his belly and he looked like he was dead then he woke up and just started squeeling and trying to walk but dragging his back end then he rolled over and started to spasm and his breathing was so fast and he was so hot. He peed himself and I got him to the vets where they put him to sleep, apparently he suffered a brain heomarage what paralyzed his back end. I’m broken hearted. I don’t know what caused it, it was so out of no where but the noises my baby made will haunt me…R.I.P NAUGHTY. XX
This making me feel so much better….My 15 yo elder gentleman Jimi,passed away yesterday morning. I was reading the news, he had been sleeping on my shoulder all night like he usually does, and got up once I awoke and gave him some pets, and went off the bed, he must have went to the litter box and I heard him eating some kibbles…he usually goes and plays in the bathroom after and then comes back to bed…..he didn’t but as most cats are not 100%predictable, him not coming back wasn’t a biggie…..Suddenly I heard two sharp loud yowls and jumped out of bed, and I saw his hind legs in his little house at the foot of the bed….I touched them, no reaction…in a panic I pulled him out, with no resistance by him…His tail was puffy like a Halloween cat’s and then his head went back and he had a fixed stares, and he took two gasping breaths and stopped…I started AR and then CPR when I felt no heartbeat….10 minutes..I got him going once and I picked him up… he looked at me and the his pupils dilated and he was gone as a small amount of clear urine leaked out…. I cuddled and told him I loved him, then called my husband with news…I held him for a while and then wrapped him in his favourite blanket….. My heart is broken…..but this website, has given me permission not to blame myself for something I didn’t do…thank you
My cat Henry just died a few hours ago. He had been fine healthy wise he was going to turn 3 yrs old in April. I opened the front door and he was up on the banister he jumped down came inside like he usually does when he wants to eat or just lay down and be lazy. He went over in living room and laid down on the floor as I watched tv. I noticed my dog over at him trying to get his attention like she always does because they are best friends and she likes to mother him by cleaning him and such. The dog was nudging him with here nose and I seen him stretch out like something wasn’t right. I went over to him and thought he was having seizure or something he wasn’t breathing good and I tried to move him and he yelled out I thought he might be choking so I patted his back thinking that might help him get his wind back but yelled out again and his breathing slowed to a stop I tried cpr for a little bit but his eyes were dilated and he had soiled him self and he was gone have no idea what happened still trying to wrap my mind around it. Your stories sound similar to mine but I guess I’ll never know. He was so young
Very sorry for your loss. I lost my Mr. Russell on January 15. I was at the vet to get routine vaccines for him when I heard this weird yowling scream I have never heard before. I looked in the carrier and he was thrashing around a little. I realized something was wrong so I opened the door to take him out. He was totally limp and staring straight past me. I will never forget that. I started screaming for someone to help. They took him straight back and gave him epinephrine but said he didn’t have a heartbeat and they couldn’t save him. I’m still devastated and cry often.
This morning, our nine year old Siamese male hopped up in my daughter’s bed, gave himself a bath, snorted twice and then passed away. Just like that, he was gone. He showed no signs of distress at all over the past few days; seemed like a healthy happy cat.
This evening out kitty Stella meowed loudly a few times and then passed away. Poor kitty! :( It was so sudden, I am Glad she was in the warm house with all of us who love her, but we will miss out lady Stella!
My cat died March 24, 2020. My cat would sleep at the foot of my bed and every morning we had our little routine. However this particular morning I noticed that whatever I did she didn’t wake up when I finally turned the TV on and she still didn’t move I knew something wasn’t right. I called her name several times and no response I went to see if she was alright and I realize she was dead. I couldn’t comprehend what had happened. I looked on the internet to see why a cat would die so suddenly and then I realized I had heard a very loud sound that woke me from my sleep but by the time I was somewhat awake the sound had stop. I feel so guilty that I didn’t realize it was her. I miss her so much.
I lost my cat Lilly suddenly this evening. She had been acting normal aside from not sleeping with me for the past few nights, which I complained about to my boyfriend. But cats are cats so I didn’t think much of it. Came home from work today she greeted me as usual, ate, went to the bathroom normal stuff I went to take a shower, heard her yowl like she sometimes does when she wants attention so I yelled to her from the shower to come in, she will sometimes sit on the bath mat while I showered… and she didn’t. Then I heard such a piercing sharp noise almost like a fire detector type high pitch that startled me so much that I jumped but continued to shower thinking it must have been something outside. I finish up, go into the living room texting my boyfriend, took a picture of her in the background laying on her side like she normally does in her normal spot alongside the ottoman not thinking anything. Five minutes later I walk over to take a picture of her being cute to send to my boyfriend and I call her name to get her to look up at the camera and no reaction then I notice something is wrong get closer scream her name and realize she is dead. Mouth open, her beautiful green eyes turned black, tail poofed up a bit and ears slightly drawn back. I am devistated. No clue why this happened, but these stories help. She was 14. I miss her so much already. She was my ride or die. The one constant in my life for the longest period of time. I was not prepared for this sadness.
My cat screamed terribly last night and died