What Are the Signs of a Dying Old Cat?

Signs of a dying, elderly cat include a decrease in appetite, more frequent naps, collapsing, weight loss and a loss of interest in everyday things the cat previously enjoyed, notes Cat World. Shortness of breath or rapid breathing is also common. Many cats go into hiding, even if they are indoors-only, as their health declines.

Often, older cats experience urinary and fecal incontinence and difficulty finding a comfortable sleeping position, states Cat World. Toward the end of life, cats tend to avoid humans and other pets or, alternately, become excessively clingy.

Arthritis is a very common problem in elderly felines, marked by an unkempt appearance and difficulty climbing in and out of the litter box, explains WebMD. It is important at this stage to purchase a litter box with low sides. Cats often dislike being stroked or brushed as they experience a variety of physical ailments.

Illnesses common in aging, dying cats are overactive thyroid, intestinal problems and occasionally cancer, according to WebMD. Some face diabetes, pancreatitis and renal disease. Sometimes older cats cry a lot in the middle of the night and seem confused or disoriented around family members. While these may be indications of aging, they can also point to dental disease, arthritis or kidney disease.