If your cat has bladder cancer, you may have noticed quite a few severe symptoms already. At this point, you might be looking for the best possible option for the survival of your feline friend, but unfortunately, it is not that easy. If the cancer is of a severe stage then your best bet is to euthanize the cat. But how to know when to euthanize your cat with bladder cancer?
This is a common question by many cat owners, so in this article, we will look at all the things you need to know about when is the right time to euthanize your cat with bladder cancer.
How long can your cat live if it has bladder cancer?
Knowing how long your cat has left to live with bladder cancer is important because this will help you figure out when it should be euthanized.
There are different stages in cat bladder cancer itself, the early stage and the tough stage.
As you can tell, if the disease is diagnosed in the early stages then there are better chances of survival of the cat, hence no euthanasia.
However, if your cat is in the later or more advanced stages of bladder cancer, it is likely going through a lot of pain, so vets recommend euthanizing it.
Cats with entry-level bladder cancer tend to survive for about 10 years if they are treated immediately after diagnosis.
While cats in the later stages of cancer usually survive for a few months only and eventually die because of the effect on their body.
If the cancer gets removed from the body though, the cat may be able to survive for a much longer period and live a healthy life.
Of course, a vet’s lifetime prediction is only as good as the treatments your cat is being administered. But this is what the life expectancy is of most cats after bladder cancer.
Signs your cat does not need to be euthanized yet
How do you know if it is the right time to euthanize your cat? These topics will cover exactly when you do not need to euthanize your cat.
Stay on the lookout for these symptoms in your cat before you make any decision to euthanize it for good.
Symptoms are not too bad
If your cat does not have severe symptoms that prevent it from living its life properly, then it is safe to say you do not need to euthanize it.
Make sure you look into other factors as well before concluding your cat’s euthanasia decision.
Here are some mild symptoms yet negligible symptoms you may find in your cat:
- Weight loss (but slowly recovering)
- Swelling in the bladder area
Many severe symptoms can show up, but if you see only these symptoms in your cat and its overall health looks better, you are good to go!
Cat feels and is behaving normally
Similar to the mild symptoms, if you see that your cat is visibly doing much better, and there are no signs of pain, then you do not need to euthanize it.
You should also look for any changes in behavior. Bladder cancer will cause your cat to behave in unusual ways, but if you feel that is going to back to normal, no euthanasia is needed.
Try to double-check with a vet before you conclude that it is perfectly okay because, in diseases like cancer, there are often hidden problems in the body that can cause complications later on.
If the treatment method is working well
Different methods are used to treat cat bladder cancer. While we will go into those in detail, it is important to know that you should stick to a treatment method if it is working fine.
Do not try to leap onto other methods without your vet’s consultation, otherwise, it can seriously harm your cats’ health and you may have to put it down.
Hence, if the treatment is going fine, then there is no need to euthanize your feline friend.
Signs your cat may need to be euthanized soon
Here are some signs that you should look out for to see if your cat needs euthanasia. More often than not, cats in a severe state of bladder cancer need to be euthanized.
So look out for these signs and consult your vet to make a decision.
Symptoms getting worse
If your cat is getting serious symptoms and side effects of bladder cancer, and it is getting harder for it to survive, then you need to consider euthanasia.
Signs of serious symptoms in cats you should be well aware of are:
- Blood in urine
- Lots of pain during urination
- Breathing difficulties
- A complete halt to urination
All these scenarios can be distressing for both you and your cat. If you see your cat suffering from any of these, it is likely that your cat is suffering from a later stage of bladder cancer.
This is usually not curable, and euthanizing your cat is a suitable option.
Cat is really old and may not be able to survive
Old cats do not have the strongest immunity. We also know that cancer has a strong impact on cats and their lives will never be the same.
Combine old cats and cancer, not the best thing. Older cats are unable to withstand the pain that comes with bladder cancer, not to mention the constant treatments and surgeries.
Besides, it can be costly to operate on a cat for cancer and it is not able to survive after the recovery procedure.
In this situation, you should carefully consider the best option for your cat along with your vet.
Life expectancy of cat significantly reduced
Bladder cancer can significantly reduce a cat’s life expectancy. Imagine not being able to excrete any waste from your body, it is tough to survive without rigorous treatment.
If your cat has the last stage of bladder cancer, then the life expectancy rate decreases manifoldly, even if it is being regularly treated.
So if the situation gets much worse, the vet will ask to take permission from you to euthanize the cat.
It is best to let a cat be at peace rather than living a life full of pain due to cancer.
Other alternatives you can opt for besides euthanasia
Remember we mentioned that there are different methods you can go for to treat your cat’s bladder cancer?
There is no 100% chance that they will work or suit your cat based on its situation, but you can still try out all the options for your mental peace before opting for euthanasia.
The first method is surgical treatment, also the most common one. In this method, the doctors will aim to remove the roots of the cancer from the bladder area.
This is to ensure that the cancer does not spread to the rest of the body.
Next comes radiation therapy. In this method, strong radiation waves are used to kill the cancer off, instead of surgically removing the cells. Usually eliminates the need for euthanizing cancer.
The last treatment method is Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy requires using drugs to slowly fight against the cancer cells. It is a faster way to get rid of the cancer cells from the bladder area of the cat.
All these treatment methods are effective ways of treating cancer. They also work for most cats, but if they do not, then euthanasia is considered as a last option.
In conclusion, when should you euthanize a cat with bladder cancer?
If the cat has bladder cancer but it is diagnosed in the early stages, then you do not need to euthanize your cat.
However, if your cat has bladder cancer at a later stage, then chances are you will need to euthanize it soon.
Cats with severe cases of cancer manage to live for only a few months, even with routine treatment. This is why vets usually recommend euthanizing your cat with bladder cancer to save it from any pain.
Lastly, before deciding on euthanasia, you should consult your vet about all the 3 methods of treatments we have mentioned above.
If none of them work, only then should you consider euthanasia.
Finally, do not make any decision without your vet’s knowledge. It could harm your feline friend’s health much more.
The decision for euthanization for cats with ibd, lymphoma, leukemia, brain tumor, bladder cancer, kidney failure, liver failure, hyperthyroidism, fip or diabetes can be difficult. Multiple expert opinions can actually be best for your cat.