When a brain tumor grows in your cat, it can quickly grow up to 80% of the brain if it goes undiagnosed. There are different stages in the growth of brain tumors though, so if it is diagnosed soon enough, your cat may be able to survive. But how do you know when it is time to handle it the hard way? When is the right time to euthanize your cat with a brain tumor?
If you are not sure what to do, then keep reading because in this article we will mention all that you need to know about euthanizing your cat with a brain tumor.
How long can your cat live if it has a brain tumor?
First things first, before you think about euthanaisa, you need to be able to estimate the lifespan of your cat with the disease. Other factors also have to be considered, but taking this step first will help you evaluate the situation better.
Most cats with early stages of brain tumor tend to live approximately 4 to 6 months, and only if they are being surgically treated during this time.
However, if a cat has a secondary brain tumor, then it may only survive for a month or so. The severity of a brain tumor can take a cat’s life away quickly.
But again, if it is continuously undergoing surgeries to get the tumor removed, and it is removed, then the cat may be able to live a healthy life of about 10 years or more.
The problem usually comes when we look into these surgeries, their cost, and their recovery period. Not only can brain tumor surgeries be painful for cats (they are given anesthesia, but still), they are also very costly because it is a time consuming operating procedure.
Even so, there is no assurity that your cat will be as good as new when it comes out of the surgical room. Also keeping in mind that it will take too long to recover from the operation.
All these factors are important to look into when thinking about euthanizing your cat with a brain tumor.
Signs of brain tumor that show your cat does not need euthanasia
Brain tumor in cats may seem like the end of the world to you as it’s beloved owner, but that may not be the case.
There are many signs that your feline friend is going to heal, and that it may become back to normal.
Here are some signs you should look at so you know that you do not euthanize your cat yet.
Does your cat have mild symptoms of brain tumors? What this means is, it either has the early stage of a brain tumor which is still treatable, or it is not showing harsh side effects.
Signs of harsh side-effects include:
- Walking in circles around the house
- Losing its eyesight
- Losing control over its body
As the disease progresses, these symptoms become more prevalent, and at one point there is not much you can do to fix them for your cat.
So if your cat does not have these symptoms, then there is no need to euthanize it any time soon.
Do note that minor behavioral changes and appetite problems may also be counted as mild symptoms. Just take regular vet checkups.
Medications and surgeries are doing their job
Vets may try to give your cat some medications to fix the minor or major symptoms. If these work, all is well.
As mentioned above, there may also be regular surgeries in an attempt to remove the tumor so it does not spread to the rest of the cat’s body.
If these surgeries are successful, there is nothing to worry about.
In both these cases, with a positive outcome, there is no need to euthanize your cat.
Cat feels healthy and happy
After all the surgeries and medications, your cat may be given sedatives to keep it from feeling the pain.
So there is no way to know what it is feeling at that time. Slowly after the recovery period, the sedatives should wear off and your cat should reveal if it is feeling well.
Cats can not speak, so it is your job to observe if it is still hurting. This can be done by seeing if it has difficulty performing basic tasks like bending down to eat from a bowl, pooping, etc.
If there is no pain or discomfort, then it does not need to be euthanized.
Signs that your cat with a brain tumor may need to be euthanized
Now that we have discussed the cases where your cat does not need euthanasia, let’s look into what you need to be aware of in case it does need to be euthanized.
Surgeries are not working
Before going into surgeries, you may be told by doctors that it is not 100% sure that your cat will be okay. You should come to terms with that so you do not get your hopes up too high.
If the surgery does not work then the tumor may spread to other places than the brain and then other parts of the body will become cancerous.
Hence, if the surgery is not working, rather than spending a fortune on other surgeries to fix the first one, it is best to euthanize your cat and save it from the pain.
Cat is aged and chances of survival are low
Older cats are not only more prone to diseases, but they also have low chances of survival because of the prolonged recovery period after surgery.
Your vet may conduct a few important tests on your old cat with a brain tumor, mostly immunity tests, blood tests, the size of the tumor, and if it is feasible to treat it at all.
If these tests are not up to the mark, then the doctor will not conduct the surgery and may suggest euthanizing your cat instead.
Based on the circumstances, they may also give some medications, but in the long run, the survival chances of older cats are indeed low, so euthanasia is an option.
Treatments too harsh and painful with less chance of recovery
Surgeries are tough for the cat. Especially brain surgeries where it may have to be operated on multiple times in a short period, it can be hard to cope with.
Younger cats may not be able to sustain the pain for very long. If cancer still happens to spread to other parts of the body, then operating it may be even more time taking and painful.
Not to mention the tedious recovery process that young cats may not be able to bear.
Even after that, with fewer chances of living a normal life? Not very favorable for the cat.
So if you decide to euthanize your cat based on these assumptions, you can do so. Consult a vet for the best options and choose what you think is the best for your feline friend.
Cat behavior changed and it is not feeling well
Sometimes, the cat may be feeling better, but its body will still be hurting from the operations.
It may be acting normal externally, but the internal procedures might be disturbed. If you suspect this, then take a visit to the vet as soon as you can.
However, it may also show side effects that we mentioned above, except more severe. If this happens, you need to make an appointment with the vet immediately.
It is really important that you do not take these side effects lightly as your cat can die a painful death because of them.
In conclusion, if your cat has a brain tumor, when should you euthanize it?
Euthanizing your cat with a brain tumor depends mostly on what type of brain tumor he has. If it is in the early stages, then it may be treatable, but if it is in the later stages, then you most likely will have to euthanize your cat.
Cats with brain tumors do not tend to live very long. Even after they have surgeries, the chances of survival are low, especially for older cats.
Even though proper sedatives are given to cats during operations, some cats are not able to bounce back and survive, which makes it hard for them to live.
So if you feel that your cat, if your cat does survive, will not be able to live a healthy life, then your best option is to euthanize it.
Please note that you must always consult a vet before this big decision, our advice does not substitute for proper medical advice.
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.