How do I know if my senior cat has a good quality of life? - Freeport Veterinary Hospital

You're the best judge of that. Unless I'm coming over to dinner every night and able to see what Fluffy's doing, I'm not going to be a great judge of your cat's quality of life. That's where you come into the relationship of veterinary care, and you are telling us what's happening. Has behavior changed, or has appetite changed? Is your kitty a class A clinger all of a sudden when they've always been aloof? Any kind of behavior changes or routine changes can indicate the quality of life is declining.

But I also think it's important to note that as we get to the end of life and more of what we would call hospice care, it can be hard to be objective about the quality of life. What I often recommend in those situations is keeping a really simple journal or even marking on a calendar marking the quality of each day. Was this a good day, was this an okay day? Was this a bad day? Maybe with minimal notes or none at all, but the journal just allows you to look back over the last week or two when you're in those really tough times, and you get a more objective look at trends upward or downward, or just how the pet's doing overall.

How do I evaluate my senior cat's quality of life? - The Waggin' Train Veterinary Clinic

I get asked this question probably more than anything else is—how do you know what their quality of life is? And I think the best way I can answer it is, does your cat still do the things that they've always enjoyed doing? Does your cat still do the things that made them your cat, for lack of a better way to put it? It's different for every animal. Some cats enjoy eating, some enjoy chasing toys, some enjoy chasing a laser, and some like to sit at a window and wish they could chase the sparrows and squirrels outside. Whatever it is, can your animals still enjoy the day-to-day routines that are its life? Do they still behave the same way? Do they still get excited about the same things? If those things happen, then I would say that animal probably still has a fair quality of life. There are variations with everything, of course, but that's probably the most tangible message that I try to convey to people. They're going to lose weight as they age. They're perhaps not going to eat as much. Maybe they drink a little more. Those are all factors as well, but at the end of the day when we're making an end-of-life decision, it’s about whether they can still do the things that they've always enjoyed doing.