Even if you’ve owned a cat for years or multiple cats, they always have unique behaviors that help to form their personality, even if you don’t quite understand them at the time.
However, there are a few behaviors that most cats share as a collective which can be confusing to owners.
Some of these behaviors usually come around close to a cat’s death, the death of your cat is an extremely sad time, but sometimes a cat’s behavior will change as they’re close to dying, which can provide a telltale sign as to whether or not your cat is going to die soon.
One of the most common things that people believe cats do when they’re ready to die is run away.
So, if you want to learn more about if cats run away to die, as well as why they might do this, then keep reading, and we’ll explain all of the information you need to know!
Do Cats Run Away To Die?
If you’ve ever had a pet cat die before, you know that one of the things they do is leave home and run away, however, they aren’t running away from you and your family!
Cats will actually run and hide when they’re close to death because they feel more threatened and vulnerable to any potential predators, as they are too weak or sick to put up a fight should they be attacked.
Although you might be wondering why cats do this even if they’ve been domesticated, and don’t necessarily have to worry about defending themselves when they live in a nice comfy house, the reality is that this is a natural instinct that is hard-wired inside them, and it’s ultimately a final form of protection, which means it’s common for your cat to leave home before it dies.
They also might wander away in order to try and recover or deal with their injuries or sickness in a peaceful and quiet spot, away from any environmental stress, which there can be a lot of in a busy household.
So whilst it might seem like your cat is running away purely with the intention of dying, the reality is that they’re just trying to protect themselves and remove themselves from any loud or stressful environments whilst trying to heal, which often means they will leave home.
Do Cats Isolate Themselves When They Are Dying?
To many people, it does seem like cats isolate themselves when they’re close to death, and this is true, as many cats prefer to live out their last few days in peace and serenity, and there are a number of reasons why they do this.
The main one is instinct, as previously stated, cats will often try to find a less stressful and more peaceful environment out of a defensive instinct, even if it’s no longer necessary as a domestic pet.
They also do this to conserve energy, most dying cats pass away as a result of organ failure or tumors, which can cause immense amounts of pain to them, which is why they’ll often find a safe spot to rest in order to conserve their energy.
However, their lack of energy often means that once they have chosen their spot, they won’t move to eat or drink, or even eliminate, which means that this spot is where they’ll die.
We all know cats can sometimes struggle to be sociable, which is why if they’re in pain, it can take a lot of energy to be around their human owners.
In addition to this, cats are extremely sensitive, and if their owners are upset because they know the cat will die, the cats will be able to detect the negative emotions too.
Where Do Cats Go To Die?
As we know, cats who go between the outdoors and indoors will often leave home when it comes to trying to find that safe and secure place in which they can rest during their final days.
Places such as bushes, dense woodlands, inside sheds or garages, in small boxes, or even in abandoned buildings are all places where a cat might go to spend its last few days.
Alternatively, inside cats, who have never left the house, will often find places within the home that offer the same sort of conditions as they would look for outside, which is a warm and dark spot with the most protection.
So places such as under the bed or furniture, in a cellar or basement, inside any boxes, or storage cupboards or wardrobes are all common places for a house cat to seek out during their final days.
What Are The Signs Of A Dying Cat?
Although they tend to run away close to their death, there are some telltale signs that your cat might be close to dying.
These signs include drastic personality changes (becoming much more withdrawn and less sociable than usual), heavy or labored breathing, seizures (which can occur a few days before dying or right as their body shuts down before finally dying, despite this, however, their death is actually a peaceful one usually), refusing to eat and drink, appearing unkept or ungroomed as well as losing patches of fur.
Any of these signs will point towards the fact that your cat is dying, and whilst it might be tempting to try and take them to the vet in order to see if they can be helped, the likelihood is that they’re already too far gone, so it’s best to try and make them as comfortable as possible during their final days.
To summarize, cats do run off when they’re close to death, as they look to protect themselves from any potential danger or predators whilst they are vulnerable.
However, they also seek the peace and quiet of a secluded spot so that they can conserve as much energy as possible.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.