Cat’s sudden death probably heart-related

October 18, 2010

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a young animal die. We are so used to hearing about or experiencing ourselves the success stories — the innovative surgery, the wonder drug, the unstinting efforts of an ER team to save a pet — that it comes as a shock when an animal just drops dead.

That’s what happened last night to my neighbor’s cat, LB, about whom I’ve written before. LB wasn’t much more than a year old. He lived indoors and was well cared for and apparently healthy. Tim had been playing with him just minutes before he discovered him lying dead on the kitchen floor. He came and knocked on our door to see if we would come look so he could be sure LB was really dead.

My first thought was that he’d had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, the most common form of heart disease in cats. Sometimes there are no signs and sudden death is the first, and last, hint of a problem. This morning, Tim’s veterinarian agreed that HCM was the most probable cause.

RIP, LB.

Filed under: pets, connected — Kim Campbell Thornton @ 11:32 am

64 Comments »

  1. How sad. We generally don’t think of young active cats being at risk of anything. Hopefully his death was very sudden and pain free.

    Comment by Liz Palika — October 18, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  2. That’s sad and traumatic news, Kim. HCM is also a well-known killer in people. What an awful bolt from the blue.

    Comment by David S. Greene — October 18, 2010 @ 11:57 am

  3. Very sorry. This must have been such a shock.

    We once lost an apparently robust young cat to sudden death — just found her keeled over in the living room, apparently in mid-stride, when we got home from a weekend trip.

    Best guess was that the larval migrans (ascarids) that had damaged one of her eyes as an emaciated ditch-moggie foundling kitten had also done long-term damage to her brain vasculature.

    Rather than “That that does not kill me makes me stronger,” it was a case of delaying the Undertoad a few years.

    But Goblin had a good life if not a long one, and a fast death with no attending dread, and so did LB.

    Comment by H. Houlahan — October 18, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

  4. My first experience with a seriously ill pet was my cat with HCM. One moment everything was seemingly fine, the next, she couldn’t breathe. I made the decision to try to keep her alive and “well”, on advice of a vet. 10 difficult months later, we lost her. That experience changed how I would/will choose to treat (or not treat) pets that came after her. Rest easy LB.

    Comment by Janet Boss — October 18, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  5. I can certainly relate. I lost a beautiful 5 year old abyssinian to cardiomyopathy. It was sudden, she’d had no health problems, regular checkups. I tried cpr to no avail. While I suspect that my cat was the victim of too little taurine in the commercial foods of the time, that shouldn’t be a problem for most cats today.

    Comment by Moira — October 18, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  6. This is just devastating – my heart goes out to your neighbors.

    Comment by Ingrid King — October 18, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

  7. Oh, poor kitty! And my condolences to all of you who have lost young cats to heart disease! It’s rather like hearing of a young athlete who dies suddenly and it’s found that he/she has had a heart or brain problem that wasn’t diagnosed and no-one thought of.

    Comment by CatPrrson — October 18, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  8. How sad. My deepest sympathy to the owner.

    Comment by Lisa — October 18, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  9. My God, what sad news! Condolences to your neighbors, Kim. Extraordinary how these things strike without warning–we hope, at least, that they strike without pain, too. As sudden as this was, it’s nice at least to know the kitty was enjoying a game shortly before, and we hope he never knew or felt a thing.

    Comment by Glenye Oakford — October 18, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

  10. Devastating !
    Please pass my condolences to Tim, poor guy must be in total shock at present :(

    Comment by Alison — October 18, 2010 @ 5:04 pm

  11. I found this site while doing a search to find out what could have happened last night to our beautiful 6 year old cat, Helen.

    Helen was a longhair white cat with one blue eye and one gold eye. We took her in as a stray in 2006, after a friend found her on the street.

    She was playing last night as if nothing was wrong, then suddenly let out a shriek and just dropped down dead.

    My son, who is 18, is inconsolable; he alternated last night between sleeping and crying. He refuses to eat. He is taking it even harder than I am, and Helen was my cat, but he was super close to her.

    I have worked in animal welfare for many years, and have had many cats who had to be put down due to extreme illness or old age. But I have never had anything like this happen before! We had no warning, other than that Helen’s vet found a heart murmur in her a yr ago.

    Comment by Anna — November 12, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  12. We too have just lost our dear Hudson who was only about 6 years old. He was our special Prince of a cat who suddenly left us with no warning last Sunday evening. He was a bright light in our lives and we just can’t stop grieving. He gave everyone special love and affection — he lived a big full life here in our in house after we adopted him from a rescue shelter. Our hearts are just ripped apart and I had to start taking Zanax for the terrible anxiety attacks as I found him just laying there. I hope no one else has to ever go through this…let’s hope someone can find a prevention..the doc told us Hudson had a little murmur when we first got him….if I had only known if there was something I could have done….we are devastated…

    Comment by Linda S. — December 23, 2010 @ 7:01 pm

  13. Linda, I am so sorry to hear about Hudson. It is awful to lose them at such an early age, especially when it is sudden and unexpected. I think with this disease it’s common for it to go unrecognized, and even when it is, there’s not much that can be done. Hudson was lucky to have you and your family, and vice versa, even if it was for a short time.

    Comment by Kim Thornton — December 23, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  14. I too, found this site through a Google search. We recently had a cat that was playful, purring, and romping around one day and then just dropped dead the next morning. I’m used to seeing our previous cats go because of old age, but the shock of seeing a young cat die at only three years old instantly is not something that is easy for me to comprehend.

    Hopefully all is better over the Rainbow Bridge….

    Comment by Anon — December 28, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

  15. Sadly, I understand you so well. My heart is broken, and I have never suffered like this in my life. Tuesday, on Dec 21st, out of the blue, with absolutely no warning, my beautiful, perfect, sweet Sunday, died absolutely unexpectedly. He was 6 and a half, 23 Lb, grey, huge and gorgeous, my life and love. He loved life like I have never seen anyone loving it. There had not been a single day that he didn’t make me laugh. He was wherever I was, following me everywhere, always sweet and playful. He taught me how to play with him, fetching the soft balls I threw. His favorite game was dropping them in water and the scooping them out. We called him Captain because he was in charge, always taking care of the other cats, always making sure that all is fine. Every morning I was telling him “Captain, now you are in charge” – and I knew that all will be just fine. He was just sitting under the Christmas tree, meowed twice and went limp. I tried everything, CPR, rushed him to the vet.. but to no avail. He had never been sick a day in his life. I called him “my mountain lion”, because he was beautiful, graceful, powerful and yet so sweet.

    I howled and felt that somwone ripped my heart out of my chest. I know, or hope, that he did not suffer, but can not stop asking myself – why him, why him.. My heart just broke in two… and I would do anything to get him back. It is simply cruel to lose someone so sweet and pure, who does nothing else but return your love.

    It is an undescribable shock….

    Comment by Dana — January 3, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

  16. My condolences to you all. One of our much loved cats died on Christmas day. He was only 4 years and 4 months. We are devastated. We were away but had only left the afternoon before. Our cat sitter found him looking peaceful the next morning. We haven’t had an autopsy but the vet believes it was probably his heart. The last we saw if him he was his usual playful self. We are just heart broken.

    His sister is so lonely. We don’t know whether to get her a new companion or whether she’ll be happier alone. She’s only 4 and I loved that they were a pair and played together.

    Comment by Rachel — January 5, 2011 @ 1:38 am

  17. We just lost our beautiful little Dawn. She was 6 years old and was just fine last night. I found her just lying on the floor this morning. Her brother appears to be just fine. We’ve called the Vet to take her in. Reading all these other comments give us some comfort that it was her heart. Just don’t want to have something happen to Midnight (her brother).
    Midnight and Dawn always slept curled up together.

    Comment by Gary and Jeanette — January 10, 2011 @ 11:58 am

  18. This is a follow up on our Dawn. The autopsy showed nothing that caused her to die. All her organs were normal and they found no blod clots or heart issues. Her brother Midnight is not eating very well but we beleive in time he will be OK.

    Comment by Gary and Jeanette — January 13, 2011 @ 8:32 am

  19. Hi Gary and Jeanette. So sorry about Dawn. We are still devastated about the loss of our cat Daurdo. It’s very difficult not knowing what happened. I still can’t believe he’s gone. Will you get midnight a new companion? We just don’t know what to do. I loved that they were a pair and had each other for company and support. I hope you are coming to terms with your loss and can remember the happy times.

    Rachel

    Comment by Rachel — January 19, 2011 @ 1:46 am

  20. Just lost my black bobtail a little over a week ago. He was probably around 6 1/2. He was fine in the morning, and fine at his 8 January checkup, but dead when I got home in the evening – still warm, too I think. I lost my mind… Just got UNL’s necropsy results back today, and they seem fairly confident of their diagnosis – HCM was the killer. As well, they found hepatic congestion (liver problem probably caused by the heart problem).

    Comment by Rhoda — February 5, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

  21. That is the same thing that happened to my precious Jensen 2 days ago! He was such a sweet, adorable, beautiful kitty! He was a gray and white tuxedo kitty. His fur always looked perfectly brushed so he looked like a stuffed animal. He also had the sweetest little face and pretty green eyes. He wasn’t even 2 yrs old yet. His b-day is/was on Valentine’s day. It will be a very sad one this year.
    I was not there when it occurred, my mom was. She said he was sitting on my desk and she was petting him while reading a magazine, and he was purring and having a great time. She then went to sit on my bed, and of course he followed her, as soon as he jumped on the bed, he had a convulsion and just died. She said he blinked a few times after, but that was it. I am so devastated! I loved him soo much. He was my only cat and I didn’t get to say good bye since I was not even there. Why did this have to happen? He was soo young. This is just too horrible.

    Comment by BG — February 11, 2011 @ 10:13 am

  22. I came on to the internet trying to find some answers to why my beautiful boy Bob died so suddenly in the early hours of this morning. He had only had a trip to the vets, four days ago and was given a clean bill of health. I walked into my bedroom to go to sleep and there he was, just lying there. I thought he was asleep at first, as I failed to wake him up, the horrific realisation dawned on me. My precious boy was dead. His momma was sitting with him and was probably howling just as much as me. I took her to the vets straight away to make sure that she was OK and tool Bob along with me. The vet recommended getting a post mortum done, to which I agreed, but then I found out that I wouldn’t get him back at all. I don’t think that there is any point in disturbing him, I just want to lay him to rest.

    I don’t know what to do now he’s gone.

    Comment by Kerry — February 12, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  23. I am sorry about Bob. I am still coping with Jensen being gone and not having him home to greet me everyday:”( Hope Bob, Jensen and the others are happily playing at the Rainbow Bridge…

    Comment by BG — February 13, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

  24. I just lost my dearest kitty on 6 Feb’11. She’s a persian cat, with long white hair and blue eyes, 3 years old, and very pretty. She was in good condition, never have any sign of illness, and very active. That day, she went to front yard for playing, and we found her lying on the floor with hard breathing.She cannot stand anymore. We rush her to the nearest vet, but she passed away in my arms on the way to Vet. I saw the life of my dearest one passing by, and I cannot do anything to help her. The Vet did the check all over her body and cannot find any injuries or sign of poisoned. The Vet just said that it might be heart attack since the mouth was very pale and hard breathing.I was just quiet, cannot believe what’s happened. The following day after her funeral,my tears cannot stop for some days. I’m still grieving for my kitty, and The only thing I want is to return her back in my arms.I blamed myself for not to see her at night when she played on the yard.

    Comment by Fatima — February 15, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  25. I can’t believe this has happened to so many cats. Last night our beloved 8 year old black stray, who we rescued in 2003, died out of the blue. Gave a small meow next to me on the couch, and after a few panting breaths, simply expired. We are so shocked and distraught. I just want her to be warming up my lap right now like she did every night. : (

    Comment by Emily — February 22, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

  26. I just had something similar occur yesterday. I’m still in shock over it. My cat, Tank, a Turkish Van just at 18 months old died suddenly, and I was there to see it.

    Tank is one of 3 cats that we adopted as kittens, all around the same age, from the local pet shelter in September of 2009. My previous cat, Bokal, had turned 16 years old in July of 2009. He was an outdoor cat–mostly because he refused to stay inside from the time he was a kitten. After 10 years of living outside, he was killed by what we believe to be a fox.

    We adopted Tank, Orange Crush, and Anime in September of 2009 because my wife had a dream that told her that Bokal was sending a cat our way. Tank and Anime are litter mates–Turkish Vans, it turns out, and Orange Crush (aka Orangee) is an orange tabby. We searched for days and found what we believed to be the batch being sent by Bokal. We had to become foster parents to even adopt them because they were only about 6 weeks old–we did so to save them from being euthanized, which the local shelter does to kittens because they just have so many and so few adopters or foster parents. We saved them just a day before Orange Crush was going to be put down.

    Because of what happened to Bokal, we were determined to not let them be killed by predators. I have the luxury of working from home, so in spring of 2010, the cats were determined to go outside. I figured we could teach them to make it outside during the day and train them to come in at night. We did just that.

    To make a long story less long, we have become close to all of them. But Tank, in particular, was a gentle giant. At only 18 months old, he weighed in over 20 lbs but wasn’t fat. His coat was thick. He was smart–we put in cat doors to let them out during the day at will but locked them at night. Tank learned to open the latch and let them all out at night. We started covering the cat door and latch with plywood–he’d just knock it down and lead them out. We blocked the plywood with a laundry basket full of weights–at 80 lbs (no typo), he was still able to move it and let the others out–though he wouldn’t do it when we were at home–only when we were out of town and they wanted to go out.

    You get the idea. Not a full story, but Tank was the big guy. The guardian. He watched over his sisters. He was affectionate. We love him very much.

    Yesterday, Feb 25, 2011, I woke up to the usual–Orangee waking me up to get breakfast ready for them. Anime was cooing and making her noises that she does when she’s ready to go. Tank was lying on the floor looking at me, ready to get his favorite breakfast.

    When they heard me shake the can of food, Tank came running first. They all sat around as I opened their breakfast. They ate. I moved the plywood and weights from the door so they could go out.

    Instead they all went into our sunroom, which also has a door outside. Sometimes they like me to open the door for them. I walked in and Tank was sitting on my workout bench. I petted him a bit. He jumped onto the the window sill. Anime jumped on the bench to get some attention and then ran to the door so I could open it. I unlocked it, but forgot the house alarm was on. I went in to turn it off. When I came back, they were all standing at the door, which had blown mostly closed, waiting for me.

    I opened the door. Orangee ran out. Anime started to, but turned and ran back into the house (unusual). Tank sat still by the door. I felt a cool breeze blow in and looked down at Tank, who was notorious for taking his sweet time coming in and out. I saw the breeze blow against his face. He looked up at me and his eyes went black. He sorta reared up a bit and his back legs gave out as he started twitching. He fell over on his side and into a seizure. I dropped down on my knees to get closer to him. I called for my wife, who was just getting out of the shower. Tank laid on his side. After a few seconds, he stopped seizing. He stuck his tongue out and was panting deeply but slowly–trying to catch his breath. His tongue was purple, and I knew that he was short on oxygen. I called again for my wife. Tank looked at me directly in the eyes. I knew he had been in pain, he was scared, and he couldn’t breathe. I had my hand on him lightly to feel him breathing. He just kept looking at me. Finally, he looked at me with “intent”–some strong emotion and just gasped. He stopped breathing. My wife got there then–it had only been a few seconds I guess. I tried to keep his circulation going with chest compressions. After a minute or two I knew I had to get him somewhere if he was going to have any chance. There’s vet just a few minutes down the street. I got him into the car and took off, running lights all the way during rush hour traffic. I got to vet but he was sinodic.

    I still can’t believe it. I couldn’t sleep list night as I just keep seeing him. He was, is, more than a pet. He’s my baby, my friend, and the guardian of the others.

    I’m still in shock.

    Comment by Brian — February 26, 2011 @ 10:23 am

  27. Sympathies to all who have lost beloved pets. We lost our wonderful Maine Coon boy, Rudy, suddenly on Valentine’s day this year. He was perfectly fine when we left for work. I found him in his favorite chair looking as he simply passed in his sleep and without any signs of distress. He was a joy to have around, full of personality and life and he will always be in our hearts. I still am in shock and expect to see him when I come home. Our other cats miss him, especially Thai who spent all of her time with him. Rudy was 12 years old.

    Comment by Sherri — February 26, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  28. I am so heartbroken. I just lost my Mr. Bizzy to sudden death. He was playing and all of a sudden I heard a scream. There he was dead! I rushed him to the Vet down the street and they could not revive him. I am so overwhelmed with grief. He was my love and kept me from feeling lonely. He talked to me with his “Meow Meow” every day and gave me kisses. He was a strong and loving cat and never sick! Tears just keep rolling out of my eyes! But to read all of these stories I am finding out I am not alone. Why does this happen? I have had cats all my life and have never experienced something like this. I am devastated!

    Comment by Laurie Matthews — March 15, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

  29. Late Tuesday night I lost my three legged angel kitty, Meiko. I was about to go to bed when I heard this horrible scream from under the couch. I looked under the couch and saw her their with her eyes wide and mouth wide open. I got her out from under the couch and she let out another scream. Her mouth open and eyes still wide. I tried kitty CPR to know avail. She was just gone. Just like that. She had been fine up until that moment. No symptoms, no health issues, just gone in an instant. She would have been 12 in May. I feel like I can’t breathe. I can’t eat, sleep, work, anything but cry. She lost her leg when she was 5 weeks old and I took her home at 5 1/2 weeks after adopting her from the animal clinic. Not a day will go by that I won’t miss my sweet angel from heaven above. What a horrible, devastating thing to go through. I just hope she didn’t feel any pain in those last moments and knew that I was there holding her. My sympathies and understanding to those of you who have also suffered from this sudden loss.

    Comment by Vickie — March 18, 2011 @ 8:39 am

  30. All of these stories are breaking my heart as did my precious little Jada. When we came home she was lying on the floor stiff as a board – might have been a few hours that she seemed to have fallen off the bed and onto the floor instantly dying. She was my sweet angel from heaven above also – In the mornings we both went to work (computer) had breakfast, lunch and dinner together, games, stories, she slept on my pillow with me every night, when I brushed my hair, I brushed hers and when I cleaned my ears, she waited for her turn also – have had many cats in my life, cried after each one passed, but Jada was only 2 years old – i found her as a feral with her clipped little ear and her eyes were the color of the most beautiful jade you can imagine – she warmed my heart and my body – i can’t bear to sleep without her – I’m sure it was this heart disease – it is soo devastating -

    Comment by Elaine — March 20, 2011 @ 4:35 am

  31. So sorry all!!This morning it was my Tufta Kitty who was fine – ate all his portion of his wet food -while still over his food bowls munching at a few crunchies let out a howl cry and fell to his side dying in only moments. He was 15 and was an indoor and outdoor cat who was very adorable and very much adored. At his top weight he was 23lbs who could and often would climb straight up a 20ft trellis at that weight – he was very strong and active at that time. So many of these stories!!! and I know exactly how everyone felt as it was such a feeling of helplessness. My heart goes out to each of you as I hear how much you adored your cat friend. Tufta, too was so beautiful and had so much personality. He’d been a tiny kitten stray/abandoned on my cul-de-sac when I took him in and it took me a month till he allowed me to pet him. Before long his personality was so warm with him loving to be petted and sitting with me and being adored. He was very very talkitive. I read on another thread that some Maine Coons (obviously other breeds, too) may have a genetic predisposion to this (HCM)and dying suddenly like this. It was soooo sudden, but the vet had him on prescription renal food for about the last year. So it sounds like from Rhonda’s post, that his liver problem may have been caused by undiagnoised HCM. Because he was not young I didn’t choose to find out with an necropsy

    Comment by Anne — March 21, 2011 @ 11:08 pm

  32. Almost 2 years ago my girlfriend found 5 ferral kittens in our backyard . I took them to the shelter and they said they couldnt take them ,to many already . We decided to raise them until we could get them adopted .It wasnt easy ,eyedroppers of special powedered milk every couple of hours .Rubbing their stomachs to get their digestive systems working . It gos on .We were told not to name them , just call them 1 thru 5 . Well the runt died ,very sad ,it breaks your heart .we were told to expect that . OK , Then about a week later another came down with something called FADING KITTEN SYNDROME . It isnt anything you are doing wrong , They just get this zombie look and pass ,It breaks your heart to see these little angels pass . We had another funeral in the yard by the pond . .Now we were down to three .The one that chugged her food down became CHUGGER an all black Bombay , The one female that was all White became BLONDIE . And the Silver and black Male became POPEYE , due to a late opener eye that made him squint like popeye the sailor cartoon caracter .Well when it came time to have them adopted we didnt have the heart to let them go . Who would we trust to take care of them as we had and we did not want to split them up . OK , here is the part that meets this article . yesterday I was watching T.V with them ,all seemsd ok I saw POPEYE drinking water ,watching T.V. The two girls CHUGGER and BLONDIE were craving attention as usual . OK about 9:00p.m. I went out for some take out burgers When I came home POPEYE was dead ,JUST DEAD , with bubbles , white fomey froth in his mouth JUST LIKE THAT , DEAD . Always indoors from day one , no toxic plants ,no poision anywhere ,I called my vet and he said he will tell me what it was .It is now Sunday morning and I am about to bring popeye to him .All i know is I have 2 left am am scared for them .This sudden dying thing is terrible . We are so sad for our popeye .He was the only other MALE in my house . We loved this cat very much , Even sang POPEYE THE SAILOR CAT TO HIM .He was only almost 2 A Beautiful tabby .Ok , I am crying so bad I have to stop this Note . I am sorry for anyone that this happens to .

    Comment by Mark — March 27, 2011 @ 7:10 am

  33. So I would never think this was such a common thing early this morn we also had a sudden death in the family. My moms 3 yr old Persian was just finished eating breakfast, & went to nap in his favorite spot when my dad said he only let out half a screaming meow & fell dead. Totally healthy baby. The 4 grandchildren that raised him are just heart broken. They are 11, 10, 10&1/2, and 9 yrs old there tears are shedding like the leaves in fall. It just breaks my heart that the kids have to experience grieving at such an early age. I did suspect poisoning but after reading & well I guess it dosent matter as long as we know where he is. We are proud to have a cat angel looking over us & the kids will love Kuzka forever. Ice cubes were his favorite toy :) Rest in Peace and Love

    Comment by stacy — April 12, 2011 @ 12:30 am

  34. Our 15 year old Siamese male, Fergus, has always been very heathy. A few evenings ago he was his usual self, walking around the house, checking things out. He jumped onto the couch, cuddled up with his buddy Fiona (16 year old Siamese), and a few minutes later emitted a kind of yeowl and a couple of coughs. He was limp and non-responsive. I moved him a bit, and discovered he was dead! Just like that. We are heartbroken and miss him. The vet said it probably was a blood clot to the brain.

    Comment by David — April 18, 2011 @ 9:30 am

  35. Our family now feels the heart wrenching pain of sudden death in a healthy young cat. Last night our baby Chloe died in my husband’s arms, she would have been two this summer. She wanted up in the foyer and so he picked her up and the two of them came into the family room and were watching the dog out the back window. He said that she was having some sort of siezure he thought as she let out a weird noise and arched back in his arms, when he layed her down, she was gone. It was a stunned disbelief that settled over the household. We will bury her today and give thanks for the time that we were able to share with this wonderful, funny, giving creature. Rest in peace baby, I love you.

    Comment by Donnagene — April 23, 2011 @ 6:18 am

  36. Oh Donnagene, that’s just heartbreaking. My deepest condolences on Chloe’s passing.

    Comment by David S. Greene — April 23, 2011 @ 6:35 am

  37. This is day 2 after my 4 year old red persian died. I have managed not to cry all morning until I read the stories above. My poor baby was fine at dinner time and went to sleep in his usaul place on top of the bbokshelf after dinner. At about 10pm i thought I heard him jumping down for his supper. A short while later all the other cats suddenly looked spooked and I want to see where Philby was. He was lying in the hallway and he was barely alive and so floppy all over. I called the emergency vet and drove him down country roads to get attention but he was gone when I got there. I am beginning to think that the cat flu he had as a kitten must have weakened his heart and we never knew. He was our darling, he played fetch and he loved to eat fruit, so we called him our fruit bat.I am hoping that by putting this into words I may ease some of my pain. He will be so missed.

    Comment by Sue Stewart — April 24, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  38. I hope that LB wasn’t the little black stray that my friend helped adopted out to a couple who live down by LA in Culver City. We have been trying to get a hold of the person but they do not respond to my friend’s emails. I truly hope this isn’t the same LB that came from Manteca and was ferried by me from Manteca to Coalinga so his new parents could pick him up half way to take him home. He had a new sister named Cali (another rescue) and a dog named Rocco. If this is the same, could you let me know, please? Thank you. My condolences to all who have lost a pet suddenly and with no apparent reason.

    Comment by Sylvestermiasmomma — April 27, 2011 @ 10:55 am

  39. This is just heartbreaking. My condolences for all such losses.

    Comment by Homer — April 27, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

  40. Our cat Bruno just died a minutes after we let him loose in the new house. My wife can’t get over it and I can’t fathom it. He was full of life. Out of our 4 pets he was the youngest and especially close with the kids and my wife. The loss is leaves a void that only time will fill. My sympathies to others facing such experiences

    Comment by Donald — May 11, 2011 @ 11:20 am

  41. Firstly let me tell you how very sorry I was to read about the sudden death of your cat my heart goes out you and your wife.

    I had two british short haired one 26 months and the other 18 months.Saddly last week my world felt like it had ended when my baby boy ‘smudge’ was so cruely taken from me having suffered a heart attack.

    He was fine a few hours previous having woken me for his breakfast.Only a few hours later i noticed he was on the lounge floor and he was almost gasping for air.I called the vet right away an insisted they were to see him right away.I put smudge into his basket and made my way to the vet.Within 2-3 minutes of him being in the car he became very distressed and I just knew he was very ill indeed.I arrived at the vets and they whisked him away but within a minute of us being there I was to be told he hadnt made it.

    Im left asking myself why?? Im heart broken, he was my world and I loved him so much.How can this happen so quickly , I didnt even get time to say goodbye.

    Comment by Tom Mellows — May 24, 2011 @ 3:38 am

  42. Hi Sylvestermiasmomma, It is not the same LB. I hope that relieves your mind.

    Comment by Kim Thornton — May 24, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  43. I happened on this site by accident and after reading the stories it got me wondering. Our Buddy was older than most here, almost 11 but healthy and the most loving cat. A husky tuxedo cat. We were only gone a few hours. He had never had any health problems but when we came home the night of March 16, I went upstairs to check the computer. He was lying on the floor near the foot of the chair, curled up peacefully. When I reached down to pat his belly I realized he was gone. It was such a shock. He just looked like he was sleeping and must have gone more peacefully but so sudden. I worried what could have happened, as I have four cats left in the house. And although we had him for nine years, it seemed a short time,and at the same time it seemed like always. It just helps a little to share and have an idea of what may have happened. My condolences to all.

    Comment by Keith — May 26, 2011 @ 2:04 am

  44. Wow. It is so strange to me that there are so many of us. I lost my beloved Felix last Sunday night at about 9pm. He was a gorgeous medium long-haired grey, with white bib and tummy, white front paws, white sox in the back and a little white mustache. Shelter cat. He was a beauty, a bit shy, but well worth waiting for. Only 5 years old. He was right as rain all day. I’d been watching tv in one room, and went to the front of my house to find him lying on the floor in a place he would never lie on the floor. I picked him up and he was warm as anything, but limp as a rag doll, eyes wide open, pupils dilated. I held him and screamed, Come back, come back for what seemed like forever, and his eyes eventually rolled back and I knew he was gone. I prefer to think he died in my arms and he knew I was there. He also had been diagnosed with a mild heart murmur. And like many of you, autopsy showed nothing wrong. I still have his brother, Oscar, a handsome black and white short-hair with a black mustache, who nearly died from HCM 2 1/2 years ago. He takes his meds like a champ (thanks to pill pockets), and he’s the one I always worried about. I never thought I’d loose Felix this way. I had asked the Dr. back then if Felix should take a little lasix every day, just as a precaution, but Dr. said no. I grew up with cats, but lived in a city environment for about 15 years and none of my apartments allowed cats. These two were my pride and joy — the first cats that were truly mine. I love Oscar equally, and I’m debating when to bring him a new playmate (or two?). He’s very lonesome and needy. My best to all. There are so many cats in need of homes. And nothing like a new furry friend to brighten your day.

    Comment by Lillian — May 27, 2011 @ 2:58 pm

  45. This just happened to us a few days ago. My almost 6 year old beautiful cat was fine. I have 3 kids, 2 young boys and my husband left for work about an hour before this happened. My toddler locked “little fella” in the bathroom and my husband let him out after hearing his pounding at the door. He ran out like he alwasy did and was fine, playful and happy! Then I ran out to the mailbox to check the mail, and when I returned my son said “Mommy, kitty”- he was laying like he always would in my living room with all of us. When I looked at him my heart sunk, I knew and I lost it. I grabbed my kids and went outside, it was so shocking. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone- he was a beautiful, fun kitty and was great with my kids. He was eating, drinking and was fine! So sad!! We buried him in the back yard and I have ordered a plaque for him- I am not sure I can ever have another cat, it was heartbreaking!

    Comment by Jennifer — May 28, 2011 @ 6:28 am

  46. Dear Jennifer, please don’t give up on having a cat because of this. Sudden death really is very rare. It is nice and somewhat consoling that we’ve all had a place to tell our stories on the Internet, but if you think about it, 45 sad stories among the millions of happy ones in the past eight months? I hope you will try again, and don’t forget that six years of love and affection is better than none. Believe me, I know it’s hard to think that way, but I’m trying!

    Comment by Lillian — May 28, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  47. I lost my felix early sunday, he woke my BF and i up with a cry i ran to his side he couldnt move and was panting with drool coming from his mouth he fell onto his side and closed his mouth letting a breath of air come out his nose then he was limp. Just gone!I tryed doing cpr (as best as i knew how) but there was no responce. FELIX was a healthy 12year old maine coon that i rescued at 2 weeks old and nursed with an eye dropped . He was truly my like my child and I dnt know how i’ll get by w\o him. He died from a condition called HCM it atacked his heart if I had only known about it i could have treated it!

    Comment by meg — June 1, 2011 @ 12:20 pm

  48. I don’t know if the petconnection folks monitor this blog, but I have one regret related to the loss of my Felix. He was a long-haired cat, and when I adopted him and his brother (a short-hair), my uncle, a pet vet in WV said to always give cat laxative to my cats. A good one is full of extra nutrients, and helps alot with preventing hairballs, which are very stressful for cats, especially long-hairs who tend to have them all the time during shedding seasons. I did that the first few years of their lives and then I slacked off and didn’t do it. I don’t know if it would have prolonged his life, but it sure sounds like a lot of these sudden death stories are from long-haired cats. So, I’m going to go back to a little squirt of catlax every day for his brother. It certainly can’t hurt.

    Comment by Lillian — June 2, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  49. We found our beautiful little ginger tabby boy Ted dead in our garden yesterday. The vet thinks it was heart related. We only lost our other cat Victor 8 months ago – he was knocked down by a car so we actually bought a new house to make it a safer home for the cats. Seems so cruel.

    We took Ted to the vets a few weeks ago as we noticed that his breathing was quite rapid but they thought it was an infection – they couldn’t listen to his heart as he was purring too much! Like the other posts we’re absolutely devastated and just keep asking ‘what if’. I just want my gorgeous Teddy Bear back :o(

    Comment by Lucy — June 5, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  50. I can’t believe the numbers here – it’s just so, so sad. I’m so sorry for all of you. We came downstairs just two days ago to find our 7 year old gray kitty just lying on the floor, looking completely peaceful. It took us a few moments to realize that he was gone. My 18 year old daughter was distraught that our other kitty had actually tried to wake her that morning, with uncharacteristic persistence, so we think that she may have been there when he died. The two cats had become close companions, to my relief, then delight, as they were the product of a “blended family” when I remarried. I was so worried that they wouldn’t get along. I was worried for nothing, as they turned out to be great friends, and my kitty was no linger lonely while I was at work. Now we are all missing our big, gray “mountain lion.” It’s so lonely here now, without him.

    Comment by Lorie — June 19, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  51. Thank you all for sharing your losses. I’ve found comfort in knowing I am not alone and neither is my precious Kitty. Thank you all deeply.
    I too suddenly lost my love, Kitty, just two nights ago. I am certainly saddened to lose him but so overwhelmingly grateful to have loved him.

    Comment by ra — June 20, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

  52. I came back from a weeks holiday at 6am this morning. My friend had been staying Barry, my 4 year old Russian Blue and I arrived to the news that he died suddenly sometime on Monday night / Tuesday morning. I am devastated that my boy has gone. He had had a few seizures and odd episodes that the vets thought was mild epilepsy. I can only assume he had a large seizure and could not pull through it.
    Reading all your comments reassures me that I am not alone – we all feel the same love for our animals and the same pain at their loss.
    I only wish I could have said goodbye to him and hope he was not afraid as he was alone. He was my best friend and I will always have him in my heart. RIP Barry xxxxx

    Comment by Jeff — June 23, 2011 @ 3:24 am

  53. My wonderful cat, Brutus, dropped dead yesterday at the age of 4. He was a Bengal cat and some of his relatives have had heart problems. Brutus was in perfect health until this happened. I am devastated and so is my other cat, Tom, who was raised with Brutus. Tom has been searching the house for Brutus and calling out for him. That’s the saddest part for me.

    Comment by Mark — July 5, 2011 @ 9:47 am

  54. I can’t believe that this has happened to so many other kitties. My 3 year old cat Bob died suddenly this morning. He was fine when my boyfriend went to bed at 1:30 am, and when I got up at 6:30 am, he was lying on his side in front of his litter box. When he didn’t move after I turned on the light, I knew something was wrong. He looked completely peaceful, and nothing was disturbed in the room. It was like he just fell over dead. I’m completely devastated, but reading these posts at least gives me the hope that he didn’t suffer too much.

    Comment by Kim — July 7, 2011 @ 4:45 pm

  55. I found our our sweet cat Max, 8 year old grey tabby, dead on the family room floor two days ago. There were absolutely no warning signs that he was ill. The previous night he was chasing our other cat all around the house as usual. My wife saw him alive and well 15 minutes before I found him, head under the couch. I assumed he was playing with a mouse toy, as he often would push it into out of the way places then make a game out of retrieving it. After a few seconds I realized he was not moving at all. We are all in a state of disbelief. Our only consolation is that it must have been very quick and painless for Max. We’ll remember him always.

    Comment by Don — July 25, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  56. I have had cats die suddenly and never got to the root of why. It just hapopened again on July 20th for my beloved cat, India, who was fine the night before; eating a lot, sleeping next to me and purring all night. I’d detected her gums slightly anemic, which I was combatting with pet tinic and even though she was thoroughly plush and hydrated, I gave her I.V. fluids just to make sure. The next morning, she came out of her litter box, twisted in a corkscrew, her eyes got huge and dilated and she died within a minute or two. I am still absolutely shocked, IN shock, heartbroken, devastated and miss her. She was 16 and rescued from an all-kill shelter in Brooklyn last year. Nobody seems to believe me that this has occurred with some of my cats and it isn’t pleasant to explain, step-by-step that India or the others were FINE and suddenly just died. It’s bad enough grieving for animals you’d loved and taken good care of who have died, but I explain ourselves that this just suddenly happened and nobody still believes you, causes further misery. I am the first one at the vet’s if I detect even the slightest thing wrong, and to lose one who died so suddenly is upsetting beyond words. I have read all of your stories here and I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved pets; all of your stories are heartwarming and clearly show how much you loved your beloved pets.

    Comment by Torrance — August 2, 2011 @ 7:57 am

  57. I lost my beautiful sweet cat two days ago too. She had been fine then a little unsettled before I went to bed but she still wanted to eat her sister’s food at that time. The only thing I noticed was she gave two tiny coughs & kept following me around the house. I am just so heartbroken; as someone else said it is bad enough when you know they are sick and old then die but this has just absolutely devastated me. She was the best natured cat I have every had and followed me around like a dog; when I was depressed and stayed in bed she would just lie on my back until I finally got up. She was the only one in the world who asked nothing and gave me everything & I just can’t believe she has gone. I keep seeing her before me and can’t believe how cruel it is when you do everything possible for them & take them to the vets for any little trouble but they can’t tell something like this is going to happen. She had been to the vets a few times this year but only for allergies. I just hope she didn’t suffer at the end but am heartbroken that I didn’t notice and take her to the vets at bedtime. We couldn’t find her in the morning which has never happened before & I felt something had happened. Searched the streets with a can of food when I should have been at home with her. I took her to a nearby vet, also driving like a maniac, and begged them to try to revive her or start her heart again but they couldn’t do anything.
    My heart goes out to you all – I didn’t realise this sort of thing could happen to so many of our beautiful babies. I miss my baby (Tigger) so much & can’t cope without her to cheer me up.
    Best wishes to you all.

    Comment by Pam — August 19, 2011 @ 4:29 am

  58. Pam, I’m so sorry you lost your precious Tigger. Virtual hugs are coming your way.

    Comment by Patti and Max — August 19, 2011 @ 8:12 am

  59. Thank you so much Patti and Max. I couldn’t sleep as I wake up and then realise again that Tigger has gone and just pray she didn’t suffer. So it means a lot to me that you have responded about her.

    Comment by Pam — August 19, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

  60. Pam my deepest condolences. Please don’t let your baby’s loss put you in deep depression. Tigger wouldn’t want that to happen to you.

    Comment by VJ — August 19, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  61. Thank you VJ.
    Reading all these stories has helped me as I had never heard of this happening before to our beloved pets. It’s comforting to have people respond & I really appreciate it.

    Comment by Pam — August 19, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

  62. I stumbled upon this website while looking for answers as to why my beloved Harley died almost two weeks ago. Like all the others, he was perfectly healthy and it was an immense shock.

    Harley was from a litter of orphaned strays that I bottled fed. The three kittens almost died and the vet wanted too much money for unnecessary tests
    I like to think love is what saved them. I found a wonderful home for the two tabby sisters, but simply could not part with the solid black male kitten. I’ve never seen such a sweet, affectionate, docile, and precious cat as Harley. I already had three female cats before him, and I have had cats my entire life, but none of them held a candle to Harley.

    When Harley was almost 2,he was struck by a car and given the prognosis of mental damage (from the concussion) and having a damaged leg which would need amputation. A lot of love and a lot of costly vet bills, and Harley was eventually good as new, despite a few missing teeth and a crooked jaw. The next two and a half years he was a healthy, robust, happy cat. Snoozing in my closet or chasing bugs by the porch light. He loved hugs and practically hug you back with his huge paws. He would lay limp in your lap for a belly rub. He definitely got his share of hugs and kisses.

    Then on New Year’s eve 2013 I was getting ready to go to a friend’s house. I had been Babysitting that day, so Harley hid out in my room all day. When the little boy went home, I noticed harley had a very dazed look. He sat and stared at the wall blankly. A few minutes later I noticed he was breathing heavy. I called my neighbor, a vet tech, to come check him out. He took his temperature and noticed it was low. I noticed his gums looked pale and he was starting to breathe harder. Eventually it turned to gasps and he was lying on my bathroom floor. I called the emergency vet, and while on the phone I thought harley had passed. I hung up and said good bye. I couldn’t believe this was happening. He stirred around and drug himself behind the toilet and urinated on himself. I thought this was surely “it.” A few minutes later and he seemed to be getting better. After an hour, he was up walking around and breathing almost normal!!!

    I thought it was the strangest fluke. I made dinner and told my husband that was the most insane thing ever. Then it happened again. Gradually his breathing returned to gasps and he started Meowing in pain between gasps. By this point it was midnight, and I decided to take him to the emergency vet.

    Upon arrival, they noticed his tongue was turning blue and his heart was slowing down. His temp had dropped and he wasn’t responding to oxygen. They told me he had fluid in his lungs and it was likely due to advanced hcm, and he was in congestive heart failure. I was hysterical. Absolutely beyond words. They brought him out for me to say goodbye, and within seconds he was coughing up fluid from his lungs. A tight hug, as many kisses as I could, and tear-filled “I Love You. I’m so sorry. I Love You, I Love You, I Love You.” and they whisked him away and that was all of my Harley.

    The vet tech said a pink tinged fluid poured from his nose and mouth when he passed, and that meant euthanasia was the right choice to end his suffering. I don’t know how long he would have made it before passing that might. But he was in so much pain, and the stress from the car ride and vet office did him in.

    I have been beating myself up thinking I could have saved him if I had only brought him in sooner. Or if I hadn’t gone at all, maybe he would have died peacefully at home. But what’s done is done. I’m still haunted by it. I have cried and asked “why, God, why?” a thousand times. I miss him so much. I have a scarf he slept on that day that has his beautiful black fur all over it. I don’t have the heart to clean the fur from it, so I’m just going to bag it up with his collar and keep it to remember him by. All I can think is his big, soft body buried in my backyard, and how much I miss him lying the end of my bed. Not a day has gone by that I haven’t looked out my backdoor and felt my heart break.

    Coming here and reading these stories… Knowing I’m not alone… Gives me some sort of peace. I know it’s been nearly 3 years since the last post. But if someone reads this, just know there’s someone sitting on her bedroom floor tonight, staring at her phone, and writing this message through tears.

    Harley, I will never forget you. I Love You “Harley Man” and always will.

    Comment by Brittney — January 13, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

  63. My Maine Coon Samson was only two years and eight months old. He had a gentle personality. I took a nap and got out of bed this afternoon and Samson was in the living room with me. He walked to the kitchen to eat and I heard what sounded like a puppy barking. Since I don’t own a dog I assumed there was a dog outside my opened window. I went into the kitchen and found him lying motionless on the floor. I attempted to breath into his mouth but to no avail. I am afraid that from the sounds he made that he suffered and this hurts me. I will miss him greatly but he knew that he was loved because I fussed over and kissed him daily. He was fed the best food and this past winter the vet did say he had a heart murmur but he just assumed it was stress from being at the vet. God Bless you Samson my love.

    Comment by Ron — April 21, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

  64. So sorry to hear that, Ron. My condolences. Unfortunately, HCM is common in Maine Coons.

    Comment by Kim — May 1, 2014 @ 11:04 am

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