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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21708
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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I just found my cat this morning dead in the laundry, laying

Customer Question

Hi Pearl
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the cat?
Customer: i just found my cat this morning dead in the laundry, laying on the ground. I fed her at 8.30pm last night and I checked on her this morning before going to work at 7.30am and she was laying there on the floor with her eyes wide open
JA: Could be a lot of things that cause lethargy. The veterinarian will know how to help your cat. What is the cat's name and age?
Customer: Her name was Mittens aged 4
JA: Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about Mittens?
Customer: No she seemed like she was a healthy and happy cat
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

1) Any history of illness or injury?
2) Was she ever diagnosed with a heart murmur?
3) Any sign of issues? Was she eating and drinking well up until this point?
4) Did it appear that she simply passed away spontaneously?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
1) none that I knew of
2) no she wasn't, but it's been awhile since she had a check up at the vet. But she's been healthy and playful.
3) yes I fed her 8.30pm last night and she ate straight away.
4) I'm not sure she's only 4 years old. And she ate last night, playful. She sleeps in the laundry, and didn't hear here cry out or anythjng
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She wasn't laying on her bed, she was laying on the tiles next to it. With her eyes wide open
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

It can be inferred from the information we have that she did not suffer. Spontaneous deaths like this where cats are fine one moment and deceased the next are often related to heart issues. Unfortunately, in cats, we commonly see that there are no signs of heart problems until the cat has suffered either a major problem or they have passed away altogether. If you want an answer with almost complete certainty, having a necropsy performed in the morning would be ideal. Would you like me to give you some details on how to preserve her body until morning so that this can happen?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Thank you for that information, do you think she would have died instantly?My mum doesn't want an necropsy done on her. We buried her late this morningDo you think it could have been anything else? A baby snake or spider bite? We live in South Australia. Or could it have been heartworms? She's always been an inside cat
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

With a heart issue, yes. When there is a malfunction with the heart, any animal with a heart (cats and humans included) can go from completely normal to dead in just a matter of seconds.

If it was a snake or spider, she'd have shown symptoms and it would not have been spontaneous.

Heartworms could be to blame, of course, as it could have caused a major heart malfunction which resulted in death.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
She would have been in the laundry on her own for 10-11 hours. Would she had been bitten between that time and died without me knowing? Would she have cried out if she was?Is there any symptoms I could've picked up on if it was heartworms?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

Heartworms can cause issues without obvious problems and cause spontaneous death. Often in cats that are symptomatic we see signs like coughing, lethargy, weight loss, seizures, collapse, difficulty breathing, fainting and acute death.

I would be surprised if this were a spider or snake since you do not describe having seen either in the vicinity. Chances are she would have been stressed out and hiding. Spiders tend to be less toxic than snakes, especially in your area, and it would probably have taken days for the average spider to kill a cat where a very venomous snake could have killed her in a matter of hours. Still, we'd expect her to be having some problems and not just laying on the floor as though there was no warning.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

Checking in, JACustomer. Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
If she did die from a heart malfunction, would she have died in any pain?
I'm just trying to process it and I hope she didn't die in pain and on her own
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 8 months ago.

It would be very unlikely that pain was suffered as cardiac-related deaths that are spontaneous happen very quickly.