I've heard that when a cat feels that she's getting old and that she's dying, she leaves her home and goes away to die. Is this true?
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Yes they do that. Living in countryside, they will most likely leave the house when they feel the end is coming... have no idea how they manage to feel that.
Well, I generally agree with what Anon's said. I heard it many times from rustic people that cats do not die at home; they go somewhere to a quiet place usually known to them only. Maybe a forest, if it is nearby. For a cat living in a city apartment this is unlikely, of course... Where can it go surrounded with four walls?

Anyway, I've never experienced this myself so far.

By the way, whether we've experienced it or not, if you heard it in your country too, I think this IS true! Apparently, there have been many precedents all over the world. Emotion: wink
mine have never done that in the 40 years I have had & loved cats.
I live in the country and we've had a lot of cats die around us, some went unnoticed because there were so many, but a few we knew about. There are at least two I can think of- one cat had been around for a long time, she was very old..and we think senile. Anyways, after a few days we realized we hadn't seen her in a while, so we figured she must've gone off and passed away. The other cat was one we didn't have for very long, but we have a hole near our basement that the cats would get into and once again, a few days had gone by where we noticed we hadn't seen him around. One day the house started to get this odd smell downstairs...my dad checked that little hiding spot and found our out that our kitty had passed on.
So I believe that they do sense it and they go off to be alone when they think they're going to die.
It seems it depends on cats themselves... I mean, some owners agree with that opinion while some don't. At least, we have opinions from both the sides, and so the answer to your questions is YES, CarpeDiem. They can leave... though some cats stay in the house or around it.
Cats, like many other animals, have only one "fix" for physical trauma and sickness - they stop moving to allow their bodies to heal. If their paw is hurt, they will keep it out of action until it's fixed. If their legs are hurt, they will move as little as possible until it stops hurting. If they're feeling seriously ill and vulnerable they will hide someplace safe - most of the time, that means away from people and other animals.

If they recover, they'll come back. If they're too old or sick to heal, they will die in hiding. I don't think anyone knows for sure whether or not they're actually aware that they're dying, but I don't think it has anything to do with that. It's a survival instinct. "I feel bad, so I need to go somewhere safe to rest and heal".

I can only assume that when they're confined to an appartement or locked in a house, they're going to hide and rest wherever they feel the safest - in closets, under beds/sofas etc.
Yep I've experienced this too.
My first cat, Smoky, was only 4 years old when she passed away, but we knew it was going to happen on that day by the way she was acting (she was terminally ill). We lived in a flat and she went into a bathroom corner and just lied down curled up. Later that evening I put her in my bed with me and she kept purring for a while, as if to let me know that she's ok with what was going on and when I woke up in the morning she had passed away poor thing.

When my flat mates cat was sick and acting like that, I knew he was "preparing" to die, so we actually managed to save his life because we called the vet in time.
I think veanova's got a point. This sounds very reasonable at least.

Punky, I didn't know your first cat passed away so early, when she was just 4 years old...
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