Common Questions on Cat Euthanasia Procedures

People often have questions about cat euthanasia. Learn answers to commonly asked questions about the process used to put a cat to sleep and what it costs on average.

Is it Time to Put Your Cat to Sleep

As a cat ages, bodily processes begin slowing or shutting down. At some point, it becomes kinder to the animal to put a cat to sleep than keeping him alive for your benefit. For many pet owners, this is a difficult decision to make.

If a cat is unable to perform normal routines, it becomes stressful for the cat, as well as his owner. You should consider the age of your cat. If a cat loses control of his bladder or bowels on a regular basis or seems to be in pain or have breathing issues, it's time to consider what you would want as a human, cat euthanasia is always kindest to the pet.

Watch for these key signs:

  • Acting uncomfortable and in pain
  • Cannot hold up his head
  • Disinterest in favorite toys or foods
  • Inability to stand or move easily without assistance
  • Lack of bladder and bowel control
  • Medications no longer alleviate symptoms
  • Refusal to eat or drink
  • Sleeping constantly with signs of breathing issues

Most times, the signs are clear and you will know it's time to call your veterinarian.

The Process Involved in Feline Euthanasia

The first step in a cat euthanasia is judging the cat's quality of life. Most vets judge the issue based on the cat's interest in food and water, ability to move around, outward physical appearance, signs of obvious pain and emotional well being. If feline euthanasia is believed the best option, the pet owner will then fill out and sign paperwork authorizing the vet to put the cat to sleep.

At this point, you make decisions regarding if you want the pet cremated, disposed of by the veterinarian or if you want to bring him home with you for a burial in your yard. Make sure burials are allowed in your area. Payment is requested before the cat euthanasia so that you may leave immediately after the animal is declared dead to grieve in private.

Staying for the Euthanasia

Many vets allow pet owners to remain in the room for the entire procedure. An area on the leg is shaved and disinfected and then a catheter is inserted into the vein. Often a cat is sedated so that he is already relaxed when the medication is added to the catheter. This medicine slows and eventually stops the heart. Be aware that it can be disheartening to see your pet put to sleep.

How Much Does Cat Euthanasia Cost

The cost of euthanasia varies region to region. On average, most veterinarians in the United States charge $50 to $100 if you bring your pet to their offices.

Euthanasia Done at Home

If you prefer, some vets offer euthanasia at home. A clinic out of Atlanta, Georgia, charges $150 to $200 for this service. If you wish to have them dispose of the pet's body or transport to a crematorium for animals, expect to pay an additional $50 plus the cost of cremation.