Deliberating Cat Euthanasia: Is Putting a Cat to Sleep Inevitable?

Many pet owners face the issue of cat euthanasia at some point in their lives. While many owners choose cat euthanasia in the face of elderly cat diseases and older cat symptoms, some cats die from disease peacefully and without the need for intervention. The decision to euthanize is a personal and ethical decision that may vary from one person to another and from one cat to another, depending on the severity of their conditions. Here are some contexts and issues related to specific older cat symptoms and adult cat care issues to help you with the decision.

Medical Reasons To Consider Euthanasia

There are many situations when the most ethical course of action may be cat euthanasia. In some elderly cat diseases, the natural yet inevitable death is extremely painful and prolonged. If a cat's organs are failing, for instance, toxins may build up in the cat's body killing it slowly. Some elderly cats may be unable to move comfortably enough even to use the litter box or eat their food and they seem to be in constant pain. If pain management and changes in the home don't make a difference in adult cat care, you may want to consider cat euthanasia. For some elderly cats, infections or other problems require long stays at the vet and/or regular cat surgery.

In these cases, the prolonged treatments might be more physically and psychologically taxing for your pet than any positive result of the intervention. Some cats cannot recover from severe injuries after an accident. Many owners choose cat euthanasia over multiple surgeries or a life without being able to walk or play, or even use the litter box. If your vet tells you that your cat's health is declining and there's no way to help, consider the cat's quality of life and pain level. It's often easier to make the decision in the face of immediate and severe suffering.

Behavioral Reasons To Consider Euthanasia

A domesticated cat needs to be able to live with people as it most likely cannot survive in the wild. Some feral cats cannot respond to training or the elderly cat may become vicious, dangerous or otherwise unmanageable. Cat euthanasia is the most ethical decision if a cat cannot live with human beings at all. But if a cat's behavior changes when children or other animals are introduced into the home, it is more ethical to first try to find a new more suitable home for the cat or to look into some professional help with training. Owners may find it difficult to find a new home for an older and aggressive cat. This creates a very difficult choice around cat euthanasia if the problem arose just because of children or a new family member but it may be the only ethical option in this case. Cat euthanasia is always more ethical than just abandoning your cat or giving him or her to someone else who won't be able to handle adult cat care or your cat specifically.

Financial Considerations

Sometimes adult cat care, cat surgery, or treatment for elderly cat diseases can be quite expensive. When you first choose to adopt a pet, is important to consider that cats require an unknown amount of a financial investment. If you are faced with feline medical costs you cannot handle, cat euthanasia may be an option as a last resort. It's important to consider creative ways to earn the money or to find a low-cost animal clinic that might be able to help your pet.