Euthanasia in Cats


Cats provide their families with a lifetime of love and affection, but the average lifespan of a cat is around 13 to 17 years. That lifespan feels very short compared to that of their human caretakers. As a pet parent it can be very difficult to know when your cat’s time has come. Cats’ health can decline for a variety of reasons including organ failure, cancer or crippling arthritis. The most important consideration is quality of life. Some cats may slow down dramatically in their old age, but feel content to lounge around the house. Euthanasia is a very personal decision, but if your pet is in chronic pain that can no longer be managed, it may be time to talk to your vet. Consider the situation from your cat’s point of view and ask yourself if you are keeping them alive for your own reasons. There always comes a time when the animal’s suffering becomes too great.


There are some cases when a young and otherwise healthy cat may get sick or injured so badly that the cost of surgery or treatment is prohibitive. Most vets offer some kind of payment plan or financial aid so you should never feel pressured to put down your animal due to financial reasons.


People react to the loss of their pet very differently. Some simply drop them off at the vet while others chose to have the vet come to end their pet’s in the comfort of their own home. Please think of the friendship and comfort your cat has provided you throughout their life, as short as it may be, and consider being there for them when their time comes to cross the rainbow bridge.



Veterinary Medical Ethics


Euthanasia of companion animals: a legal and ethical analysis.


An ethicist’s commentary on the case of the cat who fractures both legs after a declaw.


Study of the effect on shelter cat intakes and euthanasia from a shelter neuter return project of 10,080 cats from March 2010 to June 2014.


Effect of high-impact targeted trap-neuter-return and adoption of community cats on cat intake to a shelter.