Preparing Your Family And Yourself
It is good to prepare the whole family so they can start the grieving process and wont be thrown off when the cat does finally pass. Sit your children down and let them know what is going on.
Explain to them in the simplest way what is happening and what to expect. They will have questions, so be ready to answer those as well.
How Long Can You Keep A Dead Cat
What is the maximum amount of time you can keep a dead dog or cat before burial? In most states, pet owners must bury or dispose of their pets within 24 to 48 hours of their death. It can take a few days to arrange for burial if you have your pet buried in a pet cemetery. If you want to keep them a little longer, the local authorities will allow you to do so.
How Do You Comfort A Dying Cat
- Follow the cats lead. Stay close by and talk in a quiet but soothing voice. Some cats will withdraw and would prefer to be alone, and that is okay too. Respect your cats wishes. Watch your cat from a distance.
- Gently stroke the cat.
- Try to keep the cat in a quiet area away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
- Always contact your veterinarian for guidance.
A dying cat is unable to effectively regulate its body temperature, so make sure the room temperature is comfortable for your cat.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Fleas On Kittens
What Are The Criteria For Euthanizing Cats
The American Veterinary Medical Association offers guidelines for vets on when euthanasia is appropriate. A vet can refuse to euthanize a healthy cat based on them.
Why would anybody want to do end a healthy cats life? You may be surprised. Heartbreaking as the experience is for most owners, some people seek euthanasia just for lifestyle or convenience.
Cats with behavioral problems are the most common example. In such an instance, a vet will likely contact a shelter. But some shelters are forced to euthanize cats due to a lack of facilities.
A vet will only suggest that euthanasia is the most humane choice when cats:
- Cannot move comfortably
- Lose interest in eating or drinking or are unable to eat or drink
- No longer greet humans or show any interest
- Are terminally ill and in constant pain
- Are very sick and need constant, expensive, and intrusive treatments to prolong their life
Felines are proud, independent animals. When their quality of life drops below a certain standard, it hits them hard. It can be difficult to say goodbye and accept that your cat will not recover.
We must put our feelings and personal wishes aside. Put yourself in the shoes of your cat. The definition of the word euthanasia means good death when translated from the original Greek. Given a choice, would your cat prefer to pass quietly and comfortably, leaving you with a lifetime of special memories?
What To Look Out For
When you visit the vet, you’ll hear them talking about your pet’s ‘quality of life’. This is a term they use to understand how much they are now able to enjoy their lives without pain or suffering.
Signs that your cat is in pain and may no longer have a good quality of life can include:
- not eating or drinking
- not wanting to go outside
- refusing to come in from the garden
- change in toilet habits or incontinence
Don’t Miss: Litter Robot Reviews For Multiple Cats
Should I Stay With My Cat When He Or She Is Euthanized
This is an extremely personal decision that each owner must make on their own. I do recommend staying with your pet until they are sedated at the veterinarians office. This way, they are peaceful and calm and will not know if you are there or not. Deciding to stay for the actual euthanasia may bring closure to some but may also be upsetting to others.
Signs And Symptoms Your Cat Is About To Die
Although a cat may know when they are dying, you may want to be aware as well. This can help you emotionally, mentally, and physically prepare you, your family, and your home for this event.
Here are some signs and symptoms you can look out for:
- Slow heart rate
- Diagnosis of severe diseases
Your cat may already have many severe diseases, especially at an old age. If you are aware of this, you will have to take extra precautions and watch your cat.
It may be a little challenging to notice exactly when they die, but with a keen eye, you can see the signs before it happens.
You May Like: How Much Water Should A Kitten Drink
Grieving The Loss Of Your Cat
Grieving the loss of your cat is completely normal. She has been an important part of your life and provided companionship and love. Take that personal day from work if you need to, and talk to your friends and family. If you have other pets, let the routine of caring for them provide some normalcy. No other pet will ever replace your cat, but they all bring different things to our lives and are special in their own way. And most of all, look through old photos and videos to remember your cat at her best and consider ways you can honor her memory.
Is It Normal To Feel Upset
When you arrive back home, be prepared for the house to feel empty. It’ll be hard at first but take each day as it comes, try to treasure your memories and talk to family and friends about it.
It’s entirely natural to feel upset when your cat dies. After all, your cat is a beloved family member.
The first thing is not to feel embarrassed about showing your emotions vets expect you to be upset. It takes time to get over the loss of a loved one, and, although reactions differ, you will often feel a mixture of things, such as:
Though it’s natural, try not to feel guilty or blame yourself the decision for euthanasia is taken with your cat’s best interests at heart to avoid them suffering.
Some people find themselves questioning whether they did the right thing. It is normal to feel some doubt, though this will ease in time.
You May Like: How To Get Cat Down From Tree
Diabetes Or Low Sugar
Diabetes and low sugar can cause an early death for your feline. Diabetes can be the cause of obesity. You can reduce the chances by ensuring your cat is a healthy weight and doesnt overeat.
There are chances the diabetes is genetic rather than occurring after weight gain. If this is the case, continue to manage your cats insulin and try to keep healthy routines to decrease the likelihood of an early death.
Low sugar can be just as bad as diabetes and cause imbalances that can disturb your cats health. Make sure they have a well-balanced diet that provides all the nutrients it needs.
If your cat has consistent low blood sugar, you will want to check with your veterinarian to see the cause and how you can fix it.
What If My Cat Is Afraid Of The Vet
If your cat is agitated or restless, then the vet may give a sedative first. This will make them feel relaxed and less worried about being handled by the vet. It can make finding a vein more difficult and the injection may work more slowly but this won’t cause them any pain, as they’ll be numb from the sedative.
Also Check: Arm And Hammer Multi Cat
A Change In Behaviour
If your cat has always been a social kitty and suddenly wants to be left alone, or vice versa and your once aloof senior kitty is now following you around, this could indicate that they are approaching their final days. Similarly, a lack of interest in grooming or inability to keep clean could also be an important sign.
What Does The Process Look Like After Putting Your Cat To Sleep
After your pet has passed, you should feel free to take all the time you need in saying goodbye. Following the euthanasia procedure and when you are ready, your cats body will be prepared according to your wishes for either home burial, pet cemetery burial, or cremation. Decisions and arrangements for after-life care should be decided upon and arranged prior to euthanasia to avoid having to make decisions following your pets passing.
You May Like: What Causes Liver Cancer In Cats
Do Cats Know They Are Dying
Again, it is impossible to know what cats perceive and what they understand. Many pet owners assume cats must know they are dying because many hide in the days or hours before death. Cats likely do not have any concept of death or dying and likely do not identify their illness as such. However, cats are masters of hiding how they feel and as a defense mechanism will fail to show signs of illness for as long as possible. Hiding is typical behavior of all sick animals who need to make themselves as inconspicuous as they can to avoid becoming a target of predation.
Q: What Happens During The Euthanasia Process
A: Euthanasia typically involves an intravenous pentobarbital injection that quickly stops the heart. Pentobarbital used to be a common anesthetic agent, but now a hefty overdose is used for euthanasia. The most effective administration of the solution is through a vein, but a body cavity will also work, albeit not as rapidly.
Depending on the situation, we may place an IV catheter in your pet prior to administering the euthanasia solution. IV catheter placement allows easier venous access, making the injection process quick and painless, and minimizing complications. We may also sedate your pet to ensure the process is smooth, calm, and relaxed, with minimal stress.
If we sedate your pet, we will wait until they are sleepy and resting comfortably with you before administering the euthanasia solution. Once injected into a vein, the solution will travel rapidly throughout the body, inducing a state of unconsciousness similar to anesthesia. Then, we simply give too much of the solution, which slows down the bodys processes, resulting in death.
Read Also: Why Do Cats Walk On Keyboards
Q: Does Euthanasia Hurt My Pet
A: During the euthanasia process, some pets may cry, whine, or whimper. They may also move in unusual manners, such as paddling their legs, weaving their heads, or stumbling. These actions are a by-product of the euthanasia solution. The euthanasia process itself does not hurt, but is similar to going under anesthesia, so your pet may feel odd as they lose consciousness, leading to odd noises or movements. With prior sedation, we can often minimize unusual mannerisms caused by the unconsciousness-inducing effect of the euthanasia solution.
When To Get A New Pet
Theres no need to rush into getting a new pet after your loss. It is natural when you are coping with the loss of your pet to want to fill that empty space, but it might not help. In fact, its a better idea to give yourself time to fully recover and obtain some closure. If you still feel the loss of your previous pet it could detract from what should be the start of a beautiful new relationship, a time when you and your new friend should be having fun getting to know one another. Pet bereavement will overshadow the happiness of meeting a new puppy or dog, just as the loss of a cat makes it harder to immediately choose a new kitten or adopt a new cat.
Any new pet you bring home deserves a chance to develop their own personality and earn your love without living in the shadow of your previous pet, so when you do decide to get a new companion, avoid one that looks too similar. Ultimately, you must do whats fair to both of them, and that means treating them with the respect they both deserve.
Don’t Miss: Can You Use Dish Soap On Cats
When Should I Euthanise My Cat
If your cat is refusing food and water, showing signs of pain or discomfort and has difficulty breathing then it may be time to speak to your vet. Its an incredibly difficult decision to make and you will understandably want to keep kitty around for as long as possible but consider their quality of life and comfort levels. Your vet will be able to help you reach a decision.
What Happens When A Pet Dies Naturally
We usually associate the death of a pet with them being put to sleep at a veterinary surgery. But what happens when a pet dies naturally at home?
If your pet dies at home, it may be difficult to handle their remains. You may wish to call your vet or another professional service, such as a company that can assist with disposal. Remember that such services may not be available on weekends or during national holidays.
Following the death of a pet, their body may still show signs of what can look like life, such as the following:
- Twitching, as a result of natural nerve spasms after death.
- The release of air from the mouth when moved.
- The release of bodily fluids and gas.
These can all be quite upsetting for owners to witness, especially if they arent expecting them. They arent, sadly, signs that your pet is coming back to life. They are simply the natural bodily functions and what happens when a cat or dog dies naturally.
Recommended Reading: How Much Food To Feed 1 Year Old Cat
How To Help Grieve The Loss Of Your Cat:
- Accept that your grief over losing your beloved cat is valid.
- Surround yourself with people who understand.
- Understand that feeling guilty is a natural response.
- Accept that grieving is a gradual process, unique to every individual.
- Make a list of all your favorite things about your cat.
- Keep in mind that your other pets may be grieving too.
- Rediscover your purpose in life .
- Determine if, and when, getting a new cat is a good idea.
Recovering from the loss of a furry friend takes time.
Pet Loss During Covid
During coronavirus, many pet owners had to make the heart-breaking decision to put their pet to sleep without being there with them at the end. Social distancing and government restrictions made it impossible for vets to allow owners into the clinic.
Though this will be hard to process, remember that there is nothing you could do about this. Coronavirus took a lot of moments away from many people try to be kind to yourself and know that you did the best you could for your pet in a very hard situation.
Don’t Miss: Purina Cat Chow Naturals Indoor Dry Cat Food
How To Comfort A Dying Cat
Some cats prefer relative isolation when they are dying, meaning they prefer to hide in a quiet place. Respect this whenever possible. Other cats want the comfort of their human or animal family, and thats fine, too. Follow your cats lead.
- A dying cat needs quiet and calm. Keep household noise to a minimum and if practical, move the cat to a quieter part of the house away from the everyday hustle and bustle such as their favorite humans bedroom. Dim the lights, and turn televisions and radios down.
- Stay with your feline friend and talk quietly and calmly as they are dying, your presence will calm them.
- If the cat has a canine or feline companion, allow them to be with the cat if that is what the dying cat wants, unless the cat has a highly infectious disease.
- An immobile cat can develop pressure sores, ensure they have a cozy and well-cushioned bed.
- Keep fresh water available and close to the cats bed. Offer food on your finger.
When Is The Right Time To Say Goodbye
It is never easy to make that final call. Was it too early or too late? Did you do enough, fight hard enough? Are you letting your cat down? All of these emotions are completely normal. It is counter-intuitive to choose to end the life of a beloved pet and family member but to put our feelings aside, this is the final gift we can give to our cat.
Grieving starts before your cat has passed away, not after, unless it was a sudden death. Many carers have been responsible for the palliative care of their cat for weeks or months, which is physically and emotionally hard.
We sign a pact when we adopt our pets to stay with them until the end, and where possible, enable them to have a peaceful passing. You are not letting them down by choosing euthanasia you are giving them a peaceful death. Remember, the word euthanasia comes from the Greek eu which means goodly or well and thanatos which means death.
One week too early is better than one day too late.
Don’t Miss: Self-cleaning Cat Litter Box
How Do I Know When It Is Time
Most cat owners feel it in their gut when it’s time for their cat to pass on, but acknowledging that feeling can be difficult. There are a few questions you can ask to help guide you in making the right decision for yourself.
- Keep track of your catâs good days and bad days. Occasional bad days are a normal part of life, but there will come a point when your cat is experiencing more pain and discomfort than happy, comfortable days.
- Evaluate whether or not your cat still enjoys the things she always has. Does she eat her favorite treats when offered? Does she purr when you pet her? Is she able to access her favorite perches or play with her toys?
- Talk over your feelings with friends and family. Use your support system as a sounding-board to work through how you want to handle the end of your catâs life.
- Talk to your cat. It may sound silly, but it can help. Curl up together in your favorite spot and talk it over. She just might tell you when it is time.