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Euthanize your own cat? Yes or No? WARNING- GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS

Discussion in 'IMO: In My Opinion' started by kai bengals, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. kai bengals

    kai bengals Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

    Sep 5, 2005
    North Carolina
    What do you think? Is it ok to take your cat's life in your own hands and end it, based on your "at the moment" thoughts and intuition? Or is that wrong?

    If yes, what would constitute a proper euthanasia?

    If no, why not?
    nochoice purraised this.

  2. laureen227

    laureen227 Purrfect Pair Top Cat

    Sep 3, 2003
    Arlington TX
    i think it's completely ok if the cat is terminally ill & suffering. i'd even understand terminally ill, not yet suffering but guaranteed suffering at a future date [altho i personally couldn't do the latter]. i wouldn't think it was ok if the cat was healthy & the owner simply didn't want to rehome it [i'm assuming, of course, that in that case the owner no longer wants the cat].


  3. valanhb

    valanhb TCS Member Veteran

    I've read all of the state's animal cruelty laws. Yes, all of them. Most, if not all of them contain the clause that killing an animal that is suffering is not cruelty, particularly when it is an animal that you own.

    It would definitely depend on the situation, IMO. Like everything there are many shades of grey to that question. Living in a city with e-vets available 24-7, where I could get my cat to a vet within 15 minutes day or night...I honestly can't foresee a situation where I would even need to consider such a thing.

    However, put me in a rural situation with 1 or 2 vets in the nearest town 1/2 hour to 45 minutes away, and the nearest e-vet double that (if off hours), if one of my cat were in obvious distress, in pain, terrified, and with a pre-existing condition (i.e. such episode happened before and the cat was seen by a vet with tests yadda yadda yadda), you're damn right that's a fair option. If I knew in my heart of hearts that if a vet were closer/open I would be taking my beloved there for the same reason, yes, I would. Again, assuming a rural situation, a firearm would be instantateous death, as long as it's placed right.

    Euthanizing any pet yourself should only be for extreme situations, when the only other option means prolonged suffering for the animal with the same end result.

  4. natalie_ca

    natalie_ca TCS Member Top Cat

    People do it all of the time, especially on farms and other rural areas where vet's are few and far between.

    I couldn't do it [​IMG]

    I remembered reading about someone who self-creamated their cat. I was completely grossed out by it.


  5. coaster

    coaster TCS Member Top Cat

    May 28, 2005
    This is something I'm facing with Rocket. If I can't keep him in because of his spraying, and I can't let him roam outside because of the local laws, and I can't give him away because of my adoption contract, I'm caught between a rock and a hard place and another rock, and Rocket is screwed if I do, and damned if I don't.

    If I surrender him and tell the truth, he'll be euthanized. If I lie (which I don't think would be right) then someone else would get stuck with the problem. If I continue to allow him to roam, I could get fined, he could get picked up, and still get euthanized. (And I notice my neighbors aren't waving at me as they drive by my house lately -- I think they're getting kind of testy about a cat coming on their yards.) If I could find a place to take him where he could be an outdoor cat, which the Humane Society would never agree to, then I could never adopt another cat from any of their shelters.

    So.....he's outside and I'm letting fate take its course because I just can't face euthanizing him myself, since that seems to be his fate. He's too nice of a cat, and he's like my little soul-mate in some ways. Yet maybe that would be the best thing to do for him. If he's picked up, then he has to die in the hands of strangers after a traumatic experience, alone and afraid. If I had him "put down" (as they say about diseased cattle) then he could just drift off in my arms (if I can arrange that with my vet.) I don't know if I could do that. I've been hoping he'd run away and find another home, where perhaps he might not feel he has to spray. (The gray tomcat that started this whole thing was around again this evening) But this is his home, and he's not going anywhere that I can see. Or maybe fate could decree a quick end in which he'd get run over in the road. But it's not a busy street, and he's car-savvy.

    So, here we are. I really don't want to have to keep him in the basement all winter again. That's no place for a cat. And if the other options lead to him being euthanized at the shelter, then wouldn't it be better if I had it done?

    So, could I do it? I don't know. I'm putting off facing that as long as possible.

    What's the proper way? With as little trauma, pain, or suffering as possible. I guess that would mean an injection. And none of this on the spur of the moment or merely for convenience stuff. I do believe that the purpose of domestic animals is in the service of mankind, but I don't believe that gives mankind any rights to lightly and frivolously take life or inflict pain and suffering.

  6. clixpix

    clixpix TCS Member Veteran

    Dec 9, 2004
    I'm very fortunate. I live within 20 minutes of not one, but two, 24hour emergency vet clinics, just down the block from my vet's office, which has several vets in the practice. If all of that fails, there are countless vet practices all over the city. Most of us are fortunate enough to not be that far away from professional help if something goes terribly wrong.

    If one of my girls were suffering horribly, and I was sure that she would not get better, and no help was readily available, would I do it myself? Probably not. Not because I think it would be wrong in such an extreme situation, but because I lack the courage to do so, even if it would be the kindest thing to do. I would have to live with the fact that I let one of my girls suffer terribly because of that lack.

    It would be easy to sit here in judgement and say that it's never okay. But really that would be an unfair and narrowminded thing for me to do because I do have help at hand whenever I need it...most of us do, and isn't that a great thing? I think the circumstance would be rare, and I think it would take an even rarer person who could put aside their own fear, grief, and pain, and end the suffering of their beloved pet.

  7. nekochan

    nekochan TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 5, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I don't think I would be able to make that decision myself... My brother did once though. His cat had terminal metastatized cancer so it was only a matter of time. She had some type of seizure and was suffering and he called and asked his doctor about it and they said she most likely would not come out of it.

  8. katie=^..^=

    katie=^..^= TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 16, 2004
    Los Angeles
    There are many stories on the Crossing the Bridge forum of people who have had their cats euthanized at the vet's office.

    We had a wonderful little girl euthanized because she had a cancerous and very large tumor on her eyelid. She was 19 years old and the vet said her entire eye would have to be removed, and her kidneys and liver were not strong enough to take that kind of operation.

    She was suffering. She couldn't jump, couldn't control her urine, had trouble eating and her eyes were glazed with pain.

    We still miss her and that was August 1999.

    If the OP meant could I actually take the life of an animal myself: No.

  9. laureen227

    laureen227 Purrfect Pair Top Cat

    Sep 3, 2003
    Arlington TX
    i think i must've misunderstood the question... i couldn't do it MYSELF, but i would have no need to - 7 minutes to the vet [faster if i was really in a hurry].

  10. clixpix

    clixpix TCS Member Veteran

    Dec 9, 2004
    [​IMG]I have to say, IMO this isn't the type of situation where I would condone euthanizing at all. You may abhor the spraying, but Rocket is not suffering. Adoption contract or not, maybe Rocket would be happier as a barn cat somewhere rather than to have you hope he runs away or waiting for him to get hit by a car. [​IMG]

    Sorry for the thread hijack...[​IMG]

  11. calico2222

    calico2222 TCS Member Top Cat

    We've had to do it a few times with some of the barn animals, and it is hard. But, DH and MIL pretty much know (after having a farm for 20 years) when something gets to the point it can't be helped and trying to prolong the life of the animal will make it suffer too much. One example was a 2 month old barn kitten that either got bitten by something or fell on something and sliced open his bottom. By the time we found the poor thing there were maggots crawling in the wound and he was already getting cold, but he was still alive...barely. He was suffering too much and was too far gone for a vet to help him. So DH did what he had to. We could have let him suffer for a few more hours but that would have been cruel.

    Years ago, my BIL's dog (boxer) started having seizures. He went away for the day and his sister was alone at the house and he started seizing....for over an hour. By the time he came home the dog's brain was basically fried. He didn't even recognize my BIL. He did have to take him outside and put him out of his misery. They did call the vet before, and he said after an hour of seizing there was no way he could recover.

    Now, I couldn't do it. DH has to do it, but I can understand why it has to be done sometimes.

    One thing, if I ever have to put any of my animals down due to terminal illness, I would like to be able to give the injection myself at home, where they feel comfortable and safe. I think that would be so much better for the animal rather than taking them into the vets and having them deal with all that stress on top of everything.

  12. white cat lover

    white cat lover TCS Member Veteran

    Nov 17, 2005
    OK, Tim, cats like Rocket are ones I strive to save. Yes, I have outdoor only cats. Yes, I take home sprayers, to live life out relatively safe here. Yes, there are the dangers that come with cats living outdoors here as with anywhere, but I'm on a farm in a rural area. They get vetted when it's needed, & I feed & love them. They have half a chance here. I wish I was closer, as I'd take Rocket in a heartbeat. [​IMG]

    End OT chatter.

    Euthanizing oneself....yes, I have shot a cat. He was a feral, I'd been trying to trap him for some time. I suck when it comes to a few cats. He'd been hit by a car, was dying, in pain, & there was no way I was going to be able to trap him. So with one shot, I ended it.

    Yes, a lot of you will not be happy with that. Call me a murderer, I don't care. Should I have left him to suffer & die in pain? There was no way I was getting him to the vet, let alone a vet who would handle a cat like that.

    I have no 24 hour vet clinic, I have to call one of the vet's at home, leave a message & hope to hades they get the message & call me back. I have Dr. Stupid in town here.....the man can't even tell me what color to sky is! The sane vet in 30 minutes from me, there is one 20 minutes from me, but she has issues with euthanizing animals, even if they are dying of cancer, etc.

  13. coaster

    coaster TCS Member Top Cat

    May 28, 2005
    I'm not so sure he would. That gray tomcat seems to be more than he can handle. Imagine a whole barnyard of tough old tomcats. They'd skin him alive. Nope. The only outdoor situation would be a house out in the country.

    What I hope for is that he stops spraying. But everything, and I do mean everything (ref. my thread about the animal communicator) -- and you don't know the whole story, and I'm not about to repeat it all here now -- has been tried. You judge a little too quick, I think.

  14. coaster

    coaster TCS Member Top Cat

    May 28, 2005
    I'm in Wisconsin, we're practically neighbors, no? [​IMG]

  15. clixpix

    clixpix TCS Member Veteran

    Dec 9, 2004
    I've read that thread. You may not like my opinion, but that doesn't mean I judge it too quick.

  16. rapunzel47

    rapunzel47 TCS Member Veteran

    Jul 20, 2003
    Lotus Land
    I live a 20 minute drive from my vet who would see us in an emergency day or night and tend such a need. If for some reason they weren't able to do that, there is a 24-hr emergency vet right across the street from them. And we pass probably half a dozen vets on any route we might take to get there. I'm never going to be in a situation where I have to take matters into my own hands. Thank God.

    If these resources were not available to me, and one of my critters had an emergency that was not capable of being solved other than by euthanasia, I would have to hope that there would be someone else nearby who could perform the merciful deed for me, because I'm not sure I would have the intestinal fortitude to do it myself. I cannot fathom the courage that that would take, but if the animal cannot be saved and is suffering, there IS only one thing to be done, as quickly and as humanely as possible.

    Nobody WANTS to be in that situation, but as others have noted, it happens -- rather more frequently than we spoiled city folk imagine, probably.

  17. laureen227

    laureen227 Purrfect Pair Top Cat

    Sep 3, 2003
    Arlington TX
    Tim, have you tried medicating Rocket? i know that Prozac & the like have helped others with similar issues...
    [sorry, can't remember! [​IMG]]

  18. emeraldsongbird

    emeraldsongbird TCS Member Adult Cat

    Jan 1, 2008
    Athens, Georgia
    I couldn't do it MYSELF. My dad's a vet, and he had to put his dog, his BEST FRIEND down over a year ago, and it nearly killed him. My dad would probably do it for me, but I would only think it right if Bella were SERIOUSLY ill and it was fatal. Otherwise, we'd fight together to overcome whatever she was facing.

    As to the Rocket issue... I agree with clixpix. Just because a male cat sprays (that's news!) does not mean he should be put down. That's what comes with a male cat, and people looking into taking in a male should fully understand the consequences. Males can spray whether they're fixed or not, and that's part of their nature, and it's part of having a male cat. It's not his fault it's his instinct to spray. I don't think he should be killed for it, and I honestly think that's what it would be - killing, not putting down, because there's nothing wrong with him.

  19. rosiemac

    rosiemac TCS Member Veteran

    No i couldn't, plus it's against the law in the UK
    I'm sorry, but that's wrong.

  20. abbycats

    abbycats TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2005
    I have had to make the hard decision to euthanize when my cats are terminally sick. Sometimes I think I wait to long because I have such a hard time dealing with losing them. I always hold them when the vet gives them the final shot. Could I ever take my cats life with my own hands? No.

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