- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Euthanization: right choice for my cat, or easy way out for me?

January 28th, 2007, 04:28 PM
I need some advice from other animal lovers. My situation: we have two male cats:cat: :cat: , Sterlng (4 yoa) and Gracie (6 yoa). Gracie has feline asthma. :sick: We spent many years taking him to vet appointments and specialists. He has been on many medication regimes. Initially he responded positively to treatment but gradually they proved less effective. (our specialist indicated this isn't uncommon). We continued to try different therapies until it would lose it's effectiveness and then move onto another type of treatment, but at some point a couple of years ago Gracie became extremely resistant to taking any further medications. It came to the point where we were risking our own safety when attempting to medicate him 2-3 times daily. Our once cooperative and treatment compliant cat began to ferociously resist any treatment. So for a couple of years he has received no regular treatment for his asthma and his disease has slowly progressed. He has multiple asthma attacks each day. He has become increasingly sedentary. Rarely do we witness him attempting to play, but I don't know if this is a result of his progressing disease or just a natural development as he gets older. He now avoids visitors completely, and rarely chooses to even interact with our family. He does not seek or accept the same affection he once did.

Now the other part of my problem. My husband and I have a two year old daughter. She, like her father when he was her age, has an allergy to cats. Initially we thought we could work around it...HEPA filters, more frequent vaccuming, keep cats out of her bedroom (although very difficult to enforce that one), etc. However, we have had to reach the painful decision that for our daughters health we need to find new homes for both of our cats. Sterling is a beautiful, healthy, affectionate cat and we know we'll have no problem finding him good home. I really fear that we will have a much more difficult (if not impossible) time finding a suitable home for Gracie.

Looking at a combination of the following: 1. He has a disease which has progressed and will continue to progress. 2. He refuses to allow us to treat him for this disease. 3. He is decreasingly social and affectionate. 4. He is increasingly sedentary. 5. I need to find a new home for him and really think I will be unable to find someone to take him in. 6. I fear that if I do find him a home someone else may consider euthanization because of his health concerns and at that point I have no control over the method used. If this needs to be done I want to ensure it is done as humanely as possible.

So I find myself considering euthanization. It breaks my heart and makes me cry. :sad: I don't know if I'm considering this possibility for the right reasons or if I'm just considering it because it would be easier for me.

I am not looking for angry people to yell at me or tell me what an awful person I am for considering this. I already feel that. I am simply looking for input from other animal lovers to tell me if they think I should at least look into the possibility of euthanization and consider that option. Or to tell me that they don't think it's the way to go, but if that's what you think please share your ideas for other options. I really don't know what to do. :confused:

Thank you.

January 28th, 2007, 04:47 PM
Personally, (and I have never been in your situation, so please keep that in mind) I would look very hard for someone who would be willing to take him in knowing all that you just told us. If you could find someone that would try to work with him that would seem like a better option (and if that person is kind enough to try to work with this situation, I doubt they would consider euthanizing him in an inhumane way if they felt that was the best choice).

Again, I've never been in your situation, and were I to be I may have a very different opinion.

I'm terribly sorry that you're in the situation you're in - it can't be easy. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

January 28th, 2007, 06:59 PM
I don't like to reply to post like yours because it is really your decision. But I can tell you that there is sooo many cats up for adoption, you may find it hard to place yours in a good family. Maybe ask your vet if he knows someone with a BIG heart that could take her. Also, only you can say if your cat still has a quality of life, does she ? If not , maybe the best thing is to put her down. By reading your post, I get the feeling you might think it's the best solution but you feel guilty. If your cat suffers and after all you try to do to help her, it's getting worse, again, quality of life. If she doesn't have any left, this maybe your last option. Talk about it with your vet, he knows your cat and might be able to help you thru this. I'm real sorry about the situation. :grouphug:

January 28th, 2007, 07:03 PM
I agree 100% with Frenchy, its hard to comment on this type of thread. If you feel that the quality of life for your cat is deteriorating , what ever decision you make will be the right one. I too am soo sorry for your situation:grouphug:

January 28th, 2007, 07:19 PM
I commend you for thinking this through and trying to do the best for your cat. So many cats are just dumped in shelters or worse yet on the side of the road when their owners no longer want them.
I think you know your cat best and only you can decide what is right for him. A little while back my dog was going through some behavioral issues that were making her aggressive. I contemplated putting her down because I was afraid that she would hurt someone. I know exactly how you are feeling. I kept asking myself what right I had to play God. Fortunately for me I found a solution to her problem (thyroid medication and obedience training) and she is back on track. I remember driving home from work sobbing thinking about what I thought I had to do.
Ask yourself if he has quality of life. Is he able to behave like he would like? Does he sleep all day? Is he uncomfortable or in pain?
Good luck with your decision.

Mocha's mum
January 28th, 2007, 09:14 PM
I appreciate the sensitivity of this subject, and have to say, that you are braver than I am. I agree with erykah that whatever decision you make will be the right one.

Is there a facility where you are that has a S.P.I.N. program (special pets in need)? There's one here in Edmonton through the SPCA that is quite successful. You could try that for Gracie.

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time :grouphug:

January 28th, 2007, 09:25 PM
Is there a facility where you are that has a S.P.I.N. program (special pets in need)? There's one here in Edmonton through the SPCA that is quite successful. You could try that for Gracie.

I didn't know that such a thing existed. I will definitely search for something like that in our area. Thanks for the idea. :fingerscr

January 31st, 2007, 05:18 PM
Its a lousy decision to have to make. I had to make this decision this winter. Though my decision was not to euthanize & it worked out very well, many on here know how close it was. Thankfully my vet put no pressure either way and totally supported whatever decision I was to make. Its not always like that.

The primary question is "What is the animal's quality of life"
The second question is "What is the prognosis for future quality of life"
The third question is "Am I making the choice for myself or the animal"
The remaining question is "What choices can I afford to make"

Noone likes to talk about the last one, pleading that one should do everything necessary. Not always a realistic choice.

The only one who can answer those questions is you, but those questions help clarify the decision.

The one who has the right to answer those questions is you. You may be advised of your options but noone has the right to pressure your decision one way or the other.

Euthanasia is not the easy way out when you love your animals.

January 31st, 2007, 05:35 PM
Lots of good advice here. I'm not sure if this will help you, but I recently had to go through this.

I put my cat down last November. She was 13 years old. I found her when she was 5 days old (abandoned), so I took her in and bottle fed her. She was my baby, and putting her down was the most difficult decision I ever had to make. If I had to do it again, I would have done it sooner. That was my only regret.

I spent the last 2 months of her life by her side. I hand fed her because she refused to eat on her own, and the only thing she would eat was boiled chicken. The only thing she would drink, was the water it was boiled in. And the only time she would eat, was when I was sitting right next to her.

The vets didn't know what was wrong, and I wasn't willing to pay hundreds of dollars on ultrasounds or explorative surgery, that may or may not give me answers. And if they did find something wrong (I think it was either kidney failure or cancer), she would have had to be on medicine for the rest of her life.

She was alone during the day, and I was busy most nights. I did everything I could to give her the attention she needed, but when it came right down to it, it came to quality of life.

In the end, it all came down to quality of life. For 13 years, she was my life. There was nothing I wouldn't do for her... but I wasn't willing to put her through any more than she already has been through, only to give her pills and leave her alone while I went to work (I sometimes go out of town - leaving her alone again, or with a kitty sitter). And so I made the decision to put her down.

I sat in my car with her for 2 hours before I took her in. Part of me I think will feel guilty for the rest of my life that I didn't do more to find out exactly what was wrong, but I did EVERYTHING I could, to help her get better (I even took time off work to be with her). It was 2 months of heartache for both of us, and the guilt is with me every day, but I KNOW I did the right thing.

And I did it for her.