Having a Cat Put to Sleep

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  1. profile image0
    RookerySpoonerposted 9 years ago

    I have a cat who has stomach cancer, which appeared very quickly.  He has stopped eating and drinking and wants to be alone.  However I don't know if he is in pain.  When I stroke him, he purrs much more loudly than he normally does.  He seems to be nearing the end, yet has been in this condition for almost two weeks.  I don't know what to do, as I feel guilty about keeping him alive, as I don't know if he is in pain, but I will feel guilty if I have him put to sleep.  What would other people do inthis situation?

    1. homesteadbound profile image86
      homesteadboundposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I had a cat from 2 weeks old to 18 years old. Got sick very quickly. Still purred and loved to be loved, but she was suffering. She had started hiding in the closet, that was how I knew something was wrong - wanted to be alone like you said. I loved that cat dearly and I'm crying now as I write this and it has been over 15 years. I decided to have her put to sleep rather than suffer. I would not sugest holding the cat while they do it. That is what I did, and I still can't get her passing out of my head. She did not suffer, it was just so much quicker than I suspected and I wasn't ready for my special girl to be gone. I'm still not ready. Although it is still hard, I know it was the right thing to do. And like Ron says your vet can advise you. But if your cat was living in the wild, it would be dead already. That's why they go off to be alone. Sad but true.

    2. tlmcgaa70 profile image61
      tlmcgaa70posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      your vet can give you the best advice after an examination. i do know that cats will purr when they are in pain as well as for the reasons we most often associate purring with. for the last 11 yrs, i have been rescuing cats, kittens and cats about to have kittens. not all were able to be saved. the hardest to lose are the kittens. for some reason, one of the hardest to hit me was a little manx kitten i rescued. i found him crouched under the front end of a pepsi delivery truck, in a store parking lot, crying. he wasn't over 2 months old. i had always wanted a manx, so it was only natural i fell madly in love with the little guy. he was an outgoing little charmer. but within a couple of days i noticed he seemed to have trouble going to the bathroom. when it was obvious it was causing pain, i took him to the vet. i felt like i had been punched in the stomach when the vet told me the kitten had spina bifida and the best thing i could do was put him to sleep. that was over 6 yrs ago and i still cry when i think of it. it is never easy to make this decision. but when it comes to doing the right thing for your loved one, you show more love by letting them go then by holding on. let him go while your memories of him are pleasant and he has little suffering. if you hold on, when he does go it will be in agony and your memories will be scarred by guilt. do not feel guilty for putting him to sleep...i promise you, he will understand that you are giving him a gift. if you were in his shoes and you had a cancer that had no cure, and only agony and slow death to look forward to...wouldnt you prefer to go out sooner rather than later? death is not always the fearful curse people believe it to be. I hurt for what you are facing. i do suggest getting a kitten soon, not to replace him, but to fill the empty place he will leave. and no, it is not betraying him, he would want you to do this.

  2. Ron Montgomery profile image59
    Ron Montgomeryposted 9 years ago

    We've had to put 2 dogs down this year; it's a terribly difficult decision.  Your vet should be able to give you guidance as to signs of pain from your cat.

  3. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 9 years ago


    My cat(this one) will be 18 soon. I am trying not to think about her leaving but it's hard not to. I cannot imagine not having her, she is a very special lady and she've been through thick and thin with us. She is getting thinner now and her skin coat kind of rough, and she does not eat fish anymore, and she does not like loud noises. But she is still very affectionate and understanding and very kind.

    1. Hubwriter1985 profile image60
      Hubwriter1985posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I recently had to put a cat to sleep. It's hard for us to know when animals are in pain sometimes. I'd say the best course is to check the cat into the nearest veterinarian. They would know if the cat is in any pain or not. You can decide based on what they say. I know I had to put mine to sleep, she was not eating and meowing a lot more than usual (she never purred). She even went down to the basement and hadn't had anything to drink or eat for dang near forty-eight hours. That was the only way we knew something was wrong with her.  It's hard to be there when they are put to sleep, but I think it helps you to get over it. I still have another cat to take care of and I think he, in his own way, misses her too since she was his sister. She was mostly the only company he had since we are usually so busy.

  4. profile image0
    RookerySpoonerposted 9 years ago

    My cat Dennis was put to sleep today, because he was suffering and it would have been cruel to keep him alive, because it would have been for us, his human family, rather than for him.  He is buried in the garden with all of his feline friends.

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      My sympathies are with you, Rookery - I have walked in those shoes too many times in my life.

      We love our pets and they love us, but they are usually only visitors in our lifetimes and will eventually leave us.  The best we can do for them is exactly what you have done - help them go on down that road without us.

    2. habee profile image92
      habeeposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm so sorry...but I think you did the kindest thing. I know it hurts - my dogs are like my children.

    3. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sorry.  I had to do that before.  I cried for days.   And even though we can "replace" them in a way with a new pet, they really aren't replaceable because each cat or dog (and maybe other pets) is individually unique in their personalities and attachment to and for their owner.

    4. Hubwriter1985 profile image60
      Hubwriter1985posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm sorry for your loss, it's a hard thing to do, but it's for the best too. At least you know that the suffering has ended. It is a small comfort in the face of missing your cat, I know, but I'm sure you'll get through this. After all, you have lots of memories of him and remembering them can help ease the pain.

  5. 2uesday profile image75
    2uesdayposted 9 years ago

    Sorry, I think you were brave to take the decision that was best for your cat.

  6. seanorjohn profile image80
    seanorjohnposted 9 years ago

    It's a very diificult thing to get over the death of a much loved pet.Hopefully you have some good photos and great memories to get you through this time of sadness.

  7. asktheexperts profile image60
    asktheexpertsposted 9 years ago

    Losing any pet is hard.  We recently got a pet mascot, a chameleon.  His name was Axle.  He was very young but we all adored him very much.  Not long after welcoming him to the office, he hurt his tongue in an attempt to eat.  (We found out when they're as young and small as we got him, they can often have problems.)  After a few days he was unable to eat on his own and we have to hand feed him.  He continually got weaker and it was a struggle for him to even stand for very long.  Even though it wasn't very much that we got to spend with him, everyone was very attached.  But, we couldn't stand to see him suffer.  It definitely put a damper on the spirit of the office, and we knew he wasn't enjoying what little life he had left in him.  We put him down and although it was hard, it was the best for everyone, the office, and more importantly him.  It is a hard decision, but things continue to get better with time.  Hope this helps.

  8. Hyphenbird profile image90
    Hyphenbirdposted 9 years ago

    We just had our beloved cat put to sleep for the same reason. It was the most loving thing we could do for her. Cancer hurts. Your friend IS in pain. I am so sorry to hear this and will pray for you in this most difficult decision.

  9. profile image0
    Home Girlposted 9 years ago

    I made a decision not to have any more any pets. I have two cats, they die - that's it, no more pets for me. Too painful to lose. Unless I'll befriend a wasp... big_smile

    1. profile image0
      RookerySpoonerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I agree.  I have had cats since I was two years of age, and am now almost forty, and it seems strange without a cat in the house.  I have gone to the back door a couple of times, forgetting that my cat is no longer there to be let in.  I won't be having any more cats, as much as I love them, because losing them is too painful.  I could possibly adopt a tortoise, in which case it will most likely be them who will be burying me, rather than me them.


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