Saying goodbye to the beloved cat forever is a difficult step. Especially when the cat is to be euthanized due to a serious illness, saying goodbye is often the last resort.
Find the right time
A decision must always be made in the best interest of the cat. Feelings of the owner play only a subordinate role. It is irresponsible, just because the cat is no longer perfect or because more work is required due to the disease, to tear the cat out of life. If a cat loses an eye, life is still worth living for the cat and it is lively and has fun in life. On the other hand, do not turn a blind eye to the suffering and pain of a sick animal. If the cat suffers great pain due to advanced diseases, this torment should be cut short. It may be that the cat communicates its condition itself by eating and drinking less and it withdraws into itself. If in doubt, when the time is right, ask your veterinarian for advice. He knows the cat for a long time and can better assess the time frame.
Sign that the cat is not well
When cats eat less, they quickly lose weight. They become feeble and frail. The body condition score of cats ranges from 5 (a thick layer of fat) to 1 (emaciated with protruding ribs). The normal score for cats is in the middle (ribs noticeable but not visible). Once condition 1 is reached, euthanasia is a salvation for the cat. Even more serious consequences are the decreased drinking behavior in sick cats. When cats refuse to drink or can no longer walk to the water bowl on their own, toxins are not flushed out. They dehydrate and the body poisons itself from the inside. Another sign is cleanliness. Healthy cats spend much of the day on their grooming. If the cat stops brushing its fur or soils itself, you should talk to the vet about it. Pain is indicated in the cat’s body language by a restless twitching of the tail. If the cat can no longer sleep or rest due to pain, you should think about putting it to sleep.
What is the procedure for euthanizing a cat?
Cats do not notice anything from being put to sleep. Before euthanasia, a sedative is injected into a muscle. This causes the cat to sleep deeply and soundly. Only then is an overdose of anesthetic (barbiturate) given into the vein. This causes the cat to stop breathing. The heart stops. The veterinarian pronounces death. The two-stage procedure has already proven successful. No complications occur and the cat gently slides over. However, in the final stage, the cat may defecate or urinate, or the muscles may twitch. Nevertheless, the cat does not notice anything, because it is under anesthesia. The time frame for euthanasia is between fifteen minutes and half an hour.
Prepare euthanizing the cat
Ask the veterinarian for an appointment at the beginning or end of the consultation so that unnecessary anxiety is avoided. It may be possible for the veterinarian to make a home visit so that the cat is not torn from its familiar surroundings. Consider beforehand whether you want to be present at the euthanasia and whether someone should accompany you to this difficult procedure.
Do cats sense the approaching end?
Cat owners do not need to worry about euthanasia. The cat does not feel anything. However, if the cat is very bad beforehand, cats instinctively prepare for death. They do not panic, but they separate themselves from their housemates and retreat to safe sleeping places. Any restlessness may be caused by the cat knowing that it must part from its human. Do not let the cat feel its sadness or anxiety. Behave as normally as possible.
After euthanizing cat
At home, clear away all the utensils that remind you of the time with your cat. That way, you won’t be constantly confronted with the loss. Putting up a photo or a candle can help with saying goodbye. Allow your grief the time it needs. Getting a new cat promptly is not a good decision. Living with a new cat can never be like living with the old cat, because every cat has a different character.