Deciding when to euthanize is a horribly emotional experience. For some cat owners it brings about feelings of guilt and inadequacy, while for others it brings closure. Let's review some things to consider to help putting your cat to sleep become a peaceful transition for the whole family, and also how to handle the grief that comes with the death of a beloved family member.
- pursue every option to your satisfaction
- evaluate if your cat is still having fun
- accept that when it becomes time it is a loving decision
- celebrate life and the good times you shared
- consider a support group
- delay when the reason is for yourself
- delay when it becomes clear that your cat is suffering
- blame your self
- be afraid to get another cat
- be afraid to talk about it
If there's something that can be done, then pursue it. Understand that we all have our different financial constraints that we must operate under. And for each family there are different values. Each family is different and can only allocate so many resources. So knowing this, use your resources to do everything you can for the best quality of life as long as possible. This may include pursuing alternative treatments like acupuncture or herbal formulas, depending on the nature of what is ailing your kitty. If you have pursued all options the extent that you are able than that helps remove feelings of guilt.
What is your kitty's favorite thing to do? If she is still doing this and having fun, then the time has not come to put her down. For some families, things have changed slowly over time but it seems like their cat favorite thing to do is sleep or eat. These are not the quality activities he used to do as a kitten. Think of what behavior defines your cat – stalking a toy, playing get the mouse with your toes under the blanket, these are the things that say your cat still enjoys life.
Because we love our kitties is why we even consider the euthanasia option. We don't want to see our four-legged baby suffer. But sometimes it is a hard decision as they cannot tell us directly that they are ready to go. Therefore we have to make the decision for them and we do it out of love.
We share our lives with cats so it is a better place for both of us. So when the time comes, it honors our time together when we think about all of the good times. Lamenting what we perhaps could've done differently does not honor the bond – it weakens it. Cats share their lives with us to bring beauty; beauty comes with joy and happy memories.
There are wonderful support groups that can help families with the transition. These support groups may be found at funeral homes, pet funeral homes and cemeteries, or online groups where the cats who have passed shared similar health issues. It is good to have someone who has experienced similar feelings to share what is going on on the inside of us.
Some cat parents know that it is more than past time for their beloved kitty to pass on. But for some reason these people simply cannot let it happen. And they understand that this is something on the inside of them. They know their cat is asking to go, and they know their cat is not having fun anymore, But they can't make the decision. The other tips will help these families in this very hard decision.
When it becomes obvious that it's time, gather your family quickly. There are veterinarians who will come to your house or the whole family can come to the veterinary clinic. Regardless, to best honor your beloved kitty, do it quickly so your baby has peace. It is not every situation where it becomes obvious that it's time all of a sudden, but when it does embrace it with love.
Part of the grieving process includes bargaining. We bargain with our memories and we chastise ourselves that maybe we should've done something differently. The past is done, it cannot be undone, therefore cherish the past and love your cat, and yourself, by not blaming yourself.
It is a natural emotion to never want to go through this experience again. That's why it is so important to remember all of the good times and all of the love that you shared together – cats make our quality-of-life better, just as we strive to make theirs better. We each have so much love to share it's a waste not to do it again. Even if you only shared a short period of time with the kitty who is passing, each day was an honor and a blessing, and completely worth it. It will be completely worth it for the next kitty, in the next.
Keeping the emotions bottled up inside does not help us grieve. Part of grieving includes sharing the joyful memories. Build a memorial with pictures, talk about what you're experiencing with friends, read a book about grief, talk to a servant of God. Open up your heart to relive the love; love again.
When it's time to decide if your cat is ready to go to heaven, make the decision with love. Remember the time you spent together, experience the joy. Honor your bond, honor the relationship you had. Share your memories and do it with love.