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Is it inhumane to allow your cat to die nauturally?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Please don"t assume I am abusing or neglecting my beloved cat. She is 19 yrs and 3mos old and just became ill a week ago today. It is just her time. I have NEVER had to make this decision before and would rather her stay here in my arms until she goes. We don't euthenize our parents or grandparents when they are in their last days, why is it that you are scorned by others if you say you let your pet die at home when it was THEIR time to go?
Ultimately, if I had ONE wish, it would be that my pets could answer one question I have for them once in their lifetime and I could pick what day to ask. Today would be that day for her and it would be, "do you want me to help you go?"
I DO NOT want to be selfish and I DO NOT want her to suffer. But she watches me, just lays and stares at me me everywhere I move. Is she trying to tell me? I have a decision to make SOON! Does anyone have the answer for me?
post #2 of 12
If she is suffering it is kinder to help her go to sleep peacefully. We do not euthanize humans in the U.S. but terminally ill people are kept heavily medicated so they aren't in pain. If she doesn't seem to be suffering you might decide that it's better to allow her to die naturally. I don't believe a dying animal (or human) is always suffering just because they're dying. There is no right answer when it comes to these kinds of things. I'm sorry that you're facing this decision now. It's never easy. One thing to keep in mind is that even though she may not be suffering now, things could get bad in the middle of the night and if there isn't an emergency vet close by it can be very hard to deal with.
post #3 of 12
I have to agree. If she's suffering then it's not right to let her linger in pain. We don't put people to sleep because it's illegal in most places. Despite medication and treatment a lot of terminally ill people still suffer. I'm sorry you're going through this. Being your first time I understand how you feel. It's a tough decision you have to make. It's a decision you have to make based on unconditional love. We always have to put our pain aside and do what's best for our kitties...You'll be in my thoughts...we've all been through this
post #4 of 12
First of all, I'm so sorry you're facing this.

I think Willowy wrote an excellent response. I think your vet is the best person to ask - is she suffering? What's the likelihood she will be?

Our Tuxie was very young when he became anemic. We fought and he survived - but it was because he wasn't suffering, and if things didn't work, it wasn't likely he would. But we wouldn't have known if we didn't ask the vet for his thoughts (and medically informed opinion).

post #5 of 12
Hi, I am so sorry you are going through this... I dread coming through this decision every day...
Here is my take on euthanasia: I believe in it, and I don't. Meaning: I believe in it in terminal cases when there are absolutely no chances for a life after that disease/episode with manageable quality of life. I don't in all other cases.... I believe that if there is any chances of survival, and the person/animal can be happy have a good life afterwards.... fight like heck with all you got...
With that said... if there is absolutely no hope... Then I see no reason for prolonging the pain and suffering... And yes... we don't euthanize humans simply because it is illegal. But ask as terminal patient who is suffering horrors if they would rather end their lives with the dignity of euthanasia, and I can almost guarantee you that they would answer you with a sound yes.
Your cat is very old.... I think your vet should be consulted for an honest conversation to see what her health really looks like and what her outcome can be. Her situation might not be so serious or it might be her time... I hope I make some sense.... I am so sorry again
post #6 of 12
I agree with Carolina.

If you really believe that it's your cats time to go and there's no hope of her improving, it would be kinder to let her go peacefully and comfortably.

Right now, our 18 year old cat is at the vet's. She's had diarrhea for 2 weeks and they can't even get it to stop. She's been there for a week now. We know its her time to go and my vet is being really stubborn and is trying to bring her back to life. It's really heart wrenching to know she's there, in pain and feeling miserable. We want to see her go properly. Watching her almost die here in the living room was sooooo hard. We have to go tomorrow and demand she put down...

So yeah, if you're sure its her time and your vet agrees, let her go gently.
post #7 of 12
Hi, I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Your cat had a long life.

Personally, I think people like Dr. Kevorkian are champions. The only reason we don't hear of more human euthanization is because it's illegal to murder another person. But as was mentioned, we keep our terminally ill loved ones heavily sedated for their own comfort.

My dad passed away from lymphoma about a year and a half ago, and the end was rather unexpected and very, very quick. His one wish was to spend one more day at our family cabin with my mom and all his kids and grandkids. We managed to make it happen, though it was a logistical challenge due to transportation, oxygen tanks, etc. He had signed a DNR form much earlier because he didn't want his family to ever have to make a decision to take him off of life support. It never came to that with him, his death was very quick. And while it seemed TOO quick at the time, he had been pumped full of morphine his last couple of days anyway, so in time we were all able to be thankful that he didn't needlessly suffer in pain.

I honestly believe that our pets too have a way to tell us what they want us to do. It's our own human nature that causes us to second guess our decisions. YOU will know if your sweet girl is in pain, and I hope this doesn't sound blunt, because I don't mean it to be, but if she is telling you that she is in pain and you keep her alive because you don't want to have to make a tough decision, you aren't doing her any favors. If she is telling you that she is peaceful at home and wants just a couple more days with you, I think she will tell you that too.

We all know that cats are experts at hiding their pain, and you say that she just sits and looks at you, what does she do when you stroke her? Does she give you that chin up "I love this!" look, or does she maybe wince a little bit because she is in pain? Talk to her and look at her eyes. I am so sorry you are dealing with this right now, but I truly believe she will tell you what you want to know.

post #8 of 12
Whatever you feel is right then I am with you.

I don't believe it is inhumane to let your cat die naturally. I am still feeling the guilt of putting my Yon down 2 years ago.
Since then, I lost QT (old age and illness), Skinny (old age), Go (cancer), Ashley (organ failure), Roku (vet mistake). For each, I said goodbye - I told them they can leave now, I will be okay. AND THEY DID almost right after. I swear it's true. None spent their last moment at the vet - the place they dreaded and hated.
Mystik Spiral has something there - they have a way to tell us and at the same time they know how we are feeling so perhaps when it is time to go they are just waiting for us to let them know we will be okay and they don't need to worry.
post #9 of 12
This is a terrible time for both of you and I'm so sorry you're having to deal with it. Your cat has had a long, good life. If your cat is in pain and/or suffering, I would agree with others here that allowing her and helping her pass along quietly and peacefully is the way I would do it personally. Euthanasia is the one thing we can do to help our four legged friends and family, that we can not do to help our human friends and family. Ultimately it will be your decision on what to do and my thoughts are with you.
post #10 of 12
1st, I'd call a vet who's homeopathic or natural and consult with them

2nd I will never let a vet decide what to do with my pet again.

3rd If it's not howling & showing terrible pain, it is not in that much pain.

4th Pet it & tell it how much you love it as often as possible.

5th I do not want anyone else choosing my own death. When it's time, I'll know.

6th In the last 10 years I've had 7 cats put down by vets. 4 young & healthy, but had a blockage or an infection. Now that I've done so much research, I ache for them. I could have helped them, but didn't realize it then.

7th Who knows better when it's time to pass? You or your animal? If they're in horrible pain, they have a horrible yowl. You can see them trying to sleep, but they keep getting up & moving. I give them 4 days to self heal. If I do not see progress I go to 3 different vets. Chemical, Natural, & Holistic. Then, we talk, me and the beautiful animal I hold dear.

8th I will always try to let them pass natural from now on.

Blessings and love
post #11 of 12
I think its simply a matter of what kind of organ failure the poor kitty is encountering in old age. If its to the point of tremendously diminished quality of life or the cat is in pain, then there is no point in allowing that to continue for weeks to the inevitable conclusion. So its definitely a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, cats hide their pain as best they can, so as not to appear weak, so you have to look for subtle signs and add that with what you know from the vet about the medical state.

I'm so sorry you have to part, but I feel that I will be very proud and happy if I can provide my darling pets such a long and full life as you have.
post #12 of 12
I think if you are wanting her to stay at home then you can talk to your vet about having it done at home. Many vets will come to your home to euthanize - or sent a vet tech out either on a down time at the clinic or after hours when it's non emergency. My vet's office does it as well as the vet I used to work for. I would call and talk to your vet - not the receptionist. Explain that you've come to the decision you think it's best for your beloved kitty but you don't want to pack her up and haul her into the vet's office. They do it more than you think - and if they are not willing, they may tell you of a vet that does.

I personally think euthanasia is something kind we can do for them that we are not able to do for our ailing loved humans. Think on it and I wish you luck in your choice. Better to let her go peacefully than in an emergency situation in my opinion.
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