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do u think this is cruel?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
my friend has a cat she is about 25!!! and for about 3 yrs now looks like she is going to die any second!!! she is skin and bones, cries and sounds like death, falls over as she walks, cant walk up the stairs,has to be hand fed, sleeps all day cant run or jump...i guess him and i both being cat lovers see diff on this but i think its kind of cruel to not put her down! i mean she has had a long happy life why not put her out of her misery? he says he couldnt do that to her and i can understand to a certain point but i think this has gone a bit too far? i would like to hear both sides on this issue.
post #2 of 17
I suppose the crucial factor is whether the cat is in pain or suffering unduly. Only the owner really is in a position to judge whether the quality of life has been reduced to such an extent that it's time to say goodbye. But on the other hand, people can be so attached to their pets they find it hard to let them go. Has the cat been seen by a vet lately? Perhaps you could persuade your friend to take the cat to a vet and get his/her opinion on the situation?
post #3 of 17
I agree. The main thing is to make sure the cat isn't in any form of pain, and the only way to check is have a vet look her over.

If you look at it this way, when you get to 80+ but your health was ok'ish apart from the odd bit of deafness etc... would you want to be euthanised because you'd had a good innings as we say here in the UK?, i wouldn't
post #4 of 17
I have to agree with the others. If she's not in pain or constantly sick, then I'd leave her be. Maybe suggest to your friend to get her a check up. The only two people who can make this decision is your friend and his vet.
post #5 of 17
I see this type of thing all the time with grooming clients and it boils down to this: some people believe euthanasia is a kindness and some people see it as killing. You can't ever judge someones beliefs, nor can you ever change them over to what you believe.

I see animals everyday that I believe are ready to go- to me euthanasia is the one last gift you give to a beloved animal to prevent suffering or a prolonged death. But some people are extremely resistant to the idea, and it is their right to feel that way.

The only way I ever comment about whether or not an animal should be euthanized is when I am asked directly by the owner of that animal, and even then you have to choose your words very carefully.

Now- when an animal is in pain, whether due to disease or injury, I will offer up comments that some action needs to be taken and have often insisted that the animal be seen by a veterinarian before I touch it again.

Medical attention, when needed, is an imperative in animal ownership as far as I am concerned and I will never back off from that under any circumstances. To allow an animal to exist in a state of confusion and pain for days on end in unconscionable IMO- that is true cruelty.

So do you try and convince someone to euthanize a pet when they are not in favor of it?
No.

But you do insist (and keep insisting) that the animal receives medical attention if it is clear that it is in pain, or suffering. What happens at that point is between the owner and their veterinarian.

Geriatric animals need to be seen at least every six months- things can go south very quickly for older animals. Geriatric (in cats) for the purposes of this conversation being over say 12-13 if their health is good, earlier if they have chronic health problems.

IMO a cat over 17-18 needs very frequent checkups- minimum every six months, and more like every three, really. So I think you would be well justified in pestering them to take the cat in for a check up.

Most of the time people who are "waiting for a pet to die" are just in massive denial and are avoiding the situation. You are not remiss in helping them to think about it, or discuss it. They need to be realistic. But don't go harping on euthanasia, as for some people a "natural death" is more acceptable. That's mostly because they think a natural death is "going to sleep and never waking up" as opposed to wheezing and squeaking for days on end, but still- it's just not your call.
post #6 of 17
Quote:
I see this type of thing all the time with grooming clients and it boils down to this: some people believe euthanasia is a kindness and some people see it as killing. You can't ever judge someones beliefs, nor can you ever change them over to what you believe.

I see animals everyday that I believe are ready to go- to me euthanasia is the one last gift you give to a beloved animal to prevent suffering or a prolonged death. But some people are extremely resistant to the idea, and it is their right to feel that way.

The only way I ever comment about whether or not an animal should be euthanized is when I am asked directly by the owner of that animal, and even then you have to choose your words very carefully.

Now- when an animal is in pain, whether due to disease or injury, I will offer up comments that some action needs to be taken and have often insisted that the animal be seen by a veterinarian before I touch it again.

Medical attention, when needed, is an imperative in animal ownership as far as I am concerned and I will never back off from that under any circumstances. To allow an animal to exist in a state of confusion and pain for days on end in unconscionable IMO- that is true cruelty.

So do you try and convince someone to euthanize a pet when they are not in favor of it?
No.

But you do insist (and keep insisting) that the animal receives medical attention if it is clear that it is in pain, or suffering. What happens at that point is between the owner and their veterinarian.

Geriatric animals need to be seen at least every six months- things can go south very quickly for older animals. Geriatric (in cats) for the purposes of this conversation being over say 12-13 if their health is good, earlier if they have chronic health problems.

IMO a cat over 17-18 needs very frequent checkups- minimum every six months, and more like every three, really. So I think you would be well justified in pestering them to take the cat in for a check up.

Most of the time people who are "waiting for a pet to die" are just in massive denial and are avoiding the situation. You are not remiss in helping them to think about it, or discuss it. They need to be realistic. But don't go harping on euthanasia, as for some people a "natural death" is more acceptable. That's mostly because they think a natural death is "going to sleep and never waking up" as opposed to wheezing and squeaking for days on end, but still- it's just not your call.
Very well said.
post #7 of 17
I have gone through partly the I waited to long...cat had few things wrong but for most part he was happy-got up begging to look out window ate(towards end-when i knew it had to be done, he went from eating alot-he had diabetes and kidney failure, to not caring about food anymore). in general he was same cat but in a bad loking body-very thin. the day he had trouble getting up I knew it was time(he got up stood then fell down..he tried again and got it but very wobbly to the water bowl) now my aunt has an all out approach to her cats-she had one for 4 years were it was visits to the vet every few weeks-this is wrong thats wrong...medicine of all sorts..finally the cat just totaly gave out during the night and they took it to be euthed(it shut down couple organs and wasn't really with it-she said it couldnt move but was still aware what was going on...she gave it great care but I know I couldnt have done that-there were times (especially last 6 months) she had to hand feed carry it to the box and all cause it basically couldnt move...to me theres no life if the cat can't at least ask for somethign it likes(go out(carried/ leash whatever) look out window, if it becomes a prisoner in its body then I think the time has come. RJ
post #8 of 17
Your friend has received a lot of unconditional love and trust from his cat for many long and happy years. It's possible he just can't bear to part with his pet and is in denial about the cat's condition. Please share this poem with your friend and tell him that if his cat could talk, he might say something similiar:

If I Should Grow Frail
-- Author Unknown

If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain does keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done
For this - the last battle - can't be won.

You will be sad I understand
But don't let grief then stay your hand.
For on this day, more than the rest
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.

Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.

Don't grieve that it must now be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We've been so close - we two -these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.


http://www.homevet.com/bonding/frail.html
post #9 of 17
I don't see any cruelty there, necessarily. What would be cruel would be to put a cat to sleep simply because she is old and somewhat feeble. All beings get old and feeble. But since cats cannot consent to euthanasia, we should only euthanize them when we are sure they are in lots of pain and there is no affordable treatment for it. That she "cries and sounds like death" -- I don't know what this means. If she meows a lot it could indicate pain or discomfort in the joints. This would be indicated by difficulty walking. If she "falls over as she walks," well, I guess an adequate evaluation of this would depend on how often this happens. Old people fall more than young people, too, but we don't therefore suggest putting them down.

I suppose a consultation with the vet would be a good idea. Mainly one would want to know, how much pain is she in, how much of the time? Are there good treatments for arthritis in cats (assuming she has that)?
post #10 of 17
I think as long as the cat is showing no signs of pain, then he/she should carry on as she/he is. Maybe take the cat to the vets for a check up, make sure everything is ok, for piece of mind. We had a cat called Titch, we thought he was constipated, two vets passed him for his passport, and within 6 weeks of being in France we took him to a vet, who diagnosed a tumor on the liver, we could have given him tablets to prolong his life, but it would have been cruel as in his last days he was having difficulties breathing, but he still purred. When he was drifting off in the vets, i could see in his eyes he was thanking us for sending him on to the R.B. Its been nearly 2 years now, and it still hurts, but we know we did the right decision. So my conclusion is, if the cat is not suffering let it carrying on with its life, giving you longer to be together, and spending loving moments with each other.
post #11 of 17
I always wonder why we figure it's okay to put an animal "out of it's misery," but wouldn't even consider it if it's a human.

I don't think it's cruel. I think everything happens when it's meant to happen. When the cat is truly ready to go, as with people, it will.
post #12 of 17
There is a big difference between euthanasia of an animal and euthanasia of a human being.
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telynn
There is a big difference between euthanasia of an animal and euthanasia of a human being.
What makes you say that?
post #14 of 17
A vet visit would be a good idea. It is really hard to see a pet suffering, but a consutation from a professional would probably make it and easier decision either way... At the very least, he could make the cats life a little better for now.
post #15 of 17
Perhaps this is politically incorrect and may sound terrible, but I don't think it's wrong to help a person who is that miserable either. Perhaps it's how I was raised, my parents always said when they were old and feeble and sick to put them on an iceberg and send them off. When my grandma was dying, we slowly increased her morphine over a few days until she just slipped away. She had been sick for five years, had not woken up in weeks, and was certainly terminal at the age of 93, her heart was beginning to fail just of old age. She was even breathing in death-rattles. I was there at the end, and I don't think she was even really in her body those last few days...

That said, I know some people are probably going to find that morally repulsive... but I think it's the right thing to do. I feel the same way about both myself and my cat. Once she is old and gray and starts to get very very ill to the point that she can't walk or eat or even enjoy being pet, it is cruel to make them stay alive. Now, if there was any way to fix it or help her feel better, then it would be wrong not to do so.

In the case of this particular cat, I really don't think she's that sick yet, and a vet visit is certainly needed to help evaluate her illness, however it doesn't seem cruel to not put her to sleep.
post #16 of 17
I agree 100% Z-Mom, but my own Mother would personally strike me down if she heard me say so.

Personal choice.
post #17 of 17
I personally believe in euthanasia, and wish it were legal, but the receptionist at my vet pointed out all the times they are asked to pts healthy cats (conversation was when I was helping with a case), and she no longer wishes it were legal due to the people who may do it to elderly relatives cos they are an inconvenience. Luckily for me, my mum also believes in euthanasia. Neither of my neighbours do though, and both had elderly pets with health issues last year - one was eventually persuaded to let the dog go naturally, but only after months of what appeared to be suffering on the dogs part, and when it came to the second animal, I didn't feel it was my place to convince him to euthanise, and our vet isn't the kind to either, even when dealing with a terminal illness (sadly, in both those cases), so when he eventually did take her, the vet told him it was his choice whether he brought her home or not, as her body was giving up. It took 5 days, and it was the worst thing I have experienced, and made me glad that I believe in euthanasia. I do think your friend should have the cat evaluated (if not already done so recently), just in case there is something that can be done to improve her quality of life.
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