Like all vets, I hated doing this (euthanasia), painless though it was, but to me there has always been a comfort in the knowledge that the last thing these helpless animals knew was the sound of a friendly voice, and the touch of a gentle hand.. James Herriot, All Things Wise and Wonderful

When is the right time for cat euthanasia?

cat euthanasia when to say goodbye

You can face cat euthanasia without fear. Photo: Nano Nastasia/

The right time for cat euthanasia depends on your pet’s health. It is often helpful to look at the quality of life your pet is experiencing. Ask yourself:

  1. Does your cat still enjoy eating and other simple pleasures?
  2. Is your cat able to respond to you in a normal way?
  3. Is your cat experiencing more pain than pleasure? (It is sometimes difficult to determine if our beloved cat is in pain or not. Cats may experience pain differently to humans.)

You will be able to make a much better decision, and be more comfortable in your decision if you get as much information as possible regarding your pet’s condition. If your pet is sick, ask about the treatment options, possible outcomes, and chances of recovery. In most instances, you will not need to make the decision immediately, so take time to think about what you should do. Discuss the decision with all of the other family members, including any children. Decide what you want your pet’s death to be like.

Prepare yourself for your cat’s euthanasia

Euthanasia is a dignified, peaceful and virtually pain-free process, but it is best to understand what will occur and how your cat’s body may react. Knowing these things may help make the process less traumatic for you.

It is helpful to prepare yourself for the cat euthanasia process, if possible, by becoming informed and making choices regarding the logistics ahead of time. It is important to have a friend or family member you can talk to and spend time with both prior to and after the euthanasia. The decision to be present during the euthanasia is a personal one, and you need to do what is best for you.

Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life describes her personal experience of pet euthanasia step by step and her feelings of grief and loss.


Doctors Finch and Smith