Most pet owners would do anything for their beloved animal, no matter the difficulty. If your cat needed a lung, we know that you’d do nothing short of donating one of your lungs if it meant saving your friend. But sometimes there just isn’t anything you can do. It’s not easy, but no kitty, no matter how loved, can live forever. Eventually you will be faced with the hardest choice of all: When to put your cat to sleep. It’s not an option you want to think about, but it’s something you’ll have to deal with. Here are a few things to consider.
The first step is to determine your cat’s overall health and quality of life. It should be obvious, but when the option of prolonging your cat’s life comes at the cost of continual suffering, it becomes a choice you make for yourself rather than for your pet. If cat’s organs are shutting down and they’re coughing up blood, you need to think of what’s best for your friend and let them go in the most peaceful way possible.
Now, the most vital part of this is to make sure never to self-diagnose. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT come to the conclusion that your kitty is beyond help and decide to put them down yourself. Unless you’re a veterinarian or have extensive knowledge on the subject through years of experience or training, leave the choice to someone else. By taking your cat to the vet, you make sure there are no options left and that the final, difficult procedure is performed correctly.
There are times though when the choice to euthanize comes as a result of owner laziness, and that simply should not be the case. For instance, if you learn that your cat can no longer walk, but can still function perfectly fine with your help from time to time, the choice to put them down would entirely fall on your inability to give any time to your pet, and that’s a real tragedy. To avoid that from the beginning, as hard as it may be, determine whether you’re a pet owner that will be able to go the distance before you adopt rather than when times get tough.
If you’ve done all you can and your vet still recommends it’s time to say one last goodbye, as hard as it may be, you need to follow their advice. However, when the moment comes, be there for your cat. It will be emotionally painful, but it’s still important for you to be there to the very end for your loved one. They’ll look around for you and wonder where you went, so please, say goodbye to the last second.
Losing a pet is one of the hardest experiences you can go through, but every pet owner will have to be there at some point. Don’t make the choice lightly, but do make it with conviction and with your animal’s best interest at mind. I just hope it’s not a choice you’ll have to make very soon or very often.
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