Cats are our dear companions. Unfortunately, our beloved companions must leave us too soon due to their shorter life spans. As cats age, we are forced to consider their quality of life. When a cat’s quality of life has substantially declined, it may be time to start thinking about humane euthanasia. The term euthanasia comes from Greek origins and roughly translates to “good death”. Euthanasia is the process through which an animal is released from the physical world to end pain and suffering; it is a true act of mercy.
How Will I Know When It Is Time?
There is a poem by an unknown author that we commonly refer to when speaking of euthanasia, this last excerpt is a source of peace when making the hardest of decisions:
“And, my friend, when I am very old
and I no longer enjoy good health, hearing and sight,
do not make heroic efforts to keep me going.
I am not having any fun.
Please see to it that my life is taken gently.
I shall leave this earth knowing
with the last breath I draw that my
fate was always safest in your hands."
Often, there will be signs your cat is ready to let go and cross the rainbow bridge. You know your cat better than anyone. If you start to feel that your cat's quality of life is questionable, please reach out to your veterinarian for guidance and support.
How Does Euthanasia Work?
After you have made the selfless decision to let your companion go, it can be hard to ask what is next. Please know we are always here for guidance and support; we empathize with your loss as if it were our own. When you are ready, we ask you make an appointment with our compassionate client care team, if possible. Upon arrival we will bring you immediately back to our special room that is located in a quieter part of our hospital. Our client care staff will patiently discuss your preferences for your pet after they cross the rainbow bridge.
Once we understand your preferences, a technician will place an IV catheter in the leg of your cat. While you are here in our clinic, we encourage you to spend as much time as you need to with your pet before saying your final goodbye. Only when you are ready, the doctor will come in to perform the procedure by first sedating your pet prior to giving the final injection, so they may pass away peacefully in their sleep. We strive to ensure this procedure is as comfortable as it can be. We can also assure you this procedure is painless for your pet.
If you know the time to let your pet go is nearing, you may wish to consider your preferences ahead of time. You are encouraged to make the decisions that will bring you the most peace. For the procedure, you are welcome to stay with your pet. If you do not wish to stay, we will allow them to pass on surrounded by our loving staff in the most comforting way possible.
After the procedure has been performed, we will follow your wishes regarding the after care of your pet's remains. We work with the local service Lasting Paws to provide cremation services. We offer both communal cremation or cremation with ashes returned. You may also choose to take your pet’s body home with you for burial. Additionally, we offer one complimentary clay impression of your pet’s paw print as a keepsake.
Do You Offer Euthanasia At My Home?
At this time we are unable to travel for euthanasia services. We are extremely grateful that there are local services that are able to come to you to perform euthanasia in the comfort of your own home. We have these options listed below.
- Transitions, Dr. Vollaire
- Home With Dignity, Dr. Humphries
If you are ready or have questions about euthanasia, please call our compassionate client care team for guidance or to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.