1. Home

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Most Emailed Articles

Modular and Manufactured Homes

Readers Respond: Have you had to consider economic euthanasia for your cat?

Responses: 169


Heart Failure

I noticed this weekend that my 10 year old feline Lilly was breathing differently and then it clicked that she also had not been crying for food as usual. I took her to the ER Vet where they took xrays and told me she had fluid in and around her lungs. They explained they could drain the fluid from around the lungs, but that the heart failure causing the fluid could still kill her within a year even with treatment. They suggested that I have her see the cariologist on Monday but that she should stay hopitalized. They gave me an estimate of her care, including seeing the cardiologist, and it came to $3300 for two days of treatment. I decided to euthanize her. I regret the decision and it's killing me that she is no longer us. I keep flashing back to seeing her alive one second and then dead. This is the hardest thing I have done. I think I would have continued treatment if a payment plan could have been arranged, but paying $3300 up front was not possible. God I miss her.
—Guest Just Me


We have 2 sick kitties. I think they can be saved but we have both lost our jobs and have mounting medical bills for our daughter. We have been to 5 "no Kill" shelters and one regular....we have told them our story....they want us to get a vet estimate on what it would cost and then they will take them.....the SPCA wanted $150 donation....IF I HAVE $150 I would take them to the vet......We are at a loss....In these economic times I see why animals are being abandoned.....even when you try to do the right thing it comes down to $$$$
—Guest amh in South Ba

I had to put my cat to sleep yesterday

My sweetheart was 18 1/2, had kidney failure and found out at the visit yesterday she also had cancer of the mouth, I knew no matter what I did the outcome would be the same and we would end up at the vet again, age alone played a huge factor, I did not make her suffer thru treatments that I could not afford. She is in a better place and I am the one suffering, I miss her but I know I did the right thing. Good luck to all.
—Guest Kerry

it's inevitable

It's one of those things, how much money do you spend to postpone the inevitable? At what point does it become denial? We just put one of our cats down...it's horribly heartbreaking. But, unfortunately it's a sad fact of pet ownership. Our cat developed a tumor. It was possible they could remove it, but he would require tube feeding the rest of his life. That was best case scenario. What do you do? Roll the dice and hope you make the right decision. I will be burying him in the backyard underneath the maple tree this afternoon, undoubtedly sobbing the whole time. At least I know I gave him the best life I could.
—Guest James

it's humane

I have had to put my cat to sleep. I had a hard time deciding and a grieving period after. But his diabetes was honestly becoming inconveninet. He was 17 yrs old and after 7 yrs, I couldnt do it anymore. I hate people saying if your child had diabetes you wouldnt put them to sleep! Or what I did was inhumane because it was based on finances and "my" convenience. I did see him getting older, but his diabetes was manageable. However, the way I look at it is I took care of a shelter cat who would have been put to sleep. He had a very good life for 17 yrs and so did I...end of story.
—Guest my choice

Saying Goodbye to my Best Friend

I had to say good bye to my best friend today. He went through college with me, boyfriends, a marriage and two beautiful children. He lived 11 years. It was the saddest day of my life, he was my everything. He was more than a cat..he was my kitty. He followed me around devotionally and sat patiently when I would talk to him. He alway sat so proper, with one little paw over another, and cocked his head looking and listening intently to whatever I had to say. He made my last 11 years wonderful. Today I feel like I am suffocating without him, I find my self picking up cat hair from the carpet and stuffing it in my pockets. I love him so much, more than words can express. I had 2 misdiagnoses for a problem that was 100% treatable. On his last day he received a correct diagnose, but by that time he only had a 5% chance. My baby did not have to die! I feel so much pain inside it is so hard. I buried my love in my backyard, with catnip and toys. I hope one day I can see him again in heaven.

It's a Cat

My family cannot suffer because of my Cat's health and our inability to pay. Things change, animals get sick, the economy gets worse. My family is more important than my Cat. If I cannot find a home for him, I will euthanize. We cant compare animals with people. They're just not.
—Guest Guest IL

No way

When you adopt an animal, you're responsible for them for the rest of their lives. Would you put your child to sleep if they needed medication to stay alive? No, you wouldn't so why would you do it to your pet? You shouldn't, period. Pets give us unconditional love & ask very little in return & unlike a child, they can't speak for themselves which is why we have to. And yes, vet bills can be expensive but that's part of pet ownership. It's one of the first things that should be considered when adopting an animal. I have 3 cats that I would give my life for. They are my babies and will be treated as such. They deserve to live a long life just like we do.

Just happened to me

My Boy just came down with his 2nd case of urinary blockage, almost 2 years since his last occurance. At the time, my finances were better and I was able to eat the $800 cost. With the economy and other factors, the bill this time was nearly $1000, and was something I wasn't able to do. With it being a treatable condition, the vet gave me the options to either pay the bill, euthanize the cat, or surrender him for care. I surrendered him for care. It killed me to do so, but knowing that he's going to be taken care of at their costs and then found a new home seems better to me than just euthanizing him for the sake of the bill. The vet wouldn't promise me they wouldn't euthanize, citing that if it's in his best interest they would have to to keep him from suffering. If he were at that stage, I would have myself. However, this other option seemed like the best out of the 3 evils. I just will never know what happened to him. Privacy clause. So, here's hoping for the best
—Guest Kris

It should not have to do with money.

I am trying to decide at this very moment about what to do about my Tripper.He has heart problems and he is having problems breathing again.I took him to the vet about a month ago,and they drained a lot of fluid off his heart which helped.But in order to get a proper diagnosis I would have to take him to a specialist.The vet visit with blood work and everything else they did was 700.00 alone.It drained my savings.The vet gave me salix pills which are a diuretic so maybe that would work he said(he knew my financial situation)But it was just a bandaid.Now I am back to square one.I have an appointment tommorrow to see if there are any other options for Tripper to keep him in this world with me.It should not have to be this hard when people are trying to find a way to keep our critters alive.Our pets are people too.May peace be with you all that have to go through this.
—Guest Deena

My worst fear

I have 4 babies, two are 11 and two are 13. Just yesterday, I found out that my chief kitty, who has been my companion and protector since 1996, has apparently suddenly developed congestive heart failure. It cost me $400 to have him misdiagnosed at one vet and $800 to have him treated at emergency care. I am currently unemployed and my husband is under-employed, but we still have some charge card room, so we decided to go ahead. However, if he needs additional expensive treatment again soon (which he may, he's still not acting quite right), I don't know what we'll do. We have three other elderly fur children and one young human child to worry about as well. Additionally, the big kitty has loved his life and his freedom. He's always been allowed to go visit the neighbors, hunt, be the neighborhood greeter, etc., because he always comes home & sleeps with me when I call him. I don't want to keep him alive if he is going to hate his new life as an invalid.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

I could no more euthanize my lovely 19 year old all black kitty girl than I could kill myself. She suffers with chronic renal failure since March this year. I give her pills twice daily and subcutaneous fluids every 24 hours, on time, which she tolerates very well. I am forgoing vacation this, my year of retirement to be able to give back to her a small portion of the devotion she has given me with her unconditional love. I am far from rich and just paid off an 800 dollar plus hospital charge for her diagnosis and initial emergency room treatments. Money means nothing to me when it comes to a life that can be spared for as long as it can sustain itself without pain with that treatment. I will care for her until she can no longer stand up or eat and I will pay the price to prevent her from dying in severe pain. I also pray for her and do all I can to keep her comfortable at this time. God gave her to me and He is the only one who will take her away from me.
—Guest BB

Ring Worm too much

My cat of 14 years developed ringworm and vet gave her sulphur bath which layed her out for 2 day and I had to feed her for 6. She can't do those. So he gave her shots and her hair kept falling out, and then he gave her some pills and topical spray but it didn't help much. Then he told me of an expensive drug $200 for a month and I tried this which did help a little, but now says she may have to be on that for months and I cannot afford it. I had to charge that. I don't want to put her to sleep but I cannot afford the meds and I have another cat who may also be coming down with it, so sure cannot afford double that on my small salary. I am already in debt. I am crying every day thinking I will have to do this but I don't know what else to do.
—Guest Mary Jane

Not yet - possibly soon

Our lovely big ginger cat developed mouth problems and had teeth extracted and a full-scale mouth cleanup 6 months ago. Two weeks ago he developed more problems and had two more teeth extracted. He is still not right, the condition is likely to be chronic, and he is going back to the vet tomorrow. We have some decisions to make and the bills are mounting up. He is a rural cat and does a lot of hunting. He eats his prey, bones, feet and all. He needs a well-functioning pain-free mouth to maintain his quality of life. Not only that, but being put in a cage and going to the vet is a hideous frightening experience for him. We may make the decision to have him put down tomorrow.
—Guest Guest


My cat was 14, with chronic bowel problems. Money was not the only issue, but it was one thing to consider - along with the inability to keep providing long term care, and how poor his reaction was to being medicated. For those who think that's somehow horrible - if you eat meat you kill a healthy animal every day. You don't know that animal - but it was still an animal the same intelligence and ability to feel pain as your cat.We play god and extend the lives of our beloved cats by giving shots, by spaying, by keeping them inside, by rescuing them from shelters (feral cats have an average lifespan of 7 years). My cat's 14 years were good ones, and he died when he was still happy - which he would quickly have been in pain without more treatment we could not emotionally and physically keep giving. And I will rescue another cat who would be killed as a kitten if I did not.
—Guest Ipsissimus

©2015 About.com. All rights reserved.