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

Responses: 161


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

I Must Practice Economic Euthanasia

Too suffer or not too suffer that is the question. No money = pain. Is that fair? NO. I have to put my cat of only 5 years to sleep this week due to dental problems and kidney issues. He is in pain, vomits and I will not allow him to suffer. It's very hard to be the one who has to "kill" your pet BUT is it fair to keep him in pain? NO.
—Guest Jennifer

saddened by this topic...economic euthan

This topic makes me choked up in my chest and heart, almost to a point that I have trouble breathing,when I think of this. This should be the absolute last thing to do to your pet. Try all other alternatives. Only, and only, if your pet is suffering and there are no others options of saving them,where there is absolutely no cure, should this be done. I can't even imagine having to put my pet to sleep just because I could not afford to do so. I would find some way or some person, beg if I have to, to help me. How would it be if everyone did this to their families, just because they cant afford to take care of them...If taking care of them is a problem, they should not be allowed to have them, babies or pets. There should be no options. I cant afford a child or care for them, so I dont have them. It should be the same for a pet. This is horrible. Put them to sleep, kill them, because you cant take care of them!!?? Disgusting, to say the least.
—Guest dee


I had to put my 10 month old cat to sleep today. She fell off my in laws balcony and broke her knee. The surgery was goingto cost 3600 dollars and I'm a single mom so that money is impossible for me to give up. I held her while she died but my god it kills me.
—Guest Kskye

Not yet but maybe

I woke up his morning and my beloved cat is walking funny and acts like she may have some neurological disorder. She doesn't act like she is in pain but she cant jump or act like my other cats do. I may have to put her down because I cannot afford a vet bill. I will however come up somehow for a vet visit but I know we cant afford any treatmeant or surgery. My hours have been cut drastically at work and I have a hard time making ends meet. I cant bare to think of losing her but what else can we do?
—Guest Lisa

Not yet but it may come

I did not think the economy was bad but lately I just can't make ends meet - so far I have not had to make that decision but I have been fighting ring worm for almost 10 months (I fostered a litter of kittens who had it unknown to me) the kittens have moved on but my two older cats (I have 14 total) both immune compromised can't seem to shake it. I am at wits end because the medicine is expensive and after 10 months I am starting to wonder if they will ever be rid of it. I did a good thing but now it seems to be the worst thing I could have ever done to my group and now I wonder if I need to put the 2 older ones down or it will never end.
—Guest Lee

My Heart still hurts.

In May 2008 I had to say goodby to my fur baby of 10 years due to cancer. She had bleeding problems on my of her paws which we thought was due to the litter. When I took her to my vet and had blood tests done, and was then told it was cancer. I am a senior on a pension and could not afford chemotherapy that might or might not work and even though I had to send her over the rainbow bridge, I will always miss her and wish she was still with me. I had taken her from her mother and had her for 11years. I have since adopted from another family a 2 year old brother and sister and love them dearly but they are not my Shelby. G-D Bless

Sorry, but I DON'T understand

I think it's ridiculous that people even get a choice to euthanize their pets. The animal can't talk and tell you how much or how little pain he/she is experiencing and would we do this to a human??? We never euthanize a human just because he/she is in pain. If we had to pay for a loved one's surgery (human), would we say no because we have no money or not enough? And unless one needs to take out a second mortgage to pay for their pet's surgery, there is no reason why one should just euthanize their pet! There are things that one can eliminate or cut down on. I'm not saying skip meals but one can eat cheaply but still be full. Cut out entertainment and luxurious items. Also, ask the vet if you could pay in payments. If he/she says no, go to another one! There's definetely a vet out there that allows owners to pay in payments.
—Guest PW

I miss Dudley every day

My husband's aunt found a tiny, sick white kitten in her backyard on July 4, 1994. My husband and I nursed him back to health and he became my furry boyfriend. He grew into a handsome longhaired cat with a beige tail and very discerning gold eyes. When my husband had open-heart surgery in 2005, Dudley never left his side. The two of them became fast buddies and I have photos of Dudley and my husband together that I will cherish forever. We used to have really good jobs but were down-sized in 2003 and could only find retail jobs. When the economy tanked in 2007, so did Dudley's health. He lost weight and stopped eating. We took him to the vet and were told that an operation might save him but at his age (14 1/2) there was no guarantee. There was no way we could afford the amount of money necessary to save him. Sadly, we had to send him across the bridge. If we both had good jobs, I would have spent whatever was necessary to save him. Unfortunately, there was not other choice.

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