When is the right time to put my cat to sleep? HELP!!!! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy When is the right time to put my cat to sleep? HELP!!!!


This is my second thread. And along with Monster's issues, I have a more serious issue.

My oldest cat is having problems. She is 14. Bones has been through the wringer...

She's been fixed, de-clawed, had organs replaced, blood transfusions ect. She's lately gotten into a sleeping funk. She's constantly sleeping, where as she was awake for at least a couple hours. She's hardly awake now. Her back legs / hips are becoming stiff making it hard for her to walk. She doesn't eat unless I'm home, and only if I feed her separate from the rest of my cats, and in another room. My two youngest cats beat her up the second I walk away from her, or leave the room. She has scabs and welts on the back of her neck from them. She's been crying a lot for no reasons, and Bones isn't one to cry, for any reason not even as a kitten. Her eyes are becoming hazy-blue-ish.

The vet told me that there would come a point when I would "know" it was her time.

At this point it's becoming a very hard thing for me to talk about...

I'm 21 years old, Bones is 14. I've had her most of my life. She's been the only one I could run to in my times of need. She comforts me unlike the rest of my cats. We have a very special bond. When I'm upset, she guards me (no lie) she will attack you if you come near me when I'm crying.

My parents have been pushing for me to put her to sleep on grounds she's "old" and that I have "too many cats" in my 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment, and that Bones has been ready to go for a long time.

I don't want her to suffer, but I DON'T want to make the wrong decision and put her to sleep if I don't need to.

Her asthma has been getting very bad lately, it's becoming harder for her to breathe, and she wheezes heavily if not stops breathing for up to 2 seconds before I hear her take a breath. I'm scared about the decision ahead, but I don't want her to suffer. and again, I don't want to make the wrong decision.

How do you know it's time to take god into your own hands, and end a life?

(Honestly that's how I'm looking at it)

I don't know what to do. I love her so much, and I don't want to selfishly keep her, when it's her time to go.


Bones (14 yrs old) Buggsy (9 yrs old) Monster (6 yrs old) Felix (3 yrs old) Oliver (Almost 2 yrs old)
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-19-2010, 11:46 PM
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I am so very sorry about your cat. This is a very hard time for you but I will share how I knew it was time to let my Pumpkin Patch kitty go to the Rainbow Bridge. She was up in years, 16 yrs. old and had CRF. She was on a special diet and medication for a few years before she started having difficulty eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom. When I noticed that she could not stand or walk straight and she stopped eating completely and could not lick her water at all and all she could do was stare at me, I knew it was her time. I dreaded that phone call to the vet but I knew that I could not take one more day of watching my precious baby, my first born, my favorite, most loving, caring kitty in the world suffer any longer. I felt like I was losing my best friend and after procrastinating a whole week, I called my vet and told them that my cat was very sick and that she probably needed to be put to sleep. In some ways I was hoping that the vet would tell me otherwise but when I brought her in for her last vet visit, I knew it was the right thing to do. I explained to my vet that my baby stopped eating, stopped drinking her water, and could barely stand anymore, the vet agreed that putting her to sleep was the right thing as nothing else could be done. My vet then explained the procedure where they give the cat a sedative and then a medication which stops the heart. Before doing this though, my vet allowed me as long as I needed to say my goodbyes to my precious baby. My vet left the room to give us privacy and then when I was ready, she came back and asked if I wanted to be there when they administered the injection. I told her that I did not want to be there during the procedure, however, I did want to see my cat afterwards just to have closure. The vet then took my kitty into their surgical area where I waited about about 5 minutes in the exam room. Then my vet brought back my baby wrapped in a blanket and informed me that she did not experience any pain and that her heart was stopped and the muscles in her body would start to relax. The vet stated not to get alarmed if there is any movement since that is just the muscles relaxing. My baby looked so peaceful and just looked like she was sleeping. I said my goodbyes, kissed her, and told her I would meet her at the rainbow bridge. When I was done, I knew I had done the right thing. I will always remember my Pumpkin Patch. Later that week, I went on a pet loss website and created a memorial dedicated just for her. Here is the link.
Pumpkin Patch's Rainbow Residency at RainbowsBridge.com

I hope by reading this post you will have the courage to make that very difficult decision. My prayers are with you and your best furever kitty.

Last edited by kittywitty; 08-19-2010 at 11:51 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 12:26 AM
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Someone told me this when I was struggling with the decision to have one of my furbabies PTS - think of Bones' three favorite things to do/things she takes the greatest pleasure from, when she is unable to do two of them it's probably a good time to think about having her PTS as her quality of life will have diminished.
No one can tell you if now is the right time or not.
To share my own experiences, I have pet rats and their lifespan is 2-3 years on average, so I've had to help a lot of them pass on. As much as I love my ratties & as heartbroken as I am when they pass on, I have never regretted having any of them PTS too soon, knowing that they had a peaceful passing & I had ended their suffering. On the other hand there was one time that I just could not let go, and even years later I am still haunted knowing I caused my baby to suffer because I wasn't ready to let her go.
So, while I'm sure you'll miss your precious Bones very much, at this point since you know she's nearing her time I don't think you'll end up regretting helping her pass when the time is right.

Mama to Donovan and Ruin
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 12:40 AM
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So very sorry to hear about your precious Bones. Only you will know if he is suffering or not. It will be one of the most difficult decision you'll ever have to make, and it never gets easier. I feel your pain, and hope you'll remember all the good times you had with Bones and how much he loves you and is devoted to you. Here's a couple of websites that may help you know when it is his time. Prayers to you and Bones.


How Will I know When It Is "Time" To Put A Pet To Sleep?

Last edited by catloverami; 08-20-2010 at 12:45 AM.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 12:54 AM
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First ask your parents if they want you to put them to sleep when they get 'old'.

I'm very sorry about your cat. It's the terrible price we have to pay for loving our feline companions/friends whose lives are so much shorter than ours.

The questions I would, and did ask myself are: Is she getting any pleasure out of life? Is her suffering outweighing the whatever pleasure she is getting? For instance, does she still purr when you pet her and seem pleased to have your company? Is she still using her litterbox (positive)?

It's a very difficult decision you have to make, but if it's necessry, then it's the final gift you'll be able to give her.

If she's getting a hard time from the other cats is there somewhere she can sleep comfortably away from the other cats (you say she sleeps most of the time).

Myself I wouldn't make the decision based on old age. My mother had this little mongrol terrier and he was having a rough time with arthritis. Neighbours kept saying she should have him put to sleep. She refused because it was just old age that was his problem. Then one morning she found him curled up and dead. He'd passed peacefully during the night.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 01:14 AM
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My Meeka baby died just this spring. She was 18 years old (I am 21 so she has been around most of my life). She was diagnosed with hyperthyroid when she was 13 years old and our vet said she probably wouldn't make it to 15. Advance to this spring, my baby cried for no reason and didn't seem to have the energy to make it across the room. Our vet said she wouldn't make it through the night, and she made it two more days, she was such a stubborn girl. By the last afternoon she couldn't make it to the litterbox and was very unhappy. Though we knew that she would not make it much longer, we called the vet to come to our home and end her unhappiness. The vet came right to our living room and let me kiss and hold her while he administered the medication. She only lasted one more second, she was ready.

Don't prolong his life because you want to keep her around, but don't put her to sleep because she is "old". Listen to the posters above me, you will know when she isn't enjoying her life anymore, and it will feel right.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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I'm unsure at this point.

She doesn't use the litter box. She hasn't for a while, she goes to the bathroom under my kitchen table. I can't get her to revert back to the litter box. There are plenty of litter boxes for her to choose from.

She sleeps on the arm of my couch, and with me at night. She has always slept with me. She was in bed with me this morning when I woke up.

The things she enjoys most? Sitting with me / on me and letting me brush her and pet her and yes, she does purr. She doesn't move much. and getting up is becoming a chore for her. She may have arthritis in her back hips. It takes her a while to stand up, let alone to walk.

I wouldn't put her to sleep because of "old age" infact, I'm mad at my mother right now. I called her to tell her Bones wasn't doing so well, and that was the first thing she said to me. My father then proceeded to tell me I can pick any spot in the yard at home to bury her in where all the rest of our animals are buried.

However.. I think I want to have her cremated??? I don't know.... It just doesn't seem right not to have her with me, and to bury her at my mom's house. I'm terrified of doing thing..

I'm taking her to the vet today, for a look-see and advice on what to do. If they agree it's time, then it may be her time.

I guess it's hard for me because I've never really thought about this day coming, ever. I guess it's just getting close to that time. 14 years is a decent lifespan for a cat isn't it? Especially with all the surgeries and things her body has gone through.

I'm hoping like the first poster said, that the vet says it's something easy to fix and I won't have to do the hardest thing ever.

I will let everyone know how it turns out...
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 12:30 PM
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My heart goes out to you. I know how hard this sort of thing is. You have to trust your instinct. You know your cat better than anyone else, and only you can make The Decision, and only you can know when the time has come. Look into her eyes and she will tell you.
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