When a cat enters our life, we are acquiring a friend who often sees us through many life stages and changes, such as marriage, divorce and the birth of our children. Regardless of what happens, our cats are steady and non-judgmental companions. In return, we lavish constant love and attention on them. However, in every cat's life, the natural cycle runs its course and a time will come when we must say goodbye.
In many cases, our cats die natural deaths in happy old age. Often, however, we must make the decision to euthanize a sick or injured cat. While such decisions are difficult to make, the ability to do so is actually one of the greatest gifts we can give to a treasured companion. When our cat is so sick or injured that a return to a quality life is not possible, humane euthanasia must be considered.
Many cat owners find it difficult to determine when the time is right to make such a decision. Invariably, however, we know our pets best and are capable of making that personal and individual decision. There are several factors that can be taken into consideration in making this decision and they should be discussed with other family members and your veterinarian when possible.
The most important criteria to use when making a decision about the timing of euthanasia revolve around quality of life. If your cat is no longer able to do the things she enjoyed most and no longer responds to family members in the same way, it may be right to consider euthanasia. Another consideration is the amount of pain a cat is experiencing. In cases of chronic illness or terminal diseases, the day will come when there is more pain and discomfort in your cat's life than good times and this is the point at which to consider euthanasia. Finally, in some circumstances, the emotional or financial burden of a cat's illness may be beyond an owner's means or abilities and this, too, can be a valid reason to consider euthanasia.
In most cases, there is time to consider all the factors and discuss all the options with your family and with your veterinarian. We are rarely forced to make hasty decisions and this should be avoided wherever possible. During the time when you are discussing euthanasia, you should also explore the options for care of your cat's remains. Depending on where you live, several options may be available. Most commonly, owners can choose between burial and cremation. Burial might be on family-owned property (providing local by-laws allow this)
or in a pet cemetery or memorial park. Cremation might be a simple affair or an arrangement where the cat's ashes can be returned to the owner, usually in a tasteful urn or container. Many owners choose to keep their beloved cat's ashes nearby or will bury them in a garden setting later on. ...... [Read complete article]