Had to put our cat to sleep today. Damn, damn, damn!!

Two hours ago. My wife is devestated. It was her child. How do I get her through this. She won’t stop crying blaming herself for making the decision. Any kind words to her would help right now.

You don’t mention the circumstances, but I can only imagine that this decision was the kindest thing that could be done for kitty. I had to make this decision for my dog Scout a few months ago . . . and what made it so hard is that she wasn’t in pain, was in fact quite calm as she looked up at me, but she wasn’t going to get up again either, and her quality of life was gone.

So often the last loving thing we do for our critters is also the hardest.

Tell your wife that though it was a hard thing to do, it was absolutely the right thing, and kitty would thank her if kitty could. Remember the happy times and the good life they had together, and someday, if and when she’s ready, honor kitty by finding another little bundle to love.

Good night, kitty, You were well loved.

I’m so sorry for your loss. I had to make the same, heartbreaking decision about my 22 year old kitty, Mew, nearly 3 years ago. I was devastated. I’d raised her from 8 weeks old. She went with me on weekend trips to the lake, moved with me to Mexico, then to California. It was her and me against the world for 18 of her 22 years.

But her time came. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and also the most loving. You and your wife will eventually stop being as sad as you are right now. We adopted a rescue cat about 3 months later, and having another kitty to love has been a godsend.

I hope your hearts heal soon. You have my deepest sympathy.

{{{gnagtcha & gnagtchawife}}}

One of our vets said much the same thing to me, that often euthanasia is the last loving act of an owner towards a pet.

The advice already given here is what I wanted to say, so let me say I’m sorry and send hugs to your wife and to you as well. Losing a furchild is never easy.

Two years ago I had to let go of my child (cat), Little Guy, who was 20 years old. I’d nursed him back from a stroke, taken great care of him and given him the best of everything I knew how to give him.

What I regret now was that I hadn’t had the strength to let him go two weeks or more before the end. He suffered too much at the end for my selfishness and weakness.

Yes, this is worth repeating. Reassure your wife that she was the one privileged to be put in the position to make that very careful decision for kitty. This is the grown-up, responsible part of being a kitty-mommy: being strong enough to make sure that her baby doesn’t suffer needlessly. Trust me, I’ve seen it when owners let their pets go on for too long, and it’s not pretty or fair at all; in fact it’s quite selfish.
It is an honor, a privilege, and one of the most difficult things ever to do what your wife did. My hat is off to her, I respect her, and I know in my heart that kitty had a wonderful life thanks to her.

All the best to the both of you, and thanks, gnagtcha for caring so much about watching your wife go through this.

I’m so sorry to hear about your loss.

As you can see, many people on this board are also cat lovers; others here have gone thru what you and your wife are experiencing.

When I lost my Mao, I wrote a eulogy for her here on the SDMB. Composing and reading it, and the kind words from other Dopers helped me a lot.

Beautifully said, Scarlett.

I didn’t see this when I posted; you are a strong soul, and thanks for sharing your story. I know it’s not easy. I started a thread about an acquaintance with a dog about a year ago; the dog is in horrible condition, unquestionably in pain, and the owner just can’t bear the thought of putting him down – this has been going on for literally years. Very sad, and the animal has no quality of life, very hard to watch-- much much harder than seeing someone make the dignified decision of euthanizing.

What most people don’t know is that The Alan Parsons Project has continued to make music, some of it pretty good. The following song is off their album The Time Machine from 2002 and features Mare Brennan of Clannad on lead vocals.
I need to remember the day
When we said goodbye for the very last time
There was still so much to say
But time came between us and quietly stole you away


Thank you for the kind words.

Our cat was thirteen years old. His name was Chance. A couple of years ago he was diagnosed with diabetes. Originally, we had to give him shots of insulin, but after several months the vets decided we could change to a dietary regimant. It seemed to work up until several days ago. The cat just stopped eating and drinking water. Found out the diabetes had come back full blast and some other intestinal problems. The cat was in pain and there was no guarantee that he would get better. My wife wasn’t able to have children so, this cat was really like her child. I helped her the best I could with the ultimate decision.

I think when she reads these responses, it’s going to help her maybe more than I can.

I’ve worked in veterinary medicine pretty much my entire adult life, and I have never, ever seen someone put a pet down for medical reasons and thought they were jumping the gun or doing the wrong thing. I’ve seen a lot of cases where it was left far later than it ought to have been, but never one that I felt was given up on prematurely. If you felt it was time, it was time.

It’s a hard decision to make, and it’s normal for it to make you feel like a real shitheel. Pets give us so much love and joy, and the last thing we can give them is a painless death. It feels so…unfair and assholish, even though it’s the best and kindest and most loving thing we can do for them. It really is the last and best gift we can give to those who give us so much in their brief lives, but in the actual moment it’s pretty cold comfort.

There’s an extra burden of guilt that goes with euthanizing a pet, on top of the standard grief of losing a family member. A feeling of responsibility, not just for the death, but for the health problems that led up to it. It’s irrational, but it’s there. So be prepared for it.

It does get better, though, just like healing from any other death. It will take time, but eventually you’ll be ready to open your heart to another fuzzy little bundle who needs a loving home. And eventually you’ll go through this same hurt with that one. And just like Chance, that one will have added so much good stuff to your life that it will all be worth the ultimate hurt.

One always misses a beloved pet. But sometimes the best thing we can do for them can cause our heart to hurt so badly we think we’ll never get over it.

But we do. We always remember them, and love them, but the pain gets easier to bear. Not that we believe it at the time however.

Another poster in this thread said something about “if and when you’re ready” getting another pet to love. It may work for your wife, it may not, and I’d never say, like some would, that one must do this. But it worked for me. My new cat was a rescued cat, and I liked him but never thought I’d love him the way I did #1. Now I can’t imagine not having him. And then I got two more(long story)

I’ll give my babies extra scritches tonight.

Forget words. Hug her. Let her be with her pain for a moment. Being there for someone is sometimes not using words at all.

In time, when her hurt is more manageable, tell her she did the right thing. Did she want her cat to suffer for nothing? The choice she made almost defines what it is to be human. Painful, but the right choice.

I think that she’ll live to see that.

Her child is at peace. She will be too, in time.

Damn is right. Thank og I’ve never had to do that myself. I admire her for her courage in doing what is right and proper and just and well, respectful. That’s it. If anything, it’s respectful. Respecting the needs of another life that is better to end in peace than to linger in suffering.


Oh, and by the way, for the love of og get another cat! Seeing death is no reason to stop believing in life.

Hey, good that you could share.

nah. You’re there, man. That’s better than words to her.

Thirteen years is hanging in there a good long time. We should all be so lucky.

I like to think that the spirits of once and future cats wander about us unseen. Reminds me of some issue of Sandman (Neil Gaiman version).

My instinct tells me that your wife will get another cat. As I said, I kinda think that no pain is as bad as the pleasure of love.

I’m so very sorry for your loss. You and your wife made the best decision. Chance was loved so much, and you did the right thing. Don’t ever doubt that. Chance would thank you if he could.

Today, we are doing the same thing as you did. We’re having our 13 year old cat, Bob, put to sleep. It’s time. He’s not getting any better.

When our fur-companions have no quality of life, having them put to sleep is the most humane thing to do.

The kindest thing you can do for a pet in the is end/prevent suffering. You did. Well done.

The Dvl household is under “The Watch” at the moment. You have our deepest sympathy and respect for making the decision.

Thirteen years is a good life for a cat, and like everyone else has said, when it comes to the end then the kindest thing you can do for your pet is to make the toughest decision and let them go with love.

We have a theory that Bast looks after her own - every time we’ve lost a cat, when the grieving is over someone else has come along to fill the gap. It’s almost as if Bast is watching out for a loving home and when there’s a sudden vacancy, she sends someone along to fill it.

I’ve been in that same position way too many times in the past few years. There is always a period of doubt and self-questioning… “did I do it too soon, did I do the right thing, am I an ass for doing this”…

Animals don’t understand they’re sick and in pain. They don’t understand painful treatments. They live for today. To ease suffering is doing the right thing by them.

Pretty soon this passes because deep in your heart you know it was the right thing, the kindest thing to do for your beloved pet.
I am so sorry for your loss.