Euthanasia is a difficult decision to make for many cat owners who want to ensure a peaceful end of life for their cats. You may not want to have your cat euthanized in a vet’s office. Can you euthanize a cat at home?
Luckily, many vets offer the option of providing at-home euthanasia for your cat.
Euthanizing your cat at home can ensure that everyone says their goodbyes while avoiding unnecessary stress for the cat.
Read below for more information about at-home cat euthanasia.
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What is Cat Euthanasia?
The meaning of the phrase itself summarizes the rationale for the practice: to lessen suffering at the end of life.
Poor quality of life, grave medical conditions, continuing pain, the inability to re-home an animal owing to major behavioral or safety issues, caregiver exhaustion, and other factors are only some of the reasons why veterinarians perform euthanasia on animals.
A veterinarian will give you advice on whether or not euthanasia is an option for your pet companion after taking into account your pet’s health and the circumstances surrounding their death.
When there is nothing more that can be done to save the cat, euthanasia is a solution that can be utilized to end the suffering the animal is experiencing.
It is a loving, compassionate, and merciful act to put an animal to sleep humanely, even though many clients feel guilty about doing so after the fact.
If you are considering euthanizing a healthy cat, you should consider whether rehoming the animal might be a better alternative.
If euthanasia is not performed on specific animals, the animal may be forced to endure unimaginable pain, and other animals may become confused about who they are or become lost.
Some cats would be unable to move at all, and others would drown due to heart failure-related fluid buildup in the lungs.
It is your responsibility as a pet parent to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of spending less time with your cat; if not, doing so might result in a lower quality of life for the animal.
There may be a way to buy some more time, but it could cause unnecessary suffering for your cat.
How Is Cat Euthanasia Done?
A sedative is first injected into a muscle, typically in the cat’s back or hind leg, to make the procedure more comfortable for the cat and to reduce the likelihood of adverse reactions to the anesthesia that will follow.
This injection may cause some discomfort because the substance stings a little bit, but the discomfort will only last for a very brief period of time.
It can only be experienced at the very moment that it is administered.
It’s highly probable that if the cat has eaten before, it will throw up now.
Therefore, you and your cat should probably avoid having a “last supper,” as it would be a terrible experience for both of you.
Once that’s done, an anesthetic overdose is administered into a vein or another bodily part (such as the kidneys) to induce unconsciousness.
After receiving anesthesia, your cat may exhibit some twitching and shaking.
It’s quite unlikely, though, because your cat is probably too sedated to feel or notice anything when it happens.
After a few minutes, the cat stops breathing, and their heart eventually stops. Death occurs.
Can You Euthanize a Cat at Home?
Home euthanasia has recently become legal in several urban areas.
This lets you say your final goodbyes to your pet in peace and privacy.
Having your pet pass away at home gives everyone the chance to say their final goodbyes in private.
If you prefer to have your pet cremated privately, most companies that perform euthanasia at home will also handle the logistics of getting the body to the crematorium and back to you.
Average Cost of In-Home Pet Euthanasia
The price of an at-home euthanasia session can change depending on the services performed. Some of the things your vet might do for you:
- Providing services by traveling to your location will likely increase the price of emergency services.
- An in-person evaluation during which the vet may address your concerns and answer any questions you may have regarding your pet’s health.
- Sedation for your pet will promote a calm and stress-free experience for everyone involved in the procedure.
- Euthanasia procedure
- Moving the body to the crematorium
- Arranging funeral services followed by cremation with memorials of your choice (such as paw prints or ashes) is possible.
Depending on where you live and what kind of follow-up you go for, their services could range from $400 to $1500.
Can I Euthanize My Cat Myself?
In most cases, having a veterinarian help you put down your cat at home is your best option.
Choosing euthanasia for your pet is a significant and emotional step, and having a vet there to help you through it is crucial to ensuring a peaceful and painless passing.
A veterinarian is also an excellent resource for advice on pain management and other issues.
You should talk to your vet about your alternatives for cat euthanasia, and together you can decide what’s best for your pet.
Common OTC Drugs Used to Euthanize Cats at Home
Even if you choose to euthanize your cat yourself without veterinary aid, you should still get advice from experts about the right medication and dosage.
This will ensure your cat’s peaceful departure.
Tylenol PM is the go-to for relieving mild pain and discomfort in many homes.
Because it contains the sedative chemical diphenhydramine, it also can assist in falling asleep.
However, if a cat consumes too much of this drug, it could be fatal. It is also possible to put a cat to sleep with Tylenol PM.
Before administering Tylenol PM, it is recommended that some sleeping drugs be given to the cat to guarantee a gentle demise.
Another option is to start the process with gabapentin, a sedative taken one to two hours before the real medication is administered.
With this dose, your cat will go to sleep and stay asleep until the drug has finished working.
Benadryl is a popular OTC option for treating allergies. When used properly, the medicine is safe for your cats and dogs.
Benadryl, on the other hand, can be used as a self-administered euthanasia method for your cat.
Your cat needs a dose that is 15 times more than normal.
It should only take around five minutes for your cat to become unconscious and pass away peacefully without experiencing any discomfort.
Aspirin is a drug that can be used to bring down a temperature and provide relief from mild to moderate discomfort caused by a variety of conditions.
This drug is as effective as Tylenol PM for humans but can have serious side effects in cats. It’s just too much for their digestive systems to handle.
Medications, such as aspirin, can be used to put down your cat humanely. They just need a few pills to go to sleep without any complications.
Tramadol is a popular pain medication, and there is even a version of the drug that is created expressly for animals and tailored to meet their requirements.
You can get it in tablet, liquid, or powdered form, as well as in capsules.
Because of its reputation for having a bitter taste, many pet owners disguise its flavor by covering it with cat food before giving it to their feline companions.
However, the high dosages of Tramadol needed to put down your cat humanely could cause your pet to have adverse symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and possibly even seizures.
Before putting your cat out of its misery by euthanizing it with Tramadol, you should probably look into some of the alternative options available to you first.
Hospice Care Services
The hospice care provided to people inspires the care provided to companion animals such as dogs and cats.
Hospice care for animals provides specialized treatment and comfort for animals with terminal or life-threatening conditions.
Veterinarians specializing in hospice care will visit your house to assess your pet and advise you on pain relief, feeding, and hygiene practices to help make your pet’s final days, weeks, or months as peaceful and pain-free as possible.
Having a relationship with a concierge veterinarian might be reassuring during the trying time of making final decisions.
Your hospice care team will be there to advise you on end-of-life choices like euthanasia and the final disposition of your body.
Hospice consultants’ costs vary from $150 to $250 an hour.
The Aftermath of Cat Euthanasia
In most cases, a veterinarian will arrange for cremation, as it is the most popular option. If you really want the ashes back, you can request a private cremation, but that could get pricey.
Veterinarians in most countries have information about local pet cemeteries, or you can take the cat home and bury it there (although that may or may not be legal where you live).
In most cases, veterinarians will typically hold onto the body for you until you can decide.
Don’t be afraid to ask if you can hold a lock of hair or perform a ritual like uttering a blessing; doctors and nurses are used to dealing with such requests and will be understanding.
It’s natural to feel upset over your cat’s passing. The cat, after all, happens to be a beloved family member.
The veterinary staff wants you to know that they understand if you cry in front of them.
It’s normal to feel sad, lonely, and angry after the death of a loved one, and these emotions might last for quite some time.
It was in your cat’s best interest to have humane euthanasia performed, so you shouldn’t feel guilty or blame yourself. It’s the last act of love you can do for your feline friend.
Many people wonder if they made the correct choice. Concerns are natural and understandable, but rest assured, they will fade over time.
You might expect to find an eerie silence when you return home. Invest time in remembering the past and keeping in touch with loved ones.
People who have never formed a special connection with a pet are more likely to be unsupportive or to offer hurtful comments. This includes parents, partners, and coworkers.
Children may find it more upsetting because it may be their first experience with death.
Give them an accurate account of events and a voice in making any necessary decisions.
Funerals, the construction of a memorial, and the compilation of a scrapbook filled with memories of the cat are all examples of potentially therapeutic practices.
Be prepared to answer questions about mortality and closure. Your cat may be the closest family member to your children, making their loss all the more difficult.
Young people struggling may find the loss of a cat particularly distressing; professional counseling may be helpful in such cases.
When one cat dies, the others will notice and grieve. They may feel uneasy and lose their appetite for a day or two. It would probably be beneficial for them to see the dead cat’s body.
They may feel better if you give them additional attention and care during such trying times.
Some cats even do better after losing another cat since they are under so much stress from the deceased animal.
They may have never gotten along, or it may have sensed that the other cat was ill and in pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
What drugs are used to euthanize cats?
The drug most commonly used is Pentobarbitol.
Can you use insulin to euthanize a cat?
Do not do this. It will put your cat in a coma.
Can a vet refuse to euthanize a cat?
A vet can refuse to euthanize a cat. In that case, if you want to get rid of it, then the vet will put the cat up for adoption in a shelter.
Can You Euthanize a Cat at Home?
If you’ve decided that euthanasia is the only option left for your cat, then at-home euthanasia may be the best option to ensure your cat spends its last moments at home with its family.
Consult a veterinarian for the best options for euthanizing your cat at home.
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