If you have a cat that has been your companion and friend for many years, it makes sense that you don’t wish for him to suffer when he has reached the end of his journey here on earth. You may want to see that he leaves his body as painlessly as possible but seeing a veterinarian for euthanasia can be costly and out of reach for some people on a fixed income.
How can you relieve your beloved pet’s suffering so that he or she can go peacefully, without prolonging their suffering and pain?
There are ways of making sure that your pet is euthanized humanely at home without the assistance of a veterinarian. It may not be someone’s first choice but compared to letting them suffer, it is definitely the better choice.
The choice to euthanize at home is not the best choice because you aren’t a veterinarian or a trained vet tech, but if this is the only real way that you can help to end his suffering, then you should definitely do what you think is best for your pet and for you.
Cats are very sensitive to aspirin and they don’t synthesize it as fast as humans or dogs. It is one way to humanely put them out of misery. Overdosing a cat on aspirin takes approximately ¼ an aspirin without harming them. It will take 2 to 3 times that amount to put them to sleep peacefully. Give them 4 to 5 aspirin and they will pass away quickly.
A bottle of fast acting, Novolin R insulin can be purchased at the pharmacy of any Walmart of $24.88. This insulin is life-saving for diabetics but it also can drop the blood glucose levels very low and cause a diabetic coma, and then death. By injecting your cat with a large dose of insulin, they will drop into a coma within twenty minutes most likely. They will painlessly lose consciousness and then gently pass away. 10 units of insulin drawn into a syringe and injected into fatty tissue of their body, anywhere, is all you need to do.
These are the two best ways to gently send your cat into passing from pain and sickness. Other drugs could cause seizures and be a fairly traumatic episode that I don’t advise.
After all, you are doing this because you want them to be at peace, not to cause them horrifying seizures and spasms in their final moments. Insulin is incredibly peaceful as they will simply become drowsy and short of breath. They will gently curl-up into a sleep that takes hold and becomes a coma from which they will never wake. It is easy on them and very peaceful for you as well.
When Is the Right Time?
This is perhaps the question that people struggle with the most. It doesn’t feel right sometimes, to be faced with the decision of ending a life that has meant so much to you. Our pets are often our best friends and closest confidants.
Recent surveys suggest that people take the loss of a pet much harder than they do some people in their lives. As awful as this sounds, it makes sense. Your pet is there from the time you open your eyes each morning until the time you close them again at night – likely in your arms.
They become so intertwined into our lives that we scarcely know how to live without their very presence which brings us comfort.
Your cat purrs and you smile. He rubs your legs and meows and you automatically reach for the bag of cat food, heeding his gentle reminder that it is time to feed him before you head off to work.
What will you do when he’s not there? How do you know that it is really time to let him go? This is a difficult struggle for some and the best answer is that when your pet is no longer able to enjoy life, it is time to let him go. When his days no longer bring him any joy, when he stops eating and drinking, is unable to get up and move, and his quality of life is poor, it is time.
For me, the rule I live by is that when they no longer show an interest in food or water, then they are hurting and not well. I let them go at this point, if the veterinarian concludes there is nothing that can be done for them.
Opting For Euthanasia At Home Gaining in Popularity
Many people prefer to allow their pet to pass at home, in his own bed, surrounded by family. Many veterinarians now often home euthanasia services to help people be more comfortable and at peace with letting their pets go. It is kind and it is peaceful.
For many people, however, the bill for such a service is simply out of their budget and being able to do the euthanasia themselves is a task that they can manage and do on their own terms.
If you’d like to make some sort of a ritual out of the process, with music and candles, allowing friends or family to come and say their goodbyes, you can do this on your terms. You’ll be in control of the exact moment and do whatever sort of ceremony that helps you and your family let go.
I held my dachshund in my arms as he slipped away, reassuring him that it was okay to go and reminding him that his old friend, Daphne, was waiting for him. He looked at me, his eyebrows going up when he heard her name. He took his last breath moments later. I still believe he understood I was giving him permission to go.
They will hold on for you, you know. They are loyal until the very end and they will do all they can to prove how strong they are. I have seen them wag their tail moments before taking their last breath.
Cats are strong and hide when they don’t feel well. It’s instinctive for them to not look weak. They will be secretive about illness and they will keep carrying on until you make the decision for them.
Euthanasia for any animal at home is a way to bring a peaceful ending to a celebrated life. It lets them go with dignity, surrounded by the ones that they loved the most.
Making the Decision
Once you have determined that the time is right to end your cat’s suffering, gather everything that you need. If you’ve chose to use insulin, make your trip to the pharmacy and don’t forget to ask for a package of syringes as well.
Create a peaceful space where you can gather around your pet, either holding them, or laying them in their bed or on their favorite blanket. You’ll want to consider that many lose control of bladder and bowels at the time of death, so you’ll want to be prepared for this.
If you’d like to set a calm mood, you might opt for some soft music playing in the background. Perhaps you will want to place photos nearby of earlier years when health was great and age hadn’t taken its toll? It is your choosing, a private and meaningful way to show one last act of love for your beloved feline.
Dawn Greer is a passionate blogger and animal rights activist. She is a pet lover, certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, pet nutritionist, and former veterinary technician. She continues her work while writing blogs for pet lovers around the globe.