How do you decide when it’s time to have your pet put to sleep?

Let me start by saying I’m not talking about Spooky…she’s fine…mean as ever…


I’m talking about Goldi…poor old Goldi…she showed up a few years back…cold and hungry.  I really didn’t want another cat, but I felt sorry for her.  So I fed her and gave her some water on the back patio, hoping she’d find her way back home. 
Who knows what her story is?  Was she abandoned?  Did she escape and couldn’t find her way back home?  I have no idea.  She is so friendly that it’s obvious she was once someone’s pet.  This is why I preach to people to keep their cats inside…bad things happen to them on the outside…
Goldi was probably luckier than most stray cats.  I never found out where her people were, but I did take her to the vet and had her checked out.  Other than being old and skinny, there wasn’t anything wrong with her.  So I let her explore the house and try to get used to Spooky.  Funny, Spooky wanted to be friends right away, but Goldi never warmed up to her.  Maybe because she was so old and didn’t want to play…So they never really became friends, but they tolerated one another.
A few days ago, I noticed Goldi was becoming lethargic…still eating well, drinking enough…but just not getting around like she had before.  Last night, she just kind of stayed on a chair in the spare bedroom, didn’t come downstairs to eat.  When I took food up to her, she ate it, but I could tell something was wrong.
I took her to the vet this morning.  She wasn’t happy about that.  (Is there a cat in the world who enjoys going to the vet?)  They examined her, took some blood, all of those good things.  As far as they could tell, without further tests, she’s just getting really old.
I kind of feel guilty for not okaying more extensive tests, but it’s not something I feel like I can afford…then I question myself, if it were Spooky in this situation, would I go ahead and pay for the other tests?  I have to admit, I would be inclined to.  Does that make me uncaring for not doing it for Goldi?  The vet and I discussed putting her to sleep.  She said she didn’t think Goldi was in pain, but that it’s not always easy to tell with cats.
I brought her back home and have made her as comfortable as I can upstairs in the spare room where she can be warm and keep away from Spook.  She’s still eating and drinking.  I go in and pet her and talk to her several times a day.  But I don’t know…should I think more seriously about having her put to sleep?  How do you know when it’s time?  She doesn’t seem to be in pain, but she’s also not really doing much…I know it’s only a matter of time now.
Would it be better for her to just go ahead and schedule it sooner rather than later?  I just feel so bad for her.  What have you done in these types of situations?

Spooky and Goldi

7 Responses

  1. It was really hard having Haley put to sleep. He had hearing and vision loss. He thought my flowered bedspread was an outside garden, ready for fertilizer. The vet in Ellettsville was really nice. He first gave him a shot to relax him. He said I could stay with him but I didn’t. My son wanted to bury him so I took a pretty box with a towel inside, not a flower pot of which he enjoyed laying in. The receptionist was very sweet and said she would pray for me. As you know, we paid $5,000 to keep our Yorkie alive. He is well worth it. It’s difficult when the bills keep adding up. When do you stop?

    • Poor old Haley…I always hate the thought of being there with them when they’re being put to sleep, but I also hate the thought of them going thru it by themselves…no win on that one, for sure.

      On a totally different subject, Margaret…have those girl scout cookies come in yet? I saw some girls selling them in the entryway at Kroger the other day and that reminded me that I’d ordered some from Hannah…can’t remember which ones tho…memory is the first thing to go, right?

  2. I’m sorry.

    I’ve been through euthanizing pets. I know how difficult all of it is and based on my experiences, here’s what I know to be true. The truth is only you know what’s best. You are the one who knows and loves Goldie. Take some time to weigh all the information like you’re doing now.

    Whatever your decision, trust yourself that you’ve made the right one. Whenever guilt raises its ugly head, if it does, beat it off with a stick. Because again, you know and love the cat so of course you will have done the right thing.

    • Aww…thanks, Simone. When I got home from work today, she seemed a little more alert…but who knows…I’m just going to see how she does, if I think she’s in pain, then that’s the clincher…can’t stand to see an animal in pain.

  3. We didn’t have to make that choice with our dog, it was pretty much made for us when he got up to go outside one morning and his front leg broke when he stood on it. He’d had some symptoms, diagnosed as a tumor, but at his age, there wasn’t any point in prolonging his life. I nursed a bunny for a few days, she would still drink water if I held the water bottle for her, but she didn’t move. Then she went to sleep for the last time. It’s hard, no matter what choice you make, but it sounds like you have it figured out.

    • Aww…your poor dog…and I don’t know if I have it figured out or not, I go back and forth with it just about every day…I guess we all know, when we have pets, that this time will likely come…not very many of us have pets that outlive us…and it’s up to us to take care of them, make them as comfortable as possible, and make the hard decisions when the time comes…thanks for your support, patti

  4. […] How do you decide when it’s time to have your pet put to sleep? ( […]

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