Older Cats And Euthanasia
Bernadine D. Cruz. DVM (Companion Animal Medicine Expert, Laguna Hills Animal Hospital ) gives expert video advice on: How can I keep my cat comfortable when she gets old?; How can I prepare my kids and myself emotionally before putting our cat down?; How long should I wait to get a new cat after my cat's death? and more...
What is the average lifespan for a cat?
Cats are living much longer than they used to be. In the last several years through all the advances in veterinary medicine, their lifespan has really increased by about 15%-20%. If you have a good cat it never seems to live long enough, and the little stinkers seem to last forever.
What are the most common health problems for cats?
As cats get older they can run into some of the same geriatric health problems that you and I do, but they are very good at hiding their illness -- too well. You may find a cat that has a little bit of arthritis or cat that starts losing some of its eyesight or hearing. Dental disease is very, very common health problem for cats. Dental disease can actually poison the entire body. It's a fantastic idea at least twice a year get your cat in for a health consultation - including periodic bloodwork, if necessary - before it becomes catastrophic. It's easier to treat cats this way, and it usually costs less, too.
How will my vet put my cat down?
Euthanizing a cat is quick, it's painless, very humane and very dignified. Whether or not you want to be present is totally your decision. Typically a veterinarian (if you want to be present) is going to place an intravenous catheter (a tube) into a leg vein. The injection is a very strong barbiturate. The same kind of medication that can be used to put a person or pet under anesthesia. By the time the injection is done which is literally a matter of moments ,the brain stops functioning first, they feel no pain, the heart's almost simultaneously thereafter. We can only hope that when it's our turn to pass we're surrounded by love and it's this fast.
How long should I wait to get a new cat after my cat's death?
There's no special amount of time that you have to wait. You might be ready right after the kitty has passed to go to your local pet store or shelter and get another cat. But you may need some time to grieve and realize this special friend, this special member of the family has passed. When's the right time? It'll be in your heart. You'll know when the right time is.