The decision as to whether or not to put your cat to sleep is a deeply personal one. But as much as most people would prefer not to think about, external factors can come to effect your decision. One of these factors is often price. Because as much as we would like to promise that nothing will get in the way of us giving our beloved animal companion all the medical assistance they might require – up to any cost – sadly, for almost everyone, budget is going to be a consideration.
Unfortunately, the same is true for giving your furry friend the help they might need to move on from their suffering in this world. How much does it cost to put a cat to sleep is a question that will often occur when pet owners are wondering what is best for their old or terminally ill cat.
In this article, we’ll first take a look at the possible price range of cat euthanasia costs. Then we will try to take in some further considerations which might affect that price for you and your particular situation. Finally, we will look at the decision itself and how you can know best whether it is time to make that heartrending choice.
How much does it cost to euthanise a cat?
The price range for cat euthanasia cost in the UK ranges from under £100 for the bargain basement, bring your dying to cat to the surgery and watch them die on cold steel tables to under £300 for a gentle procedure in your own home, surrounded by yourself, the rest of their human and animal family and the sounds, sights and smells they know and love.
The cost of putting a cat down – why the difference in price?
The wide variety of numbers you’ll see when trying to figure out how much to put a cat down costs will largely be due to the above. It’s the experience that you want you, your family and your cat to have. The budget you have to spare will also be a huge determining factor.
Elements which can dramatically alter the price might include:
Different veterinarians in different countries will charge different amounts depending on their local markets. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about this.
The skills, qualifications and training of your vet
The experience and qualifications of your vet may influence the amount they feel able to charge. Obviously, the more experience that they have is more desirable – especially when it comes to giving your animal companion a stress-free and peaceful goodbye.
Cats, in particular, can make for uncooperative patients. They frequently want to move around and squirm even when very ill. The skills and experience needed to keep firm yet gentle control so that the initial anaesthetic can be applied (never let any vet put down your pet without putting them to sleep first. The distress caused by trying to locate a vein or shave them while they are conscious is simply cruel) are surprisingly high.
Pet euthanasia at home or at your vet’s clinic
While clinic-based options are generally cheaper, having your pet put to sleep in the environment in which they feel most comfortable and cared for is always to be seen as superior. Most pet lovers would say that you can’t put a price on your pet’s comfort and happiness. Even in their final hours, this remains true. In-home euthanasia for cats does tend to be more expensive. But you do also get peace of mind for that price – as well as the ability to save yourself and your pet from a potentially very stressful journey down to your local vet’s clinic.
Making the impossible decision itself
The cost of putting a cat down is one thing. Knowing when it is something which simply cannot be put off any longer is something else. Letting your animal companion suffer is not something which any pet owner wants on their conscience.
The most important thing is generally said to make sure that you are able to recognise changes in their behaviour which show they really are coming to the end of their life. These will vary, but can include:
A desire to hide or displays of constant affection: cats which used to barely give you the time of day unless you had food in your hand may start to become exceedingly affectionate in their later days. Others, who once were the soul of affection, may start to seek out places to hide, such as under your bed or beneath a bush or shed in your garden. This change in behaviour is a common sign of serious illness.
Difficulty moving: cats can be little springs of energy. But it’s usually relatively easy to notice when even the most lethargic of cats genuinely doesn’t have the energy to even stand. That is a sign that something is seriously wrong. Even worse, if they don’t have the energy to go to their tray or their usual spot outside…
Trouble reaching their tray in time: incontinence and soiling themselves are definite signs that a cat is seriously ill. Cats are generally fastidious creatures, so creating dirt and then allowing themselves to remain dirty is not something which they will do if they can possibly avoid it.
Trouble breathing: this can be more difficult to spot in cats than in dogs. But some of the most painful conditions your cat can be experiencing will be those which make it more difficult for them to breathe. Fluid in the lungs, for example, can make it feel like they’re drowning. You should act fast if you know your cat is seriously and it appears they are struggling to breathe.
Talking your decision over
If there are any people that you trust implicitly to help you make your decision, it is time to speak to them. You should also definitely consult your vet when your cat approaches old age or after they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Your primary consideration should always be your cat’s quality of life. Bear in mind that while you will undoubtedly experience great pain at their loss, forcing them to keep living in pain just to put off your own may be something you feel deeply guilty about later down the line.
By taking into account what your vet tells you about their condition, the quality of life you can expect for them during their age or illness and the various factors which effect how much it costs to euthanise a cat, you will be best equipped to make the decision which feels like the right one for everyone concerned.