How do you know when it's time?

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
1349 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

@Sunflower–girl:  You just know.  When he’s suffering, it’s time.  

Post # 4
1349 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

Sending you lots of hugs and prayers, I know how hard this is!!

Post # 5
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Sunflower–girl:  Oh so sad. This is one of those topics that may become heated because we all have a different opinion about how to handle this thing.

I grew up with cats–many of them. There were times we just knew–their quality of life was declining. A different cat stopped eating, and that was our first sign that it was time.

I would find our from the vet first if your cat is in any pain. I would say if your cat is still moving around, eating, and going to the bathroom he is probably ok for now, but his time is nearing. I worry about his coughing more than the peeing on the floor, although that can be a cat’s sign to an owner that he wants to go.

It’s hard one to give advice on, and I’m sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

Post # 6
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Sunflower–girl:  There is no easy answer to this and I think it is a very personal decision. For me, there is no time. I will let my dog die of natural causes. I think of him like a family member and I wouldn’t kill my grandma because she is a burdon, old, in pain, or sick. I have honestly never been through this so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about but I firmly believe I will not put my doggy down.

If you feel it may be time for you, then I think your vet is the best one to advise. I am so sorry for what you are going through 🙁

Post # 7
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Sunflower–girl:  Sending lots of hugs and prayers your way, but I think a vet will give you a better assessment of where your kitty is health-wise and what your next steps should be.

My FI’s mom just recently had to let her 21 year old cat go. She knew it was time when she had to start driving the cat to the vet on a weekly basis b/c he had so many health issues that needed vet interference, and at that point, there was only so much the vet could do.

Post # 8
3828 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Sorry to hear this but you just know.  If his quality of life has decreased that much it might be time. Its tough, but he’s lived a long and happy 19 years. 

Post # 9
2670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

I think if you’re starting to ask the question, it’s probably almost time. Talking to your vet can help. Cats are very good at hiding how shitty they feel, so if he seems kind of miserable, he’s probably very miserable. I personally would rather make the call a few days too soon than a few days too late; for me, waiting too long would be more about me than about the cat. But I know other people who feel differently. I’m sorry!!

Post # 10
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@Sunflower–girl:  Ask the vet about why s/he is peeing outside the litter box.  Maybe it’s time for a second (or third) more accessible one.  Also, ask about the coughing.  Being deaf is not making him be in pain.

A lot of people have told me “you just know” but I struggle with this also.  I don’t think I would just know.

Post # 11
1118 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Oh so sorry to hear this.  It’s such a tough time.  My little old man had cancer and I too struggled on how I would “know”… how can you just know when to say good bye to your best friend??!?!?!  (how about never)… but the time came and I did know. 🙁  it was so heart breaking and the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it became very apparent that it had to be done.  I did take him to the vet but I already knew and the vet confirmed my thoughts.  I sure do feel for you and am sending you strength and courage.  xoxo

Post # 12
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I don’t believe you just ‘know.’ I had an aunt whose dog was literally dragging itself to get everywhere because it was paralyzed. She would take it outside to use the bathroom. Love can blind you to the pain and misery an animal is experiencing.


Like others are saying, talk to the vet about his quality of life, what he’s able to do, etc. They can give you more guidance. At 19, he’s lived a long, ripe life that pet owners everywhere would wish upon their cats.

I wish you all the best. I know you must love him dearly.

Post # 13
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

So tough. My cat is 16 and I am wondering too.

She has been peeing in random places too, but otherwise seems fine. She also seems to want to eat ALL the time. I have read that cats can have dementia and forget they have been fed. I wonder if this is early onset dementia. I am getting very tired of cleaning up pee. She seems to love my bed! She is mainly upstairs and her catbox is downstairs. I wonder if she just lost her bladder control, but there is no where upstairs to put a catbox! i am at a loss of what to do.Poor thing seems to be leaning towards hearing loss. She even runs into things cause it seems her peripherals are off. over the years, ill call out for her and she will not come, just ignore me. I now realize that she probably cant hear me anymore….

I bet the vet will let you know when it is time. I think it comes down to a quality of life. You ‘know’ i guess when you see the cat isnt happy anymore. when they seem to suffer more than be happy. I think now is the time for patience and extra love knowing your time with them is almost over. I wish animals lived as long as humans.

Post # 14
1421 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

As a pet owner I say you will just know. I would definitely talk to the vet, they will be able to tell if he’s in pain. This type of decision has to be purely made based on the welfare of the cat, not whether or not peeing in your house is becoming a burden. Just remember that your pet counts on you to do what is best for him, you are all he has and you owe it to him to make sure that he is not in pain. I have a dog that is very old and I have the gut feeling his time may come soon. It will be the hardest thing I will ever have to do, just typing this makes my eyes tear up.

Also, I should add that if going to the vet stresses your cat out there are vets out there that will come to your home for when the time comes. They cost a little more but it may be what is best for your little guy.

Post # 15
2851 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

We put our family dog down when she wasn’t able to control her bowels, and was too weak to walk or eat. We didn’t want her to suffer during her imminent death.

My mom and I took her to the vet, and she was spry and panting, just like she used to be. But when we got there she still was unable to walk, we knew it was her time. They told us at the vet’s office that they had a cat scheduled to come in that same day to be put down, but the owner couldn’t catch her. Animals can be weird in that way.

It was one of the most difficult things we did, but she was able to rest peacefully and not suffering. We both stayed in the room and held her little paw as the vet did it while she was wrapped up in a blankie. It makes me so sad thinking about it but she had a wonderful life after we adopted her from the pound.

Good luck to you and whatever decision you make, make sure it’s about your kitty and not about you.

Post # 16
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

We had a dog that was 16, had bone cancer, and was in extreme pain. We were heartbroken, but it was time to let her go.

I’d ask your vet. A little leaking probably isn’t a problem, but her not going to the litterbox because of her painful arthritis is.

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