Feeling very guilty for not being there when my cat was put to sleep. How can I cope?

My cat had a tumor and was put to sleep in October 2008. I didn't know that this had happened until my Dad called and told me that they had to put her down. I grieved for a couple days and was 'ok'. Yesterday I was thinking about her again and got very upset (I am also 4 months pregnant so my hormones are out of control - but still). I just feel so guilty that I wasn't there for her - I keep thinking that she was so scared, wondering where I was, and if I loved her. How do I cope with this?? It is just breaking my heart :(

Asked by Member 976973 on Mar 24th 2010 in Loss of a Pet
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Sadie/ In loving memory

I put my Sadie to sleep almost 2 years ago. I was there and it broke my heart. I still feel guilty and get sad when I think of her. Your dad put her down, you didn't even know until after it happened. At first they give kitty a shot to put her to sleep, then the final shot kills the kitty. Your kitty felt no pain when they put her down. I'm sure she knows you loved her, and now she is out of pain. Cats are good at hiding pain. Being pregnant does mess with your hormones. The best thing to do is just let it out and in time the pain will lessen. You will always remember her and love her.

Sadie/ In loving memory answered on 3/24/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

Although I did animal rescue for years and saw and heard things that would make most people go screaming into the night, I have never been able to stay with my animals when they were euthanized. Be assured that any vet I've ever dealt with makes sure that euthanasia is done in a humane and caring way. My vet and her staff all gather around the animal and hold and comfort it until it's pronounced dead. It's not a matter of sticking an IV into an animal in a cage and then leaving it alone. They do the same thing if an animal is a stray brought in or an animal they've cared for all it's life. it's part of being a veterinary professional. To reassure yourself, talk to your dad about the vet. If this was your parent's vet, he knows them and knows their staff and can reassure you about their procedures. You may also want to consider pet grief counseling, to help you accept your cat's passing.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 3/25/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Not having known until after the fact means you have no NEED to feel guilty, but I understand still having the feeling. A veterenarian does a very good job releasing an animal from pain without causing more. Guilt for not being there is for you, the cat knew how you felt and the final minutes wouldn't have changed that.

Member 893521 answered on 3/28/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer