I feel tremendous guilt for putting my baby to sleep

I had to euthanize my 16 yr old cat last night. She has stopped eating and was very restless, could barely stand, lost half a pound in three weeks. She had hyperthyroid and the medication just wasn't working. She was death and also went blind in a matter of a day. I made the appt with the vet and in the last hour before taking her in, I layed down with her and cuddled and petted her, she was purring. I couldn't tell if she was in pain, but I know she felt very tired. The vet said they could try to treat her with different medications, but she wouldn't live for much longer. I made the hardest decision to put her to rest. I was there holding her till she took her last breath. Everyone says it was the right thing for her, but I feel a tremendous amount of guilt. I feel like I have abandoned her and maybe I should've left her to die on her terms at home. How do i get over this guilt? I can't stop crying and feel this empty feeling inside, I wasn't ready to let her go....

Asked by Member 937494 on Feb 17th 2010 in Loss of a Pet
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You should not feel guilty. You have given her the greatest gift we can give them by allowing her to die painlessly instead of suffering for days. We owe that to our babies in their time of need after a lifetime of love that they give to us. You were not ready to let her go and you should feel as much grief and loss as your heart needs to until you heal. But SHE was ready to say goodbye and now she is at peace. Nothing can make you feel better. I lost a kitten that was only 12 weeks old and I still cry for her. You had a lifetime with your cat and you will always miss her. But you did the right thing for her!! You might consider joining catster and posting on the forums where you can talk to many others who have been through this kind on loss and have felt the pain and guilt that you feel. We are a very supportive group here on Catster and I have often found my friends here make everything easier to handle with my cats.

Allie answered on 2/17/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Cleopatra 8/4/96-7/18/13

Allie is right. You did the best you could for her and gave her a terrific life for 16 years. It is so very hard to lose a friend, no matter how long you have cared for them. 16 years is a long time. I agree with Allie on something else too, by setting up a Catster page you can honor your cat's memory . There are many wonderful Catster mom's and dad's that have been through the same or similar thing. Catster is a fabulous community for love and support from those that love cats. It is natural to feel "guilty", but remember that you did what you felt was best for your cat, and for you. It is a very tough choice, and is one that I have not had to make yet. You did what you felt was the right thing to do, hard as the choice was for you. You will be in our hearts and prayers as you work through the grief.

Cleopatra 8/4/96-7/18/13 answered on 2/17/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Don't feel guilty. As you said she wasn't eating, She was week, loosing weight, blind and now deaf. What kind of life is that? Especially if she was in any pain. You gave her 16 great years. She purred, she knew she was loved. that is the best thing than to go when she is alone (if you were at work or asleep) if she would call to you and you would not respond. Do not feel guilty. She had you by her side till the end, went peacefully and knew she was loved.

♥Sam answered on 2/17/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You should not feel guilty about putting your baby to sleep. It is a difficult decision you had to make. I too had to make the same decision two years ago when my beloved cat of 11 years was ill from chronic renal failure and spindle cell sarcoma (a type of cancer). I prayed that she would die in her sleep, but of course that did not happen. I knew the time had come to let her go and free her of her pain when she fell down after she had urinated on the floor. She had no strength in her little body anymore. I held her in my lap for the last hour at home until I took her to the vet to be put down. I will never forget the words "she's gone" from the vet. I buried my head in my little fur baby and cried. The hardest part was leaving her behind and driving home without my Tippy. My husband even cried. She was our "baby". You did the right thing. You knew it was time to let her go and you gave her the best life ever. Let her memories comfort you in this time of grieving.

Member 185886 answered on 2/17/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Sadie/ In loving memory

I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I'm sure there are alot of us on Catster that had to do the same thing. I put my Sadie down and cried for days. it was the hardest thing I ever had to do. It's been over one year and I still miss her. Your kitty was in pain, but now she isn't in pain anymore. She has crossed the bridge and one day you'll see her again. In time you'll learn to accept it more and the pain will lessen. You will always remember her and someday you'll forgive yourself. She's flying around now, looking down on you, she knows how much you loved her.

Sadie/ In loving memory answered on 2/17/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Sussie Q (pronounced Suzzie Q)

Oh honey I was there a yr ago myself with Sussie. I was not ready but she was. It was so hard to not only accept my baby was no longer my baby but a little old lady. :) And her little body just was not holding up. I still miss her and love her and never forget her. That is the best I can do for her is to remember her as she was and know shes is happier now and healthier now. I also had to go threw this once before yrs ago with my cat Blackie whom was like my brother and I did the same. I also took her collar and his and carried it with me where ever I went for awhile until I could leave it at home in a drawer and safe forever. It helped. I also carried their photo around with me too. I hope this helps but honey dont beat yourself up. It was her time and she had a great life thanx to you! HUGS

Sussie Q (pronounced Suzzie Q) answered on 2/17/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

I am so sorry and sending you many hugs and prayers. As I mentioned, I faced this same decision with my Golden at the end of September. I hoped and prayed that she would die at home, in her sleep, but that was not to be. Up until her last day, she ran around in the yard, barked at people on the sidewalk and tried to eat. I also felt tremendous guilt for putting her down even though there was no cure for her and she was losing a pound every few days. Iwasn't ready to let Mollie go, either, but it had to be, for her. She gave me 12 good years and I couldn't let her down at the end when she needed me to be there to make the final decision. We're never ready to ever let them go, but it's the kindest thing we'll ever do for them. This is a time you can rely on us here at Catster and also keep in close touch with your vet. They are very accustomed to doing grief counselling and they can also refer you to a pet loss support group.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 2/17/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


When you posted earlier, I wrote about my own experience with cats I did not choose to euthanize. I hope that my story is not making you feel guilty. Both cats, although failing in health, died very suddenly--within 2-3 days of showing signs that they were about to die. Until then, they were leading normal lives. Had they been lingering on, with no quality of life, I would have chosen euthanasia. I would definitely choose euthanasia if I were in a situation in which I had to give a cat an IV three times a day, as an acquaintance of mine did. She would rush home at lunchtime, IV her cat, and rush back to work. That's no kind of life for either cat or human. I'm sure that your cat loved you until the last moment, and loves you still, from wherever it is that cats go when they die. Now you have to deal with your grief. Don't deny it. Cry as much as you need. Post more if necessary. See a counselor if necessary--pet loss is a recognized cause of depression. Purrs and prayers.

Lola answered on 2/19/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer