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...to insist DH has Cat put to sleep??

(117 Posts)
JulyOrAugustThatIsTheQuestion Mon 25-Jul-11 15:55:27

The said cat is 16 and he is DH's cat as he's had him from a kitten and I've only been around half that time.

The cat has had dodgy back legs for ages and in all honesty we weren't expecting him to get through another winter. However, its been brought to a head over the last couple of weeks as he's now limping badly on his front right.

DH kind of buries his head in the sand where the cat is concerned and only sees what he wants to see. I did however insist that he took him to the vets last week to which they've given him some anti inflammatory drugs.......but after a weeks use they've not really had much of an improvement and he's not been able to go out for that time because I'm worried he'd get run over or stuck somewhere.

I've called the vet this morning to speak to her (quite impressed she did speak to me and not ask me to just take him back down there and charge me the consultation fee) and explained the drugs haven't done much. She pretty much said if they were going to work then they would have done by now. She has said that he could have another painkilling drug on top of the current ones if we wanted. I was quite blunt with her and asked if it would be unreasonable for me to suggest that we now call it a day with the cat, to which she replied 'not at all'. She said the subject had come up when DH was there but she didn't feel that he seemed ready to make that decision so didn't push it.

I've spoken to DH (albeit whilst he's at work) and he still just doesn't seem to get it and really doesn't seem to be prepared to make that decision.....I think he's thinking he'll put him on the other painkillers too.

I did also say to him before that I wouldn't be the one to take the cat to the vets to have him put to sleep as I've had to do my own fair share with my own dogs and its too heartbreaking, as a pet owner is your own responsibility. I know that's harsh and am feeling mean now that I said it, so will in fact offer to do it for him if that will make it any better for him (not that I will like doing it one little bit - I've been inconsolable when it was my dogs....one of which was very recent

Soooo after that long history (sorry!), do you think I'd be unreasonable to insist that DH makes the decision to have him put to sleep??? I would never let someone else tell me what to do with my animals but then I would never leave them too long and let them suffer and I just don't know if DH will ever make the right decision.....

Just to complicate matters I am 39+3 weeks pregnant so not really the best timing for any of this........but then the poor sod didn't choose to be hurting now.

What to do, what to do?!?!?!?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 25-Jul-11 15:57:21

If the cat is in pain then off course he needs to be euthanised. What is wrong with his leg? Does the vet know?

thereisalightanditnevergoesout Mon 25-Jul-11 15:59:01

I don't think you can insist on it, but I think you probably need to make your DH get his out of the sand and face the reality of the situation - as hard as it is.

My parents are like this with their dog - poor thing has a brain tumour and is incontinent and has dementia, but my Mum can't bring herself to do it.

BooyHoo Mon 25-Jul-11 15:59:42

i think it is ureasonable to insist anyone has their pet put to sleep. but i dont think it is unreasonable to calmly explain that you think the time has come and that the cat is very uncomfortable right now. he may chose to try the new painkillers though and that is his right. he is doing what he can to ease the cat's suffereing.

issey6cats Mon 25-Jul-11 16:01:24

if the vet thinks that despite his age and condition that the cat still has a reasonable standard of living then you are being unreasonabe, but if the vet agrees with you that the cat is miserable due to the pain then you are not being unreasonable, its so hard when animals get older, but 16 isnt actually that old a cat, we have a sixteen year old and hes just like the other younger cats just walks a bit slower, was talking to a lady the other day whos cat lived to be 29

DogsBestFriend Mon 25-Jul-11 16:01:44

I'd try the new drugs unless to do so would cause him unbearable suffering and still produce no results. You haven't run out of options yet and I firmly believe that a person should try everything they can before they decide to take that last, awful decision.

bubblesincoffee Mon 25-Jul-11 16:02:06

I wouldn't do anything right now, you have spoken to your dh and made the suggestion, as has the vet. The thought will be going throughhis mind, even if he hasn't been able to actually say it yet.

Leave it a couple of days and then let him know that you would take the cat for him (if you are able to what with having a baby and all), but then leave it up to him. The vet may mention it again if he has to go there to get the next lot of painkillers anyway, and maybe using the extra painkillers for a week or so will give your dh the time he needs to come to terms with it.

bushymcbush Mon 25-Jul-11 16:09:09

You can't 'insist' he makes a decision - that means basically taking the decision out of his hands. Which is, of course, a possibility. But it is his cat.

If you think the cat is really suffering, then maybe you should take action. But if the cat is still enjoying food and the company of the people around it, and its pain can be managed, then IMO it still has some quality of life.

We can't tell you the answer because we don't know the cat. But if your DH won't do it and the cat really is suffering, it's your moral responsibility to take the decision yourself.

JulyOrAugustThatIsTheQuestion Mon 25-Jul-11 16:10:16

But supposedly they can give him these other painkillers too as an alternative choice. My take on it though is that its just delaying the inevitable.

From a practical but probably very selfish point of view, I'd also rather there weren't the litter trays in the house. Plus I don't really want the happy arrival of the baby (when she/he finally decides to make an appearance) to be complicated by taking the cat up and down to the vets.

As for what's wrong with him, she's said she can't be sure without an x-ray but that she thinks there's something quite seriously wrong with his shoulder as the joint feels very abnormal. The chances are that its some form of arthritis but I guess it could be other things too......bone cancer perhaps?! Either way I've said I wouldn't put him through the stress of an x-ray as whatever they said was wrong with him would make no difference, at 16 I wouldn't have him operated on or anything.

The other thing is that he's drinking a lot so he's likely to have something wrong with his kidney or diabetes or something, again though, I wouldn't put him through any investigative work for this. However, the drugs he on are not a good idea if he does have something wrong with his kidney.

If he were mine then I know exactly what I'd do. I just don't know if its fair to make DH follow what I think or whether he should be given the opportunity to try the other painkillers etc.

Myself and the cat haven't always been best of friends, I've found him very annoying over the years and DH is fully aware of that. However that doesn't mean I'd want to see him in pain or on the other hand put him to sleep any early than I think it right just to 'suit' me. I'm feeling very sorry for him!!!

DogsBestFriend Mon 25-Jul-11 16:18:51

Despite your penultimate sentence it appears to me that your reasons for wanting this poor cat dead have nothing to do with his welfare and everything to do with pure and utter selfishness.

Shameful.

"it's just delaying the inevitable" shock

Guess what? You'll die one day, so will I. Fancy a lethal jab so we don't "delay the inevitable"? hmm

Leave it to your apparently more compassionate DH to make the decisions about his cat (the one you've "found annoying over the years"). I pray to god that he has the decency and morals to try the alternative drugs and not just dispose of this inconvenient creature.

And if he doesn't, then I will. I'll "put my money where my mouth is". I'll take the cat on and pay for his treatment and I'd make decisions on when to call it a day based upon what's in his best interests, not mine.

Someone has to.

JulyOrAugustThatIsTheQuestion Mon 25-Jul-11 16:20:57

The vet in fairness said what I was thinking or agreed with what I was saying.

I just think we are lucky that we can make a decision to stop our animals suffering and therefore its wrong to let them go longer than you should.

This has been a long running thing because of his back legs and DH really doesn't see it which is why I don't 'trust' him to see when enough is enough.

As for his quality of life, yes he'll happily be stroked, yes he'll eat and drink (as I said before, drinking too much indicating another problem) but every time the door is open he wants to get out and we can't let him - does that not mean his quality of life isn't great???

I find it very hard with cats to know to what extent he's in pain etc...............dogs are easy IMO but I'm really struggling with him. The heavy limp seems obvious yet he'll then get up quite often to walk to kitchen etc.

OscarLove Mon 25-Jul-11 16:22:51

Gosh, it's tough, isn't it?

The cat is obviously in pain if it's on painkillers, and it sounds as if it's quality of life isn't as good as it should be, so I always think that in these situations, it's the best thing to put the animal out of it's suffering. It's a hard decision to make, I know myself, as my dog was blind and deaf and had cancer (I think, but not diagnosed) and I let him go on about a year like that until one day I said enough is enough, I phoned the vet, cried like a baby down the phone to them, took him, and said my goodbyes. Now my beloved dog is in heaven having a great time, or so I hope! I totally regret not letting him go before when he first started to get ill. My last thoughts of him were of him so ill and skinny, when if i'd have let him go at the beginning of when he started to get the possible cancerous growth, and started with his athritis, my thoughts would've been of a dog who still could get out of bed in the mornings without help, and one who actually enjoyed his life on earth every minute of the day. Mine did still have snippets were he enjoyed life, but most of it, was just spent in his bed.

coff33pot Mon 25-Jul-11 16:23:03

If an old lady or man had arthritis you wouldnt put them down would you? Most people with arthritis take an anti inflamatory plus a pain killer so both meds just may sort it for the poor old boy.

If he is drinking a lot then it should be mentioned to the vets. It could be hot weather and if he has dry food he will drink a lot then. But if his kidneys are failing then it is an agonising death so a simple blood test will tell you. Cats kidneys do shrink with age and a lot die of kidney failure at old age because of it. But my cat had meds to help combat a urine infection that was damaging her kidneys and she lived for a few years after with no problems.

If he is eating his food and using his litter tray then he is ok for a while longer yet. He (the cat) will tell you when he has had enough of life by his actions smile

OscarLove Mon 25-Jul-11 16:26:25

DogsBestFriend, let's forget about OP's situation for a mo, just a question; are you anti-euthanasia?

JulyOrAugustThatIsTheQuestion Mon 25-Jul-11 16:28:30

DogsBestFriend - if that's what you think then fair enough, but I can tell you now for sure that its a load of rubbish in this case!!! I wouldn't have him put to sleep because of the baby, its merely something in the back of me head.

My concern is that DH will let him suffer and I don't think that's right.

Of course we all die, but as we are able to stop our animals suffering then I think its only right that we use that privilege and save them suffering. Too many people leave their animals too long and that is wrong!!!!!

Yes I've found him annoying over the years but that doesn't mean I'd want him dead................I've found my brothers very annoying over the years too!!!!

As for money.....that's bog all to do with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OscarLove Mon 25-Jul-11 16:31:33

I think some humans with illness, cancer etc would choose a quicker way out of they could legally here, and some do by going abroad.

ExitPursuedByAGryffin Mon 25-Jul-11 16:32:56

I never understand why people think that animals cannot cope with some pain. I would never let an animal suffer unnecessarily, but a bit of pain when you walk is pretty inevitable with age.

Your DH sounds like a lovely man - he will know when the time is right to say goodbye to his cat.

I agree that we do sometimes let things go on a day or two too long - but if this life is all we, and they, have, then surely every second of it is important.

My vet came to the house to put my old cat to sleep - far better imo than having to give her the stress of a car journey and an unfamiliar place. She lay in her favourite spot on the window seat overlooking the garden, resting her head in my hand whilst the vet delivered the lethal injection.

Thruaglassdarkly Mon 25-Jul-11 16:34:34

YABVU - it's his cat, his choice. Let him decide.

coccyx Mon 25-Jul-11 16:36:32

Every second is not worth it if you are in pain and discomfort. Quality not quantity

emptyshell Mon 25-Jul-11 16:36:53

I'm with DBF on this one - you're starting to sound very very much like you want shot of the inconvenience now there's a baby coming.

I have an elderly (not that we say that when she's listening), cantankerous, amputee (one leg so shot it wasn't saveable from long before we got her) cat who I've had about twice as long as I've known hubby. She's a pain in the arse to be honest - kind of a miaowing, demanding dotty maiden aunt... and I'm sure she drives hubby crackers at times (hell she does me sometimes!) but he would never ever ever DARE suggest we got rid of her until all options had been exhausted (and I pay a bloody high insurance premium for her to make sure that those options are there for us) because he understands what she means to me and under all the cantankerous nagging via miaow - he loves her too.

I'd be utterly livid if I found out he was plotting her demise behind my back with the vet tbh - it's not your call to make.

As for the "oh he can't go outside" thing - my cat has been indoor only since she lost her leg 10 years ago, and is cracking along just fine - indeed, for her age - she looks about half it and the vet's comment was that he'd not seen many moggies in as good condition!

Just don't dress it up in the "for own good" bullshit - it's you wanting it out of the way now it's inconvenient.

JulyOrAugustThatIsTheQuestion Mon 25-Jul-11 16:39:18

coff33pot - its the analogy of the arthritic person that makes me have any doubt at all.......but its a very small doubt!!! The vet has told me that the drugs he's on are for serious arthritic cases but there's been hardly / if any improvement. He's had kidney problems in the past so its pretty much guaranteed its his kidneys.

OscarLove - I completely understand what you're saying, having animals is sooo heartbreaking. One of my dogs had cancer of the spleen and I had her spleen removed which was a big operation for her but the cancer came back. I do wonder if I should have put her through that operation or not.

JulyOrAugustThatIsTheQuestion Mon 25-Jul-11 16:49:54

EmptyShell, the same thing I've said before, its not the case at all!!!!

Babies with cats and dogs doesn't bother me in the slightest!!!!!! Yes, I'd prefer there not to be litter trays but that would be the case with or without the baby, plus its not like the baby is going to come out crawling and getting into it!!!

You've just said you're cat can be a pain but you still love it.....so why would that not be the same case here?? My DH finds him very annoying too but he still loves him.

As for the going out thing - I think that's a very individual thing for each cat. If you're cat is happy to be in then so be it, but as he tries to get up to go out every time the door is opened I can only assume he doesn't want to be in doors therefore that must surely mean he's not that happy.

I very much think its quality and not quantity and also feel that many people would want an exit route to if they were in pain and suffering - I certainly would!!!!

JulyOrAugustThatIsTheQuestion Mon 25-Jul-11 16:54:46

Exit - I didn't even know that vets would come to the house to do that, wish I had with one of my dogs as she found the vets such a distressing place. Not to mention the whole putting her to sleep thing was dreadful!!!!! She struggled, the veins in her legs burst but there were bits of the drug getting into her so she was all over the place and eventually she was injected through her heart (sorry if TMI). One of the worst days of my life......if not the worst!!!!!

QuietTiger Mon 25-Jul-11 16:57:50

I think that you are in a very difficult position and that it is possible that you are starting to not think purely of the cat by your own admission - you do say in your posts

"From a practical but probably very selfish point of view, I'd also rather there weren't the litter trays in the house. Plus I don't really want the happy arrival of the baby (when she/he finally decides to make an appearance) to be complicated by taking the cat up and down to the vets."

That tells me, reading it, that you don't want the agro of the cat when you have so much else going on. (Although, you have clarified in your posts that's not the case).

Taking that out of it, just because you wouldn't put him through the trauma of surgery if an X-ray shows up something bad, doesn't mean your cat shouldn't have an X-ray. The reason I say this, is because if it is a tumour, the vet will know and can advise your DH accordingly. If it is arthritis, the vet can work - again from knowledge with other treatment regimes.

Your DH does need to be the one to make the decision. The problem is, vets cannot tell you to PTS your pet, in the same way they can't force you to continue treatment.

I'm certainly not going to give my opinion on whether your cat should be PTS, because I am not the vet treating him. All I will say, is that I certainly wouldn't be making such a monumentous decision based on the effects of one lot of pain-killers.

All I also ask, is that you are at least honest with "yourself" as to why you are trying to force DH to make a decision. I have had days where I am fed-up to the back teeth of clearing up crap and wee in the kitchen first thing in the morning, because my very elderly dog with dodery back legs couldn't manage without having an accident overnight, or having to wash the bathroom mat again because my cat peed on it again, or clear up puke because my IBD cat ate something he shouldn't. But when I think long and hard about it and am honest with myself, the ONLY reason I am considering "getting rid" (never an option, BTW) is because I am fed up of doing the right thing, which is putting their welfare FIRST.

drivemecrazy63 Mon 25-Jul-11 17:06:15

is it arthritis? he obviously adores his cat and he can be the only one to say now is the right time. on the other hand I would think a loving pet for the last 16 years deserves one last chance so id try the other drugs see how it goes in and tell him he must be realistic and prepare for the worst.. my dog had arthritis for many years but had to be put to sleep when his heart condition worsened but i never did find the ani inflamitory drugs the vet px did much and as im friends with my vet i had to admit i had given 5ml of calpol to the dog on reg basis and it worked better he said thats fine just use the non sugar one as better for his teeth as they were getting bad as he aged too. it was odd he used to be all sullen when in pain and no better on the anti inf but after a 5ml dose of calpol within 20 hed be right as reign.

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