Putting Our Kitty to Sleep

Yesterday we put one of our 8 1/2 year old cats to sleep. My husband adopted the cat and his brother from a shelter when they were just a few months old. We gave both cats love, attention, toys, scratching posts, good food and a warm home, but within a few months one of the cats began spraying all over our home. Neither cat is de-clawed and both cats were neutered at the appropriate age, so we took the cat immediately to the vet to find out what was wrong. The vet put our cat on pills for a urinary infection, but the spraying never stopped from that point forward. We took him back to the vet multiple times but they could never find anything wrong.

Our poor cat has always been anxious and high-strung, so we tried a few types of anti-anxiety medications. I read all sorts of cat behavior websites and provided that cat with extra love and attention, but nothing seemed to calm him. I spent hundreds of dollars on Feliway plug-in pheromones and all sorts of deterring devices, but none of them did the trick. During those eight years he sprayed just about every corner and piece of furniture in our home. We threw out four living room chairs, stereo equipment, books, book shelves, sheets, tablecloths and even demolished a bar in the basement. We used Nature’s Miracle and all sorts of other cleaners, but the more we cleaned the more he seemed determined to spray elsewhere.

After over eight years of trying to stop the spraying we finally called it quits. We certainly gave it our best effort, but clearly we still failed. It’s amazing how much you can love an animal, even while it continually destroys your home. I didn’t have the heart to put him up for adoption or put him to sleep, I know that spraying is an ingrained behavior and I didn’t want to punish him for something he was born to do, but after eight and a half years we knew something had to be done.

So my husband called the vet yesterday morning and asked her what to do. Based on our cat’s temperament, age and our concerns about placing a frightened cat in an unfamiliar shelter with strangers she advised us to put the little one to sleep. It is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. We miss him so much already.

8 thoughts on “Putting Our Kitty to Sleep”

  1. My sympathies. We had to put down our 17-year-old cat in April. It is very, very hard to do. I hope no one makes you feel guilty about such a difficult decision.

    The only good thing I can say about grieving for an animal is that, while it’s just as intense as grieving for a human being, it seems to fade much faster.

  2. So sorry to hear about this tough decision you had to make Frugal Girl. Best wishes and lots of sympathy to you. You certainly gave the cat more love than most people would have, and must be an incredibly kind person.

  3. I’m so sorry. You have my sympathy. It sounds like you more than did the best you could to stop it. I could learn a valuable lesson on patience from you, I think.

  4. My thoughts are with you…what a difficult situation. I hope you are able to feel good about your choice – I’m sure you are right that a shelter would have been a poor choice.

  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. Coming from someone involved in cat rescue, you absolutely made the right decision. If after you’ve tried every trick in the book and explored all possible medical reasons, your animal is still having behavioral problems that severe, euthanasia is the best option. If you’d taken him to a shelter, he would have either been considered unadoptable (due to age and behavioral past) and been put down, or he’d have been adopted into a new home unaware of the problem–and who knows it that new home would have given him a chance. You did your kitty a favor by letting him pass away surrounded by people who loved him so much. My condolences to you.


Leave a Comment