Should I Euthanize a Paralyzed Cat?

Considering euthanasia for paralyzed cats is a common dilemma among owners who feel like paralysis means the end of life for their pets. Only you can make the right choice, so we’re going to help you make considerations on whether you should euthanize a paralyzed cat or not.

Should I Euthanize a Paralyzed Cat?

You should euthanize a paralyzed cat if your pet’s quality of life isn’t improving, there are more bad days than good ones, and you can’t provide long-term care. Paralysis in cats can lead to financial, physical, and emotional distress for you as a caretaker. Euthanasia may be the best route moving forward.A cat with tri-colored fur having an intravenous fluid

Some paralyzed cats can live longer. However, it’s understandable to consider euthanasia, especially if circumstances show that it’s better for you and your pet. Euthanasia can be a difficult decision, so it’s crucial that you consider every point beforehand. 

What Should You Consider When Euthanizing Your Paralyzed Cat?

A decision to euthanize your cat isn’t an easy decision to make. However, a significant decline in your cat’s health can be equally taxing. Some factors can help you decide whether to euthanize your paralyzed pet cat.

Your Cat’s Mobility and Quality of Life

Evaluating your paralyzed cat’s quality of life is a good way to know how your pet is faring in this situation. Can your paralyzed pet cat enjoy these activities in the future?

  • Going for walks
  • Playing with toys or other pets
  • Eating food and treats without difficulty
  • Responding to your commands or affection

The extent of loss of mobility will depend on your cat’s paralysis. However, most of them will find it challenging to do things independently. If you think your pet won’t be able to do these things on its own, this can be one of the factors to consider euthanasia for your cat. 

Your Cat’s Declining Health

If your cat has lost its zest for life, doesn’t appear happy even after medical intervention and you can tell your cat’s health is declining, it may be time to consider in-home pet euthanasia. A white kitten lying on a pillow with a red and white color pillowcase

These are signs that you may want to consider euthanasia for paralyzed cats:

  • Complete loss of appetite: Some paralyzed cats may only eat when you compel them.
  • Inability to control bladder: A paralyzed cat may constantly expel waste. A study shows that pets with spinal cord injuries are more likely to be euthanized due to their urinary incontinence and poor prognosis. 
  • Constant whimpering: It can also be frustrating for cats to deal with their situation. Their constant whimpers can be their only way to express their feelings. 
  • Chronic pain: Even pain medication can’t control severe cases of pain in pets.

Your Ability to Provide Long-Term Care

A slow decline in health can have consequences for you and your pet. Ask yourself if you have the physical, emotional, and mental capacity to manage the caregiver burden.

Some cases of cat paralysis may require around-the-clock care, which can be tedious, depending on your situation. The extra demand for care also equates to more expenses. If you are struggling in these areas, it may be best to euthanize your paralyzed pet cat.

What Should You Do if You Don’t Want to Euthanize Your Paralyzed Cat?

Can you provide long-term care and do you believe there will be better days ahead for your cat? If yes, consider waiting before you decide to choose euthanasia.

Paralysis in cats can mean weakness or limited movement in some body parts. This means they can still live under certain conditions. However, you’ll need to give extra attention and love to make the situation easier for everyone involved.

Create a Comfortable Living Environment

A paralyzed cat can survive in a loving and healing environment. You’ll know the best way to do this, depending on your cat’s personality and lifestyle. 

  • Get a playpen: Most vets will recommend setting comfortable confinement. Let your cat move around a little within a controlled environment. Additionally, this can prevent other pets from hurting your paralyzed cat.
  • Groom and sanitize: Your paralyzed pet may make more mess than usual. It’s vital that you change bedding frequently, clean the playpen, and sanitize your home. In addition, you must groom your pet regularly. 
  • Invest in mobility assistance: You may also need a cat wheelchair, well-fitted cart, or pet harness to provide support and stability when moving your cat.

Provide Regular Physical Therapy

A study shows that most cats can regain voluntary quadrupedal locomotion if there are consistent rehabilitation efforts, including physical therapy.

While some severe cases may prevent paralyzed cats from regaining full mobility, physical therapy can keep your pet’s muscles and joints functioning. Stretching and light exercises can also alleviate your cat’s pain.Hand carresing a white and and gray cat that is lying on their back

Consider Pet Hospice

Consider putting your paralyzed pet in hospice care if a cure is impossible. The goal is to provide comfort and make your cat’s remaining days pleasantWith palliative care, you can ensure a professional will provide the necessary medications on time and monitor your pet’s diet.

Related Questions

What Is Paralysis in Cats?

Paralysis in cats refers to loss of voluntary movement in the nervous system. It could be a weakness on one side of the body or the inability to move another part. This is why you should consider the prognosis on whether it’s best to continue treatment or consider euthanasia.

Are Paralyzed Cats in Pain?

Paralyzed cats can still feel pain since some of their body parts will compensate for the lack of nerve response in their paralyzed body parts. For example, they will feel limb weakness that may cause them to drag their bodies painfully. 

Can Paralyzed Cats Survive?

While paralyzed cats can survive and recover, their prognosis and quality of life may differ. Some severe cases may cause cats to become paralyzed for the rest of their lives. This is why you may consider want to consider euthanasia. 

Conclusion

You may euthanize your paralyzed cat if you and your vet have determined the cat will have a low quality of life. It’s vital that you consider every option and weigh its benefits and disadvantages. Our team of veterinarians and support specialists at Paws Into Grace can guide you in choosing the best option for your pet’s end of life care. 

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I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who... read more

Renee C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him... read more

Diane C.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but... read more

Terry A.

Renee C.

I can't recommend them enough. I had to say goodbye to my 21 year old cat companion. I read the reviews here on Yelp and chose Paws Into Grace and they made an unbearable situation not worse - from the people on the phone to the amazing doctor who came out to the house. She was so understanding and supportive. They were all so helpful, understanding and nice. My girl got to stay at home and say goodbye in the backyard (a hummingbird flew over and it seemed like a good sign too). So glad I didn't have to take her to a cold vet office.

Diane C.

My absolute love Dante had heart failure three months ago. After having him on many medications to help him, his enthusiasm and appetite declined last couple of days. He was in pain and we decided to help him go to heaven rather than torturing him with more medications which would make him even more miserable. I called and spoke to a very kind lady who was patient as I cried through making an appointment. We made an appointment for 1:30pm. Dr. Toni arrived. She was very kind, explained everything to us and gave us the time to be with our boy after the first shot. He wasn't relaxing enough so she gave him a second shot. We stayed with him throughout the entire process and I carried him to her car in the end. It was a very difficult decision but knowing that our boy is not in pain, gives us some peace. We are thankful to Dr. Toni for her kindness and compassion. They will arrange the cremation for us. Since we are in a pandemic, we had our masks on and said goodbye to our boy in our garden.

Terry A.

I wanted to thank you for sending Dr. Brown to euthanize our beloved Myleigh on March 4, 2021. She was compassionate and accommodating, she explained every step of the procedure, and gave us some alone time with Myleigh after she sedated her, but before she attached the IV. We were relieved that we made the decision to let her go to doggy heaven at home. It was a tranquil and serene passing for her, and it very much aids us in the grieving and healing process knowing that she passed away so peacefully. Based on the grace and compassion Dr. Brown demonstrated on one of the most awful days of our lives we would not hesitate to recommend Paws Into Grace for others facing this very painful time.
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