Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

Sleeping cat

Cat Euthanasia

None of us like to think about the passing of our pets, but the fact is if you have a pet then eventually, you will have to go through the process of caring for them during the final days of their lives and in most cases, assisting them to pass peacefully. All pets will eventually succumb to an illness of some sort, cancer, renal failure and heart failure are the most common, but other factors such as severe arthritis and progressive neuropathies can have significant effects on a pet’s quality of life.

When should I consider euthanasia?

Euthanasia is often referred to as putting your pet to sleep or putting your pet down and is performed when an owner feels their pet with an incurable condition has deteriorated and has a poor quality of life. The purpose of euthanasia is to allow the pet to pass away peacefully, without any pain or suffering.

When we talk about “quality of life,” we are talking about both physical condition and attitude. The two are closely related, but often when we are having end of life discussions, it is the pet’s attitude that becomes more important. We can help our pets both by alleviating or treating the causes if possible or masking the effects with pain control or other supportive treatment. Your assessment of your pet’s attitude is personal and although others may have different opinions, it is your assessment that is most important. You know your pet better than anyone else, but it can be difficult during the end stages of a pet’s life to make a firm assessment because there are so many factors.

In general, if your pet still performs most of the actions he or she enjoys (e.g. eating, sniffing, play, affection), then the quality of life would be considered acceptable. As there is a reduction in these activities, there comes a point when the quality of life is considered poor and euthanasia becomes a consideration if there is no way to alleviate the condition. When that point comes will be different for different people and that is normal.

What happens during euthanasia?

All veterinarians perform the procedure in a similar manner, but there will be minor variations depending on the veterinarian’s preference and the pet. It is up to the owner if they wish to be present at the time of passing. There is no right or wrong decision in this, either is perfectly acceptable. Our clinic has a bereavement room for this purpose and owners can spend as much time as needed with their pet before and after the euthanasia.

If you have any questions regarding the process, including the handling of remains after the euthanasia (e.g. cremation), you may discuss them with the veterinarian and clinic staff at any time.

Can you stay with your cat during euthanasia?

We have a bereavement room designated for owners to be able to be present for euthanasia. We know how hard this time is for you and your family; you may spend as much time before and after with your cat, as you need.

What’s the cost of at home or clinic euthanasia?

The cost of euthanasia varies widely depending on if you choose to have your cat’s ashes returned to you. We also offer a number of different keepsakes to keep your cherished memories of your beloved cat close to your heart. Our staff can assist you in this difficult time.

Do you offer pet bereavement support service?

If you are having trouble coping with an end of life decision or recent loss, please reach out to someone at the clinic, so we can help you during this very difficult time.


Dog with mouth open and human inspecting its mouth with a magnifying glass

Why does my dog’s breath smell?

Bad breath (halitosis) in a dog or cat is usually because of poor dental health.  Occasionally a dog or cat may have good teeth and still have bad breath in which case the diet is usually the cause. This is relatively rare, however, compared to the likelihood of a dental issue.

Read More
See All Articles

Last updated: September 28, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective September 28th, 2020 we have made some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!



If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


We are OPEN with the following hours:

- Monday to Thursday: 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
- Friday: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
- Sunday: CLOSED


Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

Your dedicated team at West Hill Animal Clinic