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How do we know when it's time to say goodbye?

It's the one day we as pet owners don't want to think about. We NEVER want to say goodbye but what can be almost as painful are the days when we wonder "Is it time?"

It is a struggle of knowing what's best for the our beloved pet versus what we want for ourselves which is MORE TIME.

It seems recently I've been having more conversations about this topic and as a pet owner who's said goodbye more than I'd like to discuss, I can, unfortunately say from experience that THE DAY is never easy, no matter how much you prepare. And in some cases, there is no time to prepare.

So what do we do? Here are a couple of things that help me and my husband when we are in this situation.

#1 Remember that your pet just wants to have good days. Your pet has no concept of living a good, long life. That's what WE want. She lives in the moment and wants today to be great. We could all stand to live a bit more like our pets, couldn't we?

Now, treatments often take longer than a day so it's our job as the caretaker to determine what or if a treatment makes sense.

In my TV sidekick Grayson's case, he was completely happy with us hiding meds in his foods and going to the vet which at one point was THREE days a week! He loves to go everywhere! We have other cats who we never would have asked to do that. He did need a surgery at the age of one but recovery was two weeks and it was a surgery with GREAT odds of a long life. Six years later, that's a surgery that was totally worth all the good days since.

In the case of little 9 week old Rory, who'd only been with us for 8 days, facing a highly fatal virus which hit out of nowhere and had him in the ER getting worse instead of better with little chance of recovery and temperature so high it was more than likely damaging his organs, we said, "okay, you can rest little guy. Thanks for those 8 great days."

Ugh. I just teared up writing that. We have no regrets, though. Rory's life was fabulous and full of love for those 8 days and that's all that mattered to him.

You know your pet best. Think what he or she would want and you'll do well in knowing when that day has arrived.

#2 Take this Quality of Life quiz. I know it may sound weird but we're highly emotional about our pets (as we should be) so sometimes, we need help assessing the situation on in a less emotional way. This "calculator" provided free by VIP Vet Visit is something we've gone back to at times just to do a gut check that one more medication or one more therapy or even one more vet visit is what's best for our cat.

#3 Communicate fully with your vet. Ultimately, the decision is yours. We'd like it to be someone else's, wouldn't we? Know that your vet's job is to give you all the medical options available. It's up to you to decide. Vets understand the difficulty in this decision and will be helpful if you ask to pursue a plan that is simply comfort care. In some cases, when we start talking about good days versus number of days, more options to bring your pet relief become available.

#4 Have a plan for THAT day. There are several great services now who will come to your home to do euthanasia. There are questions that can be answered beforehand that will make that day easier. Tell your vet that you'd like to have those questions answered now so that when the time comes, you can focus all your energy on your love.

#5 Remember that no matter how much pain your pet is in, she will never stop showing she loves you. Your cat may still purr, rub against you and give you nose kisses. Cats are especially good at hiding their pain. Your dog may still try to jump in bed or run to you when you get home even if it hurts because he loves you. Try to pay attention to the other changes in behavior that will signal you when it's time.

I wish you purrs, love and light and many, many good days with your fur babies,


Your Kitty Correspondent

For more helpful tips for your cat's best life, follow KJ and her seven rescue cats on Facebook and Instagram or go to her website,


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