Cat euthanasia costs range from $50 to upwards of $1,000 depending on your location, where the procedure takes place, and if you opt for cremation services.3
The special bond you and your cat have can make end-of-life decisions even more difficult. Knowing the costs and steps involved may help you feel more prepared and give you the ability to focus on your cat and their comfort before saying goodbye.
Let’s look at when cat euthanasia may be necessary, what the process entails, and the costs involved so you and your vet can make the best decision for your pet.
When May Euthanasia Be Necessary?
While it may seem like a harsh decision to us, euthanization may be necessary for your pet when their quality of life prevents them from doing basic daily activities.
If you find yourself wondering if your cat’s quality of life is declining, ask yourself some questions:
Is your cat no longer able (or have the desire) to eat or drink?
- Can your cat breathe without distress?
- Is your cat in pain?
- Can your cat move without harming themselves?
- Does your cat still enjoy life and engage with their favorite activities, toys, and people?
- Can your cat urinate and defecate without struggle or assistance?
- Is there an available treatment plan for their diagnosis both you and your cat can manage?
No matter how much time you’ve had with your cat, thinking about them getting older, sick, or frail can be heart-wrenching. There may come a time when you need to make a difficult decision for them — to end any pain they’re experiencing.
Talk with your veterinarian about your concerns for your cat’s quality of life. Together you can determine if euthanasia is the best course of action for their well-being.
How Does the Euthanasia Process Work?
Euthanasia is a humane and painless procedure involving intravenous injections that relax your pet and allow them to pass on peacefully. The process for each cat is different, but a general overview may help you feel less worried about any unknowns.
You’ll decide if you’d like the procedure to take place in the vet’s office or at your home. The vet will ask if you want to be present to hold your cat and help them feel more comfortable as well as what your plans are for their remains.
You can choose to have a private cremation if you want to keep their remains, or a communal cremation if you don’t. You can also choose to bury your cat at home or in a pet cemetery, or have the vet make different arrangements.
Let your vet know beforehand if you’d like any memorabilia — like paw prints, an urn, or locks of fur — since it may be difficult to talk about after their passing.
At the time of the appointment, the vet will answer any additional questions you have before starting the procedure. When you’re ready, your cat will be given a sedative to help them relax and fall asleep. Then the euthanasia solution will be administered. Your vet will monitor your cat’s heartbeat until they pass, which could take a few seconds to a few minutes.
If you choose to, you’ll be given time to spend alone with your pet to say your final goodbyes before you leave the office or the vet leaves your home. Veterinarians usually transport your pet to the cremation facilities and let you know when you can pick up their remains.
How Much Does It Cost To Put a Cat Down?
The cost of cat euthanasia can range from $50 to a few hundred dollars depending on your location, whether you opt for an in-office or at-home visit, and, in some cases, your cat’s weight.
Home euthanasia will cost more than an in-office procedure because there is considerably more time required from the vet. But it may be more comfortable for you and your cat in a place that’s familiar.
If the cost is an issue, look to your local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or humane society. They can usually perform the procedure at a lower cost while maintaining the level of compassion you’d find at your own vet. Animal Humane Society provides low-cost euthanasia services for $90 with additional fees for cremation services.4
Cremation fees are separate from the euthanasia procedure and will vary depending on the crematorium — ranging from $50 to a few hundred dollars. Private cremation fees will be more expensive than communal cremation and the weight of your cat can also affect the cost.
These fees are what can drive the overall cost of euthanasia upwards of $1,000, especially if you opted for home euthanasia.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Euthanasia?
Depending on your pet insurance provider, they may cover costs associated with pet euthanasia. At MetLife1, our cat insurance plans may offer end-of-life care benefits like euthanasia, cremation, and burial coverage.2
Decide What’s Right for Your Cat
Talk with your veterinarian if you believe your cat’s quality of life is declining to see what the best course of action is. Your vet is there to help you through the process and answer any questions you have.
Thinking about the loss of your pet, at any age, can come with many difficult emotions — especially if euthanasia is involved. After all, you’ve likely been through so much together and they’re part of your family.
Know the costs beforehand and consider investing in a pet insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance to help prepare financially. Get a free quote today.
Protect your Cat
Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal, or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.
1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.
2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.
3 “Euthanizing Pets at Home: Cost and What to Expect,” PetMD
4 “End-of-life services,” Animal Humane Society