Thursday 2 April 2009

Economic Euthanasia of Cats

The economic euthanasia of cats (and dogs) is causing concern. Economic euthanasia means putting down a cat because people can't afford the vet's bills when their cat is ill or injured. Some people can't even afford the bill to euthanize their cat so they go to a cat shelter where they do it for free I guess. This sounds terrible. What is also happening is that optimal treatment as recommended by the vet is being refused and a lesser form of treatment requested. Obviously the second level treatment is not as good but it is the best that can be afforded.

This must all translate into more companion cat deaths and/or suffering. I was down at the G20 Summit demonstrations on behalf of the cat a coupe of days ago because the economic crisis is hurting not only people but companion cats. There have been significant increases in shelters being asked to euthanise cats (and dogs) because of the financial crisis. It must be a huge worry for people because as soon as their cat is ill they will have to decide what to do. And this will end up with delayed treatment and an agonising decision sometimes for concerned people.

People who keep cats and dogs are having to play God. The economic euthanasia of cats is really about that. As usual it all boils down to money. I wonder if people will be more wary in the future when deciding whether to keep a companion cat. If so, that might, in the long term, be a good thing as it would gradually have an effect on the overpopulation of cats (if one believes that there is a cat overpopulation problem).

What would I do if my cat suffered a serious injury or illness and the vet's bill was over £1,000? I have not pet insurance as I don't believe in it. I would pay but there would come a time when I would have to make that awful decision whether to to let her go. These are bad times for the domestic cat, not individual cats but as a whole things are worse. Sometimes, I would extremely rarely people simply abandon their cat. How could anyone do that?

See also how the oldest cat shelter organisation in Britain lost £11 million.

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