You Should Download This Free Toolkit If You Have a Sick or Older Cat

You Should Download This Free Toolkit If You Have a Sick or Older Cat
Photo: Xiaojiao Wang, Shutterstock

As humans, most of us are uncomfortable talking (or even thinking) about death, whether it’s our own, or the loss of loved ones — including pets. And while people never want to think about anything happening to their pets, that’s one of the inevitable aspects of having a furry companion. Even though you might think you know what you’re going to do in an end-of-life situation with your pet, having it actually happen is something else entirely.

Recently, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) released a free, digital toolkit to help veterinarians more effectively address end-of-life decisions involving cats. But you don’t have to be a veterinarian to use it: a lot of the information it contains would be helpful to anyone with a cat. Here’s what’s available and how to download it.

What’s in the cat end-of-life toolkit?

While certain parts of the feline end-of-life toolkit are geared specifically towards veterinarians — like administering certain medications to make the cat more comfortable — it can be useful for people with cats who want to learn more about the process. (Which by no means includes all of us.)

However, the section on evaluating a cat’s quality of life and making difficult decisions can be of value to people with pets, in general. This includes access to a downloadable chart of questions to help assess your pet’s quality of life and help inform your next steps.

As awful as it is to think about these scenarios, according to the AAFP, “without this preparation, the emotional bond may be so powerful, and the immediate situation so confusing, that the caregiver may not be capable of thinking clearly about what is best for their beloved cat.”

How to download the toolkit

Users have the option of downloading the entire toolkit here, or selecting from the topics most relevant to them, including decision-making, preparing for the procedure and making final arrangements. There is also a section providing additional reading and resources to help you through the process.

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