No pet owner ever wants to be in a position to take this dreaded decision, and yet, as a pet owner, it becomes your responsibility to know when to put down your pet, and what is the safest way to do so.
If you can afford to do so, then it is highly recommended that you opt for a licensed vet’s assistance in medical euthanasia for your cat. If this is something you cannot afford, then there are different over-the-counter drugs that you may find helpful.
In this article, we go over different over-the-counter drugs that can be used for safe and relatively painless euthanasia for cats.
- Euthanizing a cat with over-the-counter drugs is not recommended.
- While there are some OTC drugs that can cause the death of a cat, such as Tylenol PM, Benadryl, and Aspirin, the overdose of these drugs can cause severe pain, seizures, and tremors in cats.
- Buprenorphine, a pain-relieving medication, can be used as a premedication for at-home euthanasia to counter the pain-causing side effects of the euthanizing drug.
- It is recommended to consult a veterinarian before administering any drugs to a cat.
What OTC Meds Can Be Used For Cats’ Euthanasia?
Some over-the-counter drugs that you can use for your cat’s euthanasia include Tylenol PM, Benadryl, Aspirin, and Tramadol.
Please note that even if you opt for euthanizing your cat yourself, due to monetary constraints or other reasons, you should first consult the best practices of cat euthanasia from verified sources like vets’ online forums, experienced cat owners, and shelters that rescue stray cats and kittens.
These sources will be able to guide you in the best possible manner regarding the dosage of medicines and local alternatives to the OTC meds you’ll find listed on the internet.
This knowledge will allow you to make informed choices that will guarantee a painless death for your little pet.
Some drugs that you should never give your pet, even for euthanizing, are ibuprofen, Adderall, acetaminophen, naproxen, and duloxetine. These pills cause severe failures of internal organs like kidneys and liver and cause tremors and seizures in cats before killing them.
Must Read: How To Do Cat Euthanasia Yourself At Home?
Buprenorphine Cats Euthanasia
Buprenorphine isn’t exactly a euthanizing drug for cats. However, it is recommended to be used as a premedication for at-home euthanasia.
Buprenorphine is a pain-relieving medicine. In the correct dosage, it will act as a mild sedative for your cat. This will allow your cat to pass away peacefully after the euthanizing drug is administered.
It is advised that you give buprenorphine to your cat about 1 to 2 hours prior to administering the euthanizing drug.
This way, when you give the euthanizing drug to your cat, the pain-relieving effects of buprenorphine will counter any pain-causing side effects of the drug you administered for euthanizing your cat.
The ideal dosage for buprenorphine for cats is between 0.01 and 0.04 milligrams per kilogram. It is easy to administer – simply draw up the required dosage in a syringe and squirt it in your cat’s mouth.
Euthanizing A Cat With Benadryl
Do not use Benadryl to euthanize your cat.
Benadryl will cause the death of your cat, but not in the peaceful way that you want your pet to pass away.
Giving an overdose of Benadryl to your cat will cause your cat to experience symptoms such as:
- Hyper excitement
- Dry mouth
- And finally, death.
So, while it does cause the death of cats in high doses, Benadryl does not exactly serve the purpose of a peaceful passing away through euthanasia.
How Much Benadryl To Euthanize Cat?
The dosage of different forms of Benadryl that can lead to the death of your cat are listed below:
- Benadryl oral tablets
Any dose above 1 milligram per pound can lead to death by overdose of your cat.
- Benadryl oral liquid
Any dose above 2 milliliters per pound can lead to death by overdose of your cat.
- Benadryl Intramuscular Injection
Any dose above 2 milligrams per pound can lead to death by overdose of your cat.
What makes Benadryl all the less desirable as a euthanizing drug is the fact that sometimes, an overdose may not even cause the death of your cat.
So, you will essentially have increased your cat’s suffering instead of reducing it.
How To Put A Cat Down At Home With Sleeping Pills?
One of the most common ways of putting a cat down at home is to give an overdose of anesthesia.
There are two ways in which you can give sleeping pills to your cat – either orally or through injection.
If you plan on administering the pills orally, you may not need buprenorphine premedication.
However, if your cat is fussy about oral pills, it is recommended that you don’t stress your cat out more by forcing the oral way.
Instead, administer the accurate dosage of buprenorphine about an hour before you euthanize your cat.
Then administer the euthanizing sleeping pill or anesthetic via injection. The buprenorphine premedication will make IV relatively less painful for your cat.
To make the process even more painless, administer a sedative to your cat. This will allow your cat to fall asleep before the euthanizing drug takes effect.
Passing away in sleep, with pain-relieving meds that counter the pain of IV, will give your pet the peaceful and calm goodbye that you wanted it to have.
How To Euthanize A Cat With Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a medicine that has anti-anxiety and pain-relieving effects on cats.
Gabapentin is more of a premedication for euthanasia than a euthanizing drug itself.
Giving your pet a 100 to 150 milligrams dosage of gabapentin will relieve any anxiety that it may be experiencing.
Interesting Read: Did I Put My Cat To Sleep Too Soon?
How Much Gabapentin Do I Give My Cat To Euthanize?
While an overdose of gabapentin is possible, most vets recommend that gabapentin should only be used as a premedication for euthanasia, and not as a euthanizing drug itself.
You can consider giving 100 or 150 milligrams of gabapentin to your cat along with the anesthetic overdose for euthanizing.
This addition of gabapentin will act as a calming sedative that will allow your cat to fall asleep before it passes peacefully into its deep, permanent slumber.
Ativan To Put A Cat To Sleep
Ativan is the brand name for the benzodiazepine medicine Lorazepam, which is used to treat behavioral issues like anxiety, phobias, and fears. This medicine plays an additional role as a stimulator of appetite and a treatment for seizures in cats.
So, Ativan, like gabapentin, can be used as a premedication for euthanasia, and not for euthanizing the cat itself.
The major benefit of using Ativan as a premedication is to control seizures and relieve your cat of all anxieties and fears. It will help your cat be in a calm state of mind.
Ativan also acts as a sedative and will allow your cat to fall asleep. This way, your beloved cat will peacefully pass away in sleep as the overdose of anesthesia starts taking effect.
Euthanizing A Cat At Home With Aspirin
While it may be tempting to use Aspirin, the easiest over-the-counter drug, to euthanize your cat – you should not do so.
Don’t use Aspirin to put your cat to sleep because it won’t be a painless way to go. Your little pet will suffer from the symptoms of aspirin poisoning, which may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Gastrointestinal irritation
- Ulceration (internal bleeding in the intestines)
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best drug to euthanize a cat in a painless manner?
A barbiturate such as pentobarbital is the best drug for the painless euthanasia of cats. Pentobarbital helps your cat pass away peacefully and quickly, within a couple of minutes of administering the drug.
As the owner of a cat, one of the heaviest and most difficult decisions you may have to make is to euthanize your cat.
This may be due to a terminal sickness that has reached an uncurable stage, or simply old age that has started decreasing the quality of life of your cat tremendously.
Cat euthanasia is a part of decision-making that you may have to encounter – and you need to be able to take the right call firmly. Because timely and painless euthanasia is also a part of pet care, and therefore, your responsibility.
If you can afford to, then the only way you should euthanize your cat is via a vet’s assistance.
If, however, you cannot afford a vet’s services, you should know what can and cannot be used as a euthanizing drug for the home euthanasia of your cat.
Must Read: When To Put Your Cat Down?
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