How to Soothe a Dying Cat

Losing a pet is never easy, but it inevitably happens to every pet owner. Terminal illnesses are particularly difficult to deal with, and soothing a dying cat can be heartbreaking. A few simple practices will keep your beloved kitty comfortable in her final days.

Speak to your veterinarian about pain medication for your kitty. If she is in pain, your vet will prescribe medication to ease her discomfort. Administer the medication according to your vet’s instructions to prevent an overdose.

Set your cat’s bed in a quiet, low-traffic part of your home. Most cats dislike noise and commotion, and the fewer people coming and going, the less likely your kitty is to run and hide. Add a soft blanket to her bed for extra comfort.

Line the bottom of your cat’s bed with a small heating pad. Dying animals often have trouble regulating their body temperature, and a heating pad will keep your kitty warm. Pick a heating pad with a soft plush cover, or slip it under the blanket to keep your kitty comfortable.

Switch your kitty to soft canned food if she had trouble chewing hard kibble like many terminally ill kitties. Make the transition to soft food slowly, swapping one-fourth of her normal hard food for canned food for the first few days. Increase the amount of canned food slowly to avoid digestive upset.

Trim the hair near your kitty’s anal region to avoid messy, matted hair. Some sick kitties have trouble going to the bathroom, and snipping the hair prevents feces from tangling in their fur. Lift her tail gently and trim the hair to a length of no more than 1/2 inch to keep your kitty clean and happy.

Items you will need

  • Cat bed
  • Blankets
  • Heating pad
  • Soft cat food
  • Round-tipped shears


  • Call your vet if you think your kitty is declining. Sometimes the kindest thing we can do for dying pets is to let them go peacefully.

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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.