End of life care for cats

When it is time to say goodbye

Thinking about your cat's quality of life and deciding when to say goodbye can be a very difficult and emotional time. At Manchester Cat Clinic we do everything we can to make the process calm and peaceful, and have a dedicated quiet room for difficult days. If you are upset, or want some privacy, we can keep you out of the waiting room and in your own quiet space. Our most important consideration is your cat's dignity and comfort.

If you aren't sure whether to put your cat to sleep or not, you are always welcome to book an in-person or telephone consultation with the vet. We can help you to assess your cat's individual situation and talk things through without judgement. This page from the PDSA also has some useful guidance on how to tell if your cat has good quality of life.

You are welcome to be present when your cat is put to sleep. If you like, you can hold them, be next to them, brush them or feed them treats. However, it is OK if you don't want to be there - not everyone can be - whether you are there or not, we will care for your cat gently and with dignity. (Occasionally a social media post circulates which says that pets are very distressed if their owners leave them when they are put to sleep - we can categorically state with experience that this is not true, and that you if you don't feel comfortable being present, you shouldn't feel badly about it.)

What is euthanasia?

The term "euthanasia" means "a good death". This means we use injectable medications to help your cat pass away without pain. An injection is given into the vein which causes the cat to fall asleep and pass away quickly and peacefully. Sometimes cats require sedation first, and sometimes the injection is given into the body rather than the vein.

Cremation or burial

Click here for information about deciding what to do with your cat after they have passed away. We have an arrangement with a crematorium who carefully collect cats for cremation from the surgery. You are also welcome to take your cat home for burial, or to a crematorium of your choice. 

Cremation options available:

We can take paw prints and/or hair clippings from your cat free of charge - just let a member of our team know that you would like this.

Grief from pet loss

Everyone copes with pet loss and grief in different ways. Some people may find the following links helpful:


We know that settling your bill is the last thing you need to be thinking about when you're dealing with the end of your cat's life. If you know that your cat is going to be put to sleep, you may prefer to pay in advance so that you don't have to think about the bill afterwards. We can email you an online link for payment, so that you can deal with it in the privacy of your home rather than in our waiting room.


For cats who pass away at home

Return choices

Scatter box

Pewter urn

China urn

Bamboo casket

Carved casket

Tribute box with photo frame lid

Sleeping cat casket: brown

Sleeping cat casket: colourpoint

Sleeping cat casket: black

Veterinary Tissue Bank scheme

We have a partnership with the Veterinary Tissue Bank, where cat owners can choose to donate tissue from their cat after they have passed away. This tissue, taken from their long bones, is used in bone repair to save the limbs of cats who have bone tumours or complex fractures. This kind donation means that many cats can be saved from a leg amputation. A single donation can help up to 40 cats.

To be eligible for the Tissue Donation Scheme, cats must...

After a cat has donated tissue, their body is individually cremated and returned in a wood casket within 3 weeks. This individual cremation is free of charge (usually £150 for cats who do not donate tissue).

We only ever donate tissue from cats whose owners have given their written consent. We can not donate tissue from stray cats or cats whose owners have not expressly chosen to do this.

If you would like to donate your cat's tissue to the Veterinary Tissue Bank, please speak to a member of our team.