How much does it cost to put a cat down?
Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to put a cat down?

Ashburn, VA

How much does it cost to put a cat down?

$50 – $275cost for vet or clinic euthanasia
$200 – $400cost for at-home euthanasia

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$50 – $275 cost for vet or clinic euthanasia

$200 – $400 cost for at-home euthanasia

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tamatha Hazen
Written by
Tamatha Hazen
Edited by
Kristen Cramer

Putting your cat to sleep is one of the most difficult but loving decisions you can make for a pet who is suffering from illness with no hope of recovery. When the time comes, it is helpful to be prepared for the emotional and financial costs.

This guide explains the different euthanasia options available, how much they cost, and what you can expect during the process.

Cost of cat euthanasia

The cost to put down a cat ranges from $50 to $275 at your vet's office or an animal clinic. To arrange an at-home euthanasia service costs $200 to $400. The Humane Society and other non-profits offer discounted euthanasia options. Cremation and burial services for your cat have separate fees.

Cat euthanasia costs
Location Euthanasia cost
Vet office appointment $50 – $150
Emergency animal hospital $100 – $275
At-home services $200 – $400
Humane Society $25 – $100
Pet store chain clinic $120 – $150*

*Clinic farewell packages include group cremation services.

A veterinarian checking a sick cat's heartbeat with a stethoscope.
A veterinarian checking a sick cat's heartbeat with a stethoscope.

Vet appointment costs for cat euthanasia

The cost to euthanize a cat at a veterinary office costs $50 to $150, on average. Vet services are available by appointment during normal office hours. After-hours emergency animal hospitals charge $100 to $275 for cat euthanasia services.

Euthanasia fees typically include a sedative for your cat's comfort, an IV catheter for more precise vein access, and an IV euthanasia solution. After-services like transportation, cremation, and burial have separate fees that your vet should discuss before the procedure.

At-home services

The cost to put your cat to sleep at home is $200 to $400. Many local or nationwide services are available, such as Lap of Love or Pet Loss at Home, if your vet does not offer house calls.

Putting your cat to sleep at home is much less stressful than having the procedure in a clinical office. You can comfort your cat in their familiar space, surrounded by the things they love best, and say goodbye in the privacy of your own home.

Humane Society or non-profit services

The Humane Society and other non-profit pet organizations offer discounted End of Life services with fees ranging from $25 to $100 for cats. Complete service, including euthanasia with communal cremation and a wood or cedar urn, costs $120.

If your cat passes away naturally at home, you can bring your deceased pet to the Humane Society or SPCA for communal cremation for around $60.

Pet store chain animal clinic

Large pet store chains like PetSmart's Banfield pet hospital and Petco offer farewell packages that include cat euthanasia with group cremation for $120 to $150. These clinics often offer private cremation services for an added fee if you want your cat's ashes returned to you.

Get free estimates from vets near you.

Cat cremation and burial costs

When you are making the difficult decision about euthanasia services, you will also need to consider the costs of other aftercare services like cremation and burial, which are not typically included in the euthanasia fee.

Communal cremation

Communal cremation costs $40 to $100 for cats, and the cost is usually based on the size of your pet. In a communal or mass cremation, your cat's remains are cremated with other pets, and the ashes are spread in a communal garden as part of the service.

Private cremation

Private pet cremation costs $100 to $275 or more, depending on the provider. In a private cremation, your cat is cremated individually and the ashes are returned to you in an urn or wooden box.

Many providers will also have added fees to preserve a keepsake, such as a paw print or lock of fur with the cat's ashes.

Burial services

Many local cemeteries offer a pet burial option costing $400 to $800. Some people who pre-purchase a burial plot for their eventual death will bury the ashes of a beloved pet in the family plot, while others place their pet's ashes in a dedicated pet section of the cemetery.

Home burial is an option with no financial costs, but the emotional costs of digging a burial plot in your yard should be considered. Local laws may prohibit backyard burials, so check with your vet or clinic to see what is allowed in your area.

What to expect when putting your cat to sleep

While no one can be emotionally prepared for the loss of a beloved pet, knowing what to expect can help ease the process.

When is it time to put a cat down?

Your veterinarian will recommend euthanasia if your cat is suffering a painful illness, or their quality of life is severely diminished with no hope of improvement. If your cat is suffering any of these signs, it may be time to discuss euthanasia with your vet:

  • Pain that can't be controlled with medication

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Avoiding physical contact due to discomfort

  • Unable to stand or walk without assistance

  • Excessive shaking or crying

  • No interest in food or water

  • They no longer groom themselves.

  • Disorientation or confusion

  • Changes in toilet habits or messing where they normally wouldn't

A man holding his sick cat
A man holding his sick cat

Euthanasia procedure

Though the euthanasia process is anguish for you, the process is peaceful and painless for your pet. Most vets allow you to stay with your cat through the procedure and give you time alone with your pet after their passing.

The vet begins by explaining the procedure to you and discussing your wishes for the aftercare of your cat's remains, including cremation, burial, and keepsake options.

Most vets proceed by placing an IV catheter in one of your cat's legs. This ensures clean access to the vein and easy administration of the medications.

Next, your vet gives your cat a sedative to keep them comfortable and stress-free. Within moments, the cat will become sleepy and relaxed, slipping into unconsciousness.

Once sedated, the vet will administer the lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital through the IV. The medication stops your cat's heart and brain functions, usually within a minute or so. Your cat will pass away peacefully, with no pain or distress.

Cat euthanasia FAQs

Is cat euthanasia painful for my pet?

Euthanasia is completely painless for your pet. The first step is to sedate your cat, so they feel relaxed and sleepy. Once they lose consciousness, the vet injects a euthanasia drug that stops your cat's breathing and heartbeat. Your cat will drift away peacefully and painlessly.

Does pet insurance cover cat euthanasia?

Most pet insurance policies cover euthanasia procedures when recommended by your veterinarian for humane reasons like illness or injury. Related end-of-life services like cremation or burial are not typically covered.

Can I bury my cat at home?

In some jurisdictions, it is legal to bury animals on private property. Check with your veterinarian to confirm if this option is available where you live.

What questions should I ask the vet or clinic?

Deciding to put down your cat is a heart-wrenching decision and requires asking your vet some tough questions, including:

  • Is my cat suffering?

  • Are there any treatments available to end their suffering? If not, is euthanasia the most humane option?

  • Do I have to make an appointment at the office, or can you come to my home to put my cat to sleep?

  • What happens to my cat's remains after they are put down?

  • Can I bury my cat at home, or should I have them cremated?

  • Can you help me obtain a keepsake of my pet, like a paw print or tuft of fur?

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