Should you put a cat that has been indoors and outdoors to sleep if he is injure

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – This happened to me and I wanted to know if I did the right thing. If your cat has lived freely (indoors and outdoors) for a long time (9 years) and gets badly injured (inflamed heart) from being hit by a car, should you put it down? Or should you do everything in your power to keep it alive knowing it will never be as free, and healthy as it was before? Is there some sign that a cat is ready to go? Do you think a cat would rather you be with it when they inject it or feel betrayed because you were suppose to keep it safe and alive?

Thank you. – Cutie Pie


Hi – thanks for your email. You asked if…you should put a cat that has been indoors and outdoors to sleep if he is injured? That is a difficult question.

To me, this really breaks down into 2 questions. First – should you keep an indoor/outdoor cat indoors? Is an injured cat better off euthanized?

So…let’s look at the first question. Should you try to keep an indoor/outdoor cat indoors? This really is a difficult question. I think indoor/outdoor cats can be happy indoors if given the opportunity and a stimulating environment. I agree that once a cat is used to going outdoors – they can be difficult to keep them indoors. But I think they can learn to be happy indoors.

The second question is…is a cat better off euthanized – or given the opportunity to live indoors only? In your situation – it depends on how sick the cat is. If it is sick and “suffering” – then you may already have a decision.

If the cat is recovering and “fine” – then I think an opportunity for an indoor life is reasonable.

Again, this is difficult and there is no easy answer. It really depends on the individual cat and situation.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

To read most recent questions Click here!

Click here to see the full list of Ask Dr. Debra Questions and Answers!