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How does one actually know what the cat is feeling?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by JAUQO III-X, Jan 4, 2013.


    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    This is a legit question.

    I ask this question based off of a tb members comment who described how a cat feels as it's being euthanized.
  2. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    You dont?
  3. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    I just responded to your post in the other thread but it's a neat question.
    My answer - we don't. We can only offer a best guess, which is probably right but there's no real way to know for sure.
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    You don't.
    Empathy lets you somewhat experience other living being's feelings but only through the filter of your own reaction grid.
    What you feel is basically how you'd feel in the same situation.
    It is particularly true for cats, animals that naturally hide their emotions.
  5. JFOC


    Oct 23, 2010
    new hampShire

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Thanks guys. And again this is a legit question I'm asking.

    People are so quick to describe what the cat is feeling and going through but does one really know.

    It's like how can a human who has never had their veins burned with acid really know how it feels to some one who has?
  7. Ziltoid

    Ziltoid I don't play bass

    Apr 10, 2009
    It is possible to witness and even measure pain by scientific means. I remember reading an article about researcher doing mri's while heating people's arm. Between that, heart rate, skin conductance and EEG one can most likely tell if there's pain.
  8. Tituscrow

    Tituscrow Inactive

    Feb 14, 2011
    NW England
    Mammals with complex nervous systems very similar to humans... Feelings...emotions...anthropomorphism

    Could be a great Lobby thread :)

    JAUQO III-X Inactive

    Jan 4, 2002
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
  10. Indiana Mike

    Indiana Mike Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    I would say unless the cat would know it's going to die it wouldn't much different than a human going under for surgery.

    I Think the cat would be nervous though.

    I've had a handful of surgeries and I get nervous and don't like going under . If they killed me I doubt I would even know ....until I was on the other side.
  11. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    Well, cat euthanization can be done with less pain and be less inexpensive with decapitation. It sounds inhumane, but if you think about it, death is instant wheras an injected drug takes longer.
  12. AaronMB


    Aug 17, 2012
    I'd a cat that was sick and in pain...when it was time I got to hold him. It took but a short while, but in the time that 'it' started flowing in his veins and the time that it took over, he was definitely happier as he became more relaxed - and in less pain, no doubt. He purred, stretched and attempted to nuzzle as he had done when he was healthier.

    Do I know what he felt? No. But I knew the behavior of that 16 year old cat well enough to recognize relief when it came for him.
  13. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Well, the reality is that no one can ever really know how anyone other than themselves feels. Two people who have nearly identical experiences will always feel slightly differently and having someone explain in words how they feel isn't the same as having the experience.

    So an attempt to discern how a cat feels about a circumstance or experience is simply a greater extrapolation than an attempt to discern how another human being feels.
  14. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    No, it's actually not, as morbid as it sounds. Death is quick - but I believe that it can take up to a minute to actually die. :eek:

    "Instant" would be vaporization or being blown to tiny bits.
  15. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Well, I mentioned this before....., then promptly deleted it because it felt weird posting but what the hell I'll do it again:

    From a human being perspective, I was kind of "euthanized" before and it wasn't bad at all. :p
    Seriously - It sounds corny but I had heart surgery a few years back. I was scared as hell knowing what was coming until they sedated me, then I felt absolutely great - relaxed, even got a few laughs in. I remember them telling me next that they're going to put me under for the surgery, so they injected something into the line and *poof* I was out cold.
    At that point I might as well have been dead, (they did actually stop my heart to work on it) I wouldn't have known a thing no matter what they did to me.

    So anyway, having gone through that..? Nah, I don't believe that a euthanized animal suffers at all. I'm thinking it's probably quite similar to what happened to me. In which case, all things considered if you have to die, that ain't a bad way to go.
  16. sobie18


    May 5, 2002
    Shaw AFB, SC
    When I was trapping animals on my airfield @ Andersen AFB, Guam, I dropped quite a few cats off at the shelter. Unfortunately, all of the cats were put down on the spot (too wild/feral for taming). I got to hold the little net/stick while they injected the blue Kool-Aid (as I called it) into their body. The cat just slowed down and eventually just died without any struggles or meowing.
  17. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I have no idea how my cat felt as they injected the poison into her IV while I held her. I know that at 21 years old she was already in terrible pain from kidney and general system failure, that's why we elected to put her down in the first place.

    Was she scared? Probably, animals have the fight or flight reflex the same as humans do. Ever spooked a cat and seen it jump four feet straight up or climb most of the way up a vertical wall?

    Do I know how she felt? No. Do I have a pretty good idea? Yeah, I think I do. I'm just glad I got to hold her as she went. I was the one constant during her entire life and she wasn't alone at the end.
  18. I've never experienced an animal being euthanized before.

    how do you know the animal, in this case cat, is scared? Wouldn't it be like any other visit to the Vet?
  19. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I think in the general sense, a lot of animals get scared with every visit to the vet.
    I know that my cats freaked out whenever they were taken.
    Its usually pretty easy to tell when a cat is scared.
    Body language. After getting familiar with them you can ascertain what mood their in by reading their tails.

  20. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Inactive

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Putting my childhood dog down was and still is one of the saddest yet most memorable moments of my life. She was in pain, and we knew the end was near. Ebony, my black lab, showed no fear whatsoever. I cried tears onto her face and sobbed uncontrollably as I hugged her and let it all out, in our last moments on the vet table together. She licked my face. Makes me so sad, even 16 years later.

    I am sure I was in more pain than my dog was at what was about to happen that day, and looking back, I'm really proud that I allowed myself to grieve in such a raw manner. :crying:
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 27, 2021

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