View Full Version : Euthanasia and pets

01-30-2008, 11:24 PM
im still learning so much about islam and this topic is something i know really little about.

I have 2 cats, one of which is coming up to 14 years old and her health is slowly deteriorating, for example her back legs have started to 'bow' and she loses her balance quite often and falls off the chairs etc and is also struggeling to clean herself( i help her ), but still she is active and doing ok. inshaAllah i hope she will be ok for a good few years yet, its just so unpredictable :'(
My mother keeps telling me it would be 'cruel' to continue her life should she get really sick or things that come with old age, and insists that i 'put her to sleep' soon :cry:.
My husband on the other hand says i should care and look after my cat even if it means watching her suffer, because she is my respsonsibilty, which i do agree with, but at the same time... i dont want her to be in pain or living a miserable existence, of course i would make it as comfortable for her as i possibly can.

im not just looking for excusses to have her 'put to sleep' either, i love her very much but one day im gonna have to face this decision.

How does islam view the euthanasia of a pet? Is it permissible? and if not is it permissible to have her 'drugged' up on medicine to keep her alive and out of pain?



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02-02-2008, 02:27 AM
I'm very sorry that you are going through this, I am very sensitive when it comes to pets as they are really the simplest creatures with so much love to give. Do you know what is wrong with your cat? Do these things you described happen often?

I cannot tell you what Islam says about euthanasia for pets, but I can tell you that, as someone who worked at a veterinarian's office for a while, I sometimes think it is the right thing (all depending on the situation). I think some people put their pets down too easily, often for silly reasons, but I have also seen people hold on for too long. Here's one example I remember:
A woman didn't want to put her cat down even though it had not eaten for over a month, barely drank any water and barely even moved. The cat was down to half its normal weight - 14lbs down to 7. One morning the vets decided to take the cat into the operating room to see what was going on and found the cat overtaken with cancer - it was everywhere! They put the cat down then and there. It is one thing to care for a pet, but she kept the cat around (even though it was barely alive itself) for weeks out of her own inability to let go - I was so angry because I felt she had been very selfish.

I know euthanasia on people is not allowed in Islam, but does the same thing extend to animals? I can't answer that. God tests us humans in many ways, but does he test animals as well? (I don't think so, but I could be wrong)

I'd also like to hear an official answer.

02-02-2008, 02:32 AM
I don't know myself, but I'd be curious myself to hear that answer.

Personally I'd say as long as your cat is active, eating and otherwise normal than keep her around. I would of course get a vet to check her out as well.

02-02-2008, 09:22 AM
thank you so much for your replies.
i do have my cats checked out with the vet every 3 months, and with my elder cat its mearly old age. But with old age in all species comes problems and as i know the average age for a cat is around 15, i know its gonna be coming soon.

I just wanted to ask here for advice etc so i could prepare myself and know what options are available, but looking at the responses i guess not many muslims here have the knowledge to guide me.

one of my first kitties i had, i called her Pebbles, i went through a horrendous time with her, she was only 2 years old and she contracted feline meningitis, and it was so quick, i noticed one of her pupils dilated and the other normal, she had gone off her food and i took her to the vets who gave me the diagnosis and some medicine, i took her home and tried to give her as much love as possible, but she just hid behind the chair 'crying' (meowing) after 2 days and her still not eating, i decided to take her to the vet again... she started jumping like mad in the box so i paused in the street to settle her... as i opened the door, she wasnt moving and just curled in a ball. she died befor i could even get to the vets and i wished i had just stayed at home and let her pass away there rather than in her kitty box in the middle of a street :cry:
seeing her in pain and unhappy during her last few days will haunt me forever.

i guess maybe that case is a little more traumatic than a kitty passing away with old age.. but i would still like to be prepared and know what i can and cant do.

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02-02-2008, 05:35 PM
I put to sleep my first dog after 1 year of suffering (she had cancer, half blind and could not really walk). I promised myself i will never ever accept again to do that to my pets. I will leave the illness to take them, but not me. :embarrass

02-04-2008, 04:07 AM
found this
hope it is of help to you insha'Allah
Name of Questioner
Sama - Canada

Putting Down a Sick Cat: Permissible?

As-Salamu `alaykum. My parents have a pet cat and it is very sick now. They are planning to have it put down. Is this kind of mercy killing allowed in Islam?


Name of Counsellor
Ahmad Kutty

Social Manners


Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, we are very pleased for the great confidence you place in us, and we commend your interest in having a better understanding of the teachings of Islam and the rulings of this great religion in all matters. In fact, Islam is a religion that encompasses all aspects of life and secures guidance and light for all mankind.

Concerning your question, Islam, the true religion of Allah, cares about the well-being of all creatures. Therefore, animals should be treated kindly and mercifully. If a pet cat becomes sick it should be treated.

Responding to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada states:

“If your cat is sick and it can be treated you must do so if it is within your means and ability. Simply allowing a cat to be put down because it is sick is not allowed in Islam; should you do so, you will be responsible before Allah for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

If, however, your cat is too sick to recover and there is no hope of it ever being able to lead a normal life, or you do not have the means and resources to obtain adequate treatment for it, then you must hand it over to the humane society. It is up to them to decide what to do with the cat. If they decide to put it down because of not being able to find a home, or because of their decision that such an animal cannot be cared for or set free, it is permitted to do so according to the principles of the Shari`ah. It is generally agreed by scholars that if leaving certain animals free becomes a cause of genuine concern for the safety of society, it is permitted in Shari`ah to put them down as a lesser of the two evils.”

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from: www.muslim.ca

You can also read:

Does Islam Encourage Kindness to Animals?

Keeping a Pet Animal in a Cage

Keeping Birds in Cages

Islam's Stance on Euthanasia

If you are still in need of more information, don't hesitate to contact us. Do keep in touch. May Allah guide us all to the straight path!

Allah Almighty knows best.

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