How to euthanize a cat with over the counter drugs?

12/11/2022 - 2 Comments

Cats are among the cutest and most aesthetically appealing pets you want to keep. However, when they get older, they may have cat diseases.

In this case, you might decide that having your cat put to sleep is the most compassionate course of action if it hurts and suffers from poor health.

Even though it's a difficult decision, perhaps euthanizing your pet is the most humane action you can take.

Your pet will pass away quietly and without suffering, thanks to euthanasia. How to euthanize a cat with over-the-counter drugs?

This article will recommend some ways for painless euthanasia for your pets. Let's scroll down!

When Should You Euthanize Your Cat?

Before putting your pet cat to sleep, it's best to consider several things. Here are the key points to have in mind before any decision.

Health Conditions Get Worse.

It could be time to put down your cat if they have a terminal condition or a terrible life quality. Prolonging their pain isn't worth it.

Decide to see your veterinarian if your cat's condition is deteriorating by the day. They will assist you in choosing the best course of action for your pet.

A veterinarian will make a diagnosis and let you know if there is any chance your cat will recover. Otherwise, they will give it painless euthanasia.

Worse health conditions

Behaviors Are Uncontrollable.

It might be time to put your cat to sleep if they act uncontrollably, such as becoming aggressive.

When cats show these behaviors, they may endanger themselves and others. The reasonable way to keep everyone safe may be via euthanasia.

Uncontrolled actions that could make you want to put your cat to sleep include:

  • Excessive vocalization
  • Hiding
  • Litter box problems
  • Attacking other animals or people

Before you put down your cat, you should try to find ways to change its uncontrollable behaviors.

You can seek help from an animal behaviorist or professional vet. If the issue continues, you might have to put down your cat.

Your Cat Is Too Old.

An old cat may develop arthritic conditions or other degenerative disorders that make it challenging to handle as it ages.

Refusing to climb up on a table or go down the stairs are symptoms of arthritis discomfort. In addition to arthritis, cats can also suffer from other types of discomfort.

Bladder inflammation because of gut discomfort, dental ache, or stress are typical pain sources in cats. In some cases, these illnesses are treatable, and painkillers work effectively for most of them.

However, nothing is better than putting your pet to sleep if you try everything without success.

Your Cat Has Cognitive Dysfunction.

Cats may develop Alzheimer's or dementia disease as they age. As a result, their cognitive function declines, and they may become disoriented and confused.

The best course of action to end suffering could be euthanasia if you notice your pet has these symptoms:

  • Appetite loss
  • Excessive vocalization
  • Aggression
  • Inability to enter their litter box
  • Wandering aimlessly
  • Weight loss

It's crucial to see a veterinarian if you observe one of these problems in your pet. They will assist you in choosing the best option for it.

Cognitive dysfunction issues

You Can't Afford Veterinary Expenses.

The cost of veterinary care can be high, particularly if your pet has a chronic condition.

Making the difficult choice to put your cat to sleep may be acceptable if you can't afford to pay for veterinary care.

Before euthanizing your cat due to financial reasons, consider all other choices. Remember that you may have other options, like pet campaigns or insurance.

It's An Emergency.

Every effort must be made to save your pet's life when an emergency arises. For instance, take your cat to the nearest veterinarian immediately if it is struck by a vehicle.

While the cat waits for the operation, the veterinarian will maintain it comfortably. If they can't save it, painless euthanasia is the best action so it won't suffer extreme suffering.

Emergency cases

What Is The Procedure For Euthanizing A Cat?

If you decide to get your cat put down by a vet, you'll need to bring it to their office. They generally adhere to the following process:

Profound Sedation Injection

The vet will give a sedative injection to anesthetize your pet. It will assist in calming and relaxing the cat. For sedation, they take the following medications:

  • Telazol: A potent injectable anesthetic given to dogs and cats
  • Ketamine: A dissociative anesthetic used in veterinary and human medicine
  • Propofol: An anesthetic/sedative with a brief action time applied to veterinary and human medicine
  • Xylazine: Used with other medications, like ketamine, to create anesthesia

Euthanasia Solution Injection

The veterinarian will inject your pet with a euthanasia solution in its leg vein. It contains a fatal dosage of medications that will cease breathing and the heart.

Pentobarbital is a barbiturate substance used frequently for euthanasia which acts as a hypnotic, sedative, and anticonvulsant.

It takes a few minutes to make your pet unconscious and go to sleep. The process is quick to reduce pain for your cat.

Euthanasia process

Can You Euthanize Your Cat?

The answer is yes. You might decide to use over-the-counter medications to put your cat to sleep at home.

If you select this option, you must purchase the sedatives and euthanasia medications from an animal control agency or authorized veterinarian.

It's crucial to remember that you must understand the dosage and injection spot. If possible, it's best to have a veterinarian euthanize your pet at home.

They will examine your pet and talk to you about the alternatives and available medications. Also, they'll explain how to use the drug correctly.

Euthanizing your cat at home will include these steps:

Sedation Injection: This injection will help your cat anesthetize, which makes it relax and calm. You can use these drugs:

  • Benadryl
  • Xylazine
  • Ketamine
  • Xanax Euthanasia Injection Injecting a euthanasia solution will cause your pet respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Your cat will sleep within minutes.

See more cat pictures at: Cat Images

How To Euthanize A Cat With Over The Counter Drugs?

Before putting down your cat, answer the following questions:

  • Does your pet suffer from terminal diseases without successful recovery?
  • Does it experience a poor health condition despite therapy?
  • Have you tried all treatments and drugs to save your pet?

If your answer is yes all the time, it's time to put your cat to sleep to reduce extreme pain. How to euthanize a cat with over-the-counter drugs?

Let's take a closer look at these medications!

Tylenol PM

Tylenol PM is a popular pain reliever for treating mild aches and discomfort in most households.

Because diphenhydramine, a substance that makes people sleepy, is present, it can aid in falling asleep.

However, ingesting this drug might cause damage to cats. And, since cats are sensitive, you can use Tylenol PM to put them to sleep.

How to humanely kill a cat with Tylenol PM? It is advisable to give your cat sleeping drugs before euthanizing it with Tylenol PM to ensure compassionate euthanasia.

Alternatively, you might start the procedure with a sedative called gabapentin for 1 to 2 hours before applying Tylenol PM.

Your cat will fall asleep and stay drowsy after ingesting this medication, allowing the medication to work.

You may wonder whether you can use Tylenol to put down your pet. Is Tylenol and Tylenol PM the same?

You can use both to treat fever and pain, but Tylenol PM has an additional drowsiness-inducing ingredient known as diphenhydramine.

How to euthanize a cat at home with Tylenol? Apply the same dose and process as Tylenol PM.

Tylenol PM


Benadryl is a popular anti-allergy drug. If taken appropriately, the medicine is harmless for your pets.

Can you euthanize a cat with Benadryl? Yes, but it should be the last option on your list. Your cat will die after taking an overdose of Benadryl, but not peacefully.

It is advisable to give your pet a 15-fold larger dosage than usual. Your cat will lose consciousness and die painlessly in approximately 5 minutes.


Aspirin is among the medicines that cats are sensitive to. Thus, you can consider euthanizing a cat at home with Aspirin.

Aspirin overdose is a simple way to put down cats. You can watch this video to learn more about this drug:




A barbiturate like pentobarbital is a preferable choice since it will rapidly and mercifully put an end to the cat's life.

If you own a cat with these illnesses, you may be familiar with using pentobarbital to manage seizures effectively.

Barbiturate drugs like pentobarbital have a depressive effect on the core nervous system.

It helps treat seizure activities by depressing the spinal cord and brain, decreasing seizures.

Your pet won't feel any pain throughout this process since it shuts down its biological systems very quickly and effectively.

After one last breath and three minutes after the injection, your cat finally falls asleep.


Tramadol is a popular painkiller for both pets and is available in a version made particularly for their requirements.

Additionally, pet owners often combine it with cat food because of its bitter taste before giving it to their cats.

You can use Tramadol to put down your cat. However, it may cause severe adverse effects with large doses, like diarrhea, vomiting, or seizures.

For this reason, you should consider other options before using this over-the-counter drug for euthanasia.


How Much Does It Cost To Euthanize A Cat?

The price of cat euthanasia varies depending on your location, the number of pets, and the type of clinic you choose.

It may cost anywhere between $100 and $200 or even more. Ask your vet about all costs before deciding on cat euthanasia.

Several humane organizations, regional animal shelters, and animal control institutions frequently provide the service at little to no cost.

The pricey choices typically come with extra services like creating your cat, giving you its ashes in a unique wooden box, or sometimes burial services.

There are several free methods available for cat euthanasia. Utilizing carbon dioxide is one free way to put a cat to sleep.

Gasses like carbon dioxide are widely available and reasonably priced. It is relatively simple to apply, but it is essential to ensure your cat is unconscious.

Euthanasia cost


What Medication Will Put A Cat To Sleep?

Below are some of the drugs you can use to put down your cat:

  • Benadryl
  • Acepromazine
  • Gabapentin
  • Trazodone
  • Alprazolam

How Do I Give My Cat Peaceful Death?

Here are some tips to put your cat to sleep peacefully:

  • Make sure your dying pet has a peaceful, tranquil area to stay free from other animals and loud noises.
  • Use safe over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain.

How Much Gabapentin Do I Give My Cat To Euthanize?

Although gabapentin overdoses are possible, most veterinarians advise against using the drug other than as a medicine for euthanasia.

Consider using 100-150 (mg) of gabapentin with an overdose of anesthetic for cat euthanasia.

This gabapentin addiction is a soothing sedative that can help your pet sleep before it calmly enters its deep, permanent rest.

Can You Put A Cat Down With Tylenol?

The short answer is yes! These medications have lethal effects on cats at even low doses.

Nevertheless, this medicine should be combined with other sedatives for cat euthanasia due to the possibility of severe adverse effects.

What Does A Cat Do Before It Dies?

If your cat is near the end of its life, it may have the following signs:

  • Become irritable and withdrawn
  • Have unprovoked aggressive behaviors
  • Reduce appetite
  • Hide a lot
  • Become more clingy
  • Breathe heavily
  • Seizure
  • Low body temperature
  • Unkempt appearance

Final Thoughts

Deciding to put your cat down will be one of the most challenging decisions you'll ever make as a cat owner.

However, before euthanizing your pet, you should seek all vet help and potential treatments.

Only using cat euthanasia when it's a terminal disease that reaches its uncurable state, which decreases the life quality of your pet.

It's best to contact a veterinarian expert to put down your cat safely and peacefully if you can afford the service.

Otherwise, consider the over-the-counter drugs mentioned above. If you have further questions, please comment below.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post!

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About Billy Nguyen
I'm Billy Nguyen, currently CEO/Founder Cat Images, with over 3 years of experience in cat care and training. I hope the knowledge I share brings useful value to promote your pet care effectively.

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