American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

End of Life Educational Toolkit

Veterinarian with patient


As veterinarians, we have the privilege of being able to facilitate a peaceful and painless transition for our patients at the end of their life. Our goal should be providing a gentle death so cats feel minimal fear, anxiety, and pain. It is also important to understand that this experience will have a lasting impact on our clients as well. In preparing this experience for our feline patients and clients, it is important to offer a calm and well-planned process that honors the life of the cat. These details will stay with the client and may influence how they express and resolve grief.

The mission of this Toolkit is to provide the veterinary team with the tools necessary to ensure a smooth, calm, and compassionate experience for cats and clients alike. The Toolkit offers advice and insight on each step of the process, beginning with evaluating Quality of Life (QOL) through supporting the client’s emotional and mental wellbeing after the procedure. 

Instructions for Use

This educational Toolkit is intended to be an implementation tool for veterinary professionals to access and gather information quickly. It is not intended as a complete review of the various techniques and procedures in euthanasia.

To use the Toolkit, click the tabs at the top in the green navigation bar to access each page and read more information about each area, including Decision Making, Euthanasia Experience, Euthanasia Process, Final Arrangements, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and Client Resources. Each page also has an associated printable PDF that you can use in your practice. Additionally, a link to a printable version of the entire Toolkit, which contains information from each page, is included in the left sidebar. 


The AAFP would like to thank our Task Force for their hard work in developing this educational Toolkit content and providing photos – Elizabeth Colleran, DVM, MS, DABVP (Feline); Diane Eigner, VMD, MBA, CVPM, CHPV; Mary Gardner, DVM; Kira Ramdas, DVM; and Wendy Simpson, DVM, Chair. The AAFP would also like to thank Sheilah Robertson, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DECVAA, DACAW, DECAWBM (WSEL), CVA, MRCVS, and Lysa Posner, DVM, DACVAA, as contributing reviewers.


This End of Life Educational Toolkit is endorsed by
Cat Healthy      

© American Association of Feline Practitioners, 2021