Is it a sin to decline euthanasia for a sick pet?

Our pet cat is elderly and is becoming ill with kidney disease. The veterinarian said that, when the time comes, we will need to authorize euthanasia. I have never killed a living being, and to me, ordering the death of a pet is the same thing. I want to allow our cat to die a natural death. According to Church teaching, can I decline to authorize euthanasia?

You are under no obligation to euthanize your cat. I should mention though that authorizing euthanasia for an animal is not the same thing as authorizing euthanasia for a human being. Unlike with humans (who may not be euthanized under any circumstances), it is not a moral evil to euthanize a suffering animal, and indeed to do so can be an act of kindness and compassion to the animal. If you decide to allow your cat to die naturally, that is your choice; but it would be wrong for you to condemn others for choosing to authorize euthanasia for their pet animals.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit