While euthanasia is the kindest thing we can do for pets that are suffering, every pet parent wants to be assured that they are doing it at the right time. And since cats are notorious for hiding their pain and discomfort, it becomes even more difficult to decipher their level of pain and comfort.
This Quality of Life Scale was specifically created to help cat owners navigate the difficult path of end-of-life care so that they can make the best decisions for their feline family members.
Originally called the HHHHHMM Scale, this tool was created by Dr. Alice Villalobos, DVM, who founded Pawspice—a quality of life program for terminal pets—to help pet parents find meaningful ways to track their pet’s well-being.
By scoring your cat’s pain and energy levels, appetite, mobility, and overall demeanor, you can more easily measure your feline’s quality of life. Print out this form and take it to your veterinarian to go over and score each area.
You can even keep a calendar where you track the daily scores so that you can get a better picture of their Quality of Life. As the daily number begins to decline, you will know that it’s time to start having end-of-life discussions with your veterinarian.
End-of-life decisions are incredibly difficult. You are losing a family member, and that is never easy. The Quality of Life Scale for cats can help you navigate through the process and make sure you are doing the right thing for you cat.