Let’s first define the word ‘cruel’. It means “wilfully causing pain or suffering to others, or feeling no concern about it.”
Note that there has to be the causation of pain and suffering. Euthanasia done properly by a veterinarian using proper techniques in conjunction with respect and care does not cause pain and suffering to the cat being euthanised. So, it can’t be an act of cruelty per se as regards the cat. But it is an act of cruelty that can cause pain in another human or humans. Because of this, sometimes euthanising a healthy cat can be an act of cruelty. There is also a bit of a discussion as to whether the euthanizing process is entirely painless. It depends on the veterinarian and how they carry out the procedure.
RELATED: Is cat euthanasia ALWAYS painless?
An example where humans feel pain might be this: a healthy cat is lost. Someone finds her. The cat’s caregivers discover that their cat is at a nearby animal shelter. They contact the shelter to say they care coming down to pick her up. In the meantime, the shelter gets their wires crossed and euthanise the cat. The owners are told and feel an awful lot of mental anguish and therefore pain.
If the act of euthanasia of a cat does not cause the cat’s owner to feel pain or there is no owner, what is it? It is unnecessarily taking of the life of a sentient being deliberately or carelessly brought into the world by a human or humans. This must happen either by carelessly allowing cats to breed because of a failure to spay and neuter cats (indirectly allowing procreation) or through deliberate breeding. I say ‘unnecessarily’ because the cat should not have been brought into the world in the first place.
Under these circumstances, there must be an obligation on people to care for the cats. For me one follows the other. If you bring a creature into the world, you have the responsibility to ensure that the animal is cared for. To kill the animal is tearing up that ethical obligation as I see it. In other words, it is immoral and/or unethical human behaviour.
That is the end of the discussion as I have answered the question in the title. If anyone has an alternative viewpoint and would like to share it on this page in a comment, you are very welcome. I am not saying I am correct.
In the meantime, below are some more articles on euthanasia. Ironically, the word ‘euthanasia’ or the phrase ‘to euthanize’ are both very often badly misused as the animals are, in fact, being killed. So, to euthanise a healthy cat as suggested in the title is actually to kill the cat. The word ‘kill’ should be used and not ‘euthanize’.
Many animal shelters cover up a lot of killing by describing their actions as the euthanasia of cats and dogs. Euthanasia is a euphemism for killing under these circumstances.
Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.