Woman's Brother Puts Down Her Cats After She Asks Her Parents To Watch Them

She couldn't believe how her brother had betrayed her.

two cats laying on the sofa together Magui RF / Shutterstock

For many, our beloved pets are an integral part of our families. We love them like our own and would be utterly devastated should anything happen to them. Unfortunately, that became a reality for one woman after the betrayal of one of her (human) family members led to the loss of her cats. 

The woman asked her parents to care for her cats, but her brother had other ideas.

Writing to Reddit, the woman explained the situation and provided some background information.


“I’m currently in university, and I live in a small apartment on campus that is only just big enough for one person, let alone two more cats,” she said. “Before I left for uni, I asked my parents if they don’t mind [taking] my cats and [taking] care of them whilst I was gone. They said yes and had no objections.”

Woman's Brother Puts Down Her CatsPhoto: Hananeko_Studio / Shutterstock


This should have been the end of a perfectly ordinary story. Unfortunately for this woman, it wasn’t.

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“When I got back from uni for the holidays, I stopped by my parents’ house to see my cats, but to my surprise, they weren’t there,” she stated. “I asked my parents where they were, and they told me that my brother had put them down!”

The woman was understandably upset and wanted answers. “I was beyond furious, and I went to my brother demanding an explanation,” she said. “All he said was, ‘Well, you should have taken them with you if you still wanted them.’”


She was particularly shocked given she and her brother had "a pretty good relationship” — at least before this incident. “We would never argue, and we would help each other out when we needed it.”

Now, the woman has gone no contact with her brother and is left wondering if she is somehow in the wrong.

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Can a pet be put down without its owner’s permission?

The laws surrounding whether or not someone who is not the pet’s owner can have the animal put down are murky at best. According to Weave, “Generally, no, a vet can’t euthanize a pet without consent. However, in some jurisdictions, laws exist that allow certain parties to euthanize an animal depending on the circumstances.”

Laws differ slightly in the U.K. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons stated, “If, in the opinion of the veterinary surgeon, the animal’s condition is such that it should, in its own interests, be destroyed without delay, the veterinary surgeon may need to act without the owner’s consent and should make a full record of all the circumstances supporting the decision in case of subsequent challenge.”

Regardless of what the law officially says, the situation was no doubt complicated because the cats were left in the care of the owner’s parents, who then allowed the brother to be in charge of them. In this case, who exactly counts as the owner is confused by the involvement of family members. Still, considering the cats were perfectly healthy, there was no reason to consider euthanasia, no matter who the "owners" were. 



Reddit commenters assured the woman she had done nothing wrong.

Although the woman was concerned that her anger with her brother might be an overreaction, fellow Redditors let her know that it definitely wasn’t.


“It’s clear he doesn’t care about your relationship,” one commenter wrote.

“Why did your parents let him put your cats down?” another user asked, incredulous.

While this is a sad story, it does have a hopeful ending. The woman updated her original post to let readers know about a new furry friend in her life. “I got myself a small kitten and found a better apartment that I can now afford so I can keep the kitten with me."


RELATED: Psychologist Explains Why We Should Be Allowed To Grieve The Loss Of Our Pets More Fully

Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.