My elderly mother has an elderly cat (technically mine) who is not so steady on her paws these days. She can get about, but walks with duck feet at the front and very stiff back legs - doesn't look right at all. She has other health problems too. Friends of my mother's think she ought to be put to sleep (the cat, that is) and I've been asked what I think. I really can't figure out whether she's in pain. She seems totally unfazed by her non-functioning paws and just as contented as ever, but the internet says they tend to hide their pain. It says you have to look at their behaviour and that if a cat is in pain, it may sleep more (she does sleep a lot, but then she's 18), groom less (she does, but then those hard to reach areas are now impossible to reach), engage with people less (no change there) and be more irritable (if anything, she's less irritable). Her behaviour has definitely changed over the years, but I think she's basically behaving like an old cat and it's not necessarily a sign of pain. Still, I look at the way she walks and think that's got to hurt.
I don't want to put her down if she's still enjoying life, but then I don't want to veto it if she's actually in pain and just not showing it.
What would you guys out there do?