Quality of Life Assessment

Sick Cat

When your beloved furry family member has fallen ill with conditions like cancer, severe arthritis or heart disease, it can be hard to tell whether they are still enjoying life. Do they miss playing Frisbee, or are they happy just lying on the couch in the sunshine? What is going through their minds when they don’t want to go for a walk, or when they won’t eat breakfast? Are they really ready to quit – are you keeping them alive just for your own sake? Things would be so much easier if we could simply ask our furry friends how they felt!

This scale was developed to get a more objective sense of your pet’s quality of life. The seven categories will highlight your pet’s basic needs. Consider re-evaluating every few days or weekly to compare scores over time.

Rate the following on a scale of 1 – 10.  A score of 1 is the worst possible, a score of 10 is the best possible.

Hurt – rate how well your companion’s pain is controlled. Do they need pain medication? Does the medication help them rest more comfortably, walk more easily, or show more interest in their surroundings? 1 = severe pain not controlled with medication, 10 = no pain at all

1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


Hunger – rate how well your companion is eating. Do you have to hand-feed, warm the food or entice them before they will eat? Are you using a feeding tube, or have you talked to your vet about one? 1 = not eating at all, 10 = normal appetite


1          2         3         4          5          6          7          8          9          10


Hydration – rate how well your companion is drinking and staying hydrated. Are they constantly drinking from the water bowl – more than they used to? Do they urinate more often or a larger amount than they used to? Have you talked with your vet about dehydration, and has your vet said that fluids under the skin (subcutaneous fluids) would be helpful? 1 = Dehydration and not drinking, 10 = normal hydration and normal water intake


1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


Hygiene – rate how clean and well-groomed your companion is. Are you able to keep your companion clean and neat on a daily basis? Do they have mats in their fur that may trap poop or dirt close to the skin, or cover their eyes or feet? Do they have wounds or bed sores, or are they frequently lying in urine? 1 = all ovf the above and more, 10 = none of the above and normal


1          2          3          4          5          6          7          8          9          10


Happiness – rate how active and happy your companion is. Do they express joy and interest in their surroundings? Are they responsive to you, your family, and their toys? Are they isolated, depressed, anxious or bored? 1 = all over the above, 10 = none of the above


1          2         3         4         5         6         7         8         9         10


Mobility – rate how well your companion can get up and move around. Do they need help to get up – from either a human or a cart or other mechanical object? Are they stumbling or having seizures? Do they feel like going for walks regularly? 1 = Complete lack of mobility, 10 = normal mobility 


1          2         3         4         5         6         7         8         9         10


More good days than bad – rate how many good days vs. bad days your companion has had in the last week or month. 1 = no good days, 10 = all good days


1          2         3         4         5         6         7         8         9         10


Add the scores from each section to get the total score. A score of 35 or less indicates that your companion’s quality of life is reduced, and it would not be wrong to consider humane euthanasia. A score of over 35 indicates that your pet likely has some degree of suffering but may not have a severely decreased quality of life. Humane euthanasia could still be a consideration, depending on your pet’s personality and ability to deal with stress and discomfort.


Date: ___________________ Total score: _____