the idea of a thought experiment is to explain a real life scenario which would not be carried out, so no cats are harmed!
in this case, the thought experiment encourages us to hold the idea of life and death as possibilities - illustrating the wave/particle business in quantum physics. but, for me, the schrodinger's cat experiment resonates with the idea of meditating in part to make a good life, and in another part to make a good death. and, further, the exercise of holding both the idea of life and the idea of death in awareness at the same time.
here is a clip where the experiment itself is explained