Understanding Cats and Grieving: What You Need to Know About Household Members Passing On

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grieving your pet cat

Your Favorite Cat Has Passed On; How Will You Manage the Grief?

Cats can bring immense joy to our lives, but the opposite side of joy is sadness, and when a beloved feline companion leaves us, especially after many years together, it can be devastating. In the end, everyone must deal with pet grief in their own way, and usually only time can truly begin to heal the pain of such a loss. In the meantime, here are a few helpful tips to assist you in dealing with pets and loss.

Feline End of Life Services

One of the first things you will have to deal with when your cat passes away (especially inside the home) is what to do with the remains. As with humans, this is a tough decision that you have to make, and it comes at the worst possible time.

Most people choose between three options, with burial being the first. You can bury your cat yourself if you have a yard or enough outdoor space around your home to do so. There are also pet cemeteries where you can arrange for your cat to be buried.

A more popular option is cremation, and there are many companies that perform this service in cities both large and small. They will often clip some fur or nails and/or take a paw print to give you more to remember your cat by, and some service providers will package up the ashes of your beloved cat.

Rarely, people opt for taxidermy, a third option. This is an expensive choice, and not for everyone, but it may be more comforting for some than the idea of burying or cremating their cat.

Helping Others in the Household Deal With the Loss of a Pet

Everyone grieves the loss of a pet in their own way, and the most you can do is be there to support others in your household. If you have young children, this is a good opportunity to have a conversation about death and the cycle of life with them.

You can explain to your children that we don’t know what happens after death, but we do know that your cat’s spirit is no longer in its body and that it is not in any pain. If your spiritual inclination or religious beliefs dictate that you do, in fact, know what happens after death, then be sure to share that (provided those beliefs extend to your household cats),

You should also know that there are grief services for those who have lost pets, just like for humans, including grief counselors and support groups.

grieving your pet cat

How Pets Deal With the Loss of Other Household Animals

As you well know, cats have very strong feelings too, and if you have two cats who are close and one passes away, you can expect the other cat to be affected. They may spend a lot of time in spots where the other cat often spent time, may even spend a little time searching for them, and may appear more active and agitated than usual.

They may eat less and meow more, too. Eventually, if you continue to shower your cat with love and attention, they should be able to adjust fairly well to the new situation in the home. You might expect something similar if a treasured family member disappears, either through moving away (like a child going to college) or by passing away.

Should I Get a New Cat?

One thing you should not do is ask someone who has recently lost a cat if they are going to get a new one. This is a very common and seemingly logical question, but it often sounds to the grieving person as if you think their treasured loved one is something that can be easily replaced, like a broken dishwasher or an old car. They are aware that getting a new cat is an option, and if they get one, you’ll know about it.

If you have lost a pet and are wondering if you should get a new one, it all depends on your grieving process. While nothing can replace your departed cat, having new life in the home may cheer you up and enable you to make a new friend and better the life of another cat. However, you should certainly not feel in any hurry to add a new cat to your household.

Hopefully your current cats will live long lives and you will have many wonderful years with them. PDX Pet Design can help, with fun toys and accessories to help enhance your cat’s quality of life. To find out more, visit us today.

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