You may be surprised at the pain and grief you feel when your cat dies. These ways to cope with the loss of your cat are from pet lovers who have felt your pain.
When your cat dies, picture him or her with an angel. The Willow Tree with Affection (pictured) is a beautiful angel holding a cat, with peace and love and acceptance.
“Grief can’t be shared. Everyone carries it alone, his own burden, his own way.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The sadness you feel when your cat dies can’t be shared and is yours alone. But, it can help to read about how others mourned their cats’ deaths. Here, pet lovers share tips for coping with cat loss — these tips may not take away the pain, but at least they’ll help you see you’re not alone.
Here are several tips for healing from cat lovers who experienced the pain of their kitty’s deaths.
4 Ways to Cope With Grief and Loss When Your Cat Dies
Everyone deals with their pet’s death in different ways. These stories from people who loved and lost their cats may help you heal…
Share memories about your cat with people who knew him or her
“As a child, we were encouraged to talk about the pet and remember him or her,” says cat lover Pam Vetter. “Pets are family members and have important roles in our lives. Whenever a frog, lizard, parakeet or guinea pig has died in our house over the last 14 years since my kids were born, we’ve held a mini-funeral in the backyard. We bury the pet, put a rock marker on top, and share our memories about the pet. The time together serves to recognize the pet’s role in our lives. My kids are encouraged to share their memories about our lost pets.”
Give yourself time to heal after your cat dies
“There is no single formula to saying good-bye when your cat dies,” says Dan. “Healing takes place over time. The loss of a pet is the loss of someone you loved, and when anything you loved is abruptly taken away from you, there is no substitute. Four years ago, my cat Peep disappeared without a trace. I live in an exclusive suburb of Los Angeles in the hills. It’s often you have wild life and predators roaming at night. I was sick with some dental problem and when I came home from pharmacy at 9 pm, I couldn’t locate both my cats…one of then came home and the other didn’t.” – Dan Tanner
Welcome another cat into your home – when you’re ready
“Last January we had to have our beloved cat, Janvier, put down,” says cat lover Jessica. “He was suffering from renal failure, and the treatment would have crushed his spirit and terrified him, so we made the hardest decision of our lives. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss having my first baby around. It’s pathetic, but we haven’t even gotten rid of his kitty litter (it’s clean!) or his leftover food. I still think I can hear him puttering around at night. We have two young children and insanely busy lives, so we haven’t adopted a new cat yet. We feel like we wouldn’t be able to give him or her enough attention at this time, which would just not be fair. I really believe that having a new kitten would help us survive our cat’s death. I also think that bringing a new pet into our lives would help us honor Janvier, by constantly reminding us of the cute and funny things he used to do. So I hope that one day soon-ish, we’ll open our homes to a new pet both to help heal our hearts and so our children know the joy a cat can bring to a home.”
Rescue an abandoned kitten or cat
“I had my multi-coloured white and ginger cat, Penny, for 8 wonderful years,” says Cynthia. “Her death was sudden. She seemed to be losing weight to a point until she appeared too thin, so I took her in to the vet’s and got the bad news. They suggested an operation, but the next day I got a call during the surgery that she might not make it. I rushed in, and she died in my arms. In my case, whether or not to get another cat was already solved in a way, as I had just rescued a small black kitten, and was fostering her for the local Cat Adoption Team. The month before, I had decided to adopt her myself. After Penny died, I called her my ‘Little Gift from God’.” – Cynthia Colby.
In Letting Go of an Animal You Love, I share 75 ways to cope with pet death from veterinarians, pet loss experts, grief counselors, and cat lovers. If you’re struggling to cope with grief because of your cat’s death, you may find comfort there.
Are you ready to open your home to another cat? Read Should You Get a Cat After Your Cat’s Death?
If you’d like to share your stories and thoughts about your cat, please do below.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.