As passionate cat lovers, the thing we dread most is our cats dying. You have cared and loved your feline friend all of their lives or maybe some of it, however long they have been in your life, you love them unconditionally……
Your cat maybe going with you to the vets on its final journey or your cat may pass away naturally at home, hopefully with you. I’ve had my cats pass away after euthanasia at the vets and also after a home visit by the vet and I would always try to have this option if possible but of course it’s not always practical…….. As a cat sitter I will always stay with a cat if it needs to be euthanized while their family are away on holiday, I hope this offers some comfort to the cat and its family and the cat is a friend to me also……
Pet bereavement is slowly becoming more recognised as a highly emotional issue and I have noticed over the recent years more understanding surrounding the subject. Just the other day I noticed in my local vets a sign by a candle asking people to be respectful and speak softly if the candle is lit as someone is saying goodbye to their cat….. How touching and thoughtful is that?
I have also noticed some veterinary surgeries have special rooms for euthanasia, which is so much better and peaceful for the cat and the family.
So if you or someone you know has recently had a cat pass away what should you not say and what things will help……
It was just a cat, you can get another one!
Ummmmm not helpful at all! Their cat was family and they are heartbroken, it’s not like getting a new mobile…..
OMG you had your cat cremated, isn’t that like weird?
No not weird at all, some people choose to have their cat’s body cremated; many people can’t have their cat buried in the garden. To be honest it’s up to you how you deal with your cat’s body.
They were too old and sick anyway.
This is not helpful or kind, would you say this if it was the person’s human family? I think my point here is, please be tactful before you speak.
Oh you will get over it and move on, you have other pets.
Please remember everyone is different and deals with grief differently. Each relationship we have with our cats is different and we all take our own time to grieve.
It’s also important to remember grieving over an animal that has died can be a huge trigger for unresolved past grief which can lead to huge sadness and depression in a person. I once stayed with a cat sitting client while she had her cat euthanized at home; she had no one else and wanted someone there who understood how much she loved her cat. Even though the situation was handled calmly, peacefully and professionally by the vet, sadly the lady was extremely traumatised by the whole experience and I was very concerned for her. She later told me that her husband had died 3 months ago and this was the first time she had really cried.
Things to Help with Cat Grief
- Most important CRY!
- After euthanasia ask the vet to leave you alone for a while so you can say goodbye to your cat and keep a fur clipping/collar.
- Make a remembrance area in your home or garden of your cat, using photos or drawings of them. Have a garden ornament maybe and scatter their ashes there.
- Give a donation to a local cat charity.
- Pop their ashes into a plant pot in the garden, maybe with roses in?
- When you feel able, surround yourself with like minded people and talk about the whole experience.
- CRY some more!
- If you have no one to talk to there are people who can help click here
Just try to remember that losing a cat is an extremely difficult time and they are family so a big part of our lives and it certainly isn’t silly to grieve their loss.
Rachel from Portsmouth Cat Sitting is on Instagram @PortsmouthCatSitting and Facebook @portsmouthcatsitting.co.uk
Portsmouth Cat Sitting Mog Blog is here
Portsmouth Cat Sitting is a cat sitting service based in Portsmouth Hampshire. Established over 19 years ago. Owner Rachel is a student of Feline Behaviour with Compass Education and ICC. When not caring for cats, Rachel likes to blog and read about cats. Rachel also enjoys giving Reiki to cats and worked in a feline only veterinary clinic on the south coast. You could say cats are her passion and she shares her home with a ginger cat called Mr Ringo oh and a long suffering husband 🙂