Cat loss is one of the worst things we cat owners eventually must go through. We all love our cats as part of our own family, which makes it so much harder when it’s time for our precious kitty to pass on over the rainbow bridge. Handling this transition isn’t easy no matter how it happens, but there are some things to consider that may help ease your mind during these difficult times.
Recently, the vet told us that our sweet Siamese rescue cat has inoperable, intestinal cancer and has only a few more weeks to live. This shocking news has understandably devastated us. So what do we do now, and where do we go from here?
In trying to handle the next few weeks as strongly as possible, I came across some helpful information when it comes to handling the loss of your cat. Though it is tough now, I hope that these reflections may be as helpful to you as they are for me and my family.
Every cat has its own story. Handling the loss of a cat after a devastating diagnosis may look different than someone handling the sudden loss of an elderly cat who passed in its sleep. While the pain is heavy and real in both situations, handling the anticipation of loss may be different.
If you’ve discovered your cat only has a short time left with you, make sure you take the proper steps necessary to prepare for their passing. This may mean scheduling an appointment for euthanasia or making their space at home as comfortable as possible. Your vet can discuss options with you if you want something specific, such as the vet visiting your home to put your cat to sleep. Making this appointment can be incredibly difficult, but keep in mind that it’s for the best to give your cat dignity and peace in his or her final moments.
For cats with no noticeable health problems but are reaching the end of their life expectancy, you may notice some changes. Your cat may be eating or drinking less, or could be hiding more in your home. Cats that are nearing their end naturally often try to hide away out of instinct, as in the wild they are weaker and more susceptible to becoming prey. If you notice these behaviors in your elderly cat, it may be a sign that their life is coming to a close. Make sure you give your cat as much love and care as possible at these times to comfort them. If your cat starts having other symptoms, such as significant mobility issues or pain, it may be time to contact your vet to discuss euthanasia.
Your vet can respond to any questions or concerns you may have about this difficult appointment. They may explain the procedure to you or explain how your cat may look in his or her last moments. They may also share options for after the procedure is finished, such as cremation or burial services offered by the vet or a community partner.
Even if your cat isn’t showing any active signs of nearing the end of its life, it is still good to consider how you will act when the time comes. Planning ahead can help prevent additional stress later on, so you can focus solely on your precious final days with your kitty.
Remember that while we don’t want them to, all cats eventually die. Preparing for this can help you handle it much easier when the day finally does come.
After your cat passes away, you’ll likely want to do something to remember your beloved companion. Having a concrete way to remember your cat later is essential to handling the loss of a cat. The first thing you must do is consider what to do with your cat. Do you plan for a burial in your yard or a local pet cemetery? A cremation? A pet-specializing taxidermist? Consider how you want to lay your cat to rest ahead of time so you’re not left scrambling when you need to make a time-sensitive decision.
For burials, consider where you want your cat to be buried. Many people choose to bury their pets in their own yard to save money and to keep their loved one close, but don’t consider having to move someday. To have a place where you can always visit your beloved cat, you should inquire with any local pet cemeteries. While many of these pet cemeteries charge fees for burial in addition to any other added funeral expenses (caskets, body preparation, etc.), it can be a great option for those wanting the opportunity to honor their cat in the moment and visit their cat in the future.
If you don’t have any local pet cemeteries (or if pet burial isn’t your thing), you can always choose to cremate your cat. Cremation gives you the option to either keep your cat’s remains or spread them somewhere you can remember them. Those choosing to keep their cat’s remains can find a decorative urn to honor their cat with their name or even their pawprint. Nowadays, some pet crematoriums also offer small jewelry pieces that contain bits of your pet’s ashes, so you can carry your pet with you. There is no right or wrong answer as to how you handle your pet’s ashes. Do whatever brings you and your family the most peace.
Finally, consider if there are any other things you want to do in memoriam of your beloved cat. Do you want to invite any family or friends to say goodbye at their resting place? Do you want to have a tombstone prepared with their name, picture, or other loving messages on it? What about a painting for your home or a tattoo in honor of your cat’s life? Whatever you pick will be precious to you, your family, and your dear cat.
Keep in mind that nothing and nobody can ever replace your beloved kitty. While the grieving process may take a while to get through, your cat would want you to feel joy and possibly even give another sweet cat a chance someday when you’re ready. Though losing our best furry friends isn’t easy, the many years we get to spend loving them is often worth the pain in the end.
I personally know the loss of a cat can be overwhelming, especially if you know he or she is going to pass on soon. I sincerely hope this article has helped you in some way. The death of a loved one is always a difficult period in your life. With the help of close family, good friends, and happy memories, you will eventually get through this.
Losing my sweet Siamese kitty is going to be really hard for me. She is a fun, weird, and loving part of our family, and we hate to lose her this way. However, we’ve had many wonderful years being able to love her and her big personality. She will be fondly remembered forever!
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Hello and welcome! I’m a genuine cat lover and devoted parent of two adorable kitties. As you can see, cat adoption is meaningful for me. I believe it’s a humane and loving option. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the people who operate rescue shelters. To show my gratitude for their selfless dedication, I’ve designed this website to help enlighten potential feline owners and raise awareness for cat adoption. Please join me and other cat lovers in our efforts to ensure every kitty has a happy, healthy life!
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