December 19, 2018 7 min read

Parting with the Pet: What to Do?

At some point, every person who has a cat at home experiences a very sad time. The animal begins to get old and sick, and then inevitably dies. Not everybody can survive the death of a cat easily! Undoubtedly, there aren’t any universal “recipes” for how to live through this time. However, in many countries there traditions and advice formed over centuries about what to do if your cat died and you feel you cannot survive its loss.

Domestic Cats Leave Before Death 

Naturally, if this happens to you suddenly, you will find your own way. However, it would not be superfluous to prepare for it.

        The first step is to learn to notice signs of the cat’s upcoming death.

If the animal has been sick for a long time, recognizing their impending departure from life is easier. The cat simply weakens, ceases to eat, practically does not get up from its seat and more often sleeps or just lies down with their eyes open. If the animal has not left the house, they may come to say goodbye to you. Usually, a sick cat climbs up on the owner's knees with their last ounce of strength and lies for some time, expecting caresses, and then leaves. Cats dying in the owners’ hands are extremely rare. 

If nothing foreshadowed trouble or you were not very attentive to your pet, it will be more difficult. The main sign is that the cat seeks loneliness before death. They are not just hiding, they are trying to leave and to leave you so they can neither return nor can you find them. Alas, this is a very common phenomenon, and it was recorded from many centuries ago. The reasons for such an act are not fully understood, but the scientists believe that the cat is doing it... in pain!

        The animal's body suffers from various ailments and diseases (even if these ailments are not visible to the pet’s owners), and they just try to escape from this suffering, instinctively leaving their beloved home.

And, perhaps, this method of care can be considered very humane in relation to their owners. In this case, the death of the cat will hurt them less because they will not see witness it.

If the animal does not have the opportunity to leave the house, be prepared for the fact that at the tragic moment it will simply hide in a more private place or will die when you are not at home. And if you suddenly notice that your pet behaves strangely, do not try to follow them around or to "calm" them. It is believed that cats feel death, so in this case, they are wiser than us. 

The Cat Died: What to Do? 

Different nations approached this tragic event in different ways. In ancient Egypt, for example, cats were considered sacred animals, lived in every house and when the animal died, the family members were simply inconsolable. As a sign of mourning, according to the tradition, they shaved their… eyebrows.

Nowadays, a cat’s death is considered to be no lesser a tragedy, but the grieving period can be very different. Knowing that the cats go away before death, try to make sure that the animal cannot disappear without a trace. This does not mean that you have to follow them, but, nevertheless, do not let them die where you will never find them! Try to find them! And if you find your pet already dead, you will have to assume several important responsibilities.

The first step is to bury your darling pet, and this should be done by choosing the right place for them.

        The causes of death in cats can be different ‒ it can be a disease, a yearning and an accident, but you will have to agree that they are equally worthy of being buried in any case.

Be sure to find a special cemetery for animals (it is believed that you should not bury pets in human cemeteries). You can also bury your cat in a secluded corner too, which you can periodically visit, and which is guaranteed not to be destroyed. You should take care of your pet’s funeral just as you would do for a person. This is especially helpful if your cat died suddenly ‒ keeping busy will help you to take your mind off your grief.

How to Survive the Cat’s Death? 

The next step is to preserve the memory of the animal, but at the same time not torturing yourself and your loved ones. Moreover, in any case, the issue of a monument can be discussed later. Right now, you are faced with several things that must be done, no matter how painful they might be! Try to:

  • Remove all of your pet's things at once ‒ bowls, trays, toys. Such cleaning may seem cruel at first, but this is important, first of all, for you, since the pet's things will torment you a lot;
  • Recall the bright moments from the life of your animal ‒ yes, your cat has died, but this is not a reason to scroll through the tragic minutes in your head constantly. It will be better to remember how you played with them and how funny they were. Recalling such memories will surely make you smile and it will seem to you that your pet is still near;
  • Change the habits associated with the cat: for example, if you liked to sit in a chair where your pet always came to you, then try to sit in another place for some time after her death. It will be less painful, because you, at least, will not remember with longing, how the pet jumped on your lap and subconsciously wait for them to appear.

There is another “recipe” that many recommended. It is necessary to take in another pet immediately in order to help you get over the loss. This method can be very effective and efficient, but, sadly, not for everyone. There are people for whom their pet cat remains the only and unforgettable friend even after their death, and for them, a new pet in the house is even "contraindicated" because they may even get to hate it.

        However, if you clearly understand that life goes on and you want to quickly start your living without grief and longing, a little kitten will be a kind of salvation.

Just do not associate it with the previous pet! Some people think that the soul of a cat after death moves to another animal, though this should not be blindly believed. Treat the kitten as an independent and completely different animal. It will then be easier for you to love it, without confusing the dead animal with the new one.

 A Bit of Mystical

There are many legends and superstitions associated with the death of cats. Many of them say that after death, a cat allegedly becomes the owner‘s “Guardian Angel”. This is a very heartwarming version and it is based not only on simple fantasies! Everyone in the same ancient Egypt believed that a cat is a direct “link” between man and God. And, perhaps, this superstition only survived to this day. It is not known where cats go after death, but one thing is clear: if such a place exists, they will take care of you there, too! 

One more layer of beliefs is concerning the signs. The British believed that the cats should not be allowed to die in the house. They believed that this may bring up a disaster. However, this is, of course, a superstition. So, if you do not believe in the superstitions, the death of a cat should not scare you or be considered as a bad sign. It is unlikely that an animal that has been devoted to you all its life will want to hurt you!

How to Help the Cat Survive the Owner’s Death? 

This is another tragedy that, God forbid, can overtake a family that has a cat. And if many are wondering how to survive the cat's death, very few think about how to help the animal deal with grief if the owner dies. Alas, sometimes cat owners die before their pets, and there are cases when the animals, following their owner, died from the anguish or left their house without a trace. With this in mind, many tend to prepare the pet for the parting in advance, but is it worth it? We often wonder if the cats feel the death of their master or of his family members. There are many signs that indicate that animals, consciously or unconsciously, understan d this. Here are just some of them: 

  • If a cat sniffs attentively the air exhaled by her owner, it could mean the beginning of his illness;
  • If the cat does not want to lie in bed with the sick owner, this can foreshadow his death (if the cat stays in bed, it is considered that they take the disease on themselves);
  • If the cat meows continuously beside the owner and is so agitated that her wool is electrified – this may foreshadow a misfortune. 

Though these are all just superstitions and it is for you to decide whether to believe in them or not. However, there is one sign that does not apply to the number of superstitions. This is a specific behavior of cats around dying people. In such moments, the animal usually avoids the owner, even if it used to be very fond of him! In fact, this is also just an attempt to protect itself against the grief. 

Given this, the question of how to prepare the cat for the owner's death often goes away by itself: the animal most often knows about the tragedy long before it happens! There have even been cases when the cats felt the misfortune that occurred with their owner from miles away and demonstrated this with concern (the cat is jigging from corner to corner) or melancholy. It also happened that they simply left the house and went to where their master was, unmistakably finding his grave.

        Just as cats go away to die,to hide from the diseases and pain,they try to get away from the sick owner, so that do not grieve so much!

However, more often than not, a cat simply leaves its home, unable to live there without the loved one. Nobody knows where the cats go after their owners’ death, just as no one knows where the cats go to die, anticipating their demise. However, even if they find a new home for themselves and it may seem to everyone that they have forgotten about their former home, this is not the case. Whatever happens, and wherever the cat lives, it will be always remembering everything!

Kawaii Meow
Lover of Japanese culture, cats, and self-help hacks. The biggest cat online store.


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