How do I Grieve My Dead Cat?

Ask Deb,

How do I get over grieving for a cat thats been dead for just over a month?

Black Cat Penny

When you have had a pet for a large portion of your life, your pet comes to seem like members of the family. So it’s no shame and no surprise that you’re still grieving for your cat a month after it has passed on. In fact, legitimate groups like the Humane Society offer pet grief tips to help people stop grieving over their dead pets. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to help you move on from your cat’s death.

  1. Acknowledge Your Grief – Come to grips with the facts that you’re grieving your dead pet and that it’s alright to do that. I’ll tell you what my Dad told me when our family dog died when I was 12. I couldn’t remember a time when “Buzz” wasn’t a part of the family, so his death was shattering. My Dad told me that death is a part of life. In fact, coming to grips with our own mortality and the mortality of our loved ones is a huge part of living. Because domesticated pets are shorter lived than most humans and they tend to be dependent on us for life, having a pet teaches us about responsibility, but also about coping with death. So grieving your cat is psychologically valid.
  2. Express Your Grief Outwardly – Don’t be afraid to express your grief. Mourn for your cat. Cry if you need to. Don’t keep your grief bottled up. Reach out to others about your feelings and pour out your feelings to someone who understands you and your love for your cat. Family and friends will be happy to listen to you.
  3. Call a Pet Hotline – If you don’t feel comfortable talking to those close to you about sorrow over a dead cat, there are a number of grief hotlines for pets, including one maintained by the Humane Society. I’ll give you some ideas about finding these hotlines in the next suggestion.
  4. Talk To Pet Experts – Call your local Humane Society, because many communities have local support groups to help pet owners grieve the death of their pets. If this doesn’t exist near you, talk to your veterinarian about pet hotlines and pet owners support resources. If this doesn’t help, call your local animal shelter, who also might be able to direct you to pet grief tools.
  5. Write Down Your Feelings – One way to express your grief is to write about it in a diary or journal. Write down your thoughts, feelings and emotions about your dead cat, the good times you had together, the little traits it had that made you love it, and how you felt when your cat died. When you write about these memories, you’ll be able to explore your feelings and purge them somewhat.
  6. how-grieve-cat
    Get Some Closure
    – If you’re still having trouble getting over your grief with a dead cat, consider preparing a ceremony or prepare a monument of some sort for your cat. These don’t have to be elaborate and can be entirely personal. This allows you to do honor to the memory of your cat and get the closure you need.
  7. Bring a New Pet Into Your Home – You can do the unthinkable and bring a new kitty into your home. When there’s a void in your life, filling that void in some way becomes important. The best way to honor the memory of your cat is to give a good and loving home to another kitty that needs a place in this world. Dying is always going to be a part of living, but loving is what makes life so rewarding.