Coping with Grief When Your Cat Dies
These tips on how to cope with your cat passing away will help you honor your beloved pet and move toward healing from your grief.
Saying goodbye to a furry friend is never easy.
Understanding the depths of your grief and sadness over the death of your pet is the first step in your healing journey. With time and the support of others who have experienced the loss of a beloved cat, you'll one day be able to remember your pet with a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart.
If you're missing your cat, here are some gentle tips on how to honor your beloved pet and move towards healing from your grief. As you gather support and information, you'll soon learn that your reactions to your animal friend passing away are common to everyone who has suffered the heartbreak of pet loss.
Time spent with cats is never wasted.— Sigmund Freud
Create a memorial garden. Many of our pet friends spent much of their lives enjoying the fresh air, running in the grass, digging in the dirt. Creating a special place in your yard is a lovely way to honor your pet. The act of gardening, tending to flowers, and watching things grow has been scientifically proven to boost your mood and encourage emotional and spiritual healing. Having a special place where you can go to think about your pet or send him your prayers is a nice way to spiritually reconnect and remember the love you shared with your cat.
Even people who live in apartments with small patios can create a planter garden with a small shrub to commemorate the deceased pet. Memorial gardens can include painted stones, statues, tiles, glass art, and wind chimes.
Light a candle for your four-legged friend
Hold a memorial service for your pet. Consider inviting your closest friends and family to a memorial service for your pet. Many of your friends and family do understand your sadness over the death of your cat; they may even be feeling grief themselves. Sometimes those close to us are at a loss for what to do or how to help. By hosting a memorial service for your cat and telling your friends and family their presence would be a great comfort to you, you’ll be providing them with a way to help you overcome your sadness.
The memorial service can be as simple as a gathering in the garden where a pet has been buried, or as large as a formal service and reception held in a pet funeral home. Pet bereavement is slowly gaining wider acceptance and there are now organizations that can assist with burials, cremation, and memorial services. Your veterinarian may be able to refer you to a service provider in your area.
Create an online pet memorial. Part of the healing process in grief recovery is sharing stories and remembering the pets we love. Online pet memorials, which are becoming more common on the internet, can be a great source of support. Reading other people's stories of losing their pets and empathizing with their pain can help you validate your own feelings. The real-time aspect of the online memorials and pet loss forums can also help you feel less alone. As you reach out to others in their grief, you will slowly start to heal. Helping and supporting others and witnessing their pain and grief can help you ease your own feelings of loss.
Online Memorials to Help You Remember Your Cat
- Pet Loss Grief Support Resources at Rainbow Bridge.
Create a Pet Memorial, a Monday Candle Ceremony Tribute, Post a story of your petloss, Visit the Petloss Grief Suport Center, send an E-Sympathy Pet card or purchase a memorial pet product.
- ILovedMyPet.com - Online Pet Memorials
Free online pet memorials. Step through our simple question and answer wizard to create a personalized memorial for your pet.
- Pet Memorials Online - Critters.com
Free memorials in loving memory of your beloved pet. Experience healing during grief of a loss of a pet and read the rainbow bridge poem online.
Write a letter to your beloved pet expressing your sadness. Write to your pet, telling her everything you loved about her and what memories you will cherish forever. Write freely. There is no right or wrong way to express your grief. Your beloved furry friend will understand every one of your heartfelt words.
I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.— Jules Verne
As you come to terms with the loss of your pet, take care to notice how your other family pets are doing. Animals are capable of forming deep bonds with each other. Even animals from different species can be lifelong friends with each other. For example, a study done by the ASPCA in the 1990s found that cats can have very strong emotional reactions to the loss of an animal friend. Almost 70% of the cats studied showed distinct changes in vocal patterns, either meowing more than usual or becoming uncharacteristically quieter. So while you are helping yourself and your human family members overcome the loss of a pet, don't forget to give some extra love and attention to the other animals in your home also coping with grief.
There's a Special Place for Your Beloved Cat
What has helped you cope with the death of a pet?
© 2015 Sadie Holloway