In an ideal world, our cats would live as long as we do, accompanying us through the various stages of our lives.
Unfortunately, cats have much shorter lifespans than their human counterparts, which means there’s a good chance you’ll need to deal with the emotional impact of a loss of a pet at some point when they pass over the rainbow bridge.
For most pet parents, cats are more than just furry companions, they’re an integral part of the family. This means losing your cat can be just as painful as losing a friend, family member, or relative. The death of your cat can leave a void in us that feels almost impossible to fill.
Here are some tips for cat lovers to manage the inescapable pain of cat bereavement and the unbearable sense of loss.
How To Cope With The Loss of a Cat
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to deal with grief. take your time and allow the process to take its course. You don’t have to get another furry friend if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. You also shouldn’t feel guilty about bringing a new creature into your home.
Signs of Grief
The loss of a beloved pet is never easy. It doesn’t matter whether you lose a human, cat loss or another animal companion, the impact on you can be extremely significant. With this in mind, it’s important to be patient and compassionate with yourself.
Remember, they weren’t “just a cat”, they were a part of your family and daily routine.
Over the years, our cats become a constant part of our daily lives. They welcome us home with meow conversation and purrs, warm our hearts with their affectionate padding, and entertain us with their funny antics.
When you first lose your cat, it can be difficult to deal with your own grief and say your goodbyes.
Ultimately, the stages of grief and the feelings you’ll have when your cat passes away are very similar to the experiences you’ll have after the loss of a human being. You can expect to experience the following “stages of grief” after your pet moves on:
Denial is one of the first stages of grief you’re likely to go through. At first, it can be difficult to accept that your cat simply isn’t going to walk through the door and welcome you like always.
The best thing you can do during this stage is try to accept the loss.
Don’t force yourself to dwell on your cat’s death, but gently remind yourself they aren’t coming home.
Anger can be a difficult emotion to feel after death. You may feel angry at your cat for abandoning you, angry with yourself for failing to see the signs of an illness, or even angry at whatever caused your cat’s passing.
In any of these situations, it’s common for a feeling of anger to be rapidly accompanied by a sense of guilt.
However, it’s important to remind yourself that these feelings are normal. Just try to make sure that you’re not pushing other loved ones or animals away in your anger.
Feeling of Guilt and anger can lead to a lot of complex questions following the death of a cat. You might find yourself asking “what if”, more than you would like. You may find yourself wishing you could do something to bring your cat back.
Unfortunately, once again, the only way to move past this stage is to try and accept there’s nothing you can do.
Depression is often the longest stage of grief when dealing with a cat’s absence. It can present with many different symptoms, from crying to sleeping a lot or losing interest in your daily activity.
Your appetite might decrease, and you may feel overwhelmingly sad for a while. Remind yourself these feelings are normal and allow yourself to find ways of reducing your sadness, such as distracting yourself with your other pets or activities.
Consider professional help or mental health therapy if it becomes just too overwhelming.
Finally, while it may take some time, you’ll eventually accept that your cat is gone. During this stage, you can begin to adjust to life without your cat.
Moving into the acceptance stage doesn’t mean you’re not going to feel sad anymore.
It simply means you’ve dealt with the fact that your feline companion is no longer with you. You’ll always miss your cat, but it will gradually become easier to live your life without them.
Processing Cat Grief
Everyone deals with grief differently. You might find you skip through the early stages of grief much faster than other people, or that you spend a long time in certain stages. There’s no “right way” to mourn, so don’t hold yourself to any specific standards here.
If you’re struggling, the following tips might help:
Loss Of A Cat: Summary
The loss of a cat can be devastating. Should You Get a New Pet Cat?
Sometimes, the natural response to feeling a void after the loss of a family pet is to seek out a new precious cat companion. In some cases, welcoming a new cat into your home can be a good idea. It’s a good way to redistribute your attention and take your mind off your missing friend.
If you have other animals please keep an eye out for behavioral changes in them too.
You’re not “replacing” your feline friend, you’re simply finding a way to share your love with someone new.
If you are struggling please contact: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-and-pet-loss