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Top Tip: Handling the loss of a pet cat

09th June 2020

  •   Top Tip Tuesday
Top Tip: Handling the loss of a pet cat

Here we offer tips on managing your grief at the loss of your pet cat

We not only have to deal with the practical implications of our cat’s death but also the numbingly painful grief that follows. Everyone that loses a cat experiences some degree of grief at their death. How we express that grief is a product of our personality, upbringing, life experiences, and numerous other considerations.  

As grief is a very personal thing it is extremely hard to know whether what we are experiencing when we lose our cats is normal. Any number of symptoms can be experienced, here are a few examples. 

Physical signs 

  • Shock 
  • Crying, a permanent lump in the throat 
  • Shortness of breathtightness in the chest 
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, increased appetite 
  • Exhaustion, dizziness, aches, and pains 
  • Disturbed sleep/ inability to sleep 

Emotional signs 

  • Sadness, anger, depression 
  • Guilt, anxiety, irritability 
  • Relief, loneliness, helplessness 

Intellectual signs 

  • Confusion, lack of concentration, hallucinations  
  • Need to talk about the loss, need to rationalise the loss 
  • Preoccupation with death and the after-life 

Social signs 

  • Withdrawal from contact with others 
  • Rejection of help from others 

Here are a few tips to help you on the way to recovery: 

  • Accept that grief is perfectly normal 
  • Accept help from family and friends and don’t take to heart anything that is said by someone who doesn’t understand owner/pet relationships 
  • If you are relatively isolated in your social life don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings to someone, there are professional bereavement counsellors who are there to help you 
  • Make a scrapbook or have your favourite photograph of your pet enlarged and framed; sometimes creating memento can be a comfort 
  • Try and ensure you are looking after yourself whilst you are grieving; it won’t help the pain go away if you stop eating 
  • Allow yourself time to mourn but try to return to normal routines as soon as possible  
  • Understand that recovering from grief does not mean you forget about your lost cat or you love them any less 
  • Considering the acquisition of another cat when the time is right is not disrespectful to the memory of the departed. It’s a compliment!  

Here are some useful websites:  

Cats Protection, Paws to Listen grief support service:  

EASE, Pet Loss Support Services: 

Pet Bereavement Support Service: 

The Ralph Site, pet loss support: 

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