Awkward question about death - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: England
Posts: 117
Awkward question about death


There was a very interesting and moving programme about pet cemetries in the UK last week.

My wife and I were upset watching it, as it showed cat and dog owners driving their sick pets to the vet to be put down.

However, I wondered what the course of action should be after this?
We have three elderly (15yo) cats, and if one died, what would be the reaction of the other two?
They are all quite close, and groom each other/snuggle up together, but would the remaining two pine for the missing cat if she never reappeared?
Do they need to see/sniff the dead cat's body to get some sort of "closure"?
I think they do, but my wife disagrees, and says she would not feel like carrying a dead cat through the house, although she admitted she was fearful of showing the body to the other cats and them just ignoring it.

Any suggestions?

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 11:22 AM
Cool Cat
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,355
I can't really say for cats, but I do have a sad tale about a Mallard Duck couple,

she was hit buy a car and he was there waiting at the side of the road for her, of course I hadn't really took in fully what had happened,

but when it all dawned on me that he may get ran over too, I went back by there with the intention of moving her way off the side of the road, but he was gone when I got back.

There are a couple of web sites around that explain some stuff about dealing with the death of a pet, you may want to search and explore them for an answer.

Sadly, we will all mostly outlive our cats and must face that one day, best of luck to you and your kitties.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 01:50 PM
Jr. Cat
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Florida USA
Posts: 44
I have always allowed my animals to see and sniff the recently departed- that is one of the many reasons I do my euthanasias here at home.
They do understand death- probably better than we do.

I had never considered this until I had a very large dog die here at home (I have Irish Wolfhounds). While I was waiting for the crematory people to come and get her (I could not move her by myself) I covered her up with a blanket- don't know why I did it but they always cover bodies on TV so I did as well.

One of my other Wolfhounds came to her, removed the blanket, and laid down beside her. I replaced the blanket, she removed it again and took up the same position beside her. And again.

So I left her uncovered until the people came to collect her, at which point the one dog watched every move from a window- all the way to us getting her loaded in the truck.

I am convinced she was keeping vigil over her pal and pack leader.
And I've let my pets see and sniff the deceased ones ever since.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 02:47 PM
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I agree, I would allow the remaining animals to have some time with their departed companion. In my case, my three youngest cats are all related (mother and two daughters), so I can't imagine they would handle it well if one of them just "disappeared".

I feel it is most respectful to the animals if you allow them to grieve as they want to, and that includes saying last good-byes to their companions.

Just as an aside, I also have a bonded pair of rabbits. Everything I've read says that the remaining rabbit always copes better if they can spend time with the body of their dead companion.
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