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Discussion Starter #1
I really hope this is in the correct section, I wasn't sure but if it's not feel free to move it or I can start a new one.

I was curious as to wether cats get lonely over the loss of a friend. We recently lost our dog to unknown causes(monday) and Im worried that my cat(Nibbler) will be lonely. He has been craving human attention much more than usual(he let me hold/pat him for about a half hour yesterday, which is very unusual) and I'm not sure if this should warrant concern or if I should be glad he finally started to like people.

He was very attached to our dog, they played a lot and slept together and really just enjoyed each others company.

If anyone has personal experience with loss/behavioural changes I'd really appreciate some advice.

Thanks!
 

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Yes, they can and do miss the friend.They are also sensitive to your feelings. I'm sure the extra attention and playing with you will help.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, everyone. I'll continue to give him extra attention(which I am certainly enjoying!) and hopefully that will keep him happy.

I've also considered possibly adopting another cat, not now but if he gets too lonely. I've always wanted a second cat but couldn't because of pet laws(as I live in town) but because of recent tragedies it would be well within the law.
 

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I'm sorry that your dog passed over the Bridge. It is so hard when they leave us.

When our dogs passed last year we saw a transformation in our cats. They became more social with us, spending time just hanging out and playing more. We are amazed that Gracie actually spends time laying on the couch with us. He never did that before! I don't know why they transitioned they way they did, but it has been very pleasant for us. I hope you experience a similar experience.
 

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Animals grieve more than we realise. It sound as if you ae doing a really good job of supporting the adjusting period.
 

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Was your kitty there when your dog passed, or were you able to take the body home if not? Generally animals handle actual death pretty well--what is confusing for them is unexplained absence. So if they can see that their friend died, they move on quickly. I always try to have a mobile vet do the euthanasia in my home for this reason.

If Nibbler can't know for sure that the dog died, it may take a while. I would wait a few months to adopt another kitty (and then, of course, do the intro very slowly and carefully).

I'm very sorry for your loss. We recently lost a beloved dog, too. :(
 

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Cats can certainly grieve the lost of a cat or dog friend, often calling, looking, sitting in the friend's spots. On the other hand, sometimes there is some slight tension in the household that is suddenly gone, e.g. dog who is jealous of any attention paid to the cat and always horns in and may push or nudge the cat away, or even another cat that is dominant over the other, can bring them out into their true personality from a somewhat reserved or shy cat. Enjoy the attention!
 

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I came across this interesting article, "Do Horses Grieve? Even tho they are talking about horses, I think much of this could apply to cats in my experience, even tho cats are not thought of as a "herd" animal....given freedom they will form a group or herd mainly of females and their offspring, with a few males around waiting for a female to come into heat. As stated in the article, there is also a great deal of variation how a cat behaves when it is confronted with the death of a cat-friend.

http://bleacherreport.com/tb/d83HG?...m_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=horse-racing
 

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My cats have each reacted differently. Some have clearly been affected....searched for other cat, been off food for a bit, been clingy...but recovered quickly. One seemed indifferent.

One, my Siamese boy, Oscar, had a massive reaction to the loss of his sister, Maggie.

He wouldn't eat, if not on my lap he was in a corner somewhere wailing mournfully...generally bereft. Maggie had been the dominant cat.

His reaction was so bad that I feared he would die! I got him another kitten as soon as I could and he adored her. However, to the end of his life, he would initiate certain games that he and Maggie had played which Miranda, the new cat, didn't respond to. He would often cry pitifully at such times.


I do hope you and your cat are ok.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Was your kitty there when your dog passed, or were you able to take the body home if not? Generally animals handle actual death pretty well--what is confusing for them is unexplained absence. So if they can see that their friend died, they move on quickly. I always try to have a mobile vet do the euthanasia in my home for this reason.

If Nibbler can't know for sure that the dog died, it may take a while. I would wait a few months to adopt another kitty (and then, of course, do the intro very slowly and carefully).

I'm very sorry for your loss. We recently lost a beloved dog, too. :(

The dog actually died in the animal hospital after a few days in the ICU, so I doubt that Nibbler has any idea of what's going on. I'd been aware that they need to see the body to grieve, but the dog would have died soon after being taken off life support and he's very large(54 kg) and I don't think I could handle transporting my deceased dog home and back to the vet(we had him cremated).

I've noticed he spends the majority of the day laying where the dog used to sleep, I was worried he was a bit lethargic(but he was still eager and willing to play games and run for some treats).

And, on the note of adding a second cat, if I made the decision to adopt another cat, I don't think it would be for at least a few months.
 
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