Coping With Death

Losing a cat can be a very painful and emotional experience. Most cat owners consider their cats to be a part of the family. Whether your kitty dies from old age or an accident, you will likely experience an overwhelming sense of loss when your cat dies.

While losing a cat is never easy, there are some steps that you can take to help get you and your family through the grieving process. Keep reading to get advice on coping with death.

Dealing with Death by Euthanasia

All pet owners hope they will never have to make the decision to euthanize their pets. However, if your cat is in severe, chronic pain or is in the final stages of a serious debilitating illness, you might decide that the most humane thing you can do for him is put him to sleep.

Euthanasia is a painless procedure in which the vet administers an intravenous anesthetic-like substance that causes your cat to lose consciousness and stop breathing. Soon after, his heart will stop beating.

Many owners choose to be with their cats during the euthanasia process. Your vet will most likely allow you to hold your cat and pet him during the procedure. Not only will this calm your cat, but it will also likely help you better cope with your decision and reassure you that your cat”s passing was peaceful and painless.

It is important to note that you will likely experience a range of emotions after deciding to euthanize your cat. Cat owners have reported feeling anger, guilt and extreme grief, all of which are normal.

To help you get through the grieving process, you might find it helpful to talk to others who have also euthanized or lost a pet. Ask you vet if he knows of a support group in your area, or look for a support group online.

Telling the Kids About the Death of a Pet

Losing a cat is often extremely hard on children, who might not completely understand death. Though this will be an emotional time for everyone in the family, there are some things you can do to help your kids cope with the loss.

Planning a memorial service for your cat will often help children get closure. Encourage your kids to share stories about your cat and to reflect on the cat”s life. Focusing on the happy times the family had with the cat rather than on the cat”s death will help the children move through the grieving process.

You also might want to help your kids make a scrapbook in honor of your cat”s life. Ask your kids to write stories about the cat and to make drawings of the cat and place them in an album that also contains pictures of the cat with the family. This will help your kids remember all of the fun times they had with their cat.

Above all, if you children are sad, let them know that their emotions are a normal response and that it is okay to cry after losing a pet.

Dealing with the Grief

Many non-pet owners don”t understand the emotions that a person experiences after losing a pet. However, grieving for a lost cat is a natural and healthy reaction.

In many cases, our cats are like members of our families. Therefore, don”t feel guilty if you can”t return to your normal routine for a few days. After losing a cat, some people might even need to take a few days off of work.

If you think you need help coping with your emotions and dealing with death, talk to your vet. He will likely know of books that can help you cope with your grief and should be able to put you in contact with a support group.

Related Cat Sites

The Five Stages of Grief and Mourning

Cat Death & Depression