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It can be difficult when you have to say goodbye to your cat and you might even feel guilty about wanting another pet. Take a look at our guide on coping with grief and when is the right time to get another cat.

Coping with the loss of a pet

Losing your beloved feline friend can be a really difficult time. A lot of people find the experience just as hard as losing a human family member. You might feel upset or even angry – this is completely normal. Everyone handles grief differently and there’s no set process for grieving for your pet.

Grieving for your cat is entirely normal, but we know how hard it can be to feel like you’re going through it alone. We’ve set up Paws to Listen, a dedicated grief telephone line, where you can talk through your feelings after losing your cat with one of our trained volunteers.

Contact Paws to Listen by calling 0800 024 94 94 or find out more about Paws to Listen.

How to remember your cat

As you grieve the loss of your pet, you might want to find ways to remember them. There are a few things you could think about doing in memory of your cat when you feel ready:

  • leave a message on our memory wall. You can leave a message in memory of your beloved pet on our digital memory wall with a photo of them. Leave your message on our memory wall
  • put up a photo of your cat. You might like to put up your favourite photo of your cat in your home to remind you of them, or have their portrait painted from a photo
  • plant something in their memory. If they had a favourite spot to sun themselves in the garden, you could plant some flowers to remember them. Take a look at some pet-friendly flowers for inspiration
  • get their ashes made into a keepsake. If you had your pet cremated, you can get their ashes made into a keepsake for your home or even jewellery so they’re always with you
  • make a memory box. If you’re struggling to know what to do with your cat’s favourite toy and blanket, you could create a memory box with a few of their favourite items in
  • light a candle. Sometimes even just lighting a candle can be enough to remember your pet

There’s no right way to remember your pet. You can do as much or as little as you like, whatever feels right to you and helps you grieve for your pet.

Is it too soon to get another cat?

When you lose your cat life can suddenly feel very lonely. You might have a routine around feeding and playing with them and it can be strange once that stops. Even after they are gone, you might still think you can hear them purring next to you or coming through the cat flap for their food.

There’s no ‘right time’ to get a new cat – that is completely down to you and your personal circumstances. Some people might feel ready after a month or two, others might not feel ready for years.

The important thing is to give yourself time to grieve for your cat first. Don’t rush into getting a new cat just because you miss your pet. Just like us, cats are unique individuals, so you might end up disappointed when your new cat’s personality is different to your previous pet.

We know that a new cat isn’t a replacement, as nothing could ever replace that cat you’ve lost. But it’s an opportunity to welcome a new, different cat into your life and they can make your house feel like a home again.

Once you feel ready to welcome a new cat into your home, contact your local Cats Protection branch or centre and we’ll help you find the best match for you.

Can cats feel grief?

If you had two cats who got along well, you might be worried that your remaining cat will miss their friend.

Your cat may be confused and look for their friend, sometimes pacing or calling for the other cat. They could even start to show signs of stress at the loss. You should always take your cat to the vet if their behaviour changes, but if there’s no medical reason for the change it may be that they miss your other cat.

To help your cat, you should try to stick to their usual routine as much as possible. This can be difficult if you are upset, too, but it will help them feel more settled and happier. You can also try spending a little more time with them if they’re missing the extra company, or if they choose to hide away give them space until they’re ready.

You should avoid getting another cat for company for your existing cat. Cats are solitary animals and while some are bonded pairs, they may not get on so well with a brand new addition to the home. It can be stressful for them so it’s better they stay as the only pet in the home.

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