When Our Cherished Pet Is No Longer In Our Lives It Can Be Devastating Whether You Are Coping With The Loss Of A Cat The Loss Of A Dog Or Indeed Any Other Pet However Its Important To Remember That Youre Not Alone
The loss of a pet is an incredibly sad time for owners. Whether they pass away naturally or are put to sleep at the vets, its always a stressful and upsetting time. If your pet has been unwell, or is very old and naturally approaching the end of their life, you may already have plans in place for their eventual passing. However, even the best-laid plans can be disrupted by external factors or by grief. If youre struggling with the loss of a dog or cat in the immediate aftermath, always ask for help from a friend, family member or veterinary professional.
What often adds to the trauma of the death of a pet is the uncertainty of how to handle their remains. Take some of the stress out of this period with this comprehensive guide on what to do when your pet dies and how to cope with the loss of a pet.
How To Start The Process
Euthanizing gives a peaceful end to your cat such techniques are described to reduce pain and to release stress. Being a concerned cat owner, it could be one of the difficult decisions to make. The only reasonable thought that may help euthanize the cat is that you cannot see your beloved pet suffering. It could be awful to see your darling pet reaching to the end of the road painfully.
The Internet has become flooded with techniques by which you can end up your pets life easier. Whereas articles might be well-meaning, they can also be misleading. Its all your responsibility to act reasonably in this matter. Preparing your mind for all this before taking any action is wise. Give your cat some valuable and loving last moments. Spend some petting and comforting time with it. Take a little more to decide the best suitable method for euthanasia but decide sensibly. Decide such a technique you are sure that you can handle well.
Do I Need The Help Of Veterinarians
The cost of euthanizing depends on the services you are going to take for your pet. You have too many available one is to make your pet to the vet for euthanization. Another option is to call the vet at home for a more costly procedure than his office services. Most people want their animals to euthanize at home they want to make these movements memorable for the rest of their life. In the case of home euthanization by yourself, you have to consult vet officers for the management of the process.
Don’t Miss: Why Are Tuxedo Cats So Smart
When To Decide About Euthanasia
It is always a personal choice to decide euthanasia for your cat rather than quite a heartbreaking and challenging procedure. You have to do with a heavy heart who probably desires to spend some more time with your beloved pet, but unfortunately, it is not in cats best interest.
You can always consider your choices, dont need to make any rash move in haste. Better to discuss the ongoing events with the entire family and friends to find the best possible solution. Consult the vet about your pets health conditions to ensure that it may not be a wrong choice to quit the life of your cat.
If you feel a sudden change in your pet habits like less eating, slow walking, and lethargy, it is a warning sign for underlying health problems. Shortness of breath is a symptom that the animal is suffering from a chronic illness that is leading to such weakness in the body.
When cats start eating less, their stomach gets upset due to anorexia, as this animal is quite sensitive to sour stomach disorders. Cancer, Kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel syndrome can rapidly destroy the animals digestive system, so he will start losing his appetite. If your pet has to fight the battle for survival soon, here is the time to consult the vet for finding the best way out of this situation.
How To Know If Your Cat Is Dying
This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 63 testimonials and 90% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,267,548 times.
A cat nearing the end of his or her life may exhibit certain behaviors that will let you know it’s almost time. The cat may refuse to eat or drink, have a lower energy level and experience weight loss. Many cats instinctively seek out solitude during their final days. Recognizing the signs that your cat is dying will help you provide the best possible end-of-life care for your pet.
Don’t Miss: Realistic Kitten Cat Drawing
What Happens After Euthanasia
After your cat has been put to sleep, you will be asked what you would like to do with their body.
You can choose between:
- cremation usually, this is communal cremation with other cats but you can arrange for individual ashes to be returned, although this may be expensive
- burial there are pet cemeteries which vets usually have details on or you can take their body home to bury them. Though be sure to speak with your vet as there are some rules that you will need to know about where you are legally allowed to bury them.
If you are undecided, then vets can usually store the body while you consider your options.
The Most Common Causes Of Natural Death In Cats
There are many ways a cat can die naturally. Some may not be preventable, while others can be prevented or at least avoided for a longer period of time. Here are some of the causes to expect when your cat dies naturally:
- Heart disease
You will find that there are many diseases out there that your cat could get. You may find that as they get older, more diseases and other ailments may come up. This is normal as one gets older, and Felines arent much different than humans in this sense.
You May Like: The Name Of Hp Lovecraft’s Cat
How Do I Know When It Is Time
Most cat owners feel it in their gut when it’s time for their cat to pass on, but acknowledging that feeling can be difficult. There are a few questions you can ask to help guide you in making the right decision for yourself.
- Keep track of your catâs good days and bad days. Occasional bad days are a normal part of life, but there will come a point when your cat is experiencing more pain and discomfort than happy, comfortable days.
- Evaluate whether or not your cat still enjoys the things she always has. Does she eat her favorite treats when offered? Does she purr when you pet her? Is she able to access her favorite perches or play with her toys?
- Talk over your feelings with friends and family. Use your support system as a sounding-board to work through how you want to handle the end of your catâs life.
- Talk to your cat. It may sound silly, but it can help. Curl up together in your favorite spot and talk it over. She just might tell you when it is time.
Natural Death Versus Euthanasia: A Controversial Subject
The topic remains subject to controversy. We will now be looking at both sides and using some references to gather different views so you can make an informed decision. Veterinarians, of course, will recommend euthanasia, because that’s what they are used to doing and some may not be familiar with hospice care or holistic treatments. However, it is also true that vets know the pet’s condition best and are extremely knowledgeable about which diseases are prone to cause a very painful ending.
Dr. Gladstein says, “If your animal is in pain, then it becomes much more of an immediate issue, and letting them die naturally is really cruel and unusual punishment. We’re really privileged in the animal community to be able to euthanize .”
She says that if you determine that their pain can’t be mitigated by any mild pain relievers, then the decision should be made to let the animal go.
Eliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., one of the principal founders of philosophical counseling in the United States, grappled with his decision to put his sickly dog, Bentley, down. He feels guilty that he put to death his companion of 13 years. “I would estimate that Bentley had the intellect of a very intelligent two-year-old human, which is quite intelligent indeed. But, had Bentley been a two-year-old human instead of a dog, euthanasia would not have been a legal option.”
Don’t Miss: Cat Food Blue Mountain
Create A Memorial After The Loss Of A Pet
You might find that creating a memorial for your pet helps, like holding a small remembrance service in your garden or planting a tree or plant, either where your pet is buried, or in a favourite spot. This can also help children cope with the loss of a pet, as they watch the tree grow and blossom and remember their pet.
When coping with the loss of a pet, try to acknowledge and explain your cat or dogs death to children in age-appropriate terms, whilst avoiding confusing euphemisms or underplaying the gravity of the situation.
Most children appreciate honesty and will benefit in the long term from not being misled. Losing a pet can be a confusing time for children who are used to having their pet around them. In light of this, its always more constructive to avoid terms such as gone away or sleeping, in case they build false expectations rather than accept the reality of having to saying goodbye.
Most Common Signs & Symptoms Of A Cat Dying
1. Typical of indoor cats: the common downhill trajectory.
MOST of the time , they will gradually become less energetic skinnier their fur will gradually lose its sheen and become scraggly in appearance AND THE CATS APPETITE WILL BEGIN TO INCREASINGLY WANE. The cat may even become too weak or disinterested to make it to its litter box and may increasingly void on your carpets or bed. At this stage, the owner will usually take it to a vet for proper diagnosis . This can usually be treated for a short time with a change of diet and medication until, ultimately and sadly, one must eventually bring it back to the vet to have him/her euthanized.
2. Typical of outdoor cats: the dying cat disappearing.
When a cat is ill, or if it thinks its dying, it will disappear. This seems to be an evolutionary hold-over from when cats lived in the wild. Apparently, they would disappear so as not to become easy prey to predators. For the same reason, cats cover their feces when finished . Theyre covering their scent from potential predators.
3. Typical of both indoor and outdoor cats: looking for a solitary place to die alone.
Often, when cats know theyre dying, they will stop eating or drinking, and they will find a place to go die alone.
4. Alternatively: Typical of all cats, saying goodbye and wanting company before death.
5. One thing seems to be certain: cats seem to sense when they are dying.
Read Also: What Is The Normal Heart Rate For A Cat
What To Do When Your Cat Or Dog Dies
When handling remains, always wear gloves and thoroughly clean any area that has been touched by the animal, as well as thoroughly cleaning any fluids that may have been spilt. Its important to limit the spread of germs in the immediate aftermath.
You may wish to leave your pet at home for a few hours before organising a dead dog or cat disposal in which case, ensure that the body is left in a cool room, for no longer than 24 hours. Be aware that rigor mortisthe stiffening of joints after deathwill begin to set in after around three to four hours.
What If My Cat Is Afraid Of The Vet
If your cat is agitated or restless, then the vet may give a sedative first. This will make them feel relaxed and less worried about being handled by the vet. It can make finding a vein more difficult and the injection may work more slowly but this won’t cause them any pain, as they’ll be numb from the sedative.
Don’t Miss: Blue Healthy Gourmet Cat Food Review
What Happens The Day Of The Procedure
When the day comes, your vet may inject a sedative to make your pet more comfortable before injecting a dose of brightly colored pentobarbital, a liquid barbiturate often used for anesthesia. In this case, though, it will be an overdose amount, and because the barbiturate depresses the central nervous system, the dog or cat drifts into an anesthesia-like sleep that will ultimately halt their breathing and cause cardiac arrest. Many owners like to hold their animal throughout this short 10-to-20-second process.
Advantages Of Natural Death
- The pet gets to die in a natural environment. Cats often hate to be taken out of their environment, so dying at the home may seem to be the best choice. Owners can create an area in familiar surroundingsa sanctuaryfor the animal to be comfortable and in familiar surroundings. Some owners like to play music, or they may take their pet to a special area in the garden to say their goodbyes. The pet is spared from the stress of seeing the vet or going on a dreaded car ride.
- The owner doesn’t have to wonder if they made the wrong decision by putting them to sleep too early.
Read Also: How Many Calories Should My Kitten Eat
What Happens When A Dog Dies Naturally
We usually associate the death of pets with them being put to sleep at a veterinary surgery. But what happens when a dog dies naturally at home?
If your pet dies at home, it may be difficult to handle their remains. You may wish to call your vet or another professional service, such as a company that can assist with dead dog disposal. Remember that such services may not be available on weekends or during national holidays.
When a dog dies, their body may still show signs of what can look like life, such as the following:
- Twitching, as a result of natural nerve spasms after death
- The release of air from the mouth when moved
- The release of bodily fluids and gas
These can all be quite upsetting for owners to witness, especially if they arent expecting them. They arent, sadly, signs that your pet is coming back to life. They are simply the natural bodily functions and what happens when a dog dies naturally.
When We Make The Decision To Bring A Pet Into Our Home The Majority Of Us Do Our Homework Topics Of Conversation And Planning Revolve Around House Breaking Cage Training Socialization And Overall Behavior Unless You Adopt A Senior Dog Or One With A Disability Rarely Does The Topic Of Pet Death Ever Come Up For The Next Few Minutes Well Review The Necessary Actions That Every Pet Parent Or Owner Should Know When Their Pet Dies At Home Unexpectedly
First and foremost, as strange as it sounds, make sure the pet is deceased! All too often, people think their pet died, only to discover that they are still alive. This is because they are breathing very shallow and lying still. Most likely they are transitioning and death is near. Dont be afraid, this is normal. .
After a pet dies, typically their bowls will release. This may not happen immediately. Dont be alarmed, just be prepared as nature is simply taking its course. If your pet is lying on the floor or a piece of furniture, youll want to place some a towel or even plastic under their hind end immediately.
If there are other pets at home, let them smell their friend. By allowing this to happen they will understand what happened to their buddy. Otherwise, they will wonder where they went. Your pet will know naturally what to do. Should they act aloof, its alright. The scent of the deceased pet is what the living pets need. This can be accomplished by being in the same room.
A decision will need to be made to either bury or cremate.
Depending on the position your pet was in when it died, youll want to tuck their front and back legs tight into their body , rather than leaving the pet outstretched. Why? Primarily for transportation and burial reasons. If you want to transport you pet, place them in a container or even wrap them up in a blanket. When their limbs are not properly positioned they are awkward and difficult to transport or place in a burial container.
Also Check: Blue Wet Cat Food
What If No One Understands
Sometimes family, friends and work colleagues who themselves have not experienced a special relationship with an animal, may not understand what you’re going through, so it can be helpful to talk to someone who understands your feelings.
We’re here to talk you through your grief with our Pet Bereavement Support Service. We’re here seven days a week with trained volunteers who have themselves experienced the death of a pet.