How To Help A Grieving Cat

How to help a grieving cat

Human beings are not the only ones to suffer the death of a loved one. Below, we’ll give you some advice to help a cat grieving its owner.

Enduring the death of an owner can be difficult for a cat, as they develop symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety after this happens, especially when you were the person to whom the animal felt most attached.

Grief: the pain of losing a loved one


Author: Felipe Zamora

Many pets mourn the loss of a loved one and likely experience the same feelings of confusion and sadness as we humans.

For cats, losing their owner results in an extremely uncomfortable situation, if we add to that the trauma of having to move to a new environment and the transformations that will inevitably take place in their home.

This makes life even more stressful for them, so they tend to be distant, numb or will hide. They do this because they often feel very vulnerable and alone.

How can we help

Normally, during the first few days of mourning, the most you’ll see of your cat will be the sparkle in its eyes under the bed.

With this, you should be patient and try to approach without being invasive. You can sit near where he is and talk to him. It’s amazing, but cats respond well to the human voice, especially if it’s female.

Little by little, the cat will start to look for attention and affection, it will look for you, it will sniff and allow you to pet it. However, this is something that should not be forced, remember that he is going through a traumatic moment and any stimulus can generate a negative reaction.

Also ensure  that during this time he eats and hydrates properly, lack of food could result in serious health problems. Take your food bowl to where he hides and, in case he doesn’t want to eat at all, you should go to a specialist.

Once the cat has taken the first step, you can stimulate it with toys, they can be the ones with feathered sticks, which because they have bright colors and move a lot, cats tend to like them. He may be resistant at first, but in time he will want to play.

Accompany him for as long as he wants to interact with you, he will decide how much he wants to prolong the contact, and if he decides to go back to his hiding place, allow him. Often these attitudes of rejection are not for the people who will take care of him from then on, they are for the situation he finds himself in, as it is normal for them to be upset and confused by the changes in their environment and lifestyle.

If the cat has been removed from its usual surroundings, chances are it has no idea where it is or why it is in a particular place. It will take some time for him to understand that the situation is permanent and will start exploring the house over time.

give him means of entertainment

cat playing

One thing that will help a grieving cat a lot is having things to play with in addition to belongings.

If you have the possibility of having your own bed, toys and the same dishes that you used to eat before, it will be great, as this will help you to adapt to the new environment.

What the cat must learn is to feel safe in this new environment, so you must be careful what experiences it has during the adaptation period, which usually lasts a few weeks.

After a few days, you can start feeding it with your hand instead of pushing the plate under the bed. In this way, he will get used to its smell and associate it with pleasant sensations. You should try to motivate him, little by little, to want to get out of the safety of his hiding place and interact with human beings.

You will see how the cat will resume its normal activities and adapt to its new environment.

Image credits: .Y B and Felipe Zamora.

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