Guest post by Sarah Chauncey

The loss of a cat is heartbreaking for any guardian, but many are blindsided by the depth and intensity of grief they feel. You’re grieving not only a being, but also a relationship that was unique to you. In addition, cats often with people through entire chapters of their lives. The cat’s death marks the end of an era in the human’s life.

No two people grieve alike, because no two people are alike. In addition, each person’s relationship with each cat is different. So when it comes to grief, there is no such thing as “normal.” With that very large caveat, this post is about what many bereaved cat guardians experience.

Not everyone will understand, especially those who have never lost an animal companion. Well-meaning people may say things that hurt. Seek out those who do understand, either in person or online.

Grief is a full-body experience. Even if you think you’re prepared, you may experience brain fog for a while and have trouble thinking or focusing. Some people want to sleep all the time; others have insomnia. You may feel anger, sadness, guilt, or numb.

Adjusting to a New Routine

When a cat dies, especially one that has been sick for a long time, it takes time to adjust to a routine without meds or sub-qs or trips to the vet. Even with cats who passed suddenly, you may find yourself waking up at 6am (or 3am). When there’s no cat, or one less cat, to feed, it can bring up waves of grief.

One of the most surprising grief triggers is the silence, especially if your household only had one or two cats. It’s a cliché, but the silence can truly be deafening; it can be hard to hear anything other than the absence of paws or nails on the floor.

In a multi-cat household, other cats may become needy or withdrawn—or they may show no signs of noticing the other cat’s absence. They may stop eating, gobble up all the food, or continue as though nothing has changed.


This can be the most comforting or the most disconcerting aspect of grieving a cat. You may hear your cat’s paws on the floor, or swear that you’d caught a glimpse out of the corner of your eye. You might feel them jump onto the bed, or even feel their paw on your arm or back. Many, many people who have lost a cat report these experiences. It’s up to each of us to interpret what they mean. Some people find comfort in these “visits,” while others find them disturbing and a grief trigger.

At night, you may dream about your cat. Some people have reported nightmares in the first few months, especially after a cat has died a traumatic death. Many report neutral or happier dreams, in which their cat is healthy again. These can be gifts, yet they can also be bittersweet upon awakening.

Picking Up the Ashes

Picking up a cat’s ashes can be a major grief trigger, especially for those who weren’t present for the cremation. It means that the cat’s body is physically gone and will never return in that particular form—and holding the evidence in your hands can be extremely painful. Pet loss counselors (and compassionate veterinarians) suggest that guardians not pick up their cat’s ashes alone. Bring someone with you for support. On the flip side, many people also report feeling a sense of comfort once their cat is “home” again.

Feelings of Guilt

Feeling guilt is a nearly universal aspect of grieving a cat, in a way that it usually isn’t when we’re grieving a human. That’s because we are often the ones who choose when a cat dies—and if we’re not, we wonder if there’s something we could have done differently (and some of us experience guilt over both these things at once). These feelings are extremely painful and can multiply grief exponentially. Holding onto guilt can be extremely detrimental to emotional health and moving through grief.

Grief is not about “getting over” a loss; it’s about accepting that the loss happened and being able to move forward in our own lives.

Grief Comes in Waves

Grief is nonlinear. For most people, it comes in waves. At first, it may feel like you’re in the middle of a storm, and the waves are almost constant, with few respites. Over time, most people find that they are able to continue with daily tasks as they integrate their loss into their ongoing lives. The waves still come, but—with occasional exceptions, like anniversaries—they are often less frequent and less intense. Memories begin to bring smiles more often than tears. The time frame for this varies for each person.

When to Seek Help

Even if you’re experiencing “typical grief,” it is always okay to seek professional help. However, there are two circumstances in which professional help is essential.

Coping with Bereavement Overload

All of the above is written for those grieving the loss of one cat. However, some people experience two or more losses at the same time, or in a short time period. Multiple simultaneous or sequential losses can lead to “bereavement overload,” a state in which a person is still processing one loss when the next one hits. This can make it exponentially more difficult to process any of the losses. If you’re experiencing bereavement overload, it’s a good idea to reach out for professional support.

When Grief Doesn’t Get Better

For most people, grief becomes less intense over time, and they are able to function day to day. They will still have waves of sadness, but over time, the good days outnumber the bad.

For a few unlucky souls, though, the intensity of the initial grief remains for months, or even years. The respite between the waves never comes, and they can’t stop thinking about their cat, or what might have been. This is called “complicated grief,” and it’s a serious psychological issue. People experiencing complicated grief have trouble completing daily tasks like showering or going to work. Risk factors for complicated grief include childhood trauma, a history of severe depression and/or anxiety, and a lack of social support, among other factors. Unlike “typical grief,” complicated grief is a serious issue that requires professional help.

Be gentle with yourself.

Grief is not about “getting over” a loss; it’s about accepting that the loss happened and being able to move forward in our own lives. Any loss will always be part of your life experience, just as the animal (or person, for that matter) will always have been significant to you.

This is why, if at all possible, it helps to take time to let your emotions catch up before a cat’s death, and why end-of-life rituals are helpful. However, those are not always possible—sudden or unexpected loss makes grieving a cat so much harder. Be gentle with yourself.

What do you wish you had known about grieving the loss of a cat? Share it in a comment.


Sarah Chauncey is the author of P.S. I Love You More Than Tuna, an upcoming gift book for adults grieving their cat. She runs @morethantuna on Instagram and Facebook, “a celebration of nine lives,” and she started #tunatributes, a support community for people grieving their cat. She lives on Vancouver Island.

253 Comments on What to Expect When You’re Grieving the Loss of a Cat

  1. Reading your post made me tear up, again. My Billy, was 16. I put him down yesterday morning. He made up so much of my schedule with insulin shots, 3am alarm clock for food, and if he wasnt already at the door to greet me, he’d be happily trotting on his way. This is a horrible feeling and I miss him so much. Kidney failure was his culprit, and I almost felt like I had approval to call it a day for him. He was so lethargic and stopped eating. I can’t believe how badly my heart hurts, it is broken. I can’t pick up his water bowl yet. I hate this. 🙁

    • Dear Raven,
      I’m so sorry for you losing your darling Billy. I know exactly how you are feeling. When we had to have Tony our 20 year old cat put to sleep in April I was completely lost. I was his full-time carer like you were with Billy and I loved every moment of caring for his every need. Losing Mary and then Dolly so soon afterwards has broken me completely. I still have their water fountain running and Dolly’s dishes down because I can’t bear to move them. I’ve even got her last wee in one of the litter trays and I know it sounds mad but I go in the room and smell it ! I don’t know when I will be able to move them….. It was 4th April when we lost Tony, 8th June when we suddenly lost precious Mary and it was the 5th August when we lost our darling beautiful Dolly. I know how you feel Raven but rest assured your darling Billy knew just how much you loved him and I do believe we will all meet again when its our time. Its what keeps me going. XXX

      • Thank you for this, Carol. I am so sorry you lost so many loving pets within such a short amount of time. You had some good angels by you. This has to be the worst pain. Just got home from the store and oh how I miss that little trot to greet me and sniff the grocery bags. I’d give anything for one more day. 🙁

        • Oh Raven, thank you and yes, I know you would because I feel exactly the same way. Whenever I leave the house I say ” mummy won’t be long ! ” and when I came back home, like you I would be greeted in the kitchen by Dolly with her tail in the air meowing to me…. I get a pain in my chest when I come in to the house and it’s silent and empty. It’s very very difficult I know, I scream out loud when I’m vacuum around the house, I feel very angry at times. With Tony, even though he was 20 years old and also like your Billy on medication I never saw him as old at all ! He got more affectionate in the last year of his life and he used to tell us when it was bedtime, he’d get agitated ! He’d round us up and watch as I brushed my teeth and you could feel him thinking ” hurry up mum ! ” As soon as I got in bed he’d lie down on my chest and if I stopped stroking him he’d pat me with his paw ! He’d got frail and thin as time passed but when you are with them all the time you don’t really notice…. I’d have to lift him on to the bed in his last few months and when he got a chest infection we kind of knew the end was getting near but you shut it from your mind and take one day at a time. On the day we made the agonising decision we knew the old lad had had enough… In his prime he was a fearless hunter who wasn’t bothered for kisses, he was like a black lithe panther – we called him ” big man bear cat ! ” he looked after his two sisters and was a very intelligent cat and when he got old he had a quiet dignity about him. The one thing I am certain of Raven is that Tony and your Billy knew just how important and cherished they were… we don’t have children ( by choice ! ) and I know that we put more love, thought and care in to looking after our cats than most people do with their kids ! I used to tell them all all the time how much I loved them and I’m so glad I did…they were never in any doubt that the world revolved around them and rightly so ! I just take one day at a time, I have a good cry and a wail and then I make myself busy, either going for a run or in the kitchen. I don’t work so it’s memories for me wherever I look… we actually moved over here to Ireland from the UK because of our cats – it’s a long story… now we said we will wait until the New Year before we make any decisions about our future. Message whenever you like Raven, I told my husband nothing worse than this can happen to me now, I’ve lost the most precious beings in my life and he agrees . All you can do is cry and remember your darling Billy and be kind to yourself too – try to get some sleep and look after yourself, Billy would want you to. It’s a harrowing time is grief and there are no words to help, it’s just horrible….x

    • I lost my fur baby today from the same thing. He was only diagnosed with diabetes 4 weeks ago. Then pancreatitis 10 days ago and renal failure yesterday. He came home for one last night with us then he left us this morning while I held him in my arms. My heart is broken. He was 20 years old.

      • Oh poor Gayle, you will be in shock and utterly grief stricken. Try to focus on that you were there loving him in his last moments and that’s a real comfort in time, it won’t feel like it now but in time it will…. Twenty years is a very long time, my Tony was twenty years old too. He didn’t ail anything all his life, he just seemed to get old and frail very quickly then got a chest infection and despite treatment he just went downhill very quickly. I’m so sorry, it’s absolutely awful and your heart is broken…

        • Carol, hope you’re good:) I enjoyed your posts on day 1 when I joined. Thank you for helping me feel normal in my sea of emotions. Water bowl is still on the floor…the wailing ad weeping has slowed…but my billy is constantly on my mind from when I wake up to when I go to sleep.:/

          • You are welcome Raven…. I’m having a bad day today so I’m going to go for a run. It’s nice also for me to know you care and love so deeply like I do about our beloved cats. My sister’s are well meaning but they don’t mention Tony, Dolly and Mary to me anymore when they ring for a chat, they probably don’t want to upset me but I want to talk about them because they mattered so much to me and were/are my family.

      • Oh Gayle, that’s absolutely terrible! I am so sorry for your baby:( he was healthy 20 yr old til lately. Oh my, prayers you find some peace.

    • I feel your pain. I feel so guilty because I had to put my 13 year old Alice down due to severe anemia. Why didn’t I realize this was happening? Like you, I miss my morning wake up meow and find myself looking for her in her usual places. She was the only pet I ever owned and can’t believe how sad I am.

      • Oh it’s terrible…I knew it’d be hard but not as hard as it was…maybe because I still talk to billy as if he’s there, the sharpness of pain has lessened a bit…still haven’t moved water bowl yet…damn pets 🙁 hang in there momma❤️

    • Dear Raven, I know exactly how you feel. I took my cat Zoe to the vets on Friday morning after she declined because of kidney failure. She had gradually stopped eating over the past week, and became very doddery. She had slept right next to me under the bed covers through Thursday night, but didn’t get up with me as she usually did. She was quite still, but had her eyes open, and she gently purred as I stroked her. I could sense, though, that she wasn’t comfortable, and I didn’t want to risk her suffering. So I took her to the vets. She had been my companion for 20 years, and I never met a more gentle and noble soul. I feel as though a part of me has died. I’m crying now as I write this, and longing that someday we‘ll be together again.

      • David, this is Carol Lester. If you read my posts you will see I lost Tony, Mary and then Dolly in the space of 16 weeks so I know how you are feeling. I didn’t get chance to process losing Tony because soon after we found out Dolly had a very aggressive cancer under her tongue. Then, completely out of the blue our darling little Mary became seriously ill and we lost her in the space of 48 hours. They were 20 years old, 13 and 15 and were everything to me. We still can’t quite believe how it all happened , in April Tony, Mary in June and Dolly August. I am left utterly bereft so I do really know how you are feeling…. l am so sorry for you David. All you can do is let it out and cry, I screamed out loud while driving at the unfairness of it all ! Their water fountain is still running and Dolly’s dishes are still down because I cannot bear to move them. Zoe knows how much you loved her , Tony, Mary and Dolly knew how loved and cherished they were so take small comfort from that.

        • Carol, I feel so sorry for your great loss, and I can understand you screaming at the unbelievable unfairness of losingTony, Mary and Dolly like that. It’s such a painful fact of life that the greater the love, the greater the loss. You’re right, though, that we can take comfort in knowing that our cats felt our love for them. Like many other people, the pain and the suffering and the unfairness in the world make it darn nigh impossible for me to believe in a loving god — even though part of me goes in that direction. And yet I can’t help feeling that the very depth of this kind of loss seems to point to some higher meaning. I certainly hope it does. Despite my doubts, I still pray, and I will remember you (and everyone else here) in my prayers.

          • Thank you David. I’m in agreement about your views on god. I comfort myself in thinking when it’s my time to go my precious cats will be there to greet me, their souls are so pure…again, I’m so sorry about your darling Zoe.

  2. On Saturday my first and only pet, chuckie was attacked by a dog right in front of me. I had just finished working in my yard and a dog trotted up onto my back porch. The dog was super friendly and my husband kindly shooed her away. She didn’t leave and saw my cat resting under the table. She got in chuckie’s face and the next thing I know the dog is chasing chuckie everywhere and biting her. It was awful. I was screaming and yelling and my husband was trying to make the dog stop but once he finally scared off the dog chuckie was hurt so badly. My husband rushed her to the vet but the internal damage was too devastating. She was 15. I didn’t even get a chance to truly say goodbye to her. She was with me through so many highs and lows and basically all of my adulthood. It’s awful. I feel so much guilt for not being able to save her or be with her when she died. I don’t know how to process it. I’m so sad devastated and traumatized. I just can’t believe it. I feel so sick about it. Any advice is appreciated.

    • Oh Julia, what a horrific way to lose your precious girl. My heart goes out to you. I would encourage you to consider getting some counseling for yourself to help you process this trauma.

  3. Tom died on Tuesday – he was just laying on the floor in the little room I use as my office – and all of a sudden I realised he had gone. My husband knelt down and felt him – he was still warm. He was 12 years old. It was such a shock. So sudden. No illness or any signs that he was unwell.
    When he was small, the vet said he had a heart murmur but he was always just normal. It seems his heart just gave up at last.
    He used to get up on the stool next to my chair and tap me on the arm for some biscuits. We have other pets but both me and my husband both just keep crying. My daughter took him to the vets to be cremated. I could not do that. I wanted to keep him here – we had a little blanket over him, laying on a chair – just the top of his head and his eyes showed and he just looked at though he was asleep. I even thought about having him taxidermied. I didn’t want to lose him.
    He had a good life. And now I am worrying about how we will cope when the others go. One of my other cats is 13 and my old dog is about 16 – I don’t know how I will cope with the grief. It’s a comfort to read about other people’s experiences and to know that I’m not alone.

  4. I just lost my little red tabby, Navi, a few days ago. I’ve never been so devastated in my life. Nothing could have prepared me for the grief and guilt I feel right now. I gave her the best life I possibly could, but I still think of how she’s buried outside while I’m in bed and it makes me physically ill. Nothing about it felt kind, or merciful, or like I was doing the right thing. I just hope she knew how desperately I loved her, and I hope she really is at peace now.

  5. It has been 10 years since I lost my best buddy Malibu. I tear up still when I think of the amazing 20 years we had together. Two continents, one marriage and unsettled times. She lived through it all with me. Slept with me every night, woke me every morning.The most beautiful bond.She understood everything I said and waited for me to come home before she went to bed.Energetic and phenomenally intelligent. A true gift. Life has had a void since she died. We simply loved each other.

    • Angela, it made me cry when read your post. What you said about your darling Malibu, I feel exactly the same way about my beloved Mary. We had her thirteen years, she was a kitten when we adopted her. Born blind but what an incredibly clever and inquisitive girl she was. It’s five weeks ago since we lost her. Today I’m having a very bad day, I can’t stop crying, I think the cold reality of knowing she’s gone forever has kicked in. I feel absolutely broken . We had to have our 20 year old cat Tony put to sleep on the 4th April and I feel like I didn’t get chance to fully grieve for him before finding out our 14 year old tortie cat Dolly had a cancer growth under her tongue and was given just three months to live. This was in May and then very suddenly Mary became ill and we had to have her put to sleep on the 8th June. It all feels too much to bear. We had three cats and we were a very close nit little family. We don’t have children so Tony, Dolly and Mary were our life …. a long story but we actually moved over here to Ireland for our cats ! Dolly has since had treatment for the tumour ( after asking the vet if there was anything we could do to save her he came up with a man who also treats humans with his electrochemotherapy ) Dolly is well and happy in herself and I am very grateful for that but I am just so grief stricken about Tony and my special little angel Mary. I find myself scared where she is and how will she manage without me, irrational I know … at least she’s hopefully with Tony who was a kind brother to her and both my parents who were animal lovers . I just hope we are reunited again when my time comes….

    • Hi Angela,
      My Jimmy Dean died 3 days after your post. I dont think I could explain it mush better than you did, I feel your pain…right here, right now…Jimmy was my dog cat… he would go fishing with me down to the docks every am and pm, I miss that cat so much, was just him and I in this new venture of rving on Sacramento river… he was only 9, We truly loved each other, he 2as pure white with yellow eyes……Im going to try to fish this am, I going to bust I know…..Anyway Thank You for your comments

    • One day my two sisters and I were catching grasshoppers in the backyard and saw a little kitten. It was very hot, she was hungry and thirsty. We took her in. She was supposed to be my older sisters cat but she liked me better. She would follow me everywhere and jump up on the top bunk. I had her for a year. One night she was sleeping with me and the next morning she had a broken spine. My dad took her to the vet and I couldn’t come. She never came back. I think about her every night.

  6. Well Dolly had her electrochemotherapy 11 days ago now. Amazingly she was eating and drinking normally as soon as we got her home. She enjoyed the sunshine that afternoon and you wouldn’t know that she has had any treatment ! The vet had told us that she would likely be drooling and struggling to eat at first and prescribed painkillers but she wolfed her food down and was back to chasing birds and pouncing on butterflies !Completely normal and relaxed and happy. The vet said to just enjoy her now and while normally he would have liked to see her for a check-up after a couple of weeks he said it wouldn’t benefit her at all. She get’s incredibly stressed while travelling and due to only being handled by us she isn’t used to other people and is very difficult for the vets to handle. She wouldn’t let him look at the area treated due to the position of it without being put under general anesthetic and because of her age and the fact she’s been put under twice already in a short space of time he wouldn’t risk it. He said only to take her back if she was struggling eating/drinking. So, we are just fussing her and enjoying her. Losing Tony on the 4th April, Dolly being diagnosed with an aggressive cancer growth in May and then losing Mary so suddenly and shockingly on the 8th June we are still incredibly sad and still burst in to tears daily but obviously we don’t do this around Dolly because she is a very sensitive cat . We will cherish Dolly now and just hope she continues to enjoy life for a long time to come…

    • That’s great news! Thanks for sharing the update, sounds like is responding very well…hope Dolly continues to recover well and quickly!

      • Tina,
        I thought I would let you know, we had to have our darling Dolly put to sleep on the 5th August. Sadly, the electrochemotherapy didn’t stop the tumour from growing under her tongue. She didn’t suffer at all after the treatment which only took twenty minutes to perform and she was eating and drinking directly after the treatment. She suffered no ill effects and was her usual mischievous and affectionate self right for six weeks after until on the Saturday she was reluctant to eat. We had to do what was right for Dolly and even though it broke our hearts we had to have her put to sleep. We miss her beyond belief and the house feels completely empty. We have lost Tony who we had for twenty years in April, our beloved blind Mary aged 13 in June and now our beloved naughty tortie Dolly . All of them special and cherished forever. Until we meet again my loves. R.I.P.

      • Just to let you know even though it broke our hearts we had to do the right thing for Dolly and have her put to sleep on the 5th August. Just six weeks after her treatment. The treatment didn’t cause her any discomfort and she was our beautiful fun, loving girl right until the end. R.I.P darling girl, you are with your brother and sister now. The first time our home is without a beating heart of a wonderful cat for twenty years, the atmosphere and feel of the place has altered beyond belief.
        Look after each other my darlings until mummy and dadda join you XXX

  7. I lost my sweet baby last September. He was a rescued stray and lived with me over 16 years; I have had cats my whole life, but I can say he was the Love of my life. I still cry all the time and I will love him until the day I die. My husband pushed me to get another cat in November and I am glad we did . My new cat is not the same, but he is very sweet in his own way and it has really helped to have a cat around. I recommend getting another cat because you can channel your grief into love for another special cat..

    • I lost my guy in April…by the end of May my husband was struggling with my grief..he didn’t know what to say or do for me.
      He suggested another cat and I refused, Beefy was my first “my pet” and I never wanted another. June 1st we adopted two rescues from a local rescue. Both males, we’ve had them a month now and I fall a little bit more in love with them every day.
      One of them reminds me of my Beefy, things that he does. They are a lot of work but I’m so happy now that I agreed.

  8. I am so glad that I found this sight. I lost my boy on 6/16/2020. He was 18 years and wasn’t ill. On Friday he was fine – by the next Tuesday, he was gone. I couldn’t fix him and I feel so inadequate. For the first time in almost 25 years (he was the last one of 3), I am totally alone and I don’t know how to handle it. I haven’t been able to get his ashes yet but his Vet assured me that this was okay and that they would hold him until I was able to bring him home. There’s no reason for me to get out of bed in the morning as there’s no one to feed or clean up after – nothing on the bed with me at night. I don’t know how to handle this feeling but, I have to tell you that reading the comments on this sight have helped me understand that I am not unique in feeling this way.

    • Oh Doris, I’m sorry for your loss. It’s such an empty feeling walking through the house after this. I mourned my sweet Beefyboy, who I lost April 23, so badly that two months later my husband basically made me get two kittens from a rescue. It took me a couple of weeks to actually start falling in love with them and not to feel guilty for having them in my life.
      I hope that you can find a way to make your heart feel better.
      Hugs ❣️

    • Dear Doris,
      I know exactly how you are feeling. There are no word’s of comfort really, just know that you are not alone. Like you said it’s a small comfort to know that there are other’s out here who are feeling the loss of our precious cats as strongly as you are now. All you can do is let it all out and cry and cry. I feel it helps me a little bit to get out of the house when I can and try to change my daily routine so I’m not torturing myself looking for Tony and Mary at every turn…..I have breakfast in the kitchen now, I always used to have it with Mary by my side watching the morning news. I can’t watch my favourite program at lunchtime because again it reminds me painfully of Mary not being faithfully by my side. It come’s in waves, I try to push it from my mind then it just comes in a giant wave and I howl out loud. I miss my darling Tony sitting on my chest in bed patting my face when he wanted a stroke. Mary at the side of me with her tail over my elbow… I’m sorry for you Doris, no word’s of comfort help yet, I just want them back.

  9. I lost my cat two days ago. He got run over and we found his body on the side. I am traumatised that he didn’t look like the fluffy beautiful smiley boy last time I saw him and I want to erase that from my memory. Reading the comments knowing I’m not alone in this has helped me a bit so thank you. Mouse was such a special cat. Everyone who sees him falls in love with him. He was full of love and brought so much happiness. It doesn’t seem fair he’s gone too soon. 3 and a half years with him was way too short. I feel like I’ve lost a part of me and I will miss him every single day.

    • Oh my gosh, I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I just can’t imagine seeing your sweet baby in that condition.

    • I am so sorry. I lost my girl on the 13th of June just a week ago today. She was so normal that morning. We had breakfast on the back porch and after about 25 minutes went back in the house. Everything is a blur from the time we came back in until I heard a very low and loud meow come from under my bed. I looked under my bed and she looked like she was unconscious. I pulled her from under my bed and she was completely limp and her eyes were open. I immediately took her to the living room and tried to do CPR on her which was completely a reaction because I had never done CPR in my life. I saw her tail move a little but she was still unresponsive. I looked at her and I could feel everything just slipping. I wrapped her in a towel and took her to the vet. I ran up to the door and took they took her straight back. The doctor took a look at her heart and she was gone. Oh my God I have never been more devastated. She was only 10 years old. I bottle fed her. She was my soulmate and best friend. I just picked her ashes up yesterday. I have not cried so much in my life. I can’t eat or sleep. Everything reminds me of her. Everything I eat reminds me of her. I would always let her have a bite of something I knew she would enjoy. She was always by my side. She was my baby. She will always be my baby. I feel like I can’t live without her. I have been reading everything I can to help. I know I’m not alone though I feel so alone. I want my girl back. My heart is so broken. She died of a heart attack. I had just taken her to the vet 9 months ago. Never once did they mention or suspect a heart issue. The vet said a lot of cats pass away from heart issues that go undetected. My heart is so broken.

      • Oh Roxanne, that is so heartbreaking. My guy was almost 16 and we lost him suddenly so the thought of a ten year old baby is so hard to imagine.
        I was mourning so bad that my husband adopted two rescues a few weeks ago. They are sweet and I am growing to love them and they definitely helped. I had swore that I would never get another pet. I have to say, I’m glad that I did.
        I hope something helps your heart heal.

    • I came across this site last week but was so shocked and numb I couldn’t bring myself to type anything. This isn’t something I would normally do but after reading all your heartbreaking stories I felt like I should write..On April 4th my husband and I made the incredibly hard decision to have Tony our 20 year old cat put to sleep. He’d finally had enough and although he’d been treated by the vet we knew the time had come. We’d had him since a tiny kitten and we’d been through a lot together. He had lived a full happy life and when we moved here to Ireland we said it was his retirement home ! It was made even harder due to the Covid19 which meant the vet had to sedate him on my lap in the car then he took him inside the clinic while we had to wait outside in the car park. We had asked our vet back in January that when the time came to have Tony put to sleep would he come to our home to do it but that obviously couldn’t happen because of the rules with the virus. On the 26th May I took Dolly our 14 year old tortie for a checkup at the vets because I wanted her teeth checked. He found a small lesion under the base of her tongue. He took a biopsy and it’s cancer. He said it was inoperable due to it’s location. So soon after losing precious Tony we were reeling at this news. It was out of the blue. She has no symptoms and is very healthy otherwise so this was so cruel. We got her as a young adult feral from a rescue centre back in 2007. We adopted her and then a month later the lady at the sanctuary wrote to me and asked if we would adopt Mary, a tiny kitten someone had found in a garden. Mary was born blind but that didn’t stop her from living a very full happy life. She later developed FORLS which meant she had to have a lot of her teeth removed. This didn’t stop her crunching her biscuits ! She was then diagnosed with a heart murmur. She had regular ultrasounds and lately her heart wall had thickened but she continued to lead a happy and playful life. My husband had made her a large safe garden with climbing frames etc when we moved here in 2010 and she had 24 hour access to it through a cat flap in the bathroom window. Tony, Dolly and Mary were my constant companions. I’m at home alone during the day and they were completely my life. Mary especially since she was so special needs. She was my little shadow and our bond very very strong. I told her I loved her a hundred times a day and the tip of her tail would twitch when I said it. I was her full-time carer and mum and I would have died for her ! On the 6th June on Saturday evening she suddenly lost her balance and fell off the couch. She wobbled off to her water fountain then had a drink and used her litter tray. She wasn’t at all distressed just very wobbly. We videoed her and took her to the vets and showed the vet the video. She treated her for an inner ear infection. She also said it could be something more sinister causing the infection..When she brought Mary back out to the car she was drooling so we asked the vet for some tissue, she also smelled very strongly of a chemical which must have been used to clean out her ears. She had given her a long acting antibiotic and a steroid too. She said to give her a ring in a couple of days to see how she was. Mary was miserable but when we got her home even though she couldn’t stand up she sat down and ate all her roast chicken which heartened me ! We wiped her little face to get rid of the chemical smell. She had had no symptoms, she was eating, drinking, purring, going outside and sunbathing. The only thing we had noticed was she seemed a bit deaf as if she didn’t know where sounds were coming from. We noticed a few weeks ago but because of the Corvid19 we were reluctant to take her to the vets since we couldn’t be there with her for the consultation. I had mentioned the ear loss to a vet over the phone and he said it was probably old age . If she had shown any discomfort at all we would have taken her but her ears looked normal, she wasn’t showing signs of pain or irritation. She was behaving normally. After eating the chicken she just laid down and slept for ages. When she woke up she tried to stand then cried and had a seizure. It was absolutely terrifying and shocking. I rang the vet who said she couldn’t give her anything else and if we took her in she would be on her own in the clinic since it was Sunday night. We put Mary in between us on the bed and stayed up all night holding her little body while she drifted in and out of unconsciousness. It was the worst night of our lives and we felt so helpless. We rang the vets at 5am and she said to take her in at 10am but I said no we couldn’t wait that long ! We took her at 8am and in the meantime I prayed her little heart would give up but it didn’t. We didn’t want her last memory to be alien smells of the vets so we asked the vet to look at her on her rug on the car bonnet. She said she could take her in to observe her during consults for the morning but it looked hopeless and the seizures pointed to something sinister, she was shocked how quickly she had deteriorated. Mary was mostly unconscious now so we asked her to please put her to sleep. We had her in our arms while she was sedated then carried away for the final injection…we were sat in the same place as we had been on the 4th April with Tony. We were shell shocked and heartbroken doesn’t begin to describe how we felt and how we are still feeling. A few hours later our other vet ( we use two, one being much further in distance ) rang us with the news something called Electro chemotherapy could treat Dolly’s cancer. It’s got a good success rate and only targets the cancerous cells. It’s quick and relatively pain free with a quick recovery time. So, she is booked in for this Wednesday… It just shows you how quickly things change in life – we have lost darling Tony and then Mary just so unexpectedly and we thought we had lost Dolly too but this is a small glint of hope. We aren’t pinning all our hopes on this treatment for Dolly but if we don’t do anything she will die soon anyway and we want to give her every chance. The poor love has just lost her big brother and now her darling little Mary so I think my husband and I and Dolly are really in need of a bit of luck and hope. I’m sorry for Angela and everyone who has posted their sad stories, we know our lives will never be the same again after our losses. I read a comment about how they can’t bear to eat the same food etc and I feel the same. I have had to purposely change my routine because my day was purely set around Mary and her needs, giving Tony his medicine and stopping Dolly sometimes tormenting them ! Now my days are meaningless and empty and my eyes are swollen from crying. I have to be strong now though for Dolly and her future whatever that holds. The grief I feel is as strong as the grief I felt for my mum dying and I loved her to death. She would understand me saying that because she too was a great animal lover.

      • Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear about Tony and Mary. It’s truly incredible the grief we experience losing our precious companions, we love them just as we do humans and loss hurts just the same. I’m sending prayers for Dolly that this treatment is successful and God blesses you guys to have at least a few more special years with her!

        • Thank you Tina, you are very kind to send me a message and prayers to Dolly. Another day that feel’s empty but I’m really going to focus on darling Dolly and give her lot’s of love and reassurance. Tomorrow is the day of her treatment, my husband and I are leaving at 7.50 am for the trip to the vets then we will just wait to see the results..I will let you know what happens. Thanks again for your kind words, it helps to know you understand how I feel.

    • Hi Angela.

      I feel exactly the same, our sweet Fluffy boy Onix was suddenly taken and hit by a car yesterday too. I feel like I’ve lost a big part of me too. Still dealing with so much sadness that he was taken so soon. He was only about 4 1/2 years too. So young sweet babies, seems so unfortunate. He bought us so much joy and love everyday. We miss him So so much, sending my condolences your way and know that you’re not going through this alone either. Thank you for sharing <3

    • Hi Angela – I had the exact same experience as you on the 18th of June – so a few days after you lost your cat. I’m so sorry, it’s horrible. I was glad I found her and could bring her home to bury as her daughter was run over 3 years ago and I only found out because I had posters up and people phoned me to say they’d seen a little tabby cat dead on the road. I tried to find her body but it was gone already. It’s haunted me ever since and made it so much harder, although I’m so grateful I at least found out what happened to her. I still wasn’t over that loss and now this. I thought I was dealing with it ok but today it really hit and I just want to be with them. At the time seeing her like that – at least I could see she was gone, it does look like their spirits just left – but I can’t stop flashing back to that now and my mind endlessly switching back and forth between that image and the memories of her squealing with excitement when running around playing or reaching out to touch my face with her paw in the night – so I totally understand you want to remember Mouse as he was in life – and I’m sure he had a wonderful and happy life with you so was lucky. I knowcthat’s probably not much comfort now but I hope it will be one day. I hope you are doing ok.

    • I had the same experience yesterday. My sweet lovely boy of only 2 years, whom everyone loved was hit by a car. I feel like a failure for not keeping him away from cars, for allowing him to live the free life he loved. He didn’t deserve to lose his life, and I can’t erase seeing him like that. His life snuffed out. That life that brought such joy to many.

      I’m so grateful for the time we had, and I hope you can be too.

  10. I just said goodbye to my hairless cat on Monday afternoon this week. It’s still pretty fresh, and I can’t stop crying. I feel like I’m going crazy because I miss him so much. He was sick and I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t expect it so soon. My routine has changed so much, and I just really miss having him around. I have two other cats, but one is my mom’s and the other is my sister’s. It hurts not having my cat when they have them. This article really helped normalize grieving for an animal, so thank you.

    • Hi Helen, I’m so sorry for your loss. I made the decision yesterday to put my Sphynx cat down as he was in congestive heart failure and didn’t seem to respond well to the medication. I am heartbroken, and keep torturing myself as to whether or not I did the right thing. He was my special child, we had such a bond. My other baby is so very sad today as they were very close too! I hope you feel better soon, sending love x

      • I just lost by beloved kitty Daisy on 5-4-2020. I had her for 12 years. She would have been 17 in July. She was diabetic and I gave her insulin twice a day. She was the sweetest most adorable cat I’ve ever had. She never complained about me giving her injections or checking her blood glucose. She would come to me like she knew I was trying to help her. We had this amazing bond that I can’t describe. She was my shadow and only had eyes for me. She was sweet to everyone but she was always by me and missing me when I wasn’t home. She was my companion and comfort through my moms death and other traumatic things I went through. She was my constant unconditionally loving companion. She got cancer and we had to put her to sleep last week. She was suffering, not eating well at all and seemed like she was in pain. I kept trying to save her or give her more time but she was just deteriorating so bad. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and I ran out of the vet in tears and I’ve been bursting into tears ever since. I picture her in all her spots and jumping in the chair with me or the bed, following me around all over. Sitting by me while I work. I imagine hearing her. I miss her so bad I can’t even explain the heartbreak. She was truly my best friend. She was my shadow and I don’t know how to deal with the heartbreak and missing her so terribly. I also am traumatized by putting her to sleep. Even though she was so skinny and looked so sad and in pain I keep second guessing myself wondering if I could have done more. Like should I have let them do surgery on her stomach? I said no because she was severely diabetic and was elderly. I didn’t want to put her through that. Should I have tried chemo? I couldn’t afford thousands of dollars that may not even work or if so may only give her a little more time. They said steroids would make her blood sugar go crazy and she had already been hospitalized with DKA due to her diabetes a year and a half before and almost died then. Out of desperation I did try steroids at the end and it did make her blood sugar crazy. She was going up to 500 or 600 and then could drop to 50 because she was eating well. She had also gotten severely anemic most likely from the cancer. I just knew I couldn’t put her through anymore but I couldn’t handle letting her suffer and waste away at home in pain and I couldn’t handle having my best friend put to sleep either.

        • Wendy, I’m so terribly sorry. I lost my 16 year old on April 23rd. I am still struggling so don’t be worried that you are too sad. I think it means that we loved those babies like family. Hugs.

      • Oh Wendy, I’m so so sorry for your loss of Daisy. It’s totally understandable that you still get upset, my baby has been gone 3 weeks today and I still burst into tears at random times of the day! You really did everything you could, and as much as we always think there may have been more we could have done, we know deep down we did the best thing to keep them from suffering. It’s so heart breaking, no words will ever make it ok, we just need time and to remember our beautiful 4 legged children in our memories! Sending you huge hugs and love! I know I could do with huge hugs at this time being isolated alone, it has made things so much worse. X x x

    • To all the beautiful cat lovers in the world who have lost their precious babies recently, I’m so so very sorry. I know how devastating this is. I still grieve for my angel who passed in my arms 10 month ago. Is something wrong with me? I’m a grown man, with tremendous responsibilities, yet find myself several times a month just bawling at her loss. There isn’t a day I don’t think of her. She was truly a cat dog , and we shared so many adventures, crazy play times, and she loved to hike with me. Our bond was epic, and there will never be another like her. Thank you my little angel for bringing me so much joy and love. I will never forget you!

      • I understand. It’s only been 11 days.
        I just picked up his ashes an hour ago and sobbed.
        I hope that you feel better.

      • Gosh I’m so sorry to hear that Tina, and thank you for the well wishes. I wish we could post pics of our little angels that have left us. I wish you all the best 🙂

        • Thank you…I have my baby boy with me again. It is giving me a bit of peace tonight.
          Being able to use our fur baby pictures would be great
          Take care Greg

      • I’m so sorry for your loss. I‘m trying to process my overwhelming grief and reading these posts has given me a little bit of comfort. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.

        • I just lost my granddaughter earlier, she’s only a month old. She got stomped by my dad accidentally, I don’t know how I could move on. Her momma looks for her, maybe she thinks that my granddaughter is just sleeping somewhere. I feel guilty because I wasn’t able to get her on a safe place where no one can hurt her.

      • For us it was Sunday, she passed at home, 2 days before her 11th birthday. I feel like I could of done more. What was supposed to be a urinary tract infection ended up as something more suspicious. she declined really quickly and I am not sure if I did the right thing to keep her at home. She was a chunky blue who had lost so much weight. Vet said her illness wasn’t life threatening. The pain is immense and I am constantly in tears. Just wish she was here….

        • Dear Amanda,

          I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know how terribly devastating this is for you. I as well had feelings of guilt when my kitty Julee passed. That perhaps I had contributed to her death through my care, which shortened her life. I think this is a natural human reaction. Did I take her to the vet enough? Could I have paid better attention to her moods, or given her a better diet and so on. Please don’t beat yourself up too much, as I’m sure you were a great cat mom. Just know this will hurt for a while because it’s so raw. You will have good and bad days. Just know with some time you will begin to make peace with her passing, and remember her with a smile on your face for all the love and joy you two shared. Take care Amanda

      • Hello Greg, I just stumbled upon your message and I can very much relate to this. I just lost my cat two days ago in an terrible accident. He was in fact my first cat. I was never a cat person and never knew what a bond between human and cat meant. I always had dogs and thought a cat is not for me until this little guy came into my life. He found us, he just showed up at our house two years ago and made himself a home, even though we have two big pitbulls who never hung out with cats before. My little Mankittie didn’t care he became the man of the house in no time and he actually became best friends with my dogs to the point where he thought he is a dog himself. He followed us everywhere. So we started taking him on walks with the dogs, or better say he started walking with us, no matter where we go. Not much later we took him hiking in the woods and than camping. he was the most adventurous cat I could have imagined. We were just about to set up camp for this memorial weekend and my cat got trapped in a hunting trap and died in my husband arm. We were within and had to watch him die and were helpless… his death was quick and he didn’t seem to suffer but he had such a short time in this life and he had so much more to give and teach me. We took him home and barried him in the back yard. I hope he was just a Traveller who had many more stops to make and bring much more joy to other people’s life.
        We had our cat for almost two years now, but the bond I built in the short time I had him was incredible. My life was truly filled with so much love and I don’t think I could have been any happier… in top of that the quarantine brought me even closer to all my animals because I got to hang out with them every single day all day long… I just wanna understand why it had to be so early, you had so much love and joy to give… but maybe it was to much for us alone…. I love you my little Mankittie and my heart will always hold your memories….

    • I lost my 15yr old Momma cat Friday morning. She had IBD, then about 2 weeks ago, went downhill. I took her in this last week for tests, and 2 days later, came back as lymphoma. She had completely stop eating and had lost a great deal of weight. She was so sick. It happened so fast. I am devastated. Putting her to sleep was beyond pain. As I write this, I don’t know where to go with the pain. My 4 other kitties are helping me, and one is her daughter. I’m not sure what these words are doing at the moment. I just know I have the guilt of not being able to do more, that there was something I missed. My heart is torn and aches. She was so loving and kind and precious. She was a daddy’s girl, and I’ her daddy. I just keep feeling this is not happening.

      • My thoughts and prayers are with. I had recently put my almost 1yr old to sleep and the devastation is more than I could bare. You did everything you could, the grief is causing you doubt and a range of emotions and that’s normal. Please comfort that the days will ease up and you’ll be able to focus on cherishing all the wonderful memories.

        • I am so sorry for your loss as well. It is a type of pain that is almost unbearable. Thank you for taking the time to reply. It helps me.

  11. I’ve lost my beautiful Persian cat over ten years ago, and it still hurts to think about it. I’m glad I didn’t take pictures or videos of her because I didn’t have a cellular phone back then. I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself from seeing videos obsessively, and it would be extremely painful.

    I had felt guilt that I couldn’t have stopped her from dying and had researched the net constantly for cats with enlarged heart and pkd. Finally, I realized I’ve done anything humanely possible to save her.

    Don’t buy cats or dogs from stores! They may suffer from genetic diseases due to inbreeding and die early. But I didn’t know it at the time.

    I’d walk down the streets feeling perfectly all right, and then suddenly it would hit me like a tsunami, that feeling that you’re being torn to pieces. It’s kind of difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t gone through it.

    Once, I was walking down the street and forgot where I was and where I was going. I turned numb for a few minutes and couldn’t move or think clearly.

    But it does get better with time, and I have four feral cats adopted off the streets living in my house right now.

  12. Hi there, thanks for your thoughts. It’s been a year since my kitty passed and not a day has gone by without thinking of her. I wish I met ‘I love you more than tuna’ before, I feel it is a good place to find healing words and real sharing. Grateful for it.

  13. Hi Claire,

    I’m so sorry about Scampi. It sounds like you two were lucky to find each other. It seems like you did everything you could. 17 years is a long time. You should be proud of yourself on how much you took care of and cared for Scampi. It sounds like Scampi made that natural for you. I lost my Ginger now a little over a month ago. He was over 16. I know what you mean about the home not feeling the same. I will say I do feel better now than I did during the first week after Ginger was gone. I’m not ready to do it now, but I think someday I will care for another cat. I admire the love you had and still have for Scampi. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Best wishes only,


    • Hello David

      Thank you for the message. Sorry to hear about Ginger too.
      I’m lucky to have Tinker who is 7, but his not a lap cat which is what I miss the most and the constant talking from Scampi is hard not to hear. Plus Scampi used to follow me around like a dog and tinker doesn’t. Hoping tinker comes braver now and hopefully one day he will sit with me. Wish you a merry Xmas

    • So nice to find a community of people who understand. I had to euthanise my 17.5 year old boy ‘Yowie’ on Monday and I cant stop crying. I see ghosts of him everywhere. I miss the tinkle of his bell and the tick tick of his claws on the floorboards. Yowie had a trauma back in September ( I was carrying him and went to walk thru a door and so did my rather large and boisterous FIL and poor old Yowie hit the door jam and squealed. A couple of weeks later his belly started to get bigger. I took him to the vet and they had a feel and then decided he most likely had a tumour on the kidney and suggested I take him home and keep him as comfortable as possible until the time came to say goodbye. He was still going strong at Xmas time and after xmas the belly seemed to start growing again. I took him back to the vet wanting to be sure that it was a tumour and not fluid as i had been researching possible causes. The vet took an X-ray and could not see anything but fluid. She explained that he most likely had FIP and after I told her of the trauma advised that it was unlikely to be the cause as she could see know blood in the small amount of fluid the had withdrawn. Again I was told to take him home until it was time…and that the time would be soon. I took him back 2 days later to have the fluid drained 1ltr and asked her to give him an antibiotic in the hope of giving him a chance. Needless to say the vet was not very empathetic nor was she interested in explaining why this may not be a good idea. Yowie had about 2 days where he looked much more comfortable and was climbing up on things again and joining in much more. Sadly that fluid built up to the same level if not more in 5 days time and my boy looked very uncomfortable. I had to make the decision and it was quite traumatic. The vet gave him a dose of ketamine first and when the needle when in he swung around and bit her…quite viciously 🙁 Then once the ketamine started to kick in he threw up several times. I felt so awful and still do really, even tho i know all that I do …arghhh it just hurts so much <3 Thanks so much for giving me a safe place to share this horrible event with people who really do get it.

  14. Hi Kay,

    I bet you were a great guardian to you cat. You should be proud of yourself and your cat that he bring out that kind of love and caring in you. I lost my cat 3 weeks ago too. I am doing much better than the first 3 days. I was surprised by how much grief I had. I am doing better now, but still can’t bring myself to look at any pictures yet.


    • Thank you David for your kind words and taking the time to respond. Also, my sincere condolences on your loss. All the best!

      • I lost my cat yesterday and the grief is overwhelming. I have never felt such sadness. I haven’t been able to stop crying since the moment I got the knock on the door. Work have been very good and allowed me compassionate leave, but I just don’t see how this gets easier. We are taking his body today to be cremated. We think he may have been run over. I woke up at 2am and sobbed, again at 7am and decided to just get up. It was comforting to find this page as some may say a cat is just a cat, but mine helped me when I was at my lowest. My partner is also distraught, it’s really horrible losing a beloved companion. Any help or advice would be great. I need to go back to work tomorrow and I don’t know how I am going to cope. It’s also our works Christmas event Friday which I’m already dreading. It’s like every emotion I’ve ever had have come to the surface and it won’t stop

        • Dear Samantha, very sorry for your loss. It is very hard to lose your beloved pet in any situation, but the loss when it’s sudden and you haven’t had a chance to say goodbye can be even more devastating. I say this from experience – my cat that I spoke about earlier in this thread was old and I could see him slowly deteriorating whereas his sister was unfortunately run over when she was young. I totally understand how you feel, the unexpectedness of it all on top of the loss. I would recommend keeping away from people who say ‘it was just a cat’ for now and only speak to understanding friends and family. Allow yourself time to grieve, your cat was a part of your family. Unfortunately, only time will help and knowing that your cat was loved. I still think of my Fee, even though it was many years ago. But over time the pain lessened and I could think of her with a smile and I know, like your cat that she (and her brother who we recently lost) were very loved. All the best, although it’s hard to see your partner also devastated, it’s also good that your partner is sympathetic in your grief.

        • Hope you are better now… I wen’t through a similar situation over a month ago and its still hard for me to go to work and just have a normal life, it hurts so much… I hope this feeling goes away anytime soon, I miss her so so much

          • Big hugs to you <3 am feeling a little better, thanks, but it's almost like my brain tries not to go there because it hurts too much. Life without Yowie will never be the same 🙁

      • Hi Samantha,
        I’m really sorry that you have to go through this pain. In 3 days It will be 5 months that I have lost my cat, my life and the best companion I have ever had. Nothing can replace him, I still think about him everyday, I had to take two days off from work. I can tell you it won’t get easier but you will get stronger everyday and just think about all the great time you had together, all the best memories.
        My girlfriend and I were devastated, it was for sure the saddest day of our life. I found crying to be very helpful, I couldn’t stop crying for two days, never cried that much in my entire life. But just be patient and I will promise you get stronger each day and you will feel better. The toughest time for me was the 1 month. I will never forget my cat, Tigger, he was smartest, kindest, full of joy and I consider myself to lucky that he was part of my life for 8 years and 2 months.
        I hope you find this post helpful like me and please share your feelings if you find it helpful.

        • Hi Alex, thank you for responding. It’s comforting to know it’s not just me. The pain is awful, I can’t ever imagine what it would be like to lose a person, this is bad enough. I haven’t been able to stop crying. I’ve just washed out his bowls and put his stuff away, that was heartbreaking. I will keep them for now, they bring me comfort that he was here. My partner is also distraught, it’s really heartbreaking. Who knew you could love a little fur ball this much and how much of an impact they have on your life. I hope all of our little kitties are having a little party somewhere and running free with no worries anymore. They will stay forever in our hearts

      • Our Cat KITTY passed away on 12/20/2019. She was a indoor cat, we also another cat Named Norman. They were real close, playing around. We will miss her everyday, sleeping on our bed . We have had KITTY for 5 Years. It’s very hard , I would feed her before I left to work, Then feed her in the afternoon. She was a very Loving cat.
        From our Hearts , We Love KITTY!
        Carlos, Berta & Bianca Guerra


    • My beautiful soul mate and shadow Scampi passed away in my arms 2 weeks ago today.He was 17 years old and had always been in great health, but then he suddenly struggled to eat which vet agreed it was due to tooth cavity. Pre operation blood test found kidney disease which came as a blow, two days later he lost the ability to use his hind legs and this was diagnosed as a blood clot.All of this happened in 4 days so the shock was overwhelming. My biggest nightmare came true losing him, I miss him more than anything and I feel so low. I now have his ashes but can’t comprehend that they are his body. I have been through so much with him and miss him dearly.Home is not home without him. I try and remember good times but they too make me cry. sleeping is an issue.
      Totally understand everyone pain and wish I could just have my baby back for one last cuddle.

  15. Dear Cat lovers, It’s been a little over 3 weeks ago since I lost my beautiful cat which I mentioned on this thread. I just wanted to share a small piece of advice, if it helps anyone. Before going to the vet for the inevitable, I put all his bowls and paraphernalia in a bag, as I could not bear the idea of seeing them when I got back (this included bowls etc as he’d stopped eating 2 days previously). On the following Monday they were taken away with the bins…this included a beautiful wooden carved cat that held a metal bowl for his dry food. I’d bought it especially for him when we were in the process of buying our new house years ago. Anyway, my point is – after a week or so I suddenly thought about that wooden carved cat and bowl and how it was special for him..and I realized I’d thrown it out in grief. My advice, put your things away that remind you of them if you need to, but maybe keep them hidden in a bag for a while. You might like me, wish, weeks on you had that special bowl, collar, toy whatever to look at. Thinking of you all.

    • On November 28 my 13 year old Tiggy passed from pneumonia. She was our baby because we have been unable to have children. It took me several days to clean up her dishes and litterbox – crying the entire time. It took a week for me to box up her blankets and toys. I’ve kept everything. Her most special toys, brushes, blanket, leftover treats and a whisker I found when I was cleaning up are in a special box and still on a shelf in our living room. I’m a sentimental person, so Tiggy’s “stuff” will always be cherished.

      As the holiday season is upon us, I am finding it really hard to be without her. I am still waiting for her ashes to come back to be put in the special picture frame urn my dad made for her. I wanted to have her back for Christmas, but the part that made her special – her beautiful loving spirit – has never actually left. I see glimpses of her, random things get knocked over but not broken (when no one is even nearby), and I even sometimes hear her voice.

      About going back to work (Samantha said she was dreading this earlier in the thread): it may be slightly unhealthy, but I find it easier to be at work, where I don’t expect to see Tiggy. I can almost imagine her waiting for me at home. My coworkers have been great, they all have kitties too and don’t mind when I reminisce.

  16. I had to put down my sweet cat Frank on Tuesday. He was 16, and I’d had him since he was 5 weeks old. He was very loving and loyal and just wonderful. He was there for me at the lowest point of my life. I already suffer from depression, and was in the process of applying for a partial sick leave from work due to depression. I am overwhelmed by how hard I am grieving. I expected to be very sad, but not like this. I am having trouble taking care of my child, bathing, working, doing basically anything but crying and looking at pictures of Frank.I miss him so much. I don’t know how I am ever going to be ok again. My son and husband seem pretty much ok, but I am not. I feel so alone in my sadness.

    • I am so sorry for your loss. I had to put my 16 year old Yoshimi to sleep on Saturday. I don’t think there is a word to describe how devastated I am. I can’t eat, shower, or get out of bed. I also suffer from depression and she was my only source of happiness. Not only was she my baby, but she was also my best friend. I wanted to say that reading your post gave me some comfort knowing someone else out there is grieving just as hard for their baby cat.

      • I’m so sorry for your loss of your beloved cat.
        I had to put my beautiful girl down this last Sunday Nov 9th 2019.
        My heart is shattered. The events of putting her down are replaying over and over again in my head. So many tears everyday. Looking at her pictures. The feeling guilt is completely overwhelming. Making the decision to ends your cats life is the hardest thing I have ever done. Did I do it too early??
        Was she ready to go? I loved her so much. She loved me. I’m broken.
        I understand your pain. I don’t know how to get through this…. I’m just doing my best day by day.
        Much love to you

      • I brought you home for a friend to save your life. I wasn’t ready for another cat, as I had lost my 22 year old P. P. Kitty on 3/19/2019. But you were a 3 month old kitten I named TIDDER. I fell in love with you within days. Head over heels in love. You were so perfect. My pretty little faced, big pawed, fluffy long-tailed girl. Your personality was awesome, you and I hung out together. You purred as loudly as a tiger. You put your paws on my chest as you “kissed” me. You’d run up my legs and jump off so fast I wouldn’t know what happened! You left me on a full moon, Oct 13th, I found you dead. And I can’t seem to stop crying, I miss you Tidder. How dare God allow this to happen! My only Ray of sunlight each day ripped away from me. I don’t know what to do. I son, I am so angry, sad, feel guilty every day since oct13. I need help.

    • I’m sorry for your loss and feel your pain. Yesterday I had to say goodbye to my beloved almost 17 year old Chartreux baby (I mention his breed as I’ve heard many times he had great innings given the average lifespan of the breed, but it doesn’t help). I’m a mum of 3 kids and they all seem to be coping well but I on the other hand am seriously struggling with his loss. I was awake at 3am looking at photos of him on my phone. I just wanted to say I’m thinking of you and hope we all find a way of coming to terms and celebrating our time with them.

    • I’m so sorry for the loss of your cat. If you loved yours, like I loved mine, I bet you gave him a real good life, and he was lucky to have you as a guardian. I had my Ginger till he was 16. He had respiratory issues the last 3 years, and 2 vet visits at different times gave him new life. I am so grateful that I got to enjoy him for another 3 years. He died yesterday in peace with the help of a kind Doctor. I am overwhelmed by sadness about it, and it’s good to know I’m not alone in having overwhelming sadness about it. I thank all of you for posting. I think it takes compassion and courage! I’m so sorry for your loss, and I thank you for sharing.

  17. I have been going through a roller coaster of emotions over the last week.
    I lost my darling Milly yesterday, after putting her to sleep. She suddenly became ill after suffering from congestive heart failure silently. I had known about a heart murmur she had, but the vet didn’t seem to think it was urgent. I always knew this was a possibility for her, but was nonetheless not prepared. She stopped eating, stopped moving, and lost her vibrancy over the course of a week. She had been in the vet over two days where initially they thought it was a mild case of HCM and then they determined she was in the end stages of heart failure after she didn’t respond to medication. I brought her home for her final few days, hoping she would improve, but knowing what was going to happen, so I spent the week grieving the inevitable before I made the heartbreaking decision to give her one final act of love and kindness and put her peacefully to sleep while cradling her and telling her how much I loved her. It’s been a huge shock though, and I have spent the large part of the last week in tears, when with her, and now without her.

    I think the hardest part for me is just knowing she won’t be there to greet me, and I won’t ever get to experience her wonderful little personality quirks again. Her little paw rubbing her cheek when she rolled around on the floor, her chirps and chattering at both me and bugs she would find, her trotting over to say hello, and lifting her head for head scratches, rolling around in the sun to get the warmth on her belly, or her being my little spoon when snuggling, feeling her weight on my body as she perched on me whilst I was asleep, or the softness and warmth of her fur.

    It’s very hard. I’m very sad.

    I wish I could change how things were, and wish I could have stopped her from getting as sick as she was. I’m trying not to blame myself, because a lot of it was out of my control, but there’s still the ‘what if’ questions that come with something like this. In hindsight the signs may have been there, but she hid them well. She just wanted to enjoy life up until the last moment, and she did.

    My other cats are also missing her as well. That’s perpetuating the grief, knowing they don’t know where their buddy, and sister is.

    Milly, wherever you are, you were loved, and you gave love. You will forever be in my heart. I’ll miss you babygirl.

    • I’m so sorry about Milly, Ellen. My heart goes out to you, it’s such a profound loss. Be gentle with yourself as you mourn your precious girl.

      • My sweet Beefyboy stopped urinating two weeks ago today and was struggling trying. We took him to our vet on Monday morning. They operated and removed bladder stones. He was too swollen to catheterize. They extracted the urine the next day and we’re able to get a catheter in.
        Two days later they suggested we take him to a specialty hospital.
        He had red blood cell issues and a transfusion was discussed.
        Suddenly a male vet said that we could come get him. We did, on Tuesday of this week. He hid, ate very little and I assumed that he was healing. Thursday he ate, and hung out for a while.
        About 8:00 pm we heard a horrible howl. I brought him in to give his pain med. I laid him down and his tongue was out and he was breathing strange. I called the specialty hospital and they said to bring him in.
        Halfway there he was combative and crying. I was trying to sooth him, I had him wrapped in a blanket. As we pulled in, he was extremely agitated and suddenly became still. I thought that he had passed but then he moved. The tech came out to get him. The vet called right away and said, he’s trying to die. I will never be able to get those words out of my head.
        They asked if we wanted them to help him. We said yes. They apologized and told us to drive safely.
        That was it, my baby boy was gone.
        Due to Covid we weren’t allowed inside.
        I’m devastated. I’m inconsolable. I haven’t spoken to anyone for two days other than my husband. He loved him too, but my grief is obviously bothering him.
        I rescued him in March 2006, he was 1 1/2 then, so almost 16.
        Three weeks ago he was my silly, awesome guy and now he’s gone.
        He was one of the sweetest, laid back cats. Even cat haters loved him.
        I’m not sure how to deal with my grief without feeling like others may think that I am being dramatic.
        Thanks for listening.

        • I’m so sorry, Tina. Losing a cat is always devastating, and losing him under these awful circumstances and not being able to be with him only complicates your grief. You’re not being dramatic – you’re dealing with a terrible loss. My heart goes out to you.

    • I am so very sorry for your loss. I am having the same feelings of sadness, grief and guilt too, as our 16 year old calico (Abby) has been ill over the past few months. Blood tests revealed hyperthyroidism and signs of other maladies (renal, etc.). I made the decision this past Friday, November 1. My heart is breaking in this quiet house . . . I miss the thud of her paws on the floor as she jumps down off a chair, her chatter and purring, even scratching in the litter box, betting for a treat. I hope that someday in the future I will be ready and able to take in another little soul or two. Blessings to all.

      • Oh dear, I’m so sorry. It really is hard knowing you won’t get to experience all those things again, but it does get easier by the day. The sadness and longing will always be there, but coping starts to set in.

        I miss my tortie girl the most at night – that’s when she would curl up in my arms in a beautiful purring ball. It’s when the sadness really hits me still.

        I’m sure you will find a little friend again in future – they never fill the gap, but they do create a new nook in your heart xx

    • I’m so sorry about your little kitty. We found out my little cat has lung cancer today. The whole family are heartbroken. She had 300ml of fluid drained from her lung today and is spending the night with us. It’s very likely we will need to put her to sleep tomorrow. I can’t imagine my life without her – she’s 13 and my best friend xxx

      • I’m so sorry, Carla. I’m sure she knows how much she is loved.

        It’s a hard decision to make, because your heart doesn’t want to say goodbye, but you know that keeping them around would only make them feel miserable and it’s the last great act of love you can give them.

        Each day does get better. Funnily when I got her ashes back, it was a turning point. I had one last big cry, and now I only feel pangs of sadness. I’m fortunate in that I have two other cats, one being her sister – the sister has actually stepped up and gone from being a relatively meek and distant cat to being affectionate, talkative and sweet. It’s nice. They know, I’m sure, and it’s her way of looking after me.

        It’s such a short life they live with us. We always know they won’t be around forever, but saying goodbye is never easy.

        My thoughts are with you, and your sweet girl x

        • Ellen My Millie was hit by a car yesterday while I was at work and I am absolutely beside myself. It doesn’t feel real, I’m so heartbroken I can’t imagine ever getting over it. I loved her like a child, she was such loving curious little munchkin and the house is horrible without her. I’m constantly crying, we had her cremated today and pick up her ashes on Tuesday, your post is the first thing I’ve read that has helped me look forward I can only hope I experience similar relief when she’s home x

  18. Painful euthanasia I found out the pain of putting a cat down is terrible. To hear the screaming and know they are suffering when you are trying to stop the suffering is something i deal with every day since last August. I brought my Blue to the Humane Society and they were anything but. It my last memory. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

  19. Our cat of almost 15 years passed 3 days ago. She had a good life, but was very sick in the end and was unable to move much on her own. She also had hyperthyroidism and had an allergic reaction to the medication. We finally decided it was time to let her go, to let her have peace. Now, I wish I had known all the right questions to ask the Vet about euthanasia. It did not go as peaceful as we had expected. On our end, we had planned it all out carefully, with quiet music, which she loved and everyone around her that she loved. The vet had prepared me that our cat would feel a small “prick” as she would give her sedation. That ended up being a horrible painful event where my cat was screaming and hissing – while she was injecting the sedation – it took about 30 seconds of the cat crying. It was so traumatic for all of us – especially my cat. I did not know this was a painful event, and that my cat would have her last few minutes experiencing only pain and being scared. It was so horrible. When she finally calmed down, the vet went on to the final procedure. I’m living with horrible guilt. For 15 years we took so good care of her (a stray), and when she got sick and couldn’t handle anymore, we wanted to give her a peaceful exit. Unfortunately, I feel we failed her. I wonder if this happens often, as I didn’t read about anyone else having this experience. I googled about this afterward and learned that some vets are using sedation that apparently has this effect. We should always ask which sedation they use, and ensure they give the right amount. And if possible, give the pets some relaxing medication even before the vet arrives. Lessons learned, but too late. I hope others will read this and do their due diligence beforehand.

    • I’m so sorry you had such a traumatic experience. Unfortunately, there are still some vets who do not use euthanasia protocols that avoid this situation. Your cat’s reaction was most likely caused by the type of sedative that was used, it’s less likely that it was caused by poor injection technique. My heart goes out to you – it’s an awful memory to be left with. I hope in time, the memory will fade a bit and you will be able to remember the 15 years of love and not her final moments.

  20. Just put my baby down today. Clay and I shared fifteen years together and she was a magical cat.

    I’ve said goodbye to pets before, including her sister who I lost a few years back, but this one hit me so much harder. Something about Clay just feels irreplaceable, like a chapter has closed that can never be reopened. It’s crazy how long we were together. 15 years! That’s three times longer than I’ve known my wife. I always knew she was special and I really valued that. We moved halfway around the world together and she was right there by my side. I feel like I could get a thousand cats and I’ll never duplicate what I had with Clay.

    It’s been a rough week. I’ve wept openly more times than I can count. I’m trying to focus on the blessing I had of 15 great years, but that just highlights my feeling of loss. I take solace in the fact that my first child will be born next month. I think Clay picked this time knowing that she had seen me through the last phase of my life and she’s stepping aside so I can enter a new one. I know she’s at peace, I know she felt my love, I know this is the nature of things. But goddamn does it hurt. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

    R.I.P. Clay. You were pure magic and I’ll miss the hell out of you.

    • My heart goes out to you, Eric. It’s always hard to lose a cat, but when it’s one of these special “soul cats” like your Clay, the pain is overwhelming.

    • So very sorry for your loss, Eric – I can relate with losing our 16 year old calico Abby on Nov. 1. There is such a void in the house now, she was my buddy always at my side. It’s little things, like looking for her out of the corner of my eye, our morning routine, etc. It is indeed like a chapter closing.

      Blessings to you and your wife on your new family addition, and hopefully you can introduce that little person to a companion like your Clay someday.

  21. Last night I put my cat of 9 years to sleep. She had the PKD and I didn’t want her to suffer. When I was going to my bedroom I caught a glimpse of her looking back at me on the kitchen floor, a little bit younger and smaller, like she wanted me to go with her and give her treats. I looked back again and realized oh it could be the blanket hanging from the laundry basket. But I swear I saw her. It gave me comfort because I took her with me from the vet’s clinic. I told her to go back to the cage so we can both go home. I know she’s with me at home now. I want to think of it that way. I had three dogs and 1 cat, I lost the first dog on July then the second dog on September to auto-immune disease and now my cat passed away too. In a span of 10 weeks I lost three of my children. I wish they would visit me in my lucid dreams just to hold them again.

    • Oh Kat, my heart goes out to you. That’s an awful lot of loss in a short time. I don’t doubt that our departed loved ones “visit” with us – some of us are fortunate enough to be able to “see” them during those visits.

  22. My cat who was everything to me passed away 38 days ago. I missed him soooo much. I wish I could trade my life with his. He was only 8 years old. He was absolutely fine, when I came back home from work I found him on the floor, his back legs were numb. Took him to vet immediately and I was told that he is paralysed from his back legs and he is not doing well at all because of tumour between his kidneys. His heart stopped 8 hours after that. In 10 hours my life was changed. I will never be the same again. He meant everything to me, I’m not sure what to do without him. I rescued him when he was only a few weeks old. I can’t stop thinking about him, I feel like sometimes these waves are too big for me to handle them. My life has no meaning without him. 🙁 (

    • My lovely friend & companion Kitty died early this morning in my arms. She had been sick lately so it’s good to know she’s not in any more pain but it just hurts so much. I hope everyone’s days, as well as mine gets that much easier x

    • Alex,
      As a cat lover, I went thru all the scenarios in my head when I lost 2 of my babies (my 17 yr/old & 5 yr/old) before & after losing my Dad. Losing those 3 guys was really overwhelming. But as a nurse, I’m concerned about you. Please reach out to someone who cares for you & understands how much your kitty meant to you. Please.

      • Hi CAThy
        My friends and everyone else trying to change the subject to make sure I don’t talk about him much so I don’t get upset. they also want me to forget about him but I really can’t. I can’t even talk to my girlfriend about him, we are both devastated with this loss, if I talk to her, I remind her of our cat and she also gets so upset and cries.
        I really missed my cat so much, can’t stop thinking about him, every second was a great joy. I keep thinking about him and the day he was home alone. I wish I could do something to avoid this, I wish there was at least a symptom so I could take him to vet sooner. This might be very silly but I Keep thinking what really happens after life! This can’t be it, I wish I knew whether I could see him again! What is he doing now!
        What is the purpose of our life and theirs. I know no one knows the answer to these questions.
        I just need to keep his memories and carry on with my life! It is going to be very hard!

        • Hey Alex, I just lost my cat unexpectedly a week ago tonight and I’ve been feeling and thinking about a lot of what you’re talking about here. Just wanted to let you know, you’re not alone. This is excruciatingly difficult to get through. Plus, I continuously replay her final days, thinking about what could’ve been different to keep my sweetheart alive.

          I think it’s especially tough with rescues because we have such a sense of being their caretaker, of wanting them to be safe. I found my cat outside, feral, pregnant, and FIV+. It was months before she’d let me come near her, it was really a labor of love. I realize I’ve spent every day over the past 10 years deeply concerned with her wellbeing and to suddenly have to turn that off, accept she’s gone…it’s just so damn hard.

          Hugs to you. Please be well.

  23. Earlier today, my baby boy departed this world. I chose euthanasia so my terminally ill kitty would not have to suffer a long painful death but I will forever be haunted by that decision. Was it the right thing to do? What if he had gotten better, even if only for a little while? He was the light of my world. He made my smile and laugh. He comforted me when I was sad. He was more than a pet he was a companion. I cannot fathom not even seeing his beautiful face again, or see him lounging in his favorite chairs, or have his cold nose wake me up in the morning when it’s time to eat. He was one of a kind. I don’t think I will ever be the same. I will also be haunted by the fact that I missed the early warning signs of his illness and may have been able to prolong his life had I acted sooner. I am living in a fog of grief and regret and don’t even know if I have the strength to make it through this.

    • The fact that youre devastated shows how much you loved baby. If you ask yourself all the “what ifs” you will drive yourself crazy. Im strugling not to ask myself all the hard questions, i put my cat down today. It was hard, but it was the right thing to do, not only the right thing but i feel it was my responsibility as Pillows daddy to make sure she didnt suffer. My sister works at a vets office, and sometimes i tell her things ive read about my cats illness that she didnt know, so dont beat yourself up about not spotting early signs of an illness. Pillow had polysystic kidney diseas, which can change the color of her fur, which is also possible with liver problems. I read somewhere that people often wait longer than they should to have let their loved one go. Im sure you made the right decision. Be strong, and dont hesitate to reach out to friends or forums to help you get through this tough time.

    • I recently went through a similar situation. My otherwise perfectly healthy 7 year old cat died within 24 hours of showing symptoms of having a blocked urethra. I noticed him not acting right and vomiting Sunday, but waited until Monday morning as soon as his vet was open to get him help. If I would have known how serious his illness was or the symptoms to watch out for, I would have rushed him to the emergency vet within the first hour! He was the light of my life, more than a pet, but a true family member. I am deeply saddened by his sudden passing and too will never be the same.

      • Danielle,

        I am going through this exact same situation. We had to say goodbye to our 6 year old after a blocked urethra. They cleared the issue and a few weeks later he was sick and lethargic. After multiple trips to the vet and the pet ER we were left with an Impossible decision. We had to choose to let go due to multiple issues. I lost my best friend tonight. I wish you all moving be an easy transition without yours.

    • I understand your grief and guilt. The same happened with my beautiful Casper who at 7 years old was diagnosed with cancer of the liver. Why didn’t I see it sooner, if I had done could something had been done to cure him and he would still be here. My heart is breaking and the grief wells up like waves. I had to make the decision to euthanise him straightaway as the vet said he was in pain. Miss him so much.

  24. I lost my beautiful Ellie 2 days ago. She had been ill for a month but was showing signs that she was getting better. Then she started going down hill again. She lost a lot of weight and she was being sick. Took her to the vets to find out she’s got a huge mass in her stomach and she was showing signs of jaundice. There was nothing that could be done. She went to sleep with mummy and daddy by her side.
    She was only 8yrs old, we had her from 8wks old. We rescued her from a garden, she was a dirty, skinny little kitten with fleas.

    I’m in so much pain, I feel like I’ve lost a part of me. She would always be in the kitchen in the mornings when I’d come down with my baby. I’ve still got her food and water bowl in her usual place in the kitchen. Can’t bring myself to move it.
    The feeling of guilt is so strong. What if I had taken her to the vets sooner, could we of saved her?
    I just want her home and for all of this to be a nightmare and I’ll wake up.

      • Finding this page makes me feel a little less alone. My sweet orange & white tabby, Ali, was hit & killed only a few days ago & it’s so hard to even say her name without crying. She was almost four & tomorrow I would have had her for 3 1/2 years. I miss her so deeply much & the only way to get through everyday is telling myself she’s okay now & i’ll see her again one day. Even though she’s gone, it’s so hard to imagine life without her. I’m so sorry for everyone’s losses.

    • Sometimes it is just out of our control. Your baby had the best eight years of her life. She would not have made it without you. We took in a cat years ago knowing that we were hospice. The little cat lived for a year in spite of all we did to save her. The vet said that we gave her the best final year of her life. It still hurts. Its hard to accept that some things are just out of our control. You gave her a wonderful life and you let her pass to the Rainbow Bridge. There isn’t any more to do except honor her memory and maybe in time give another kitten a chance at a wonderful life with you. God Bless.

  25. My kitty was only 6 months old. Kali got shot by the neighbor. HIs mom and his only brother are still with me. After he got shot he came to me looking for help. It was very traumatizing and devastating. I still cannot write about the journey between the shooting incident and the time of his passing because it’s heartbreaking.
    I saw him grow in his mom’s[ belly and I saw him grow next to his brother. They were inseparable. Seeing the mom and his brother look for him constantly breaks my heart to pieces. She keeps calling him. I myself cannot function. He loved cuddles and affection and looked me straight in my eyes. My boyfriend and I are really proud of our cat family, and this happened when my boyfriend was away. Now my boyfriend is going to return and Kali, our purr love, is not going to be here. For now I do not know how to cope with this loss. Last time I felt this way when my grandma died. It’s hard for me to believe i will never feel his soft fur or look into his eyes. I miss his little meows 🙁

    • I can most definitely relate because my 6 month old kitty, Geralt, somehow got outside and I believe our ignorant neighbor caught him and tossed him over the fence, snapping his neck. Just 5 days ago we took him to the vet because he got stung by a bee. His face was swollen so he needed medication, as far as I know he was fine before we found him dead today this morning. I’m so grief stricken because I loved him. I helped nurse him because he was the runt. Now I’ll never get to see or hear his meows again. He used to love sitting in my lap when I’d play my video game or watch movies or YouTube. He was my therapy. I had to cope with the loss of my grandmother as well, which made this even harder. It’s like losing a part of you.

  26. I lost my 21 year old tuxedo fur baby Gemma on the 18th of June 2019

    She was most loving affectionate cat I have ever met, her purrr would warm my heart ❤️
    Gemma had become very week in her last weeks losing a lot of weight & eventually lost all balance & just could not stand under her own weight. Gemmas breathing was getting too much for her to handle and her quality of life was diminishing, seeing my baby like this was honestly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. I just wish there was something else I could have done for her 20 years we were a team & I just can’t come to terms with you being out of my life I will see you over the coloured rainbow one day gem

    ❤️ Rip Gemma

    • HI Kyle, bless you. It’s so very hard, my beautiful Snickers was put to sleep a couple of weeks before yours. 🙁 weight loss, lack of appetite, fatigue, no energy she must have lost so much weight within the last week, I new what I had to do, she’d been to the vets numerous times and we knew she has tumours in her colon so it was the kindest thing for my baby girl. she was 20 and a half and I’d had her since 2008! I miss her something terrible, her smell, her face – everything! I feel for you and I hope you can now sort of think of the lovely memories of her? photos help, thinking and knowing how much she knew you loved her and she loved you. Hope you start to heal soon. Amy X

  27. I lost my fur kid just about a month ago, she passed in my arms. I had her for 20 years and 11 months, almost to the day. I do so miss her. I still tell her goodbye when I leave the house

    • I’m sorry for your loss. It so hard when you lose a beloved friend – no matter how long they are there for us. I find comfort in my memories and looking at photos. That helps in very sad moments. I also found comfort with some online chat groups where others who experienced similar losses can help provide comfort. I wish you well.

  28. Since 2012 I’ve lost my dog lady, my husband John, my friend Mike, my oldest cat Willy, then Pepper & Pie same day , Fred who was there through it all and kept me alive (tuxedo cat), my Dad in oct 16, my sugar baby Siamese, got a new cat from neighbor and she suddenly died Munchkin on Feb 13 this yr., and a week ago my uncle. I can’t handle any more loss. I’ve got 4 cats left and I’m a zombie. I barely am able to care for them I’m so depressed with grief. I can’t afford to get help, but I’m scared for them if I’m not here. I miss all my babies and have all their ashes in little urns. As long as I have a cat living I’ll live. Can’t say what would happen if I didnt.

    • Oh Linda, what an awful lot of loss! I’m glad you have your four cats to help you through this, but I’d urge you to get some counseling as well if you’re not already doing so. My heart goes out to you.

    • I’m writing though I’m in the midst of my own struggle. It started when my mother died. My cat, Nellie, died a week later. I have never been the same. Last year, my 18 1/2 year old boy, Sammy, passed away.. I couldn’t get out of bed. I adopted two cats several months later so I’d have a reason to be. I didn’t know that one of them was 2 months away from death. I cry all the time but know that my love for my Dawn will help me along. Sammy enriched my life and I know I gave him the best life. He was so loved. That’s all one can hope for. I have his ashes in the bedroom, but it’s the memories that comfort me most. I hope YOU find comfort in knowing that you enriched your pets’ lives as much as they enriched yours. provided unlimited comfort for dealing with the loss of the pets I lost. Check it out. You might also want to visit . It might help you find comfort by talking with others who experienced similar losses of loved ones. The site offers other resources, too. I’m sending a prayer your way. I wish you well.

  29. I lost all 5 of my cats in my house fire last October. 3 of them had been with me for more than 10 years. I miss them every single damn day and night.

  30. I lost my cat three days ago. It happend so quicky, it was something like a heart attack and within 3 minutes, before we realized what was happening, he was already dead. We couldn’t do anything about it. Seeing his dead body, was an awful shock for me. Tapsy was only 8 years old.

    I still can’t believe he’s gone, it doesn’t feel real. Everytime I look at places he used to be, I expect to see his adorable face, hear his voice.
    I still feel his soft fur on my fingers.
    It even feels surreal to type these words, because they mean that he’s truly gone…

    I feel lost and empty, a part of me is missing, because it has always been me and him. Our connection was very special.

    I have never experienced a loss of a cat like that, but reading your article gives me hope. I don’t know how long it will take for me, but I hope I can turn my grief into beautiful memories someday.

    Thank you.

    • I’m so sorry about Tapsy, Jessica. It’s always hard to lose a cat, but when it happens so suddenly, it’s devastating. My heart goes out to you.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. If its any comfort, it was quick and hopefully your cat did not suffer. I’ve had cats linger for long periods of time and watching them deteriorate is horrible as well. Pick out your favorite picture, enlarge it frame it. I hope this helps. God Bless, Elaine

      • My 8 year old kitty went into respiratory distress while I was out of town four hours away…my friend was caring for him at her home and had to take him to the emergency vet. He had fluid in his chest and abdomen. It was so sudden…I am still in shock. I FaceTimed him as they euthanized him but he was crashing so I don’t know if he knew it. I am so heartbroken that I was not there. I hate myself. I am scared he thinks I just gave him away. I just got home tonight and my house has a void. I will never forgive myself.

    • Very similar story… my cat died very suddenly 5 days ago at the age of 7, within a minute. I still cannot do anything, I’m just laying in bed, crying and thinking about her, watching videos and photos of her. It’s too hard to imaging doing things knowing that she’s not near as always…

      • I’m so sorry for your loss, I know exactly how you feel. A sudden death is a very painful experience. Even after 3 months, it still hurts and on some days I can’t handle it and I burst into tears… but what really helped me was reading a book, which dealt with pet loss and making a painting of him. Maybe something similar can also help you. I wish you strengh, to overcome this difficult time. My heart goes out to you.

    • I too lost my best friend of 14 years ago from an apparent heart event that caused a stroke and seizures. It was sudden, no signs to warn me of a problem and I now feel lost. Whiskers was a rescued from the wild kitten who had not gone ferel yet. He was loving and affectionate. A little female kitten was also rescued and she now has some medical problems which led us to believe she might precede him but not to be. I am so very heartbroken and trying very hard to deal with and cope but so far, little success. I, too, don’t know how long this will take and when this pain will subside.

  31. Thank you for this informative article. I had three chronic kidney disease cats. All senior females. I lost one in April 2018, and two in April 2019, two weeks apart. I had all three over 12 years. Lucy, my favorite, just passed at the end of April. I had been able to enrich and extend her life with sub q’s, every other day. I convinced her to eat by changing up her food every day or two. Most CKD cats starve as their main cause of death. So I worked hard to keep her eating. We had the greatest bond; she tolerated my treating her which was no fun. The last couple of weeks, I purchased a screened in pet stroller and we went for long neighborhood walks. She was absolutely enthralled! She had so much joy being outside in her pet stroller! It balanced out the fact that she was end stage Renal disease. My last day with her was very unexpected. Her hips were so shallow, and she weighed 5 1/2 lbs. She slept more and came upstairs less, due to her muscle wasting. If I brought her upstairs, she’d go back down and sleep in her regular bed.
    Depression, anxiety, and complex PTSD were lifted because of this beautiful white dilute calico that I had adopted on Craigslist.
    It takes a special person to bond and understand a cat. I’ve greatly loved all of my cats; they have given me so much joy and compassionship. I think, especially, of Lucy every single day. ****Grief is love that has no where to go. **** I don’t know who wrote that, but it is very true. Thank you for listening and for sharing.

  32. Thank you for this article, it’s nice to know others out there feel the same way. We lost our 8 month old kitten last month to FIP (or so we believe) we only had her for 5 months and my heart is broken. We are waiting to get another cat but I just wish I would have known about this horrific disease before the day my cat was lost. My boyfriend and I moved in together last year and decided to get a cat since we work diffrent work scheduals and don’t get to see each other (awake) everyday. Reese was there when the other wasent and really helped us transition into our new place and cure the loneliness. It has been 20 days since she went over the rainbow bridge. Time heals all wounds but I swear it has slowed since the loss of my precious little baby angel. So sorry for everyone else’s losses.

  33. I lost my 12 year old cat Sammy on Feb 11th 2019. He passed unexpectedly while at the vet. Oct 2017 he was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease..he prospered for the next year with prescription food and sub q fluids at home. But then in Oct 2018 he was also diagnosed with chylothorax (fluid buildup in the chest that compresses the lungs) At that point he needed to go see the vet routinely to get the fluid drained. On Feb 11th I took him in to get the fluid drained and he passed away right after the vet was finished… it was very unexpected. The only good news is Sammy was already sedated and most likely felt no pain when he passed. The worst part is our house now, it feels so empty!! : ( I might actually visit some shelters next week…

    • So sorry for your loss. I am 3 days without my Joey – 16 and had to let him go. Thinking of you. If you can do the shelters that would be wonderful. I know I would break down. I still have another 16 year old step brother to Joey and could not introduce a new cat.

    • So sorry for your loss. I lost my 18 1/2 year old tabby boy, Sammy, in Oct. 2018. (I met him when he was 4 hours old and adopted him when he was 2 months old). After he passed it was unbearable. I let two months go by and opened my heart for 2 cats. Please check into the true health history of the cat(s) you want to adopt. I chose two bonded cats. The shelter’s info told to me by the founder (about the cats) was wrong from the very start. One of the two cat’s names were wrong (learned about that from the website photo), the ages were off (they were 3 years and 10 years old, not 6 and 8 years old), McCloud was with us for 2 months and we had to put him to sleep (he was in end-stage renal failure and had FIV) and from the start he was unapproachable….hiding under the bed or sofa, even with his friend right by his side). Dawn had ear mites and dental disease. Her last vet check was more than 7 months before I came in to adopt her. The claim on the website was that all cats are vet checked and chipped. No way was McCloud chipped, he was too sick. And yes, Dawn was bet checked….7 months before the adoption.

  34. FAB article!!! I recently had to put Purrince Siddhartha Henry to sleep…he had Panleukopenia & the end was anything but pleasant for both of us. Your article has helped me see I’m doing all right & working thru the grief.
    It is coming up to tha anniversary of Nylablue Sweet Feet’s leaving (Nov. 22nd) & I am always gentle on this day towards myself.
    Now to learn to be gentle about Siddhartha Henry…..
    Thank you again, Sherri-Ellen aka LadyMum from THE Purrfect Pad

  35. Each cat/kitten lost is individual. And what we do to cope is also individual. Ingrid, like you stated in the article, is a step by step process. And is never easy.

    But…. I feel each cat/ kitten has enriched my life. And when I cross that rainbow bridge, all the cats we had will greet me and we will be together for eternity.

    • I pray this to be true every day. I am a cat rescuer and have unfortunately had so many losses over the years, as to be expected with the title. Every time they go, I tell them to meet me at the bridge. I only hope the bridge really exists

  36. I lost Trixie on September 19, 2018. She was only 6 years old. I was on my vacation at the time. I let some friends care for her while I was gone. I received a call 5 days later that she had passed away. After I got back, I went collect her things. I found their trailer disgusting and full of roaches. If I would’ve seen the inside their trailer first, I never would’ve taken her there in the first place. Almost 2 months later, I still feel negligent about causing her death.

    • I’m sorry for your loss, Vernon. That sounds so painful. You did what you thought was right at the time, and that’s all any of us can do.

  37. I lost a beautiful little boy on January 22, 2016 and still break down with grief a few times a week. I still have 3 more cats, but little Myrko was a truly special little soul. I hope we’ll see each other again some day.

  38. Thank you for the post. I had a very hard time after I lost BearBear. I did so much before him when he was sick I didn’t know what to do with myself after. Toke some adjusting.

  39. I’m also in the complicated grief category but I’m getting help. I will never get over losing my precious Mewdy Blue. It also seems that whenever I lose someone they go in three’s. That makes it extra hard to handle.

    • Multiple losses do make it harder, especially when one (or more) is particularly close to us. I’m glad you decided to get help. Nobody should have to go through that alone.

  40. Thank you for this article. Losing an animal companion is… It isn’t very pleasant. I’m truly sorry for your losses.

  41. Thank you so much for this article. I recently lost my beautiful little Tortie, Rusty. The initial grief was overwhelming and I still can’t think about her absence without crying, even though it has been over two months since I lost her. Cats are special companions and their absence in our lives leaves a hole in our hearts that nothing else can ever fill. I look forward to seeing her waiting on the rainbow bridge so we can spend eternity together.

    • I’m sorry for your loss of Rusty, Betty. Time is strange in grief–two months feels like forever and just yesterday at the same time. Grief takes much longer to process than most of us expect.

  42. I put Blue down because I knew it was the right thing to do, but I took him to our Humane Society and did not get to go in or say goodbye like I thought I would so there is no closure. H passed August 7th. We had a funeral, we buried his ashes, I said a prayer and sang, but last night I was sobbing as I was doing the dishes. I’m crying as I write this. We have 4 other cats, but he was a very special boy.

  43. I lost my boy Murphy back in June. Murphy was a cat who was different than most. He never left my side, never got upset, and was always up for a good cuddle. He was with me during my hard parts of my life. He was also the silliest cat I’ve ever seen (always got himself in the weirdest situations). He was diagnosed with mouth cancer in April, and at that point it was too late. Since the cancer was under his tongue, he eventually stopped grooming, drinking, and had a very hard time eating. There was nothing I could do except give him medication and all the love in the world. I’d use wipes to help groom him and give him meds multiple times a day. I’d have to keep switching to different food with different texture and make mountains to help him bite the food instead of lick his food. It would take him up to 45 minutes to eat a meal. He got so scared and stressed out, I could see it in his eyes and his behavior. I made the decision to have him put him down where he was most comfortable (at home on the couch on my lap). It was very peaceful but one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Once he had passed, I brought my other cat Lily out to say her goodbye to help her process. I had him cremated and he is now in my bedroom on the shelf. I placed photos of him in picture frames throughout the house. The photos of him were when he was acting the most goofy or where he looked his best (bow ties!). My best friend had a picture of him drawn by an artist and we framed that as well. I rescued a cat a month or so after his passing. The new cat wasn’t meant to replace, but meant to be another animal I could save. I dedicated so much time to Murphy, and I wanted to find another companion who was scared and struggling and needed a home that I could rescue. Adopting Winston has been wonderful, and makes me feel that if I couldn’t help Murphy, I could at least help another animal. I got married this past weekend. I used to sing a song to Murphy to calm him down when he was scared. I asked the DJ to play that song for me. It helped as I will always remember dedicating a piece of my wedding to him. It’s the little things that have helped me grieve with losing Murphy. Consulting with a vet was beneficial for me. It helped me understand when it was the right time. It has gotten easier overtime. I think it’s important to remember the funny things he did and to channel my grieving into positive ways.

    • It sounds like Murphy was a really special guy. I love that you were able to incorporate him into your wedding, even though he couldn’t be there physically.

  44. The last two cats that I have lost have been the toughest ever. I remember when I lost Nani and the vet clinic called to tell me her ashes were ready to be picked up. I was doing my grocery shopping at Walmart when I got the call. I just stopped and tears filled my eyes. I had to do all I could to get through my task and back in my car. I didn’t want to cry in front of people, but I sure broke down as soon as I was in my car.

  45. Thank you for this blog post. I lost my cat Bebe two days ago and I’m still dealing with the grief. Since I’m a cat rescuer I have experienced loss before but each time it hurts profoundly. That’s part of the process and I’m grateful it is this way. Blessings!

  46. I fall in the complicated grief category. I’m still in denial over loosing my big man. I have ptsd among other things and he was a bottle baby that came into my life at my darkest time. I have other kitties and I love them but it’s nothing like the bond I had with him. I “what if” constantly thinking about missing symptoms and my mom picked up his ashes and is holding them until I am up to bringing him home. 8 It’s more painful than the loss of any human. My heart breaks for everyone else who is going through this pain. I wish I had words of comfort. I will definitely be getting this book as this post hit home on all levels.

    • Raine, I know how hard it is to lose your precious one. I recently lost my boy and while my heart is breaking, I am thankful he didn’t suffer. He was such a huge presence in this house and now it’s so empty. We have album and photos of all our precious ones around and it’s a comfort.

      • I lost my very special boy, Little Man, a beautiful orange tabby, just 6 years old, just one month ago. He was the only bright spot in my life since I lost my husband of 40 years 10 months ago to Alzheimer’s. Little Man was special from the day I found him on the side of a barron road, he weighed just 1.2 lbs. I cannot express the amount of comfort he gave me in those dark days after my husband died. Little Man was a totally inside kitty, never got table food, yet he suddenly had an acute pancreias attack and was gone in mere hours. I cannot make sense of it and at times can hardly believe he is really gone, except for the emptiness in this house and in my heart. I will never be as close to another kitty as I was to him. I see him, I hear him, only to realize he is truly gone. I pray dear Lord the Rainbow Bridge truly exist, cannot bear the thought of never holding my sweet Little Man ever again

    • I’m so sorry, Raine. There’s such a deep bond with bottle babies, and also with the ones that help us through the hardest times. On top of PTSD, that’s a lot to handle. It sounds like a wise move to have your mom hold onto his ashes for now. Be gentle with yourself.

  47. I met my boy when he was 4 hours old, brought him home when he was 2 months old, and I laid next to him when he went to heaven a few months short of his 19th birthday. When I became sick and became home-bound, Sammy was my shadow and my biggest cheerleader. It’s been a little more than 2 weeks and I miss him so much. I’m also so grateful he was my friend for so long.

    • After that long together (and having known Sammy since birth), it can feel like an amputation. Time is strange in grief–two weeks can feel like forever and no time at all, simultaneously.

  48. I lost my beloved cat Blade earlier this year, I’ve never cried fully and never gotten over him, I know he’s with me in spirit and that he’s no longer in pain. I kept his ashes and they’re next to his older sisfur who passed away a few years ago, I haven’t gotten over her either. This was a wonderfully written article, thank you for the information.

  49. I lost one of my torties almost three years ago and I still grieve for her every day miss her terribly – she was the love of my life. I buried her little body outside my bedroom window so at I know that I brought her back home where she loved to be. Losing her has been the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

    • That sounds so painful, Liz (in my experience, losing a forever cat is even more painful). You buried her in a meaningful place, which is lovely, but of course you still miss her. I’m not sure we ever stop missing them (to one degree or another), because we never stop loving them.

      • I have found this page very helpful and enlightening thank you. I lost my little black and white fur-baby, Charlie, six months ago. She was 17(almost 18) and had a lovely life(totally spoilt), such a cheeky little character and I miss her like crazy. It seems so final now!!…her energy isn’t in the house but I can still feel it(I know that might sound quite surreal). I have two other cats that I got from a rescue centre six weeks after my Charlie died. Noushka and Koko are adorable and Koko reminds me of Charlie.Sometimes.. this can make me cry but also bring me joy. I know what everyone is going through on is VERY tough, the grief can be terrible and sometimes it feels overwhelming, as if it will never subside, but then you cry and it eases a bit, because crying is healing, as we know. I think it can be very difficult when you talk about your beloved cat and some people have no comprehension of how it feels(even think you are a bit odd) but I see this as their loss..because loving a cat(or any animal) with all your heart is a great joy. Yes, we have to weather the intense pain that comes with that loss, but we were all lucky enough, honoured really, to have been mummy/daddy to these totally amazing creatures!!

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