Though independent, cats are full of love. Felines do grieve over the loss of a family member, be it human, cat or even bird or dog.
We do not truly know if a feline understands death, they do notice when a housemate is missing and that the household has changed. The owner’s anguish can add to the feeling and spirit within the house that something is different.
Felines do not react in like ways when a fellow housemate passes on. Some cats will appear impassive, others may quit eating and become remote while others will behave more positively and happier than when the companion was around; perhaps that person didn’t like kitty or if it was another animal, kitty now gets more attention. Certain cats may undergo personality changes some times lasting as long as 6 months.
To help the grieving cat overcome the loss, keep feeding and playing times the same. Wait a while to rearrange furniture.
Encourage eating by warming food a bit, but try to avoid a change in diet because this cause digestive upset. Sometimes sitting with your cat while she/he eats can give reassurance. If your cat doesn’t eat for 3 days, consult your veterinarian to avoid the danger of hepatic lipidosis.
Encourage playtime and spend more time stroking and grooming your cat.
Don’t replace a lost cat right away because kitty is already in a state of unrest and will not be able to properly handle an extra source of stress at this time and behavioral problems may develop.
Time spent sniffing the body of your cat’s expired buddy can be am essential part of the grieving and healing process and you should let your cat have closure.
In time, things will get back to normal and when they do, you can bring another feline into your home, not to take the one who has passed on’s place, but to have his/her own new place in you household.