Do Cats Feel Grief When Another Cat In The Household Dies?

sad cat
Clearly, some pets do appear depressed after a companion passes away.
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No one understands the complete extent of a cat’s grief; after all, they can’t tell us what they’re feeling   Clearly, some pets do appear depressed after a companion passes away. These pets may go a few days without eating, generally act sad and/or develop behavior problems, such as housebreaking lapses, meowing or looking desperately out a window.

However, there is a contingent of scientists maintaining companion animals just don’t have the kinds of emotions that people do. They suggest these pets really aren’t truly grieving. Instead, they explain it’s merely the change in the household hierarchy that upsets the apple cart creating confusion, a lack of clarity and therefore what we mistake as depression.

No one questions that many cats pick up the emotions of their people. Maybe Fido or Fluffy is acting depressed because we’re depressed. Does the remaining pet really understand or care that we’re upset because Fluffy passed away or because the phone bill was twice as high as it should be?

Mysteriously, some pets that are best buddies in life, then for all appearances can care less when they lose their best friend. Does the pet really know its buddy has gone to pet heaven and is able to cope with grief in a way we don’t understand? Or is that pet totally oblivious? Who knows?

In any case, following the loss of a pet, you should attempt to maintain your usual schedule of activities with the surviving pet(s) as much as possible. Running and playing are great stress busters for dogs and cats, so take out the tennis ball or the fishing pole toy with feathers. Certainly, sympathize, love and snuggle as much as you want. However, there’s a fine line here – play too much into that disparity and it may wind up reinforcing your pining pet, complete with new behaviors, ranging from yowling to missing the litter box.


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7 Comments on "Do Cats Feel Grief When Another Cat In The Household Dies?"

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Oliver
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Oliver
1 year 4 months ago

I am not sure of that. I don’t really think that cats grieve. Maybe dogs, but cats seem to be more like they are the only ones who care…

debbie
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debbie
1 year 4 months ago

For me yes!they do!oh yes. I saw it!

Christie Leigh
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Christie Leigh
1 year 4 months ago

I think that people misunderstand cats completely. Our cat, Patches, grieved herself to death after the loss of her sister, Nahla. They died two months apart. We had another cat in the house so there was no way for her to be lonely. I do believe animals grieve.

Jill Cruz
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Jill Cruz
1 year 4 months ago

This is true,
everything with a heart feels emotions!!! I have seen the same behavior; (

Oliver
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Oliver
1 year 4 months ago

Emotions are not located in the heart. They are located in the brain. So having a heart has nothing to do with having emotions. A clam for instance, I don’think he will feel sad if you forget his birthday or because his morher has alzheimer.

Valerie
Member
1 year 4 months ago
Call it what you will, but many cats are so effected by the loss of another that it changes their lives. Meredith Gray only liked Nowa in our home and even after months she goes on jaunts around the house looking him in spots only he frequented (as he didn’t allow the others in his spots) and she has been a quieter more moody cat. I think we use so much scientific backing that really, is guessing, that we don’t see into their little souls, and see that they do feel loss and grieve. Maybe not all cats, but anyone… Read more »
ed strong
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ed strong
1 year 3 months ago

yes they do , one of mine died in my clan, the others sniffed the body and all started crying out like a siren , when they realised he was dead . mine are tuex cats i hd layed body befor my other cts of the same clan

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