We conducted a poll on Petplace.com about if cat owners thought cats could mourn the death of another cat. The results were as follows:
43.2% of cat owners said that yes, all cats will mourn
56.4% of cat owners said that some cats will mourn but not all
2.1% said they were not sure.
0.8% of cat owns thought that no cats mourned.
Here are stories from cat lovers about their cats and their experience with mourning.
MY cat Sassy mourned the loss of a companion. She would follow me around and meow constantly for about 3 months.
At one time, we had 2 cats remaining after having to euthanize one. Both cats would not eat, would not play with each other or even purr. They would walk down the hall and look in the rooms, constantly meowing as though calling for their lost pal. We just talked to them softly, gave them a lot of extra attention, and eventually they came around. Don’t believe it if someone says cats do not grieve. Just two years ago, our black and white cat was terminally ill and had to be put down, her chocolate point Siamese pal would sit in the late cat’s bed and also in the small room where they had been together, also not responding to food and just being forlorn.
My cat Bodhi was so lost without his buddy Rumor. Rumor died when he was 11 yrs old and Bodhi was about 1 1/2 yrs old…so Rumor was around from when Bodhi was just 6 weeks old. When Rumor died Bodhi would go through the house and look for Rumor in all his old hiding spots and stare out the windows…even though both cats are indoor cats. We would hear his little whimpers (not quite a full out meow) all over the place. He did this for about 2 months straight…Bodhi is now 3 yrs old and sometimes you can still see him look around….maybe for Rumor, who knows. So I know cats mourn their friends…..Teri
I have had a cat that mourned over my other cat’s loss so we got another cat and I have had a cat mourned over my dog’s loss too!
Momma kit lost one of her kittens. She didn’t want me to take it away, and would lay on her if i tried. When she left to go eat i sneaked the kitten away to bury her. Momma kit called and cried for days looking for that kitten. She would come to me, cry and run to her bed crying. This went on for days! She was heartbroken and so was i. She finally let me take someone elses older kitten to fill her empty nest, and all were happy! Especially the kitten who had all the milk to herself.
I’ve always had multiple cats in my home. When one passes the others search for her, cry out, and seem less happy for a few days. The cat closer to the deceased pet tend to mourn a little longer. But they all act differently for several days.
I had a gray himalayan that died at home. My cat Grady and dog Max all stood vigil by Clancy’s body just like at the funeral home.
We lost our 14-year-old cat (Tabby) to cancer. My other cat is 12-years-old (Oscar) and cried and seemed to look for her on her special chair. This behavior lasted about a week. We ended up adopting a 3-month-old female kitten (Arwen) about two weeks later after Tabby’s passing. It took our Oscar about a week to get used to her and now they are best of friends. I really think Oscar needed to have another cat in his life especially with both my husband and myself work 9:00 to 5:00 everyday.
When our 14-year-old Anna passed away in September 2007 her companion of that entire time Ashley spent a great deal of time walking around our condo and mewing softly for her. He would start in all of her favorite places and eventual over the course of the day expand his search to include the entire condo. He’d then find a spot to settle in one of our windows where he would watch for her for hours on end. We got him through this trying time by showing him a lot of love and making sure that he knew either my wife or I was nearby. We also kept a few items of Anna’s handy so he could still have her scent around him. Ashley’s okay now, but on September 6th (the day we lost Anna) he was strangely subdued. I don’t think it was a coincidence. Paul T., Ocean City, MD
I adopted 2 stray kittens 15 years ago. Found them together & kept them together. Both females & both spayed. Brown Kitty got infected, abscessed teeth & had to have 4 extracted. When she came home I had to separate her from the other 3 cats (I adopted 2 more strays in the meantime, as kittens & now 10 yrs. old) and a shelter dog adoption of a 2 yr. old dachund) to make sure she was using the litter box & eating. When she got back to normal I noticed that her sister was staying upstairs with her & very lethargic & thin. I tried everything to get her to eat but no use. The vet gave me the sad news that all of her internal functions had ceased, liver, kidneys, everything. I had to have her put to sleep. I must compliment the vet, she was very understanding & allowed me to hold her in my arms & talk to her the entire time so that I was the voice she heard & the face she saw when she died. It was the vet’s advice that got all of us through the bad time of loneliness & separation. She told me what to do & I did & it worked. I brought Gray Kitty home in the carrier & partially covered her with a pink towel. Each animal, all 3 cats & even the dog, took their special time with her & smelled her, investigated & much to my shock–the dog even got in the carrier with her!! Her sister, Brown Kitty, continues to sleep upstairs in her own special box with her own special pink towel & will come downstairs to eat & use the litter box. She knows her lifelong companion is gone & will ask to get up on my lap for special love but then goes about her daily cat business. I’m just so grateful to my vets for the compassion & understanding they have for my animals & me.
I had a tomcat that loved this female cat. (On the farm). She got hit by a car and my father buried her in the garden. We did not let the tom see her and he took care of her kittens until they could fend for themselves and then he left to go look for her. He hunted everywhere for her while he brought up rabbits and mice for her kittens. They were nearly inseparable when she was alive. Never saw one without the other close by when around the kittens. Never did see him again after he went searching for her. So sadly I lost 2 of my cats that summer.
Six years ago I lost my handsome tuxedo cat to a fibrosarcoma. I adopted him from a local shelter when he was six weeks old. He was an only cat child until I took in a young cat thirteen years later. I named her Chelsea. He did accept her into the household although to me it seemed that they were never best friends. I knew that Chelsea sensed that Raindrop was ill. She would go over to him and sniff at his protruding tumor gently. They would hang out together more often then before. She knew his time was near. Just after his death I put his collar on my chest of drawers with his favorite toy. The next morning I heard Chelsea crying loudly which she never did. When I went into the bedroom I saw her up on my chest of drawers looking at Raindrops collar and toy and still crying so sadly! It just broke my heart to see her as sad as I was. She was so lonely without her friend. I guess they were closer than I thought. Two weeks later I went back to she shelter and adopted Max, another six-week-old kitten to keep her company. They are best friends! Max thinks Chelsea is his mother! Adopting Max was the solution for both of us during this mourning period. Keep in mind that another cat will never replace the one lost but a new little life to take care of will certainly bring joy to every day.
When I was about 18, I had a black cat named ironically enough, Blackie, and an orange tabbie named Eggbert. Blackie lived to be 15 yrs old, one day iI found blackie on the side of the road, he had been struck by a car, I brought him in the house, we all cried, then i went out and buried Blackie. One month later, Eggbert the orange tabbie would sit almost daily over Blackies grave, they were very close and romped and sat together over the years, i hope they are enjoying the twilight together now!!!
About four years ago I had three kittens from three different litters show up to eat with the rest of my stray and feral cats. They played together and I called them my three amigos. Every night I would bring them in because they were young and I was having trouble with either coons or coyotes getting some of the kittens. Well one night gray didn’t show up at dark as usual. When I kept calling, I finally hear a faint cry in my garage, there was gray bleeding and incoherent, he had evidentially been hit by a car and made it back to my garage. I wrapped him in a towel and brought him inside where he was just lifeless. We live about an hour from the nearest vet and there was no way he would make the trip, so I made him as comfortable as possible and hugged him and the other two kittens, Confucius and stitch cuddled on my lap with him and we fell asleep. Later he kept trying to get to the room I always kept them in so I put him in there and the other two cats along with two theirs in the room laid around him and comforted him to the end. Gray was used to sleeping under my neck when I laid in the recliner. After he passed stitch that usually liked to be left alone came jumped on me when I sat in my recliner and cuddled under my neck. It was as if gray had told her I needed to be taken care of.. and until just a few months ago when stitch passed away, in my arms, under my chin in the recliner she never let me sit alone. I really think they communicated the need I would have when gray passed. Now I have 8 cats and the three amigos are all gone. But the ones I have now seem to be able to communicate their love and feelings to me.
We had two cats, litter mates, Fric and frac. Last February Frac died at home from cancer…at the age of 17.Her sister Fric cried LOUDLY for weeks and would walk around the house looking for her sister. It was often brought on at feeding time…..she would sit and howl and it would break our hearts…. I moved the feeding bowls, changed the time a bit and that seemed to help. fric is now 17 1/2 and doing much better but it took about 3 months or better for the crying to stop. I also changed the place of her litter box but I left her sisters up (clean). So yes I say they do mourn as we all did, and time has healed us but frac is not forgotten.
I have a handsome male kitty Holstein, named due to his white fur with black spots. He also is very affectionate and loving, plus he is quite a talker. We have some very interesting conversations! Holstein and my oldest kitty, Maybelle, had been close companions even though there was 10 years difference in their ages. In April of 2007 I found out Maybelle was in renal failure (she had been diagnosed hyperthyroid in January 2005). I was devastated, but had no clue how intensely her illness was going to affect Holstein. Well, Holstein seemed to sense she was ill and he stayed with her day and night, except for the two hospitalizations. While she was gone, he would go to the door and cry. He slept next to her as if he was protecting her and she thanked him by grooming him when she wasn’t feeling too bad. I administered IV fluids to help keep Maybelle hydrated and her kidneys working. I had a treatment area set up on a table with some small quilts for padding for her boney little body. Sometimes Holstein would get on the table with her while I was treating her and purr for her. As the months passed and she got weaker, Maybelle slipped trying to get to her food dish (they are on the table to keep the dog out of the cats’ food). When Maybelle fell, she caught her right back paw between the table and chair leg and was too weak to free herself. Holstein stood guard, meowing to get my attention. Luckily, she had just fallen and didn’t lie in this position for just a minute, thanks to Holstein’s meows. This turned out to be our last day together. I knew in my heart she was loosing the battle she so courageously fought and was ready to go to the Bridge. Maybelle was just waiting for me to accept her transition. I gave her permission to leave her ill body behind and promised we would see her vet first thing in the morning (I was on my way to work). She left for the Bridge about 2am Monday morning July 30th with my hubby and stepson stroking and comforting her. I don’t know who was more devastated..Holstein or me. Not realizing what I was doing, the day after she left, I started putting away her quilt and IV supplies. Poor Holstein went nuts! So I put everything back in place and slowly made the changes. We spent months comforting each other. Now over a year later, he is still clingy, put not in the panicked way he was at first. But this sweet kitty was not finished with his gentleness to a dying kitty. I had a kitty I had treated for diabetes for nearly 6 years. Kelley was not the friendliest kitty..a momma’s girl only. In April this year I learned she had stomach cancer. I knew our time would not be long..she was loosing weight rapidly and could not keep food down, regardless of what her vet gave to settle her stomach and encourage eating. Again on a Sunday, but this time I was coming in from work, she collapsed when I called to her and she tried to come to me. I knew this was our last day together. I made the call to the emergency vet (her vet had told me the day before we only had days, which turned out to be only a day–but one more with this beautiful creature). I wrapped Kelley in a baby blanket and held her and gave her permission to leave her ill body behind. She relaxed and slept in my arms. I had to lay her down on the bed so I could get ready to take her to see the vet and Holstein jumped up on the bed. What he did next was the most loving thing I had seen since Maybelle. He ever so gently positioned his body around Kelley’s. Then he laid his head softly on her shoulders and purred the loudest I have ever heard him purr. I stood there in awe for the time (about 5 minutes) that he comforted her. I just wish I had had the senses to get the camera and take a picture. These days Holstein and I are great buddies. I spend a lot of time with him, and any time he wants to snuggle, I stop what I am doing. He sleeps with me and when it is time to get up, he starts meowing in harmony with the alarm clock. He lays next to my chair when I am at the computer or tries to sit in my lap..he is a big kitty, so he is a lap full. He is waiting in the window for me to come in from work..The dog barks and Holstein meows their greetings! Holstein is 8 years old now. He had been abandoned at the little league field and my sister-in-law rescued him and brought him to me. He is a super kitty and I could not imagine life without him. I am so proud to be his person!
My Orange cat he stayed with Our Princess when she passed away. He laid around the house for a while mourning her. Meowing Like he was calling out for her. Sometime he would run through the house like she was chasing him.
When my 16 year old died, the 9 year old stopped eating for 4 days. A physical exam and blood work were normal, so no other cause was found. Catlin started again eating five days after Barney died.
I have a black female cat, cat called Gabi. She is very lovely, beautiful, sensitive and moody. I also had a male black and white cat, pure sweetheart, loveliest and kindest Pifi, who died in January this year. After his death, Gabi looks sad and often sits in the middle of the room, or wonders around the apartment and meows, I think she is calling him. I am not sure what I can do. Before even Pifi’s death she was introduced to another male cat – Fisfasa, and they live in the same house, I thought she might accept him, but she is still hissing at Fisfasa.