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How to Comfort a Grieving Cat

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"The memories and paw prints of a beloved cat remain in our heart and soul forever." (Anonymous) As a cat parent, you understand the raw grief of losing a beloved kitty. However, did you know that cats grieve, too? Whether they've lost a human family member or a fellow cat, they can experience intense grief. How can we help them through the grieving process?

Here are 5 tips on how to comfort a grieving cat.

1. Spend more time with a grieving cat.

As a cat parent, you are the person your cat needs most right now. She needs to know that you're always going to be there for her. She needs to feel your love, acceptance, and sympathy in her pain. Whether this means cuddling every night or going home at lunch hour to hang out, make your cat a priority in your life. Rita Reimers suggests, "Offer treats, toys and other distractions to help her come out of mourning quicker."

2. Provide special treats.

One common symptom of cats' grief is a loss of appetite. To combat this, pick up your cat's favourite Temptations or a bunch of catnip. Prepare special meals for your cat, or buy her favourite brand of food.

According to the Colorado State University's Vet Teaching College, "Eating habits may vary because the surviving pet is waiting or looking for the animal that is no longer present. Trust that this is part of the process. Changes in appetite should be temporary." If your cat loses or gains a significant amount of weight, consult your vet.

3. Play uplifting music.

What music does your cat associate with happy, positive memories? Try playing it and see how your cat reacts. You can also try playing harp music to comfort her.

Avoid dark, depressing melodies. Instead, look for cheerful music with upbeat tempos to lift her spirits.

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4. Use a herbal remedy.

Some cats respond well to a comforting herbal remedy. The Spruce Pets recommends the Star of Bethlehem Bach Flower Essence. It is available on Amazon.com. Because it contains 27% alcohol, it should not be ingested. Simply rub it between your cat's ears twice daily.

5. Follow a regular schedule.

In the upheaval of the grief process, your cat needs security. A daily schedule will help her feel more stable and calm. Avoid making major changes in your schedule, decor, habits, etc. Reimers explains, "Too many changes in the household, on top of the grief, can cause stress, fear and even illness to your already anxious grieving cat."

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