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How to Cope with Losing A Cat

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One of the most difficult parts of owning a cat is the day you have to say goodbye. Whether your cat was a kitten you adopted or a feral cat you helped for a few years, it can be tough to deal with your grief.

Here are five suggestions to help you cope with losing a cat.

1) Take time to relive happy memories.

At first, it’s tough to focus on anything other than the final hours and days of your cat’s life. But, if you can, remember the happy times you had together. “Embracing these memories, both happy and sad, can be a very slow and, at times, painful process that occurs in small steps,” says the American Veterinary Medical Foundation

Do you have funny stories about your outdoor cat getting into mischief? What about the special bond you had with your cat? Did your cat comfort you with his purring and gentle presence when you had a bad day? You can honour your kitty’s memory by remembering the wonderful life he/she lived.

2) Be patient with yourself.

Everyone deals with grief in different ways. Here is a list of the most common stages of grieving from the Cornell Vet College.

When grieving, some people feel vulnerable and want to be alone. Others want a listening ear so they can share their feelings.

The grieving process can sometimes feel like an emotional rollercoaster. You may be doing fine, and, suddenly, a wave of grief hits and overwhelms you with emotion. Little things—like taking one look at his wooden cat house or just walking by the cat food aisle—can sadden you. If you are prepared for this, you can recognize that this is normal and be patient with yourself.

3) Surround yourself with supportive friends. 

In the grieving process after losing a cat, reach out to friends who have a heart of compassion. Spend time with people who respect your grief, even if they don’t love cats. Friends and family who care about you can provide the support and encouragement you need.

4) Don’t blame yourself.

Many cat owners struggle with guilt after the passing of a pet, especially if it was euthanasia. They wonder, “What if I had taken him to the vet sooner? What if I had been able to afford the operation?”

If your cat was suffering, euthanasia was likely the kindest choice. Instead of blaming yourself, remember all the love and compassion you invested to give your cat a happy life. Let go of self-condemnation and guilt.

5) Take care of yourself.

In your time of grief, don’t neglect to make healthy choices. Try to get 8 hours of sleep every night, and make nutritious food choices.

To boost your mood, invest time in helping others. Volunteer at a local cat shelter or a soup kitchen. Consider purchasing cat houses for feral cats and donating them to a cat rescue association. As you reach out to help others, your heart will begin to heal.

The grief caused by losing a cat can be a lengthy journey, but it includes joy as well as sorrow. Whether you are walking side by side with your cat or saying goodbye, learn to enjoy every moment together.

Need a heated cat house for winter? Check out our amazing, handcrafted houses at www.undercoverpethouses.com!

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