Who wants their ashes buried with their cat?

This is a bit morbid but practical nonetheless. Some people bury their cats at a pet cemetery. There is a pet cemetery not that far from where I live. There is at least one in New York, USA. There are probably many more. Well, you may have heard that New York’s Division of Cemeteries has instituted new regulations allowing people to have their cremated remains buried with their pet. It was banned until recently but I fail to understand why.

I don’t know how popular this will be. The first question is how many people have their cat or dog buried at a pet cemetery? I would have thought most people have their cat cremated. Some people, like me, then take the ashes home.

In my case I want my body to be cremated and the ashes mixed with the ashes of my cats, which are in an urn in the living room. But then what happens to the combined ashes? That, I am not sure about at present.

I’ll probably have them scattered over a place or buried in a place that I love. I just want my ashes to be with the ashes of my cats for all eternity.

I am actually surprised that there was a ban on the ashes of a person being buried at the grave of their pet. I can’t see anything wrong with it but I can see a lot that is right about it.

I don’t know what the rules are across the USA or UK on this matter. I just know I want to be with the remains of my cats when I die. That is that for me.

This is an entirely emotional decision. There is no DNA in ashes so there is no direct connection between the person or the cat and the ashes in an urn. Ash is ash wherever it came from. Actually that appears to be inaccurate. There may be slight differences in ash composition depending where it came from. For a person it is made up of calcium phosphates with some minerals.

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Who wants their ashes buried with their cat? — 27 Comments

  1. Michael, all my pets, were buried in the sand on the sea front beach close to my residence.I cherish my pets memories in photographs as also the memories of human friends and family.In future i intend cremating my pets and keeping their ashes in a urn or converting the ashes into some memento akin to a stuffed mummifies pet.Here is a photo of all my pets without whom life would be a bit dull to say the least.

    • Nice idea and nice picture, Rudolph. Excellent photo. Are you going to be cremated when you die? What is the usual thing in India? Cremation here is the what normally happens.

      • Michael, talking about my own personal death, well, i have yet to make my will ! I believe in living life to the fullest within your financial means.Hope i outlive my pets as life is very unpredictable,besides, my style of living could embarrass a “James Bond” ?Honestly Michael, i have never ever planned about my own death and its aftermath as i am a bit superstitious.My only wish is to live a comfortable life with my pets and expensive hobbies till i live on planet Earth.After death, every human is just another carcass of statistics, a bit eulogized if prominent and sometimes mobbed by the media if a celebrity.One of my favourite quotes is a line twisted from a famous James.Bond movie, quote, “You only live once and not twice so make the most use of your life on Planet earth”.
        Below is a better photo of my “Pet Family”.

        • Well, Rudolph, you are right. After death we are nothing except a memory for someone somewhere.

          I feel quite mortal these days. Death is not so far away that I can’t see it and feel it.

          My desire to be with my cat’s ashes after death is purely emotional. It just provides some comfort now while I am alive!

  2. Having to leave the graves of our much loved cats in the garden at our old home was heart breaking and emotional even though they had been long dead.
    Babz and I decided when moving here that we would have our cats cremated when the sad times came and their ashes scattered at the Pets Crematorium Garden of Remembrance where there is a plot for every month of the year.
    Bryan and Popsy both died in the month of August, although different years and Ebony died one May but as her birthday was in August we had her ashes scattered in that plot too, so all three lots of ashes were freed in the same place.
    It’s a beautiful place with trees and flowers and birds as is the human Crematorium Garden of Remembrance where our human family ashes are scattered and where ours will be when our turn comes.
    We don’t like the thought of anyones, human or animals ashes, trapped in an urn for years on end, we feel their remains are not ours to own.
    I think it’s up to everyone to do what they feel comfortable about because it’s a very personal decision.

    • You make a good point about keeping ashes in an urn. When I found Red I had so little time – I had no time – I had to go as fast as possible and just bury him right away. He is in a lovely spot but not ideal for visiting. I am stuck with it. But I would for sure want to be with my cats after I die. One way or another.

      • Marc I think if there is a Heaven you will be with your cats no matter where their earthly remains are, if there isn’t a Heaven then we won’t know and they won’t know either.

        • My guess is there probably isn’t – therefore the last meaningful thing you can do is make sure your remains are dealt with in whatever way you choose. I’m sure after you die you find yourself as a newborn child elsewhere on the planet with, obviously, no memory of anything at all. But that’s just me. The only way you can ever gain any insight into your previous life is by overcoming the problems your were born into this life with since they are the only things that are brought with you – what you do in this life has consequences for your next life – which is why it’s important to do your best 🙂

          • I hope and pray there is no such thing as reincarnation because I really don’t want to come back to anywhere on this planet, in any shape or form.
            The description ‘a vale of tears’ fits it exactly for sensitive caring people but I wouldn’t want to come back as an uncaring person either because there are already too many of those.

            • absolutely – so if there’s a chance it is true then all the more reason to be good in this life. I don’t think it works backwards in that sense. I think one is always moving in the same direction so not worried about coming back as an animal abuser. The main reason I tend more towards this line of thinking is because of the way my life has gone and some dreams I have had that were very specific. The seed doesn’t fall far from the tree either. I don’t believe in the concept of ‘random’ for that matter.

            • I would have thought that 99% of people agree with you including me 😉 My father always said that people these days live too long (he must have meant in developed countries). He was right. He died at 92 totally, fed up.

      • I didn’t tell you Marc that with my first cat who died on the road – the cat I truly loved totally – I buried her in my garden. I was living in a detached house at the time. When I moved because I was burgled twice, my then girlfriend disinterred her on my request and I had her bones cremated (an individual cremation) and they are with me and always will be with me. Binnie’s ashes are with her in the same urn.

        • Michael – yes you did. And I suppose I will have to just take some of the soil from Red’s grave one day. I might even take some of the grasses and weeds and replant them in a pot – but I’d be sad if they didn’t survive. I suppose I could go get more. Only if I really move far away will this become a serious issue.

    • Having to leave the graves of our much loved cats in the garden at our old home was heart breaking and emotional even though they had been long dead.

      I left a response to Marc’s comment about how my girlfriend dug up the bones of my dear Missie so that I could have then cremated and then take then with me when I moved. It was tough to do it. Nice girlfriend. She had 4 kids!

      we feel their remains are not ours to own

      This is an interesting thought Ruth. I respect your views on that. I am not sure I feel I own the ashes. I just like having them near. I touch the urn sometimes and say a few words.

  3. I don’t like burials for that very reason, that anyone can disturb their place of rest, even years after the burial.
    I felt like digging up the bones of the cats we had to leave behind in the garden but they had been buried deep and for a long time and were resting in peace.
    I understand how you need to keep yours in an urn and to touch the urn and to say a few words, a lot of people do the same, but to me it’s as if they are imprisoned, held there not of their own choosing.
    My own thoughts are always that each and every one of us living beings are free spirits, we belong to no one, we have the right to be scattered freely to the earth. I can’t stand the thought of not being free, when my day comes I want my ashes to float off gently in the breeze and to land where they choose.

  4. It is my preference to be cremated because I don’t think that I have the right to take up as much space as is needed for a burial.
    I envision bodies in cemeteries being exhumed and cremated some time in the future.
    Blending my remains with the remains of my much loved “babies” is irrelevant to me. Whatever happens when we leave these shells behind is only important to me because I want to be and travel with my “babies” or not journey at all.

    • We think alike Dee!
      Here graves are protected for 100 years and the thought of someone in the future digging up that land and disturbing peoples resting places is not very nice.
      100 years later no one will have known or remember those people buried anyway.
      I’d rather go into oblivion too than go to any place without our much loved cats being there along with our much loved human family.

  5. We have had our pets cremated as they pass on, and when we go we will have their little boxes tucked in with us when we are cremated. Thus their ashes will mix with ours and be buried in metal tubes in the family plot next to our son, all of us together at last, and our souls of course on to a new life elsewhere!

      • I have thought of disinterring the bones of my dear cat Chuka, who was buried behind our house…this was in 1996. She was 18 years old and had been with me since college days. Now we are moving and I hate to leave her remains behind to be uprooted for some future owner’s ornamental garden. It is only out of respect that I would disturb her bones. I would have them cremated and put with ours when we go. Pro or con?

        • Pro….I did exactly the same thing about 20 years ago with my beloved Missie who died in an accident. I buried her and then moved so I asked a friend of mine to dig up her bones and I had the bones individually cremated and they are now in an urn in the living room with the ashes of another cat. There was no way that I would have left her behind.

    • Beautiful. You still love her and you should be with the rest of your life. Have her bones cremated and then I think you’ll feel better when you move.

  6. I have this happen a lot. At the shelter I work we actually run a small crematory service. We are very careful and only cremate one at a time and put them in a special urn with paper work that comes with it. It takes $30 to $40 to run a crematory only once, so we only ask slightly above that fee to make the cost up. We believe in quality and giving people a service they can rely on when it comes to remembering their pet. It is not rare for us to get questions about wanting to be buried with their pet.

    The only controversial part of this that I find is that some people want their animals to be put to sleep when they die and buried with them. That is often not a problem if the animal is very old or has a medical condition along with no one wanting them. However, I’ve heard of people wanting that done even if the pet hasn’t reached 10 years yet. I prefer not to get involved with morals regarding that part of it, just thought I’d add my two cents to this article.

    • Hi Zach. Nice to here you commenting again. Interesting comment too. Two good points as far as I am concerned. Firstly, it is nice to see that you genuinely cremate companion animals individually because some people are a bit sceptical about this. Secondly you make the interesting point about people requesting that their companion animal is buried with them when they die notwithstanding that their pet might be perfectly healthy and adoptable. That can’t be right. I don’t mind getting involved with morals! 😉

      That would never have occurred to me. It seems to be a very selfish thing to do. It is very self-indulgent and confirms that the person sees their cat or dog is a possession to do with “it” as they see fit. Can you tell us how commonplace this request is?

  7. I would never have a healthy animal euthanized to be inurned or buried with me. I made a pact with a friend years ago to care for her animals when she died and vice versa. Sadly, she went first so we now have six cats (two were hers). Her cats will be cremated and go with us the same as ours will be.

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