A pet crematorium switched my cat’s ashes and paw print with those of a large dog and are refusing to admit their mistake. How can I locate my pet’s ashes and print?

Cat ashes and paw prints
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Photos in the public domain.

A concerned cat owner asked: A pet crematorium switched my cat’s ashes and paw print with those of a large dog and are refusing to admit their mistake. How can I locate my pet’s ashes and print?

My response is as follows:

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important


Hi, with the greatest of sadness I think you will fail because normally after cremation the ashes contain no DNA of the deceased animal so all ashes are theoretically the same or very similar. If you force the crematorium to produce your cat’s ashes they might produce any ashes in a container and say they are those of your cat and you can’t disprove it or argue against it.

The only way to ‘locate them’ is for the crematorium to produce them and for you to trust them that they are those of your cat.

The only way to make sure that you receive your cat’s ashes is to watch the entire individual cremation process. Good luck and bless you and your cat.

P.S. How do you know that the crematorium switched the ashes? I ask because there was no need for the crematorium to tell you as you can’t tell one set of ashes from another normally. Did someone other than the business tell you and how do they know?

Paw Print

This should be recoverable but it will be difficult to recognise the print as that of your cat. The crematorium will have to produce it but might produce a print from another cat. You should ask politely firstly. If they refuse, demand they hand over the paw print and if not say that you will sue them in the small claims court. Lastly if they still refuse to comply, sue them as stated. You’ll win provided you have good evidence. Make sure you have it prepared. If you have a problem ask me.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. Michele Massa says:

    Unfortunately just like in the funeral business for humans pet parents who are emotionally bereft and grieving will be taken advantage of by some unethical business people. We have to remember that this is a business to them, that entity is about making money which is normal for a business, and they do not have any feelings for your kitty. However no business should be allowed to deceive you and take your money but it goes on all the time in many businesses. Best solution is to research your options before you are grieving.

  2. Frances A Danna says:

    Wow! Thank you for mentioning aquamation, Albert Schepis. I literally had never heard this term, and researched on Wikipedia. I was not aware of it, or that it was used for human beings also. Aquamation does sound like it may be a better alternative to cremation. I am curious as to learn of cost comparison between these two procedures.?

  3. Cats Meow says:

    There is another alternative. It is possible that someone else is in the same situation, but with a deceased dog. I would recommend that the cat owner publish a public request for whomever took their dog to the crematorium and was given cat ashes/paw prints to contact you (the cat owner).

  4. R M says:

    Where did this happen? Crematoriums are controlled in NYS.

  5. Albert Schepis says:

    I’ve had a couple of very negative experiences with crematoriums, though there’s nothing pleasant about any of it. I pushed for a local one to scan cats for chip id and document it, but I got a big fat nothing on that. Even animal control thought that was asking too much. It’s a shady, callous business you can’t expect much from. I’ve switched to aquamation, a green process that takes more time to do but found the people involved are empathetic and sympathetic. Crematorium people are ghouls imo. So sad the owner in this article had the egregious interaction but I’m not surprised.
    P.S. I think dog prints are easy to differentiate from cats’, but that’s just me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *