What Do I Do When My Cat Dies?

The question, “What do I do my cat dies at home?” is answered here. You can see that I’ve added to the question “at home” because if a cat dies at a veterinary clinic the answer to the question will be answered by the veterinarian and his usual answer will be to cremate your cat and the clinic can make arrangements.

Cat's ashes

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People ask the above question using Google and other search engines, which might surprise us because, without wishing to be critical, I think the answer is fairly straightforward. Nevertheless, I provide an answer.

I would have thought that a cat dying at home is probably rarer than a cat dying at a veterinary clinic and if a cat does die at home I hope he or she dies without distress and without too much discomfort and pain. In the modern world, a cat dying of old age will usually end up being euthanised at a veterinary clinic because of a terminal illness – or am I in correct in that assessment?

The answer to the question in the title depends partly on how much money the person has. Many people simply bury their cat at the bottom of the garden. This is satisfactory provided the grave is sufficiently deep to avoid foxes or other scavengers digging up the body. I’d suggest around 2 feet deep, at least. When burying in the garden the owner should decide how long under normal conditions do they intend to remain at their current address.

Other than the above, there will be differences as to what to do when your cat dies at home depending on the country where you live.

For me, living in Europe, the best way to deal with your recently deceased cat is to ring up your local pet crematorium (which you have researched beforehand) and ask for an individual cremation. You then drive your cat down to the crematorium and you watch your cat being cremated and then pay your fee. You collect your cat’s ashes at that time and then take them home. Then you know that you have your cat’s ashes with you. The alternative is simply take your cat to a crematorium and they will cremate your cat in a non-individualised way with other cats or dogs, I suspect, whereupon you can collect the ashes and perhaps take them home or do what you will with them.

An alternative to the above is to take your cat to your local veterinarian, who I hope you will know well, and ask him to deal with the cremation. Veterinarians work with pet crematoria and I would expect the clinic to be happy to assist and that their fee would be relatively modest. You collect the ashes from the vet and take them home.

I believe in keeping the ashes in a suitable container in the house or apartment. They are a nice reminder of good times past. It is also a way of being respectful and loving towards your cat companion. Also a person can get some comfort from having the remains nearby.

These are the ways that you should deal with your cat if he or she dies at home. If anybody has a better idea then please leave a comment.

23 thoughts on “What Do I Do When My Cat Dies?”

  1. I have been very fortunate over the years. My pets were all buried, either on the property where we lived or on family property. If they were not laid to rest under a tree or bush, I planted something over them, usually a flowering plant. Many of them were left behind as we moved over the years, but they have become a part of something bigger and more beautiful.

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