What Happens To My Cat When He/She Dies?

The loss of a cat is a very emotional event to go through and can affect everyone in the family a little differently.

Animal spirits after death
Image by Massimo Barbieri who calls it “The house of the Spirits”
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The grieving process can also be different for everyone. Some questions that you may have are:

  • Did my cat suffer during the transition process?
  • Can I really be feeling my cat’s presence even though they have passed on?
  • Did I really hear my transitioned cat meow when I walked through the front door?
  • Did my cat know that I didn’t want to put him down but that I felt it was the best thing for him in order to end his suffering?

These are some of the most frequently asked questions that I’m asked to provide answers to when communicating with a cat (or any animal) that has made their transition. In addition, if you have a pet that you believe is in the process of transitioning, I can help to make that process a less stressful for your pet. I do this by communicating with him/her during the process so that they have a better understanding of what is happening. Through years of experience in helping people through this grieving process, I have found the following to be consistently true.

It’s important to understand what happens to a cat (or any animal) after they’ve transitioned and are no longer in body. When a cat’s spirit, or life force energy, leaves their body, they enter into a regeneration process. This process allows their energy to begin to heal and restore itself. The energy will continue in this regenerative phase until it is whole and back to its full strength. This process is unique to each animal and can take less than a day to a month or more. It all depends on the condition of the cat’s energy and the state the cat was in prior to transitioning.

During the regeneration process, the cat’s energy does have the ability to frequent the realm in which we live. Often, they will come back to visit to ensure that the family they left behind is well and that they haven’t left any unfinished business. Family members may notice a flash of light or dark streak out of the corner of their eye. However, when they turn to look, nothing is there. Perhaps an area where the cat used to like to lay will feel warm or ruffled as if something had been lying there. Or, the family will hear the cat’s vocalizations or tapping on the floor. These are often signs that the cat’s essence has come back to visit.

They will also visit the other animals in the household to leave their imprint, or specific Teachings, behind. The other animals will take these teachings and carry them forward. Often you will see an animal that is presently in the household start to develop traits and characteristics that the transitioned animal used to possess. For example, the cat that transitioned may have been fearful of thunderstorms. Now, another animal in the household has picked up this trait when it hadn’t existed previously in that animal.

As time goes by, the cat will visit less frequently. They will begin to focus more on their regeneration process and rejoining the universal Source energy. However, they are always around if we need them. All you have to do is quiet your mind, open your heart and ask for them to visit with you.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

21 thoughts on “What Happens To My Cat When He/She Dies?”

  1. A hard subject to talk about with just anyone. I tend to keep afterlife experiences with my cats to myself, because loads of people think it’s crazy or just wishful thinking.

    Flashes of light, vocalizations, walking on my bed, smells, feeling something brushing against me, my other cats poised and focusing on a certain spot aren’t figments of my imagination. They’re all accompanied by a knowing feeling.

    The majority of my experiences happen just as I’m about to drift off to sleep. That’s, mostly, when I hear what I know is a final goodbye. I don’t know where they’re going. I just know that they have to go. It should be a disturbing feeling, but it’s really a comforting feeling. There’s a whole lot of transmission in that final goodbye.
    As the song sort of goes, “I’m only a breath away”.

    1. A few months after my Binnie past I woke up hearing her voice and had a genuine fright that she was locked outside so I jumped out of bed and went out to the garden and then realised she was dead. I genuinely believed she was alive and it was quite disturbing. This happened twice or 3 times for a while.

  2. For our most beloved animals, they await us in the afterlife. If heard and read too many accounts of people greeted by animals when they passed over. Believe what you wish.

  3. Three days after Yellow died, I was gazing out the kitchen window like I always do. I saw Shadow, the big black cat, Yellow’s life companion, jumping around, frolicking in the shrubs where the two used to cuddle. First I thought maybe he found a mouse. Then, he leapt up, did an acrobatic pounce on a tree, flung around as if chasing something, jumped again in the air..then sat, with swooshing tail. I’m convinced he was playing with her, sort of a final goodby, letting him know (and me) that she was fine, felt better, and life is good.

    Tim, thanks for your help at the beginning of Yellow’s adventure towards transitioning. It was a long eight weeks of very interesting experiences with her. Our friend here, Dee, coached me to the end. Yellow had it her way and it was a beautiful thing. I can say that now. It didn’t feel like it always during the process.

    1. Dorothy, I’m not replying to your comments about Yellow, because the journey was all very personal between the two of you and it’s your story to tell if you choose.
      But, I will tell anyone that you did a very admirable, brave, and loving thing.
      You are a feral’s dream caretaker.
      You are both at peace now.

  4. Thanks Tim!

    My beloved cat Mousie Tongue died in my arms after a lenghy stay in hospital in the Intensvie Care unit. I visited him every day (except Sundays when the clinic was officially closed) and this particular Saturday I was visiting him, holding him, and petting him- praying that he would recover.

    My vet asked me to stay longer- for some reason or other- which of course I did. He went into cardiac arrest,and since he had been suffering, I declined my vet’s offer to use heroic measures to keep him alive. I am really so blessed not to have had to make the decision to have him euthanized since he was so very sick…. he chose to pass onto the Rainbow Bridge about an hour later.

    That was almost ten years ago- but he still visits me from time to time. I see a flash of a brilliant white light on the wall of a room in my home that he particularly loved. These visits are extremely comforting to me since it tells me that he still loves me, and that he knows we tried everything possible to make him better.

    There are tears in my eyes as I write this- because I still miss him very much- but he does live permanently in my heart- and one day I strongly feel we will be reunited.

    1. Your comment brought a tear to my eye just like DW’s comment. Every time I think about cats that have died I feel the same way. And when I think about my cats who have died I want to see them again.

  5. Scrapper evidently didn’t realize he’d been euthanised (kidney failure) because he came to bed as usual that evening. Most odd.

      1. Nothing more to say really – wide awake in bed unable to sleep after burying him and pad-pad-pad noise into the bedroom, around the foot of the bed up to my side of the bed same as he had done every night since being adopted. Then I thought “don’t be daft, Scrapper’s dead!” and I hear the little paws pad-pad back the way they’d come. I still wonder what would have happened had I not thought that. Affy was on the bed and took no notice of the sounds which meant it wasn’t a feline intruder.

        My previous home was haunted by a tabby cat – I once crept up and almost touched it thinking it was Squeak playing kitty-hide-and-seek. Squeak sometimes attacked thin air, acting the same way as if it was a cat and then being very confused to find nothing tangible there. I think it must have lived in the house before I moved there as I saw it often and just got used to having it around.

        I’m always dubious of “visits” when the mind is just dozing off or just waking up as that’s when you get hypnopompic and hypnogogic hallucinations where the subconscious mixes reality with internally-generated image and sound.

        1. Do you think sometimes it is due to deeply engrained habits and routines so we expect to hear some things at certain times and if the cause of the sound is not actually there are brain still hears it because it is programmed to hear it. I don’t know, I’m just looking at alternative and more scientific explanations which is the kind of thing you would do anyway.

  6. thanks for this tim it is very helpful knowing as i still grieve my girl going as you will be as with other people. Although all our animals have passed it just feels like it was yesterday and it helps to know the process and for the kitty how it goes.

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