Why do cats go away to die?

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Why do cats go away to die? Many cats will take themselves away to die, find out why cats do this.

Although it is not fully known why some cats go away to die, it's likely that when our cats become very old and feel unwell, they prefer to be alone and rest.

Unlike people, cats do not anticipate or know about death as we do, so they are not fearing what might happen. Of course for us it can feel as though we were being avoided or maybe even shut out by our cat, but this is not the case.

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Your cat didn't go away to die because of you

Cats are drawing from their evolutionary past in going away to be alone to die, as in the wild there might be larger predators they need to hide from.

It is important to know that nothing you did caused your cat to behave like this at the end of his life.

Not having the chance to say goodbye to someone we love before they die can complicate our grief reaction. Initially your loss was ambiguous because your cat was missing, but once found, the reality became very concrete.

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How can I remember my cat after he's died?

It may help to write your cat a letter and put onto paper the things you would like to have said. Alternatively, say these things now as it is important we say goodbye.

It could help to talk through your feelings with someone who has experience of pet bereavement, donating to a cat welfare charity, making a memory book or planting a tree could also be ways for you to honour his memory and say goodbye. Remember, we are all unique in how we process loss.

Read more about how you can remember your cat.

Advice given by pet bereavement counsellor, Dr Sue Dawson.

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Light a candle in memory of your cat

Your Cat offers an online memorial service, giving you the opportunity to light a virtual candle in memory of your beloved cat. You will be able to show our community of cat lovers how special your pet was to you, and read through other cat's memorials. This might help give you peace of mind that you're not the only one suffering from grief after the loss of a cat.

All you need to do is put together a short paragraph about your cat, and upload it to our website, alongside an image and your cat's name and age. If you choose not to use a photo, your virtual memorial will display a flickering candle in its place.

Light a virtual candle for my cat.


The Your Cat Guide to Bereavement e-book

If you need more help with bereavement, you may find some useful advice and comfort from our e-book. The Your Cat Guide to Bereavement covers everything from how to cope with the death of a cat, to learning to love again.

Download your copy HERE.