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Kitty Lost His Partner..

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This post is due to concerns for my sister's one remaining cat. 16.5 years ago, my sister adopted two cats from the same litter. This past Saturday, one of them died. He had a blood clot and was unable to move his back legs as a result. The vet had to keep massaging his heart each time it would stop. The kitty eventually died.

We are all very concerned about the remaining brother. These two cats had been together all of their lives. With his partner gone, the other cat is most certainly not quite himself. He is drinking water and eating, although he is eating less than before his brother died. He did finally come out of hiding last night to seek attention from my sister and her fiance. They have arranged for her fiance's daughter to stay with them at the house for the remainder of May, since she and the remaining kitty have always been close. This will insure the remaining kitty is not alone throughout the day.

Are there are hints or suggestions any here can make regarding how best to care for the remaining brother right now? We had worried for years that if one died, the other would soon follow, since the bonds cats have with each other, seem to be just as strong as the bonds we humans have for each other.

If anyone has a kitty who has been through something like this before and can offer any suggestions as to how to best take care of the brother who remains, it will be GREATLY appreciated, I assure you.
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes
since the bonds cats have with each other, seem to be just as strong as the bonds we humans have for each other.
You are absolutely right and very astute for knowing that. It's just like how the bond between an animal and a human can be just as strong as a human-human bond.

I have many cats, so when one has passed, they take comfort in each other, so I haven't experienced what you describe. What I can advise you is to take cues from the cat. He will have days where he wants to go into himself and just be alone or sleep. On these days, let the cat know that he is very loved and stroke him as long as he is comfortable with. Other days, he will come forward for human company and lots of touch. Take things slowly, never make him do anything he's not ready to do and, just as you are, empathise with him as much as possible.

It really warmed my heart when I read that the daughter will be with the cat. It's great that you are all being so sympathetic.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumbulu View Post
You are absolutely right and very astute for knowing that.
I have a kitty of my own who shows me this every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumbulu View Post
What I can advise you is to take cues from the cat. He will have days where he wants to go into himself and just be alone or sleep. On these days, let the cat know that he is very loved and stroke him as long as he is comfortable with. Other days, he will come forward for human company and lots of touch. Take things slowly, never make him do anything he's not ready to do and, just as you are, empathise with him as much as possible.
My sister and her fiance are letting the kitty be the guide. They feel as if they have no other choice, since the loss the cat is experiencing, is probably far greater than what they feel, in my sister's own words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumbulu View Post
It really warmed my heart when I read that the daughter will be with the cat. It's great that you are all being so sympathetic.
It proves how worried we all are about this remaining cat. We really do want him to CHOOSE to continue on without his brother, although it is not as if we can make that choice for him.
post #4 of 16
When our Daisy lost her life-long companion she got very sad and depressed, we found this helped a lot
http://www.bachflower.com/Rescue_Remedy.htm
post #5 of 16
I have never had this terrible experience. My sympathies for your family. I would suggest that thought be given to adopting a partner for him. Not immediately of course but don't wait too long either. Since this is an older cat I would think that a settled adult cat would be best. Of course I've also read that sometimes an older kitten would do. Maybe others on this site would have recommendations.
post #6 of 16
My sympathies to your family. I lost one of my cats in similar circumstances - he had a blood clot in his neck and lost the use of his back legs and his front legs. He and Jaffa were brothers and Jaffa was so lost without him. It will take time for the remaining brother to get used to being without his pal but he will adapt eventually. It took Jaffa several weeks to get back to normal. Magpie died at the end of October and tbh it wasn't until after xmas (when I took Jaffa to my mums for a few days - maybe the change of scene helped) that he started to behave normally again. He just needs lots of attention, reassurance and patience as he'll be very confused as to why his brother isn't around any more. Rescue remedy is a good idea. You could try feliway too as that tends to reduce stress in cats.
post #7 of 16
I'm so sorry to hear about your sister's cat. It's good of her to make sure he's not alone during the day. I know it's very soon, but perhaps she could look at adopting a senior cat to be his companion. These cats often get passed over for adoption and would love to have a new home.

I, too, adopted brother kitties and when Merry died, Pippin was very sad and lonely (they were only a year old at the time). I didn't want to even think about adopting another cat at the time because I was also grieving, but within a month I did, for Pippin's sake.

I intended to just get a cat about the same age as Pippin and I did (Simple) but I also got an older cat named Morris. Both have been good for Pippin and helped give him companionship that he needed.

Hugs

Devlyn
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by deljo View Post
I would suggest that thought be given to adopting a partner for him. Not immediately of course but don't wait too long either..
That has been discussed. I gave my sister a copy of the book 'Cat Talk,' which explains the correct way to introduce a new cat to a home which already has cats. (Excellent book by the way. You can pick it up on Amazon for 1 penny plus shipping right now.)

Any idea what amount of time would be good before a new adoption? I was thinking at least 30 days should pass, but other posters have shown examples where it took 2.5 months for the remaining kitty to recover. Or would it be best to 'read' the cat as to timing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deljo View Post
Since this is an older cat I would think that a settled adult cat would be best. Of course I've also read that sometimes an older kitten would do. Maybe others on this site would have recommendations.
Thanks so much for bringing this up. We are open to everyone's input on how best to proceed here.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakat View Post
All this time I thought I was well informed on products such as this. Now I see I have much to learn. I am bookmarking this one.

Thank you so much for this information. My sister is monitoring this thread and I just emailed her to read these latest responses.
post #10 of 16
The cat we lost was my beloved Siamese and after about a month I couldn't bear the house being so quiet, so we got and Oriental kitten, Daisy hated him,
but it made her show some interest in life again. Then he was lonely because Daisy wouldn't play with him so we got Chloe to keep him company. Daisy still doesn't have a lot to do with them but she will play sometimes and she seems to enjoy watching them
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
I lost one of my cats in similar circumstances - he had a blood clot in his neck and lost the use of his back legs and his front legs.
I am so sorry to hear this. I can't imagine what it would be like to see my kitty in that position. I know I would be devastated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
He and Jaffa were brothers and Jaffa was so lost without him.
Did Jaffa eat normally afterwards, or did he eat less for awhile?

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
It will take time for the remaining brother to get used to being without his pal but he will adapt eventually. It took Jaffa several weeks to get back to normal. Magpie died at the end of October and tbh it wasn't until after xmas (when I took Jaffa to my mums for a few days - maybe the change of scene helped) that he started to behave normally again.
So we are possibly looking at 2.5 -3 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
He just needs lots of attention, reassurance and patience as he'll be very confused as to why his brother isn't around any more.
And that worries us because they have been together all of their lives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
Rescue remedy is a good idea. You could try feliway too as that tends to reduce stress in cats.
I thought about Feliway but felt offended at the thought of removing his brother's smell from the house, from a human standpoint. From the kitty's standpoint, if it reduces the stress of the loss, it couldn't be a bad thing.
post #12 of 16
I agree that Rescue Remedy is a good idea. You might also want to try a more specific Bach remedy for him. Here's some information on how to find the right one for a cat, from a homeopath and breeder: http://www.angelfire.com/fl/furryboots/bach.html
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devlyn View Post
I'm so sorry to hear about your sister's cat. It's good of her to make sure he's not alone during the day.
Well my sister doesn't play games when she takes on the responsibility of a pet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devlyn View Post
I know it's very soon, but perhaps she could look at adopting a senior cat to be his companion. These cats often get passed over for adoption and would love to have a new home.
It's a shame that older cats are ignored at adoption time. My cat took me on as his personal slave long after he was adult. He's such a good kitty too.

I have heard a kitten could perk up an older cat, but at the same time, it seems a laid-back older kitty might be a less stressful adjustment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devlyn View Post
I didn't want to even think about adopting another cat at the time because I was also grieving, but within a month I did, for Pippin's sake.
I feel a bit guilty for bringing the idea up to my sister as soon as I did, due to her grieving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devlyn View Post
I intended to just get a cat about the same age as Pippin and I did (Simple) but I also got an older cat named Morris. Both have been good for Pippin and helped give him companionship that he needed.
See, this kitty, Rocky, is in that same boat, having never been without the companion of another cat throughout his life. I think the companionship will be good for him, once he has adjusted to his loss. My cat, being a solo kitty, seems to prefer it that way.
post #14 of 16
For ten years Snowball had a companion cat named Midnight. Snowball seemed to be completely lost without Midnight after she began to suffer and had to be put to sleep. He became very needy for awhile and we gave him all the attention he wanted, and eventually he did adjust to the loss of his friend. Only a month after Midnight's death, we learned that Snowball had kidney disease, so we decided to concertrate on him rather than adopting another cat All that happened almost six years ago now, and Snowball is a happy and well adjusted only cat.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes View Post
Did Jaffa eat normally afterwards, or did he eat less for awhile?
He ate ok but he became very clingy and wouldn't let me out of his sight. He used to like to sleep on my bed but after Magpie died he wouldn't do that even if I was just next door. He wandered around the house crying and just seemed confused - like he felt something was different but he wasn't sure what. I used to shut them both out of the bedroom at night but when I did that with Jaffa after Magpie's death he just cried as soon as he was shut out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes View Post
So we are possibly looking at 2.5 -3 months.
I think I read that grieving in cats can last anything from a few days to a few months. I'd already arranged to take both Jaffa and Magpie to my mum's over xmas as the cattery was fully booked, and as it happened it was just Jaffa. I'm not sure to what extent the change of scene worked but when we got back home he seemed to be much better and would finally go to sleep in a room if I wasn't there. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't taken him away and how long it would have been before he passed through the grieving process. Then in February I had a flood in my flat from the drain outside and had to move out while the place was cleaned up carpets were replaced. I also had some decorating done while it was empty. When we moved back in the place would have smelt totally different to Jaffa but he was fine with it and finally seemed to be back to his usual self.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes View Post
And that worries us because they have been together all of their lives.
Jaffa and Magpie were 8 years old when Magpie died, so hadn't been together as long as your sister's cats but they'd been together since birth and I'd had them since they were 8 weeks old. They weren't overly close as adults but did the mutual grooming etc and Jaffa, in particular, benefited from the companionship. I think tbh it wasn't so much Magpie that he missed, but just having another cat around. he didn't like being on his own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catitudes View Post
I thought about Feliway but felt offended at the thought of removing his brother's smell from the house, from a human standpoint. From the kitty's standpoint, if it reduces the stress of the loss, it couldn't be a bad thing.
I think that so long as his brother's scent is still there he's likely to be confused as to why he can smell his brother but not see him. Although it sounds harsh, I think he will probably do better when he can't smell his brother and can adapt to a new lifestyle where he is an only cat. I would be very careful about introducing a new cat, given his age. Often when cats lose a friend they will grieve but once they've gone through the grieving process they are happier being only cats than having a new friend. I got a new cat for Jaffa (well tbh it was for me!) but Jaffa was only 8 and he's very lively for his age. I guess it depends on how sociable your sister's cat is but I would advise waiting for a while to let him settle down and get used to being without his brother and then see whether he seems happy on his own.
post #16 of 16
My mom's cat became very clingy after her housemates (one dog and one cat) died within a few months of each other. She was very attached to the dog and was very needy with her humans (my parents) after he passed. My parents eventually brought home a new puppy almost a year later, and she loves the new dog (took her a little while to adjust, but now they are best friends).

However, I would strongly suggest that within the next month or so having the remaining cat checked out by a vet, including a senior panel and urinalysis, if one hasn't been done very recently. It seems to be fairly common for cats to suddenly show their illness after a loss, and it is easy to dismiss the signs as being part of the grieving process.
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