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cat looking for dead sibling

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
We just lost Sheba to cancer (9/22/09) Tuesday. We have 5 remaining cats in the home.

We need to grieve the loss of our dear pet that is the way of life. How do you help cats with their grief?

There is one in particular we are worried about her sibling Shela. Shela was the runt and attached to her sister since birth. That is one of the reasons we brought Sheba home was for Shela.

Shela is searching the house everywhere for her sister. In toys, under things in closets calling her. She has become more vocal in two days time getting louder as if she thinks if she is loud enough her sister will hear her.

She sits and stares at me, as if asking where is her sissy. She crawls up next to me when I lay down in bed and lets me pet her to sleep (this is new)

Shela is a cat who when you touch her she has to lick herself clean. She could never stand being touched.

Any ideas how to deal with some of these issues?

She is sitting on my desk now just staring at me (again something she never did before). So I talking to her in calm tones.

hugs Meno Lover
post #2 of 21
I have no idea, but I am going through the same thing with one of mine - the only time she stops crying is if I hold her (which is why I am typing one handed).

We are thinking of getting her a friend
post #3 of 21
Aww, poor baby. I'm so sorry for both of you. Maybe you could get her a friend?
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
I don't think that is going to work

If you think about it in human terms. If I lost a sister I was attached to, there would be no getting a new sister. Their loss is as real as ours accept they don't understand what happened. One day their friend was their and the next gone.

Not all cats get along, in getting a new pet your looking at upsetting an apple cart. There has to be a better way to help ourselves and our pets through this time of pain and sorrow.

Hugs Menou Lover

p.s. there are 4 other cats remaining in our home. She knows its her sissy missing and she can't find her. she is not looking for a new friend she is looking for her old friend.
post #5 of 21
You have to let the cat handle the grief itself. It cannot be fixed by getting a different cat as the cat wants its old buddy back, If the grieving cat choses you for a replacement buddy, let her be as it is her way of handling things - remember, YOU are the constant in her life as she knew it prior to the death. This will likely pass to a greater or lesser degree, it just takes time.
post #6 of 21
I lost my Sheba to cancer on July 6 of this year. Her brother was crushed and was very sad, as well as very clingy to me. It took him a few days and he seemed to accept things and has moved on at this point.

Unfortunately, it does take some time, but you all will get through this.

I'm very sorry for the loss of YOUR Sheba.

Cally
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menou Lover View Post
Their loss is as real as ours accept they don't understand what happened. One day their friend was their and the next gone.

Not all cats get along, in getting a new pet your looking at upsetting an apple cart. There has to be a better way to help ourselves and our pets through this time of pain and sorrow.
Of course, however it does work in some situations.
post #8 of 21
It also helps if you talk to the kitty about the lost sibling, about her passing -- tell her what has happened. It may seem strange, but they understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Just talk to her as you would a young child going through the same thing, and reassure her a lot.

I'm sorry for your loss.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menou Lover View Post
I don't think that is going to work

If you think about it in human terms. If I lost a sister I was attached to, there would be no getting a new sister. Their loss is as real as ours accept they don't understand what happened. One day their friend was their and the next gone.

Not all cats get along, in getting a new pet your looking at upsetting an apple cart. There has to be a better way to help ourselves and our pets through this time of pain and sorrow.

Hugs Menou Lover

p.s. there are 4 other cats remaining in our home. She knows its her sissy missing and she can't find her. she is not looking for a new friend she is looking for her old friend.
That depends on the dynamic of the household, I also have 4 remaining cats, Autumn was the last one in and bonded with Scully, the other three were our original cats and share a bond they are not willing to share with her.

I dont think a new cat will replace Scully, for me or her but I also do not want her to be lonely because the boys, as nice as they are being to her right now had a 3 year plus bond before we ever got Scully and more before she was introduced and are just not willing to share that with her.

She on the other hand has accepted every single animal I have fostered without issue - every single one has been a new playmate for her
post #10 of 21
When I lost Napoleon, his brother, Wellington, cried for him for weeks, whatever I did. I had four other cats at the tiome and none of them could comfort him in any way. But then suddenly Biscotte turned up in the barn one day, came inside and Wellington just adopted her. From then till now they have been inseparable just as the two brothers were. SO you never know what could happen. But as said, the cat has to decide what and whom it will accept. Meanwhile, just hug her and talk to her and give her as much love as she is prepared to take.
post #11 of 21
So sorry you lost her.
When I lost Stormy Meekos half sister in December 2007 Meeko became very upset and sick because she refused to eat.
I had just got Oreo and that was the best thing I could have done because Meeko became friends with her and started eating.
A month later I lost Yoshi Meekos son and she became the same way but not as bad.
Her and Stormy were very close.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rapunzel47 View Post
It also helps if you talk to the kitty about the lost sibling, about her passing -- tell her what has happened. It may seem strange, but they understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Just talk to her as you would a young child going through the same thing, and reassure her a lot.

I'm sorry for your loss.


I know it really sounds strange but this was exactly the thing my family did for our family cats several times.

First we adopted this female ferral who happened to be pregnant - we did not really know that she was until one day she delivered several at our house.
Unfortunately only 2 female kittens had made it. Few days after the delivery, this mother cat walked around looking, also kept meowing at my parents as if she was asking "what happened to my babies? I thought there were more. Where are they?".

Because she repeatedly doing this, my dad told her, "No sweetie, these 2 were the only babies you had. There were no other." as if he's talking to a human. Eventually, seemed she understood and stopped meowing or looking around.

When this mother cat died few years ago, one of the daughter cat who was extremely attached to her did exactly the same thing, walking around, looking everywhere and continuously meowing. Again, my parents did the same - talking to this poor kitty who was mourning the loss of her mother.

People(including my parents) tend to think & often says that animals do not have feelings or emotions like human-beings do. These 2 incidents made my parents realized that animals are just like us - they do understand circumstances and have the kind of feelings & emotions like we do.

I am very sorry for your loss.
Hope your would comfort her for going through this tough time
post #13 of 21
When we took Leo to the vet in the cat carrier and came home without him in the carrier my cats, I swear went into depression. To this day (5 months later) they will not get in their carriers AT ALL! Very sad to see them greiving the loss of their brother.

What I did was adopt another black & white, young, playful cat for them to play with. It has helped them all but never will be the same. I just make sure I love them like usual. They are just like us.....

Sorry about the loss of your Kitty
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Menou Lover View Post
We just lost Sheba to cancer (9/22/09) Tuesday. We have 5 remaining cats in the home.

We need to grieve the loss of our dear pet that is the way of life. How do you help cats with their grief?

There is one in particular we are worried about her sibling Shela. Shela was the runt and attached to her sister since birth. That is one of the reasons we brought Sheba home was for Shela.

Shela is searching the house everywhere for her sister. In toys, under things in closets calling her. She has become more vocal in two days time getting louder as if she thinks if she is loud enough her sister will hear her.

She sits and stares at me, as if asking where is her sissy. She crawls up next to me when I lay down in bed and lets me pet her to sleep (this is new)

Shela is a cat who when you touch her she has to lick herself clean. She could never stand being touched.

Any ideas how to deal with some of these issues?

She is sitting on my desk now just staring at me (again something she never did before). So I talking to her in calm tones.

hugs Meno Lover
I'm sorry for the loss of your kitty. We lost one as well about 2 months ago. Mistoflees was 17 and had (as best as I can guess) kidney failure.

I was worried about Sneaky Pie. She grew up with him, and thought she'd be sad. I don't even know if she realizes he's no longer here. She never wandered around the house looking for him.

Though she's changed and wants us now to pay attention to her and play with her more now. There was one night that the entire family was gone, I was still here, and that cat was at my feet the entire night So maybe she does miss him a little.

I'd say just let the kitty grieve. From what I've read, some animals do go through grief.

Cheryl
post #15 of 21
This might sound a little stupid to some of you but I'm wondering what would happen if you took your poor departed kittys caller and put it on your depressed kitty so she would feel closer to the one that is gone.

Sorry I don't remember their names as I read a lot of posts to get here. Seems like she might feel better if she had her friends caller with her friends smell to make her feel better.

As usual just thinking out loud

Mm
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mmfh View Post
This might sound a little stupid to some of you but I'm wondering what would happen if you took your poor departed kittys caller and put it on your depressed kitty so she would feel closer to the one that is gone.

Sorry I don't remember their names as I read a lot of posts to get here. Seems like she might feel better if she had her friends caller with her friends smell to make her feel better.

As usual just thinking out loud

Mm
I don't think that sounds stupid at all. I was thinking if she had a favorite toy or blanket that may still have her smell on it, it may comfort the other cat in a way. One question, did Sheba die at home or did you have to put her down (or passed at the vets, etc). Reason I asked is when my MIL's Yorkie passed away suddenly (as in begging for pettins one minute, dying the next...vet thinks it was a heart attack or stroke), MIL brought each of the other dogs over to him and let them smell him before burying him. It was heart breaking...one of the dogs (his best friend) kept nudging him with her nose to "wake him up", then looking over her shoulder at MIL clearly asking "what's wrong?". After a few minutes, she just laid down beside him and said her goodbyes. Then, she just got up and walked away. She knew he was gone. She was sad for a few days but she never really looked for him and recovered quicker than she would have it he had just disappeared one day.

I also agree talking to her and explaining what happened would help. When DH had to spend a few night in the hospital one time, Harley was going crazy looking for him. It just screwed up his night-time routine. I explained that daddy was gone but will be back, and he seemed to calm down. I don't know if he actually understood (because he was mad at DH when he DID come home! ) or if the calm tone of my voice reassured him, but trying it can't hurt.

Other than that...it will just take time. Give her all the lovins you can and make sure she feels secure. You never know....eventually you may want to try to get her her own little friend.
post #17 of 21
I'm so sorry for your loss.

When we had to put Raven to sleep, the vet clipped some of his fur and put it in a baggie for us to take home. Nabu was kind of looking for Raven when we got home that night, I opened the ziploc bag for him to sniff. Nabu got a very strange look on his face and walked away. I've never seen that expression before or since then. But he never looked for his brother after that. He did go into quite a depression, we fed him whatever we could get him to eat for a couple of weeks (ended up being Fancy Feast Medleys). He refused to play with Raven's favorite toys even.

He eventually came around, but like us he needed to grieve the loss of his brother. Your kitty just needs time and love. Lots of hugs, love, and playtime will help heal your hearts.
post #18 of 21
Thread Starter 
It has been a week now since Sheba has been gone.

We have been watching Shila carefully to make sure she eats and drinks, if not alot at least something. There are toys here with Sheba's scent on it like cubes she use to sit in and play in with her sissy. The first few days Shila would not come out of them. She just smell them and sleep in them when she was not looking and crying for Sheba.

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning was the first morning she acted like her old self running through the house like a mad little hatter she is. Banking off walls and running up and down the stairs : ) I laughed so hard i had tears in my eyes.

Shila tried so very hard to entice one of the remaining 4 kittys to play with her, chasing them wanting so very much for one of them to play with her like her sissy did every day. The older 8 year old Gypsi would stop and hiss at her. Shila would shy away. She tried to entice one of the 5 year old white twin males Cuddles he stopped and gave her a pretty hard thumping.
The other white twin ran so fast his phat belly bouncing down the hall to find a hiding spot.

She then turned to me crying and crying, jumping on my lap, jumping off my lap, jumping on the chair behind, then off the chair. Her nick name is squeekers cause she always squeeking for attention. This is a cat who if you pet or touch her has to lick herself constantly like our touch poisons her.

She is so torn right now in her little mind. I know my husband / family and I didn't want any more pets we still have 5 inside and feed a few ferals outside. BUT, for the love of Shila if I could find her a perfect playmate like Sheba I would in a minute get her a new best friend.

On another note: I had to pay the vet and pick up the kitty carrier this week. I made an appointment to ask the vet some questions to ease my mind the best I could.

I felt responsible for Sheba's death, ONLY IF is what I kept asking myself. Or the other question was, if she was so far gone should we have made her comfortable and just enjoyed her what little time she had left.

I am a very emotional person and feel these very deeply. I had a long tearful chat with our vet. This is what I learned: I did not give Shila the cancer, as soon as we realized she was ill we brought her in, we did every test possible to get a diagnosis. In the end with the results WE chose to take the one where she might have had the chance at life (ALWAYS LIFE) NO matter the cost. When they opened her up the cancer had spread from her small intestines through her entire body her splean/heart/liver/kidneys the only humane thing to do was to let her get in peace.

The doctor sent sample to the lab (at the vets cost) because he wanted to know what happened and we had so many questions. We have other cats and her sister still at home. This should not have happened to a 3.5 year old cat that was one of the reasons we thought we could save her she was so darn young.

I needed to know the vet WAS my our family vet and not the hospital's vet (if you know what I mean) and I came away feeling better that our family had done all we could do for Sheba. AND YES I TRUST MY VET
This is so very important when you have pets and stuff like this happens

hugs Menou Lover
post #19 of 21
Only you know what is best for yourself and your cats, I knew Autumn needed a friend as as much as she is hissing at Quincy, she seems happier having someone to roll around and play with (she needs to make up her mind on whether she loves or hates him though because the poor boy is so confused by her)

I know what you mean about the family vet instead of the hospital / e-vet Quincy and I are going to meet the vet next week despite the fact he just had a week long stay at the shelter vet
post #20 of 21
Aw poor little thing!!!!!!!!!
my nana had this problem with one of her cats after his brother died and she gave him a soft toy with his brothers scent on it. I think it helped ....Im sorry to hear about your lovely wee cat.

k
xx
post #21 of 21
We went through the same thing with Speck when Smoke died. It took Speck quite a while to adjust. I don't really have any advice, but
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