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greiving cat - what to do?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hoping you could help us out here.

We had 2 cats, brother and sister, 7 years old. The Male was smart and very friendly, the female (runt of the litter) was very quiet and timid. Not so smart but a great "mothering" cat to her brother. Just before Christmas Judy's brother died rather suddenly of a heart problem. Judy, the sister, seems to never have recovered from the loss. She seems to be eating less but is not getting thinner. She still looks very healthy. Here's the thing... she now meows almost non-stop and it's a real crying meow. She was very quiet before. She will now sit in room all by herself and meow away driving everyone crazy. We call to her to come over and even go to get her but eventually she will just go back to meowing by herself. Here is the question: Should we get another little kitten to "replace" the companionship of her brother right away or do you think it would be better to let her mourn and wait until she stops with the crying before getting someone new? We are just not sure if it would help her to have a little kitten around to take care of or would it just cause her more stress having a new cat in the house while she is still grieving her brother. We didn't want to get a new kitty so soon but now we are thinking of Judy and how to help her.

Any advice you could provide would be very appreciated.
post #2 of 7
Hi, you should really wait before getting another cat and let her get the grief out of her system. When there is a sudden death, the left-behind cat generally goes looking for their lost one which is why she is mewing. I would take her on your lap and get her attention and just tell her what happened. Just talk to her. I know it sounds nuts, but they really do need to hear it, that he is gone and why.

Then invest in a feliway comfort zone room diffuser and plug that in. Remove from the home any leftover item from the other cat, bed, toys etc....to help make the process easier for your other cat. Just like us, they have to grieve, they just do it differently than we do
post #3 of 7
Sakura grieved alot after I adopted her. She was seperated from her sisiter of 2 years. She acted just like the way your kitty is. Everytime she started that sad call of hers I would just go to her to pet and comfort her. It took her 3 months to get over it. Now she sees me as her sister. She never leaves my side. The only time I here that call now is when she sits in an open window during the night. It's really sad. I'm trying to convince my fiancee to get her sister now that we can afford it.
post #4 of 7
When Robbie was put to sleep, my 4 year old cat Silver mourned his loss. They had been good companions - in fact, Silver who had been abandoned, 'followed Robbie home' one cold winter night and wasn't going to leave the warm house. They slept together and played together, and I was too upset at first to notice how Silver was also mourning. He was sad, depressed, didn't want to play, and went looking for Robbie and seemed sad when he never found him.

I hadn't planned on getting another cat right away, but a friend who owned a stable had a 5 week old kitten that was the only survivor of her litter and didn't look like she would make it unless she got an inside home. Reluctantly, I agreed to take the tiny, flea-invested, round-worm invested spotted kitten home - after a stop at the vets on the way for de-worming and de-fleaing. Tristan was ecstatic! He adopted the little kitten right from the start, washing her and sleeping curled up next to her, and following her around like a shadow. The kitten even started to suckle on Tristan's nipples and he just stretched out and let her, the two of them purring away. She did stop that by the time she was older, but it was so apparent to me that the two of them desperately needed each other at that time.

Only you will know if your cat is one who will benefit from the companionship of a little kitten. Since she nurtured and cuddled and groomed her brother she may welcome having someone else now to look after and help her get over her grief. It is going on to three months now. I appreciate your concern to let her mourn, but after my experience with Silver, I would suggest she may welcome an affectionate kitten who 'needs' her.

post #5 of 7
I am so sorry for your loss (both of you).
I don't know if this will help but I can relate something that happened in our home.
One day while I was at work, one of my dogs killed one of my cats, Shadow, and, judging by his reaction, her brother, Rufus, saw it happen. He hid so well that it took me 2 hours to find him in our home and our house is not large. He mourned her for some time, as I did, but we also had other cats in the house and I think that they helped him in his grieving, because they acted kinder than usual toward him for awhile and would try to play with him, I guess to bring him out of himself. He won't ever take to them the way he did to Shadow, but I do think that they helped him.
Once again, I am so sorry. I know it feels terrible to lose a pet - the only fault I think pets in general have is that their lives are so short.
It will get better for you both, even if it does not seem so right now. I promise you.
post #6 of 7
Hi there,

I am really sorry for your loss...(.gosh...words...sound so inadequate at times..).

I hope your kitty gets over her loss, soon...but the one word of advice i wanted to pass on is that maybe a kitten would not be such a good choice for the older cat. Kittens tend to be rambunctious. And being an older quieter cat, she may not appreciate the constant harassment that a kitten might subject her to. This is the advice I got when I went with a friend to look for a companion for one of her kitties (6 yrs.) My friend ended up adopting a 5 yr old and was pretty happy with the resulting bond.

Take care
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Really appreciate all the advice and kind words. I guess we're going to go ahead and wait until next fall or winter to get anyone new. I'm sure little Judy will be back to her old self again. As for the advice of adopting a cat instead of a kitten (when the time comes), definately something to think about. I really never considered that as an issue before.

Thanks again to everyone.
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