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Do cats grieve?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
A friend recently lost one of her cats. She had two cats (brother and sister) for 13 years, and unfortunately had to have the male put to sleep due to illness, about three months ago. She is worried that his sister (Mindy) is missing him, and thinks that she is scared to go places that he used to go outside, and that she won't eat where he used to eat, sleep where he used to sleep etc. Is this normal cat behaviour? Years ago one of our cats went missing for a day and a half, thankfully she came back (we still don't know where she got to!), but her sister didn't show any signs of missing her, except for sniffing her a lot when she did come back. My friend has taken the loss of her cat very badly, and I'm worried that she may be imagining these things? Also, would it be a mistake for her to get another cat? She thinks that Mindy would hate it - she's very bad-tempered!
post #2 of 10
Everything I have read, says the cats do know when one of thier siblings has passed. There is no real study or proof, but they can sense something and know that thier friends are gone for good. It sounds like she is grieving. Somtimes getting another cat can help, but it depends on the temperment of the cat. If she doens't think that it would be a good idea, I wouldn't try. It may be more traumatic for her at 13 years old.
post #3 of 10
Simba - it sure sounds to me like your friend's kitty is grieving - I hope she will feel better soon. Loss is not easy on those left behind - furry or otherwise.
post #4 of 10
I also think cats do know when one of their own has died. For 10 years I had two unrelated cats. I had to have our 14 year old cat, Midnight put to sleep on August 29th. The vet made a housecall, and when Midnight died, Snowball was only a few feet away. Snowball never really looked around for Midnight, but for the next three weeks, Snowball wanted constant comforting and reassurance, which was very unusual. Snowball also seemed depressed, lethargic and didn't have any interest in playing during those three weeks. After that, Snowball adjusted and returned to his normal self.

I do feel that Snowball realized that his companion was gone forever, and that he went through a grieving period similar to ours. Also, before Midnight was put to sleep, she went through periods of severe pain, which the vet was treating her for. When Midnight had pain, Snowball would lie next to her like he was trying to comfort her, I am sure he understood she was suffering.
post #5 of 10
I have my very 1st cat and he is now 13 years old. There have been several more cats that have come and gone over the years and Fred has had periods of what seemed to be severe grief. He brought a feral kitten in and took care of her from the time she was a few weeks old. She got out and came back pregnant. She had serious complications with labor and had to be put down. He laid in the basket with her and seemed to br trying to comfort her while she was in labor. When we didn't bring her back from the vet with us, he freaked out. He sat inside the carrier and cried for days, wouldn't eat, and was generally miserable. I finally went to the shelter and got him a kitten. He was thrilled with this one and they grew very close. A year later, this one sneaked out of the house and was hit by a car. I brought him out of the road and laid him on my car to find something to bury him in. Fred ran out and jumped up with him and cleaned his face and ears. He was depressed for months after this. He has cared for 3 other kittens since then and fortunately, they are one happy little feline family.
post #6 of 10
kk - Fred sounds like quite an unusual kitty. So kind hearted and caring. He would make a great mom!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah he sounds lovely doesn't he? Looking after his family aww. It's sad to know that little Mindy is grieving for her brother, but at least we know that that's what it is and we can comfort her.
post #8 of 10
Yeah, Fred is a great cat. I never really thought about having a cat, but my sweetie rescued him from a tree in front of our house. We took him in that night, intending to find his owners the next day. He cried to be let out the next morning and I figured he was going home. He scooted out the door and returned several hours later with his brother. One got on the front screen door and one got one the back and they screamed and cried until we finally let them in. We had both of them for 7 years until brother decided he didn't like us any more and went to live with the neighbors. Over the years, Fred has brought me several kittens, which had to be returned to their mom, a puppy, and several baby bunnies. He is the most lovable thing I have ever seen. He is never aloof, he has to love everybody that comes in the house. There are no strange laps for him, he will sit with anyone who will let him and gives kitty kisses freely. When I was sick a few months ago, he sat on my pillow and watched over me while I slept. I don't think there are too many kitties that sweet.He's my baby.
post #9 of 10
:LOL: Thats too funny! I can see Fred carting a puppy around in his mouth What a sweet sweet kitty . You are blessed and privileged to be his Kitty Mommy
post #10 of 10
KK - I have to agree with Melissa on this one!
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