by K Marie Alto November 01, 2020 2 min read
While I had read about animals mourning the loss of a furry friend I had yet to see it firsthand in my 20 years of pet parenting. That all changed 3 weeks ago when we said goodbye to our little Randa Bean, leaving Sosa as the only kitty in the house.
We noticed the change that night. As usual, we put Sosa to bed in the kitty safe room (read the explanation for this routine here) leaving her with some extra snacks. When we checked the camera the next day, she essentially spent the entire night pacing the room while crying out. When morning came Sosa continued pacing the house going into rooms she usually ignored. She began making new crying sounds we had never heard before and would continue non-stop until we called her and encouraged her to come sit with us. She even started going behind furniture and crying; we could only deduce that she was looking and calling out for her sister. Our hearts were breaking and so was hers.
Sosa immediately became my little shadow. If I got up, she followed. If I managed to sneak away while she was sleeping, she would wake up and start crying for me. Sosa has always been a pretty skittish kitty and not having her little partner in crime was clearly making her less confident and much clingier.
Just like humans, cats are all individuals and can show grief in unique ways. Essentially any behavior that is out of the ordinary may be an expression of their mourning. Some common behaviors are as follows:
In our home, we’ve always known that our fur babies can pick up on our emotions. Over the last 3 months, we had basically been on an emotional rollercoaster, which I’m sure they picked up on. Seeing how Sosa reacted to Beany’s passing has helped me be stronger so that she didn’t have to suffer anymore than she was already. While I have been hurting tremendously her reaction has actually helped me by distracting me from my grief in order to help her cope. I know we are all in this together as a family and we are here to help each other heal.
Have you ever had a fur baby display signs of grief? How did you help him/her cope?
K. Marie is an animal lover, wife, kitty mom, dog auntie, writer and co-founder of Toe Beans, a proud American family-owned online boutique pet supplies store focused on the improvement of the life of furry family members via pet parent education, better products, and advocacy. She has over 20 years of experience as a pet momma. She loves sharing her personal journey and experience as a pet parent via her blog and Facebook page where she currently has more than 19K followers (@furrytoebeans) and counting :-).
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