Do our cats experience feelings of loss, grief, and heartache? Absolutely. Although you may not be able to identify these feelings in the same way you can with yourself or another human.
Your cat may show grief with some of the following actions:
1. Out of the ordinary behaviors
2. Extra lovey or extra distant/withdrawal from you
3. Sudden aggression
4. Weight loss
5. Changes in coat/not grooming the same or as often
Cats help us through our grief by being independent but there for us, being in tune with our emotions and changes in our body language, and by moving at our pace with us with their powerful adaptability. So in the same way, we need to help our cats grieve the best we can.
Here is Captain sleeping on my pillow, right up against my head. He only does this on nights I am really worried and stressed about something or don’t feel well. And I promise I couldn’t make that up. Usually, I think why did Cap sleep on me last night and then I think about the day I had and it makes so much sense! Trust me, this boy is a sleep-on-daddy kind of cat through and through but he still shows me compassion every now and then. 🙂
Ways to help cats through their grief:
1. Try to keep things as much the same as possible! Cats are creatures of habit. Try not to change up your own or their routine as much as possible! Also, it isn’t usually the best idea to run straight out and get a new companion to bring home. Although, eventually, this isn’t a bad idea if it seems your kitty is quite lonely when you are away.
2. Give extra attention and love to your feline friend, while being aware that he may also want some extra space in his own time.
3. Take notes about their changes in behavior and follow-up with a veterinarian regularly to be sure the grief doesn’t impact their health negatively.
4. Talk to them, with a calming and gentle voice, that says “I am here for you, just as you are for me.” Maybe they won’t be able to exactly decipher every word, but they can certainly tell if your heart was in the right place when you spoke.
Although my boys aren’t always absolutely best friends, I know that if something happened to one of them, the other would be sad. I mean after all, Gandalf holds Captain’s tail between his own paws as he falls asleep sometimes!
I hope you learned something new from today’s post! Please feel free to drop a note if you have ever had to deal with a grieving kitty.
Have a meowvalous day!