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Do cats grieve the loss of other cats or human companions?

Saturday, August 28, 2010
posted by Jim Murphy

cats-asleepI always wondered if my cats felt a change of loss when I was away or on vacation. My younger cat, Millie always waits for me by the window if I’m not home by a certain time. My older cat, Mollie simply ignores me if I’ve been away from the house too long as if she was mad at me. If you have multiple cats and one cat dies, it has been reported that the owners notice behavioral changes in the remaining cats.  These changes could be due to a hierarchy that has been changed or the loss itself.  Many cats do grieve the loss of a human companion or grieve the loss of a family dog who dies or goes missing.  It’s really not possible to know what cats feel but when a close companion dies or is away, the certainly feel a sense of loss.  They won’t mourn the loss as humans do but they’re behavior will change to adjust to the “gap” in their lives.  Grief is the result of a sudden or unexpected severing of an attachment.  Cats are aware that a companion cat or human is missing and may actually search for that companion.

There was a circumstance where the owner of two cats died. The cats were put in a shelter and both cats refused to eat.  They were then fostered to a family and the vet gave them some pet medication to reduce stress and stimulate their appetite.  One cat recovered but remained very withdrawn for a long period of time the other cat became critically ill due to liver damage from not eating and had to be euthanized.

Some animals have actually been known to shed tears when in physical or emotional distress. Cats usually have been known to express their grief by having night mares. My older cat will actually shake and cry out when sleeping. This indicates that she is having a bad dream or nightmare.

So, yes I do believe that cats do grieve the loss of their animal or human companion in their own way.



One Response to “Do cats grieve the loss of other cats or human companions?”

  1. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more and link this to our website creative-web-media.ch. Thanks

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