Many of us forget that our cats have emotions because they don’t express them in the same way as humans. If your kitty has recently lost a loved one, animal or human, they’re grieving a loss and it’s our job to comfort them.
Cats will express grief in different ways. If you’ve ever seen a kitty look for a loved one or howl/yowl after losing a friend, that’s a clear sign of grieving. However, some cats will start going outside the box or spraying around the house when they’re sad. This is often a sign of insecurity, which can be a result of grieving a loss.
It’s important to note that cats don’t just grieve the loss of other cats in the home. Cats will grieve if they lose their human or other companion animal as well. A divorce or someone leaving for college can also cause kitties to grieve a loss. They may not understand that some changes are temporary.
If your cat is grieving, here are some tips you can use to help them.
- While distraction can be helpful, we want our cats to be able to go through the grieving process. Just like us, they need to feel, express and release. Extra playtime, one-on-one, with your grieving cat will help build their confidence and reduce their stress. Give them your undivided attention to make them feel extra love.
- Talk to your grieving kitty. Many cat parents don’t realize that our cats understand much more than we think. Especially if you, too, are grieving the loss it’s important to communicate your feelings to your kitty. Let them know that you’re going through this together and you both will be okay eventually.
- Play calming music. Music therapy is a proven way to help reduce sadness and stress in cats. Classical, jazz or ‘spa music’ works well in our home.
- Give your cat calming formulas. This step is missed way too often and the result is our kitties suffering through grief longer than needed. Natural calming formulas help take the edge off and makes it easier for cats to go through the grieving process.