Lifestyle with Cat

How to Handle Saying Goodbye to Your Cat

People always say that dogs are “man’s best friend,” and that may be true. However, if you’re a cat owner, chances are your feline friend has become an integral part of your family over the years. Preparing yourself for the end of their life can be overwhelming.

Cats tend to live longer than most dogs – around 12-18 years. That gives you more time to love them, care for them, and bond with them. It also makes it that much harder when it comes time to say goodbye.

saying goodbye to your cat, how to cope with the loss of a pet

No matter what you do or how much you prepare yourself for it, it’s never easy to lose a pet. So, how can you get through it? How can you cope with having to say goodbye to your cat in healthy, effective ways? Let’s cover a few tips that can help you manage your emotions and keep moving forward during this time of grief.

Find the Right Method

Everyone copes with difficult situations differently. That’s why various methods can make things easier. Finding the right method to deal with the loss of your cat will help you to accept their passing and eventually move forward.

Some of the best healthy coping strategies for dealing with this kind of loss include

  • The Distraction Method – This method focuses on distracting yourself in productive ways, so your mind isn’t always on the loss of your cat. It doesn’t mean you avoid the situation or don’t accept reality. However, when you start to feel down about your loss, shift your perspective to something else. Even distracting yourself for a few minutes can help to keep your emotions in check.
  • The Soothing Method – You might feel like nothing could possibly soothe you right now. However, this method focuses on finding things that bring you comfort and peace. Try taking a few deep breaths, getting a massage, or listening to your favorite music. The more calm and comfortable you feel, the less likely you are to be anxious and stressed about your loss.
  • The Balancing Method – This method focuses on being honest about how you’re feeling and asking for help if you need it. Consider making a list of positive things you’ve done to cope so far, but don’t deny your feelings if you’re still overwhelmed with grief.

Everyone deals with grief differently. The most important thing is that you keep moving forward through the stages of grief on your own timeline. Lean on others, take care of yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you start to fall into unhealthy coping strategies.

Make the Most of Your Cat’s Final Days

Unless a tragic accident happens, you’ll probably have some time to prepare for your cat’s last day on earth. Though it can be hard to accept that reality, and you might already feel like grieving, you can give yourself some closure before their death by making the most of their final days.

First, don’t beat yourself up over your decision to euthanize your pet. It’s not uncommon to feel things like

  • Anger
  • Guilt
  • Shame
  • Sadness
  • Shock

However, euthanasia is a humane way to prevent your cat from suffering further. Yes, it’s an incredibly hard decision, but when you look at your cat and know that they’re in pain or sick, it’s the best thing you can do to take care of them.

Before that day comes, however, consider doing what you can to make their last days comfortable. Spend as much quality time with them as possible. Keep them warm. Feed them a little extra if they’re still able to eat. Most importantly, give everyone in your family a chance to say goodbye. That will make the grieving process a bit easier, especially when it comes to young children. Saying goodbye to a beloved cat can feel next to impossible, but don’t let yourself fall into unhealthy patterns of grief. You’ll never forget your feline companion, and you can honor their memory for years to come by keeping pictures, talking about them, and keeping small mementos that will always remind you of the love you shared

About the Author: Katie Brenneman

Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, and animal-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or snuggling with her cat, Clementine. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter.

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