Before kids, your pets are like your children. After having kids, your furry friends take on a new role as big brother or sister. Children learn valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty, responsibility, and even boundaries by growing up with cats or kittens.
When the inevitable happens, whether expected or unexpected, the pain of losing your cat can be hard to manage. Even more so, kids may not have had to deal with this kind of loss before. Pet loss is never easy, but there are some things you can do with your family to help with the healing process.
1. Be honest with your children
Use discretion when it comes to the age of your child, but in most cases, honesty is the best policy. We’ve all heard of animals going to “live at a farm” but while that helps children temporarily move on, it doesn’t do anything to prepare them to confront grief head-on.
2. Be there for your kids
You may feel the most pain from losing your cat and they may not grieve in the same way. Try not to push them to feel a certain way and openly discuss how you’re all feeling. Be there for them, to talk, to hug, to cry, and to smile about the good times you had with your kitty.
3. Celebrate the good times
When you and your family feel that you’re in a good spot, set aside time to memorialize your cat. Whether this is setting up a framed picture or planting flowers in honor of them, do something together and look back on your good memories.
Your cat is part of your family and losing them can be devastating. Check in often on your children to see how they’re coping with the loss and come together for support.