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I'm a cat lover, and I recently had to say goodbye to my little tuxedo cat, Monkey. Within a week or two his buddy, Kirby, started hiding in the basement, refusing to eat, changing his vocalization patterns. He previously had a tiny little meow like a kitten, and now he was literally yodeling LOUDLY at all hours of the day and night.

I did some research and found that all the traits he was exhibiting were symptomatic of loss and the advice was:

Give him more affection and attention
Don't punish his bad behavior 
Reward him with more affection when he's behaving appropriately
Give him time.  

I spent a lot of time petting and speaking softly to him over the next few days and I'm happy to say that he's slowly returning to normal. He's spending more time in his usual places and eating much more. The yodeling still hasn't quite stopped, but I'm confident it will over time.

I don't know if I can honestly say it's "grief" they experience, but they do sense a change in their situation and express their emotions much the same way humans do. I thought I'd share this and wondered if anyone else has experienced this sort of behavior.


TheoryNumber3 8 Oct 16
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Cats and dogs along with lots of other animals have emotions. Every day I watch sea gulls fly in the air currents the only reason to do this is for fun.

I thought that it was to get from A to B where B is either food, shelter or nest. How do you determine some other reason? Labels on the wings, mind reading, grins on their beaks, telepathy or mind reading?


Sorry for your loss. I haven't noticed that intensity of grief in a pet, but I have noticed some. I have a current threesome that are constantly in a cuddle puddle. I suspect they would be upset if one were to disappear.

Love "cuddle puddle".

Me too!!


Kiri wouldn't play for a year after we lost our Wisspurr, & she was always the one to play for hours every day.....hyper kitty.


They feel emotions too

bobwjr Level 10 Oct 16, 2021

Based upon observations of a lifetime of living with them, I believe cats do experience grief. I'm so sorry you lost an important member of your family.

Deb57 Level 8 Oct 16, 2021

Thank you. It's inevitable... they're only on loan


My sister had three cats which all passed away within a year of each other. Granted they were all old ladies, but I do think after the first one passed, the other two experienced grief and passed soon after.

snytiger6 Level 9 Oct 16, 2021

Animals need to see evidence of their partners or friends passing away or they don't know where they've gone and feel abandoned.

OldGoat43 Level 9 Oct 16, 2021

Interesting point. What do you do? Leave the the cadaver where it can be smellt & touched? And for how long?

@FrayedBear . Let them see that the other one has passed away and they will understand. Wild animals do this and so to domesticated farm animals. It only takes a few minutes for them to see and come to terms with the death. Humans are more complicated.

@OldGoat43 Aren't they ever. I could never understand my SIS who still had my brother's ashes in the urn on the mantlepiece ten years after he was killed.
And she talked to them - or was that nagged? I neither know nor care. They have all ostracised me.


Thanks for taking the time to share your grief with him

Susieq Level 7 Oct 16, 2021

I don't doubt that grief over pets can be the same, in some cases, as that over humans.

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