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Pet Loss Support
A Gentle and Humane End
The decision to euthanize your beloved cat is a very personal, difficult choice that is often harder than dealing with the loss itself. You may experience feelings of indecision and/or guilt. You must trust that you will make the best, most loving decision for your cat.
The euthanasia process itself is designed to be as quick and peaceful for you and your cat as possible. We are careful and gentle and provide a quiet and private environment. The euthanasia drug is injected directly into a vein. It is a fast-acting sedative which stops the heart within a few seconds. Euthanasia literally means "good death." Your careful consideration of this process will hopefully make it a little easier for you and your precious companion.
What do I do next?
You must decide how to handle your cat's remains. You may wish to take your cat home for burial, or there are also cremation options available. Staff members can answer any questions you may have about cremation services.
What should I tell my children?
You are the best judge of how much information your children can handle about death and the loss of their pet. You may find, by being honest with them about your pet's loss, that you will be able to address some fears and misconceptions they have about death. Discuss the issue with the entire family, and give everyone a chance to work through their grief at their own pace.
Will my other pets grieve?
Pets observe every change in a household, and are bound to notice the absence of a companion. Pets often form strong attachments to one another, and the survivor of such a pair may seem to grieve for its companion. You may need to give your surviving pets extra attention and love to help them through this period. The love of your surviving pets can be wonderfully healing in your own grief.
Should I get a new pet?
Seeing your grief, loving friends and family may encourage you to adopt a new cat. However, a new cat should be acquired when you are ready. When this time comes, select a cat with whom you can build another long, loving relationship. That is what having a cat is all about!
You may feel the need to share your grief with others, but find it difficult to get the support you need. Family and friends might take the time to listen, but occasionally they may not be able to understand the significance your pet had in your life or the extent of your grief.
Our doctors and staff are always available if you need to talk to someone who will understand your feelings of loss and grief. In addition, listed below are pet loss hotlines and resources available to you:
Pet Loss Support Hotline
College of Veterinary Medicine
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 6-9pm EST
Iams Pet Loss Support Center and Hotline
Mon-Fri 8am-5pm EST
ASPCA Counseling Services
Free Sessions are offered
212-876-7700, ext. 4355
Washington State University
Pet Loss Partnership
Mon, Wed, Thurs 6:30pm-9pm PST
Saturday 1-3pm PST
Donate:Our Needy Cat Fund helps treat and temporarily house injured stray cats, assist owners who would otherwise have to choose euthanasia over treatment due to financial hardship, and contribute to local and national animal crisis. Donations can be made any time at The Cat Doctor.
Loving Memories: The Grieving Process
What a wonderful responsibility we assume when we bring a cat into our families. We provide a loving, safe and healthy home for them, and in turn, they share our lives with us. They provide unconditional acceptance and love us as we are.
One day, our friend will become one of our losses. When that source of unconditional love we turned to is gone, where do we go for comfort?
One of the most difficult and important parts of grief and loss is the process of understanding what has happened, and that what you are feeling is normal. You have the right to grieve, to grieve in the way that you need, and to take as much time as you need.
With time, your pain will lessen but you will never forget your beloved pet. The many happy memories will always be with you.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed
are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing;
they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the
distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group,
flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous
reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the
beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet,
so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…