Care for Your Beloved Cat's Remains After They Depart

Support for Coping with the Passing of Your Feline Companion

Losing a beloved pet can bring about immense emotions of grief and uncertainty. When dealing with the passing of your feline friend, you may be unsure of what steps to take next. To assist you during this challenging time, we provide advice and guidance on handling your cat's remains.

Ensuring Respectful Treatment of Your Cat's Body

When a cat passes away, there are generally two options for handling their remains: cremation or burial. To understand which choice is right for you and your pet, it is recommended to speak with a veterinarian who can provide you with information regarding crematoriums and burial sites.

Communal Cremation: A communal cremation is a cost-effective option where multiple pets are cremated together, making it impossible for you to receive your cat's ashes. While it is commonly believed that communal cremation ashes are scattered at the crematorium, the ashes are often buried at an official site for practical reasons. Specific crematoriums can provide further information upon request.

Individual Cremation: This option is more personalized and allows you to have your cat's ashes returned to you. In an individual cremation, a pet is cremated alone in the crematory or sharing an individual tray with other pets. Should an individual cremation be necessary, it is advised to inquire about the process with the veterinary practice's preferred cremation provider. Individual cremations tend to cost more than communal ones, so be sure to inquire about the price difference.

Many crematoriums and cremation services offer tours, which allow you to visit and witness the facilities. During your visit, you may also have the opportunity to choose a container for the ashes, with various designs available for selection.

Some families choose to bury their cat at home in the garden, providing to have adequate depth and clearance and that it is safe to do so according to local regulations and veterinary advice. A burial plot should be a minimum of 1.25 metres deep and three metres away from water sources, cables, and pipes whenever possible. Optionally, you could plant a tree or bush over the burial site or use a pot or slab as a marker to prevent other animals from accessing the area. There are several benefits to burying at home, including the ability to visit the site of your cat's resting place and maintaining a sense of closeness with your pet. However, it is important to consider the possibility of relocating and the difficulty of transporting the remains in the future. In such cases, burying your pet in a large pot may make relocation easier.

For many pet owners, a pet cemetery may serve as an appropriate resting place for their cat, even though it typically relatively expensive. These facilities will often require you to purchase a plot, pay an annual maintenance fee, and acquire a coffin, which may need to be purchased from the cemetary. Select pet cemeteries also have permission to conduct human burials and cremations, allowing you and your cat to lay together, even after death.

Advance planning may prevent you from making difficult decisions in a time of mourning. It is recommended to contact your veterinary practice to investigate the existing options available. In the event that your cat remains at the veterinary practice for a period of time, veterinary staff will keep them in cold storage. Before storage, veterinary staff typically position the cat's body comfortably, and it may be helpful to provide their favorite blanket or bed.

Should you opt for a communal cremation, your feline's ashes will generally not be returned to you. However, if you choose an individual cremation and wish to have the ashes back, getting hold of them can pose a formidable challenge. Many caretakers may not be emotionally ready to retrieve their beloved pet's remains soon after the cremation process. It is crucial to keep this in mind and make necessary arrangements. Seek support from a confidant or family member during this difficult phase or ask someone to pick up the ashes on your behalf. More often than not, the veterinary clinic or crematorium is happy to store them securely for several weeks until you feel up to collecting them.

Visit the links below for additional support:

  • - Knowing when it's time to let go
  • - The process of putting a cat down
  • - Coping with the loss of your cat
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