Cats have a reputation for being calm, cool and collected beings -- no matter what. However, if you're a cat owner, you probably know that isn't always the case. When a feline loses a dear companion, whether due to death or other circumstances, she too can feel the sting.
Since cats cannot verbalize their emotions in the way that humans do, it can be tricky to know whether or not a cat is in mourning over the absence of her friend. Because of this, it is vital to observe any unusual new behavioral patterns she may be displaying. Perhaps your cat is restlessly and anxiously searching around for her lost buddy. She may not be eating her meals. She also may simply be yowling in misery. Other telltale symptoms are exhaustion, low energy and uncharacteristic neediness. All of these signs point to a grieving and unhappy little kitty.
If your cat is acting depressed and melancholy due to her friend being taken away, then it is up to you to step up to the plate to nurture her back to health and happiness. Many cats react to grief by exhibiting clingy behaviors. Cater to this by giving your cat as much care, attention and comfort as you can. Cuddle up to her on the couch. Groom and pet her head and back. Engage in regular play time. Go the extra mile to ensure your crestfallen kitty's well-being.
Similarly to humans, sad cats can't just snap out of grief. Understand that it will take some time for your cat's behavior to revert back to normal. After all, her entire world was turned upside down when her best bud seemingly disappeared on her! Your cat may begin to behave as her old self in as little as a couple of weeks, and it could take half a year or even longer. All cats are different and operate at their own pace. Be understanding and expect this.
It may initially seem like a good idea to ease your cat's loneliness by getting another pet. However, all this may accomplish is making your unhappy cat even more anxious and uncomfortable -- cats often take time to adjust to new additions to their "turf." Take your time with making any changes to your household -- and your cat will appreciate you for it!
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.