Make fun of your cat showing grief when a trusted human or a conspecific has died. We give you tips on how to help your pet through the hard times.
Everyone talks about the grief for a beloved animal. “Who thinks of the mourning of animals, when a loved one dies?” Katja Timm wrote from Telgte and inspired us to this article. When her mother died, it was natural for her to take over her cat. Although Arthur was familiar with her, her nine cats, and the two dogs, he found it hard to come to terms with the new situation. In the meantime, nine months have passed, and Arthur has found his place in the extended family.
Mourning cats are introverted
At his veterinary practice in Rapperswil, Switzerland, Dr. Ing. Yair Schiftan often deals with mourning cats. “Mostly they retreat, their play instinct is diminished, and they hardly eat, which can lead to utter loss of appetite and emaciation, and some show veritable depressive signs,” the expert explains. “Who a cat indicator: Make your cat knows a joy well, can find signs of mourning in posture and play on the ears, they are more introverted, no longer exploratory.” In his experience, love and understanding and, if the pet permits, pats are the best medicine. “If an animal does not want body contact, you must not stroke it by force,” advises Carola Ruff from the Berlin shelter. “Give him the peace and quiet it needs Open the bedroom door at night Sleeping sound can be a familiar sound to cats, and some even lie down at the foot of it.” If a cat can be touched, but does not want to eat, put something in the vicinity while stroking, which smells intense and tempting like smoked fish or roasted chicken. If the trick works, such treats should be an exception, considering the slim line and health.
Mood swings can also point to grief
The Hamburg cat psychologist and animal homeopath Janine Baguhn has learned that grief can also express itself in mood swings. “On the one hand, the cat wants to make contact, but if you want to touch it, it becomes aggressive, and some even tear out the hair on the lower abdomen, thighs and paws, which is a skipping action to compensate for the stress,” explains the expert.
That’s how you can help
Often cats react even more violently to the loss of their human than to the death of a conspecific. Because usually they lose in addition their familiar environment. They do not understand why they are suddenly somewhere else, where there are only strangers and everything smells different. “If you take over the animal of a deceased person, you should therefore take as much as possible of all cat’s belongings and also worn garments of the owner who still smell of it,” advises Janine Baguhn. “Put these on the sleeping place or under the food bowl. This can help wean the animal slowly.” Sometimes mourning can occur only days after the death of the social partner. For example, if a sick cat is euthanized in the veterinary practice, that is incomprehensible to the other animal. “It would be better to let the cat sleep at home or, if the vet allows, to take the dead cat,” advises the cat psychologist. “So it can be sniffed by the others again.” But do not be alarmed when they touch it. This is normal because it does not move anymore and smells different. Sometimes it is helpful to animate the cat to play. By awakening the hunting instinct, she is taken out of grief. You can also relax catnip, brewer’s yeast (as flakes extra for cats) or fish oil into the food display: Buy directly on Amazon or drip her one or two drops of valerian in the mouth. However, you should not do this too often, otherwise it will lose its effect. Alternatively, the veterinarian has a good-smelling Feromonpräparat (Feliway), which conveys well-being.
Time heals the wounds
“Even animals need time to process their grief, so it should take about one year for them to get a new partner,” says Janine Baguhn. Bach flowers can be an important help in the mourning process. While Janine Baguhn always chooses the Bach flowers individually for the respective animal, veterinary practitioner Petra Stein always uses Rescue drops as a first measure.before continuing treatment with other flower essences. “The emergency drops are the only completed Bach flower complex composed of five flowers, including the Star of Bethlehem, which not only bears the name Seelentröster, but also acts as such,” explains Petra Stein, Author of a Bach flower book. Otherwise, she recommends eight of the 38 Bach flowers especially to regulate the subsequent problems of loss. “No matter what the animals mourn, there is always a psychological trauma that unlike humans triggers different reactions,” explains the native of Munich. “Some react with protests, some with apathy and loss of will to life, others aggressively, and in some cases emotional distress also negatively affects the organism and metabolism, so that the animals can also get organic, even cancer In many of these cases, homeopathy can also help to restore the mental balance and regain the quality of life. ” Again and again, there are cats that show no signs of mourning at the death of the four-legged partner. But on the contrary. They really thrive because there is no one who annoys them, and because they finally have the owner all to themselves.