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lanabanana41598's avatar

How do i get over the loss of my 20 year old cat?

Asked by lanabanana41598 (33 points ) March 29th, 2011

My family and I recently had to put our family cat that was 20 years old down. He had a bad mouth infection that caused him to have a large bump in his mouth and he couldn’t eat properly. He was like my best friend. I saw him everyday all the time. Now it feels like what ever I do remind me of him. At the times when I felt like I had no one I could always go to him to make me laugh or be happy. When my grandpa passed away My mother (his daughter) was looking through old photos of my grandpa and my mom and she was in tear. Our cat climbed up on the bed and cuddled with her. He was the best cat i could have every asked for. I miss him so much. I know that i had him in my life for a reason. I just wish I didn’t have to feel so sad and cry all the time. I know that he’s out of his misery, I just feel like I’m alone now.

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14 Answers

mazingerz88's avatar

May I suggest getting to know a kitten who might have the same features as your friend. When I lost my dog for 12 years I knew I had to get another with the same breed.

lonelydragon's avatar

Sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved pet. It will take some time to recover from your grief (and a part of you will always miss him). But you can be thankful that he had a long, wonderful life to share with you.

ETA: I also agree with others about getting another cat, but you should wait until you are ready.

theninth's avatar

It will take time. I lost my 18 year old cat a few years ago and I still miss her terribly. You just have to know it’s okay to grieve. Pets are family as much as people are and it’s fine to feel sad.

I agree with @mazingerz88—consider getting a new kitten…. but maybe get one completely unlike your dear cat, so you don’t compare them. New kitten with a new personality and a new outlook. It helps.

wilma's avatar

I’m so sorry that your dear cat is now gone from your life. You will grieve for him and that is natural. In time you will feel better and be able to smile again. When you are ready, get another cat to love.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Just give yourself a chance to grieve for him, hon. I know how you feel. I lost my little sealpoint ragdoll cat a few months back. I still miss the little guy after all this time, but the feelings have slowly evolved from grief to fond memories. [ HUGS ]

mcsnazzy's avatar

Im so sorry! :((
You will miss him, and mourn…thats a natural part, especially because the cat was 20. But when you think about how he is now…at peace, rest, and how you had some great memories with him, it will make you feel better, and eventually you will be able to move on and remember him as positive memories in yor life.

faye's avatar

I’ve lost 2 old cats and grieved for them. I think it’s time that will help the most. Meanwhile get busy. I have 2 cats now and my daughter’s dog. Pets are wonderful!

yankeetooter's avatar

I know this sounds kind of callous, but get another pet. Maybe not right away, and no, they may never replace the old one, but it will help ease the pain.

rooeytoo's avatar

If you feel like talking to someone about it, many vet school have 800 numbers you can call for grief counseling. Give it a google. Iams has one as well here

I truly think though if you had an adorable little kitten to snuggle with, it would help you move on. The grief doesn’t really diminish, your life just gets bigger.

global_nomad's avatar

I know how you feel. My cat was my best friend for fourteen years. We moved around a lot from country to country when I was growing up and that cat slept in my bed every night from the time I was in first grade up until I went off to college. He would always shun me when I came back home for the breaks and punish me by sleeping somewhere else. He’d always come back though. The worst part about the death of my cat was that I was not able to be there for him in the end. He was my cat. I named him and even though my sister was there when we got him from the shelter as a kitten, he bonded with me way more than with anyone else in the family. My parents had to make the decision to put him down last year at around Labor Day when I was here in an entirely different country at school. I cried so much. I never got to say goodbye. I still feel like crying sometimes when I think about him. He was hella annoying at times, but he was my best friend. There were two things that made me feel better after he died. They are kind of silly but they worked. The first thing I did was write a letter to him telling him all the things I would have said if I had the chance to say goodbye. It just gave me some closure. The second was to read the book Marley and Me. Seriously. That book will make you feel so much better. I think I read the whole thing in one sitting. It’s a sad book but it will let you know that you are not alone in how you feel. I don’t know. It just helped me deal.

srtlhill's avatar

I’m so sorry for yor loneliness but remember how long you gave your friend happiness.
Without your caring who knows? You have a Hugh heart my friend, keep your eye out for that next family member. Smile I know that cat is.

tedibear's avatar

@lanabanana41598 – I’m so sorry for your loss. A few years ago I had to have my cat, Elizabeth, put down. She was very ill, suffering and not going to ever recover. It is in the top 5 of difficult things that I’ve had to do in my life. No one can tell you how long it will take you to recover. Grief is a very personal thing and everyone heals at different rates. Will you start to feel better? Absolutely, that I can assure you of.

Maybe you could make a collage or scrapbook of pictures and some of your written thoughts. That might help you to remember what a great cat he was and to think about the good things. There was a lot of joy in that kitty and he deserves to be remembered. Then, when you’re ready, go to a shelter and find your next furry friend. But not until you’re ready, and not as a replacement for your cat. You’ll know when the time is right.

Seelix's avatar

@lanabanana41598 – I’m so sorry. I know how hard it is to lose a furry friend who’s been with you for a long time – when we had to finally put our family cat down, she was almost 21 years old.

Take your time. Allow yourself to grieve. Many people think of their pets as family members, and feelings like that will only get stronger when the pet’s been with you for 20 years. Know that he’s happy now.

When you’re ready, think about getting another cat. After our cat died, my parents got another one a few months later. She acts so much like the other cat that my mom’s pretty convinced she’s a reincarnation, or at least a descendant.

In the meantime, think about volunteering at an animal shelter. That would allow you to spend time with other animals so that you have that animal companionship that you’re missing.

This poem, Rainbow Bridge, might help you to feel a little better.

All the best xoxo

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