Animals grieve like people do. Ask anyone who’s lost a pet in a household with multiple animals. Just like humans, each animal deals with loss and mourning differently.
When my cat Edison ran away in July 2013, I was devastated. I had a bond with Edison that was unlike any bond I’ve ever had with a cat. I mourned his loss for quite a while, and to be honest, I still do because I don’t know what happened to him.
Shortly after Eddy went missing, my younger cat, Sadie, became very depressed. She started howling everyday, multiple times a day. She became less active and started to gain weight. I sought help from my vet who suggested a low dosage of anxiety medications but I decided to get a second opinion.
I met an animal therapist at a local pet expo and she suggested that I spend about 20 minutes a day playing with Sadie and giving her physical interaction. Despite having another cat, Sadie was missing Edison terribly. After investing in some new cat toys, Sadie’s mood improved over a few months time.
Every now and then, Sadie still howls for Edison. I know that’s she’s very emotional and susceptible to loss and change. When Kirby died on Friday, Sadie knew another one of her brothers was gone. She laid, almost lifeless, in the spot where Kirby used to hang out. It was such a sad sight.
Now that I know how to help her through this time of loss, I’m being proactive instead of waiting for her to let me know she’s grieving. Today I spent considerable time playing with Sadie. I want to make sure she stays active and that I stay closely connected with her. Sadie was the closest to Kirby, besides Edison, so I’m going to do the best I can to help her through this time.
Have your pets dealt with the loss of one of their siblings? How did it effect them?