Image Source: Pixabay.com
Pets are often confused by little changes in their lives and disruptions to their schedule. So imagine how they must feel when they stop seeing a loved one all of a sudden. Different pets have different reactions to the death of a close family member. Just like how different humans have different stages and methods for grieving.
How do dogs deal with grief?
The first thing you need to know is that although they will get over the grieving phase, they will only do that in their own time. Just be there for them and don’t rush them. Dogs tend to mourn in different ways than cats. There will be a change in his eating and sleeping habits, he will be less inclined to partake in activities without his favorite human, he might even start howling to express his grief. Although it breaks our hearts to see our animal companions so sad, make sure that you don’t accidentally reward his mourning with treats. Try engaging him activities that he enjoys so that you can take his mind off of things.
Give him more attention so that he knows that he’s not going through this alone. However, take care not to badger him. Most animals in this situation wouldn’t want to be coddled. Just let him know that you’re there for him with your presence.
How do cats grieve?
Cats are just as affected by the death of a loved one as dogs are. Although they may seem distant and aloof, they still get attached to their caregivers. Change is especially hard for cats. Some grieving cats tend to lose all sense of routine when a loved one dies. They take to spraying pungent urine all over the house instead of using the litter box. Although not all cats do this, it’s a very likely possibility. If there is a change in her eating habits, then that’s also a sign that she’s grieving. Cats love their daily schedules and even a mild change in that should indicate to you that there is something wrong.
She might also be vocal about her emotions. Although cats can’t talk, they tend to vocalize their feelings through yowling and meowing. Especially during the night when it’s dark out. They could also start suffering from a form of OCD. They wither start grooming themselves excessively or they stop. Over-grooming leads to a significant loss of fur and sometimes even skin irritations when she overdoes it.
Cats are also likely to change their sleeping patterns. When something big is missing from their everyday lives, it’s a big change for them – and one that takes time to get used to. Make sure you don’t rush the process. Give her as much time as she needs to mourn.