My cats companion died

by Dana


I have a female 11 month old cat. We got her first at 8 weeks old. My husband and I are at work a lot, so she was getting really lonely at home. Plus, she is extremely attention needy and affectionate. So, we decided to get a companion after 3 months and got a 12 week old kitten boy, mainly to ease her and draw her affection toward something else as well as us.

First, they of course were fighting so much it made me question our decision. But after a week or so they were grooming each other and sharing the beloved sheepskin bed. They are opposites of each other. She is very needy and hyperactive, running around all day long, and he was very calm and cute.

Yesterday, the boy cat, at 7 months old, got run over by a car. The girl is in grief and won’t leave me for a second, or she is sleeping in the corner hiding her head. But fortunately, she seems to eat okay.

I’m not sure what to do. Do we let her and us deal with the loss and leave her as the only cat for the rest of her life? Or maybe get another kitten soon as she is still under a year old and stands a better chance of accepting a kitten? Or get a kitty slightly younger than her? Or should we wait a few months before getting her another companion?

Thank you.

Dear Dana,

Let me start by saying that I am so very sorry for your loss. I applaud you for thinking of your other cat’s needs while I'm sure you have many needs of your own.

Cats do grieve, just as we do, although I tend to think they grieve the loss of a housemate for a shorter period of time than we do. But as long as she doesn’t lose her appetite, the best thing to do for her right now is continue to give her as much love and attention as she requests to help her through this time.

In terms of adding to your cat family, the decision is really your own. If you decide to get another cat, it should be one that is her age or younger. Getting a kitten will, in fact, probably be easier for her to accept. I believe that, in general, two cats living together are always happier than a single cat in a household.

When it comes to the timing of adding to your cat family, again, the decision is really yours. You may need more time to grieve the loss of your little boy. You don’t need to rush into adopting a young cat or kitten for her sake. Similarly, you certainly don’t need to wait for the sake of her grieving. The decision really needs to be about what you (and your husband) need in terms of your own grieving.

Again, I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

Dr. Neely

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