Grieving cat

Help & Support for those who have lost a beloved cat
FranandMma
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Grieving cat

Postby FranandMma » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:58 am

I had a brother and sister called Mma and Rra but Rra, the brother, died suddenly about 3 weeks ago. We are both devastated but coping and looking after each other. He was the local king and in charge of our area and now he is gone his sister is being badly bullied by the other cats. She now won't go out without me and rushes back in when I come back in. I am worried about her and how to help her regain her confidence. Can anyone suggest any help or tips please?

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Ruth B
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Re: Grieving cat

Postby Ruth B » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:36 am

So sorry to hear about Rra, and it is no surprise that both you and Mina are missing him.

The only suggestion I can give is make sure Mina is confident in her own home and hopefully her curiosity will eventually lead her to explore more outside when she is ready to. If she is chipped and you can afford it, it might be worth getting a microchip controlled catflap so at least no other cats can get in to her safe area (if she isn't chipped I would highly advise asking your vet about getting it done even if you don't get the special cat flap). Make sure she has litter trays, water bowls and food bowls around the house, try not to place them together cats normally don't eat and drink in the same place in the wild as the dead meat could contaminate the water, and with the litter tray is is more obvious why it should be separate. Make sure she has a nice warm bed to sleep in for when you aren't around or for when she want some time to herself. She then has everything she needs inside where she feels safe. Don't stop her going out, and don't worry if she goes out with you and then just follows you back in, certainly don't try and force her to stay outside. When she is ready to explore she will do, and she won't come to any harm if she decides to stay inside, particularly with winter coming on, most of mine are choosing to stay indoors anyway.

The only other thing I could suggest is to cat proof your garden but that is a major investment, it would however mean that the bullying cats would not be able to get to her.

A change in cat population in any area, whether it is the loss of a dominant individual or the introduction of a new cat will always mean a change in the dynamics as they re-establish the territories and pecking order. Like you she also needs time to grieve and come to terms with the loss of Rra.

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bobbys girl
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Re: Grieving cat

Postby bobbys girl » Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:50 pm

Sorry to hear of your loss. I'm sure that cats are the same as humans when it comes to grief (though perhaps not on the same scale) - we all experience it in different ways and some cats get over it quite quickly. Some take a little longer.

I agree with everything Ruth has said and I would add one thing. If you get the opportunity and there is an unwanted cat in your garden, try to get as close as possible without being seen. Then make your presence felt - in a BIG way. I find leaping out, waving arms and going 'WAH' works nicely. It is not 100% effective but I have found that strays will give our garden a wide berth if only to avoid the insane human. :D

My own cats are quite used to my behaviour (as are the neighbours :lol: ) and come looking for me if they are having problems.

Fusses to Mma.

FranandMma
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Re: Grieving cat

Postby FranandMma » Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:02 pm

Thank you both for your kind words, it always makes me tearful when people understand how you feel. And thank you, that is great advice. I was going to set up a litter tray for her for now so that she doesn't have to venture outside and I will continue to take her out for little explores when I am around. I live in flats with a communal garden which means I can't cat proof the area but I do go out when i hear cat fighting and rescue her if she's involved. Again I am not sure if I should do this but she is getting quite hurt and I don't like it. But does intervening ruin her street cred? If you know what I mean :)

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Ruth B
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Re: Grieving cat

Postby Ruth B » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:35 pm

If she is getting hurt you need to intervene, that last thing you want is vets bills due to fighting, and getting hurt will only make her associate the garden with pain. If you do intervene try and take something like a cushion or a pillow that you can use to try and separate them, doing it with your hands is just asking to end up at A&E yourself.

If she is just having a standoff with another cat then I would say to watch from a distance but leave them to it. A lot of cat 'fighting' sounds bad but is just show, fur puffed up, yowling, staring at one another, it is just to try and make themselves look big and fierce so the other will back down first. Only if neither is willing to back down does it normally come to blows. If Mina is wanting to run for home and the other cat isn't letting her then again get involved, she needs to know she can get to safety if she wants to.

Bobbs girl, you aren't the only one to give help give us the crazy cat lady image. The number of times when we have had a troublemaker around and I have ended up stalking down the garden, looking as big as possible (not difficult, I may be on the short side, but I am a bit too wide), glaring at the offending cat and hissing at it. I normally have to do it 2 or 3 times as it tries to work out whether I'm in or not before it gives up and goes elsewhere to cause trouble.

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bobbys girl
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Re: Grieving cat

Postby bobbys girl » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:43 pm

Fran - it won't hurt her street cred, but it will give the other cat second thoughts.

Ruth - SO pleased to hear I'm not the only one. :D

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Crewella
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Re: Grieving cat

Postby Crewella » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:32 pm

I've been known to chase bully cats out of the garden too. Once I ran down the side of the garden, growling and hissing "*** off you 'orrible little mutt" ....... only to hear my (very polite) neighbour from the street side of the fence "Erm ....... hello?". :shock: :oops:

I'm so sorry for your loss, and as has been said some cats definitely do grieve for a lost pal. I would certainly carry on supporting her as you have been. xx


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