Do Cats Mourn Deaths Of Other Cats?

1. Understanding Feline Grief and Mourning

When a beloved feline companion passes away, it’s natural for cat owners to wonder if their surviving cats experience grief and mourn the loss. While it’s challenging to determine the exact emotions experienced by cats, there are several indications that suggest cats may indeed mourn the deaths of their fellow feline friends. Here are some key points to understand about feline grief and mourning:

  • Emotional Bonds: Cats are capable of forming strong emotional bonds with their companions, including other cats. These bonds are based on trust, familiarity, and social interactions. The loss of a bonded companion can be distressing for a surviving cat.
  • Behavioral Changes: When a cat experiences the loss of a companion, they may exhibit noticeable behavioral changes. These changes can include decreased appetite, increased vocalization, lethargy, withdrawal, or searching behaviors.
  • Altered Social Dynamics: The death of a cat within a multi-cat household can lead to significant changes in the social dynamics among the remaining cats. Cats may re-establish their hierarchy or display changes in their interactions and territorial behaviors.
  • Individual Variations: Just like humans, cats may express their grief and mourning in different ways. Some cats may exhibit more visible signs of distress, while others may appear less affected. It’s important to consider individual variations in feline responses to loss.

2. Indicators of Mourning Behavior in Cats

While cats cannot communicate their emotions in the same way humans do, several observable behaviors suggest that cats may be mourning the loss of a companion. These indicators can provide insights into the grieving process experienced by cats. Here are some indicators of mourning behavior in cats:

  • Increased Vocalization: Cats may vocalize more frequently or in different ways after the loss of a companion. They may meow, cry, or make mournful sounds as they seek out the presence of their departed companion.
  • Changes in Appetite: Cats may experience changes in their eating habits following the loss of a companion. They may exhibit a decreased appetite or show disinterest in food. Alternatively, some cats may cope with their grief by overeating.
  • Withdrawal and Lethargy: Mourning cats may become more withdrawn and spend more time alone. They may show reduced interest in social interactions, play, or grooming activities. Lethargy and decreased energy levels are common during the grieving process.
  • Searching and Vocalizing: Cats may engage in repetitive searching behaviors, such as going to the areas where their companion used to spend time or vocalizing to call out for them. This behavior is an expression of their longing and attempts to find their lost companion.
  • Changes in Sleeping Patterns: Cats may experience disruptions in their sleep patterns after the loss of a companion. They may sleep more or have difficulty settling down for rest. Changes in sleeping locations or seeking out the deceased cat’s favorite sleeping spots are also possible.
  • Loss of Interest in Surroundings: Mourning cats may show a decreased interest in their surroundings. They may become less engaged in their usual activities and toys. The grieving process can temporarily impact their curiosity and playfulness.

3. Supporting Cats Through the Mourning Process

As a cat owner, there are several ways you can support your grieving cat through the mourning process. Providing understanding, patience, and a comforting environment can help cats navigate their emotions and adjust to the loss of their companion. Here are some strategies for supporting cats through the mourning process:

  • Maintain Routine and Familiarity: Cats find comfort in routine and familiarity. During the mourning period, try to maintain their regular feeding, play, and grooming schedules. Providing a consistent environment can help alleviate stress and provide a sense of stability.
  • Provide Extra Attention and Affection: Shower your grieving cat with extra attention, love, and affection. Spend quality time together, engage in interactive play sessions, and offer gentle physical contact. Your presence and comforting touch can provide reassurance during this challenging time.
  • Create a Safe Space: Set up a quiet and cozy space where your cat can retreat to when they need a break or want to feel secure. Include familiaritems like their bed, blankets, toys, and scratching posts to create a comforting environment. This space can serve as a safe haven for your cat during their mourning period.
  • Encourage Enrichment Activities: Engage your grieving cat in activities that stimulate their senses and provide mental stimulation. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and gentle play sessions can help divert their attention and provide a positive outlet for their emotions.
  • Consider Companion Introduction: Depending on the circumstances and the individual cat’s personality, introducing a new companion may help alleviate the grieving process. However, it’s important to carefully assess the compatibility and readiness of both the grieving cat and the potential new companion before making any introductions.
  • Consult with a Veterinarian: If your cat’s mourning behaviors persist for an extended period or significantly impact their overall well-being, it’s advisable to consult with a veterinarian. They can assess your cat’s physical and emotional health, provide guidance, and recommend appropriate interventions if necessary.


While the exact depth of a cat’s emotions and their capacity for mourning is not fully understood, there is evidence to suggest that cats can experience grief and mourn the deaths of their fellow feline companions. The loss of a bonded companion can lead to noticeable behavioral changes and emotional distress in surviving cats. As responsible cat owners, it’s important to be attuned to these signs and provide support and comfort to our grieving cats. Understanding the indicators of mourning behavior, maintaining routine and familiarity, providing extra attention and affection, creating a safe space, and considering enrichment activities are strategies that can help ease the mourning process for cats. If you have concerns about your cat’s well-being during the grieving period, consulting with a veterinarian can provide valuable guidance and support. With compassionate care and understanding, we can help our feline friends navigate their grief and find solace in their own time.


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