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Dealing with the death of an older pet

I normally post on The Bump on Working Moms, but felt that I should maybe come to a board where all are animal lovers.

We had to put down our 18 year old black kitty on Thursday night due to end stages of renal failure and since I have been an off and on blubbering mess. We knew he was in early stages 3 years ago, but he seemed to be doing really good lately... I can barely hold it together at work & in front of my DD. I look on our bed where his place of honour was and it is heartbreaking. We still have our other two, one of who is going to be 17 this January, but damn this has been a hard weekend.

It has been a long time since I was this affected by the loss of a pet - and the funny thing is that he was my DH childhood buddy - the other oldie is my childhood companion. The last time I was this worked up I was 12 and I had just lost my first kitty.

So when does it start to get easier? I though today would be better because I didn;t start welling up first thing, but the second DD is down for her nap (right now) BAM... tears well up

Thanks for listening and I appreciate any and all comments.






Re: Dealing with the death of an older pet

  • So sorry for your loss :(  In my experience, everyone heals at their own pace but overall it does get easier with time.  Take as long as you need to mourn your loss, and don't let anyone tell you you should be "over it" by now.  Big hugs.
  • I'm very sorry for your loss.

    We lost our 16 year old dog one year ago and it does get easier.  Now thinking of her brings happy thoughts and memories and sometimes happy tears.  I miss her every single day, but having friends who understand what she meant to me helped.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have that connection.

    Just take one day at a time, sometimes its one minute at a time.  Allow  yourself the time to grieve and talk about him with people who "get it."



  • It gets easier. I promise. It's been several years since I lost an "older" pet, but this year we lost two of our cats- one was 7 months, the other was 4 years. Both were sudden and very unexpected. 

    The loss of the 4-year-old (Dottie)  was most recent- 3 weeks ago. I honestly didn't take it well at all. The first 5 days or so I was just in shock. It was just 2 nights ago that I finally started sleeping in my bedroom again (she spent most of the time in my room). 

    I have a piece of jewelry to commemorate the 7 month old (we buried her). I'm still not ready to deal with Dottie's cremains, but I plan on buying a piece of cremation jewelry from etsy. I'll probably use it as a christmas tree ornament, to be honest. 
  • I am so sorry for your loss.  When we had to put our 20 year old b&w kitty down, it broke my heart.  I actually made myself sick.  I got her at 1 year old when I was in 8th grade so I had her a long time.  It does get easier but even now after several years, I still tear up sometimes if I come across a picture of her or if one my current kitties do something that reminds me of her.   She will always have a special place in my heart.  Even though she can never be replaced having other pets do help the healing processes.  When my other cat Boots had to be put to sleep because she had oral cancer and couldn't eat.  The onset was really fast.  Neither my husband and I started to heal until we brought our new kitties (Benny and Sahara) home.  Somehow they made it our house a home again.
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  • I'm sorry. My dog was 18 when we has to put her down. It was horrible. The only advice I have is to hug your other fur babies & appreciate the time you have left with them.  There's a quote about a pet's only fault is that their life is too short. Hugs to you.
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  • image OSULori:
    So sorry for your loss :(  In my experience, everyone heals at their own pace but overall it does get easier with time.  Take as long as you need to mourn your loss, and don't let anyone tell you you should be "over it" by now.  Big hugs.

    I totally agree. I can look back fondly at all of the dogs and cats I've lost, but I also still tear up thinking about my two favorite dogs of the bunch - one was put down about 14 years ago and I still remember the day so vividly. 

    image image image
  • I mostly lurk on here. I'm really sorry for your loss and I wish I could tell you when it will get better but I had to put my 9yo Beagle mix to sleep this passed april and I still have some really rough days. For me it felt like i had to learn to do everything over again, eat,sleep, even go to the bathroom! Queenie was my shadow she followed me everywhere and was always involved in everything I was doing! It has gotten better but I still have days where I just ball my eyes out. 

    Eventually the daily meltdowns will stop, but for now just let it all out, its ok to be sad, and it will help with the healing! 

    *hugs* hope this helps!

    Jennie, Mom to 1 toddler, 2 crazy dogs and a guinea pig!

  • So sorry for your loss. Like others said, it takes time. Have you considered doing something in memory of your kitty? I know many ladies here have found items on etsy.
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  • I am so sorry for your loss. I had to put my first cat to sleep 2.5 years ago. She was almost 17 and was in end stage renal failure and heart failure. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I feel like the fact that I had to make the decision for her made it even harder to lose her. I was a complete mess for the first few days. After that, for weeks it would hit me at random times and I would lose it. Even though I had only had her for 5 years, we bonded and she was *my* cat. It was so hard to let her go. It does get easier, though I still haven't been able to deal with her remains... I can't handle them without crying, so they are deep in my closet. People who don't have pets or care about them as deeply may not understand the extent of your grief, but one of the pp's is right - don't listen to anyone who says you should be over it already. And hug your other animals and take this a reminder to enjoy the time you have with them while they're still here - my two younger cats really helped me get through the loss.
  • So sorry for your loss. Two years ago our 13 year old family dog got put down unexpectedly on Valentine's Day, that was rough. And just a month or so ago we had to put down our other 6 year old family dog - he suffered severe anxiety disorders and got steadily worse when the older dog died. It will get easier - just take it day by day. If you feel like crying your eyes out - do it, you will feel better after. And when you're ready, adopt a new kitty to be part of your family. It does get better in time!
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  • I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I truly believe everyone grieves differently. I am still coming to terms with the death of our cat in early March, but feel I have healed from the death of another cat a year and a half ago. I think for me the difference was the one that died in March was only 7 years old, our other was 13. I feel guilty for her not being able to live a "full" life.

    It slowly gets easier, but I won't lie that I don't have at least one breakdown a week still over our little girl 

  • I'm so sorry.

    Only time will heal- let yourself grieve. 


  • I'm so sorry for your loss.  I recently had to euthanize my little cat.  It has been about a month and I still find myself crying unexpectedly.  It is better every week though.  But sometimes I still miss him so much I end up with that tightness in my throat. 

    (((hugs)))  Let yourself grieve.  You lost a big part of your life and it is going to take time to be okay with that. 

  • Thank you. Just thank you.





  • I'm so sorry. We lost our senior cat 2 weeks ago.

    I got out a lot of emotion beforehand, knowing he wouldn't be with me shortly. He'd had severe medical problems for the past 1.5 years and his back leg collapsed due to a blood clot, relating to his heart disease, which is when we decided it was time to let him go. I let myself cry all I wanted that day (happened to be my wedding anniversary, too).

    Since then, it has gotten easier. The first two days I would cry when I was going to bed (he would come spend time with me when I read before my husband would get in bed). I would cry when I came home from work and he didn't run up to me, asking for dinner. I would try not to think about him randomly, but even when I did... it became easier. The vet also sent us a paw print with his name in it, and we have it on the book case with his collar now. I thought it would be upsetting, but after a while, you think about him in a happy way. Just take the time you need. Go shut the door to the bedroom and cry if you need to. Good luck.

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  • I am very sorry for your loss.
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