Although it is not fully known why some cats go away to die, it’s likely that when our cats become very old and feel unwell, they prefer to be alone and rest.
Initially your loss was ambiguous because your cat was missing, but once found, the reality became very concrete. It could help to talk through your feelings with someone who has experience of pet bereavement, donating to a cat welfare charity, making a memory book or planting a tree could also be ways for you to honour his memory and say goodbye.
This might help give you peace of mind that you’re not the only one suffering from grief after the loss of a cat.
Why do cats die away from home?
Cats are drawing from their evolutionary past in going away to be alone to die, as in the wild there might be larger predators they need to hide from. It is important to know that nothing you did caused your cat to behave like this at the end of his life.
Do cats leave when they are dying?
Cats do not go off with the intent to die alone and cold. When cats don’t feel good, they often like to find a quiet corner to be by themselves until they feel better. … Cats don’t understand about death and she probably just curled up someplace nearby under a bush until the pain or whatever was bothering her went away.
Do cats know when they are dying?
Because cats rely primarily on body language to communicate to one another, they must be attuned to biological and behavioral changes in the other animals around them. This includes detecting weakness or changes in body temperature and odor. They are also intuitive in that they often know when they are about to die.
Where do cats go when they are about to die?
Cats will often seek out cool, shaded areas, such as under bushes, thickets of wild grasses or under vehicles. If your sick or aging pet has suddenly pulled a disappearing act, check in these areas around your home first. Indoor pets will exhibit a similar behavior, seeking out cool, dark areas in which to rest.
Weve all heard the story of a cat who was sick or old and one day just vanished, which leads people to believe that cats will go away to die on their own. But is this true?
It is for this reason that pregnant cats will seek a quiet and often out of the way spot to give birth and care for her young kittens. Check under houses, in sheds and garages and ask your neighbours to do the same, post on local Lost and Found Facebook groups and place flyers around the area.
Have you heard that cats go away to die? If so, you are not the only one. However, most people are uncertain as to whether cats seeking solitude at the time of death is an urban legend, a half-truth, or completely true.
Such disorientation can lead to the cat traveling for days or even weeks in an aimless manner, simply looking for a warm and safe space. Add in the fact that cats are prone to systemic diseases in old age and the chances of a furry friend making it back home after departing are even lower.
It is quite possible your furry friend is merely tapping into its evolutionary past and attempting to escape potential predators in the quest to die alone in peace. Cats that are dealing with injury or sickness often seek hiding spaces where they can tend to their wounds without interference or simply attempt to find some peace before passing away. Therefore, if you find your beloved cat is hiding in a secluded area such as your garden, a cupboard, or a closet, it is a sign the animal is sick, and a visit to the veterinarians office might be necessary.
Unsteadiness, serious skin problems, disruptions in sleep patterns, and loss of appetite are also additional signs that your cat is ill, injured, and/or possibly dying. Be mindful of these signs that your cat is in poor health and bring him or her to the veterinarians office for a comprehensive examination as soon as you notice any of the symptoms listed above. It is quite possible a timely visit to the veterinarians office will help treat your cats illness or injury, potentially saving his or her life.
If death is near, the aging cat might actively seek out the company of his or her owner in an attempt to obtain a sense of comfort and peace before passing away. Seize the opportunity to comfort your ailing cat as it might be your last chance to spend time with him or her before he/she departs this plane of existence. This means you should not feel guilty if you find out your cat ventured into the woods, to another neighborhood, or other space to die without you and your family in the vicinity.
Even if you feel a bit guilty about the manner in which you treated your cat, the bottom line is he or she will not walk far away from home to plop down and die in an effort to be as far away from you as possible. Other cats are merely following their instinctual drive to venture to a hidden area that is far away from predators so they can pass away without constantly worrying about whether a larger animal will find them. Even if your neighborhood has merely one large dog or the occasional stray coyote or fox, your pet might perceive the presence of such an animal as a legitimate threat to its well-being and subsequently venture far away from home when death approaches.
However, cats do not understand death to the same level as human beings as our brains and knowledge base are comparably extensive and complex. Cats are hardwired to conceal signs of weakness, injury, and illness as they know predators will view these faults as an opportunity to attack. As a result, cats are inclined to seek safe, secluded areas far away from potential threats when they are feeling sick or ill.
However, some indoor house cats also try to venture outdoors and find a peaceful place to pass away, possibly miles away from their usual surroundings.
Why do cats go away to die?
We’ve all heard the story of a cat who was sick or old and one day just vanished, which leads people to believe that cats will go away to die on their own. But is this true?Not all cats will hide when they are dying. We have sadly had enough cats who have died to see this ourselves. They have tended to stick close by when they are dying, spending large amounts of time sleeping. Cats are individuals and may have different preferences when it comes to how they handle being sick. Some will seek out the company of their human companions or pets; others prefer to be alone in a quiet place.
Do cats know they are dying?
According to Desmond Morris in his bookThis also explains why cats can be quite seriously ill before apparent signs appear. Cats are hardwired to hide signs of sickness and weakness making them vulnerable to predators. It is for this reason that pregnant cats will seek a quiet and often out of the way spot to give birth and care for her young kittens. She, as well as her babies, are vulnerable at this stage in their lives and want to remain hidden from any potential dangers.And finally, cats hide when they are dying is that they simply want to be alone. A sick cat isn’t feeling well and prefers to be somewhere quiet and dark so they can sleep in peace.
Sick and injured cats also hide
I recently heard a story of a cat who was accidentally run over by his owner. She caught a view of him running away into the garden next door. After much searching, he was eventually found hiding alone in some vegetation. Luckily for him, he survived with eight remaining lives. However, had his injuries been severe enough, he would have died alone in that hidden spot. Again, it wasn’t that he’d gone there to die, he knew he had been injured, and he went and hid somewhere quiet. So it’s not just dying cats who do this but injured cats also.Cats don’t always hide in such an out of the way spot that you can’t find them. You may find him hiding in a wardrobe or cupboard. If you notice your cat has suddenly started hiding it may be a warning that he is possibly sick. Even if you notice no other symptoms, this is something that should be checked out by a veterinarian.
Why Old Cats Disappear Before Passing Away
There is a widespread belief that old cats know when they are nearing the end of their life. These old animals seem to instinctually understand their time is up.As a result, some older cats will venture far away from their home, find a secluded area away from any potential disturbances, and peacefully pass away. However, this explanation of why cats disappear prior to dying is merely a theory as opposed to fact.Since no one can enter a cat’s mind, there is no way to tell for sure why, exactly, older cats venture far away from their home to die. Let’s take a look at some additional reasons why cats might depart their home prior to passing away.
Physical Health Ailments
It is quite possible domestic cats venture far away from home and simply cannot return home due to physical debilitation. Some cats end up in a creek with fast-running water or on a hillside and do not have the physical strength to emerge from the space in question.It is also possible the animal becomes disoriented, similar to the manner in which senior citizens become disoriented, and cannot make their way back home due to confusion. Such disorientation can lead to the cat traveling for days or even weeks in an aimless manner, simply looking for a warm and safe space.Furthermore, there is also the potential that the cat has suffered a physical ailment due to an altercation with another cat, dog, or a different animal. There is even a chance the cat has been struck by an automobile and no longer has the physical strength necessary to make it back home because it’s suffering.The bottom line is older cats, or a sick cat suffers health ailments similar to those endured by human beings who reach their 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Older cats have the potential to suffer from impaired vision, hearing loss, cognitive impairment, muscle weakness, and arthritis.Each of these conditions makes it challenging to return home after venturing far away. Add in the fact that cats are prone to systemic diseases in old age and the chances of a furry friend making it back home after departing are even lower.If the weather takes a turn for the worse, the aging cat is even less likely to return home. After all, a pet who is cold, wet, lost, and afraid has little-to-no chance of making it back home.
The Dying Behavior of Cats
Dying cats act differently than healthy and vibrant cats. Pay close attention to your cat, and you might be able to identify clues that indicate he or she is near death.There are numerous symptoms that indicate your cat is sick, injured, or debilitated in another manner. As an example, if your cat appears to have lost his or her energy and is constantly fatigued, it is a clear sign there is something wrong. In particular, if your cat becomes tired without an apparent reason, it is an indication he or she is in poor health and might be near death.Fatigue is only one example of a common behavior exhibited by dying cats. Unsteadiness, serious skin problems, disruptions in sleep patterns, and loss of appetite are also additional signs that your cat is ill, injured, and/or possibly dying.Furthermore, if you find your cat is disinterested in his or her surroundings and activities, it is a clue he or she is in poor health and might be nearing death. Be mindful of these signs that your cat is in poor health and bring him or her to the veterinarian’s office for a comprehensive examination as soon as you notice any of the symptoms listed above.It is quite possible a timely visit to the veterinarian’s office will help treat your cat’s illness or injury, potentially saving his or her life.
If your cat is no longer acting the same, it is cause for concern. Even a minor personality change in your cat is a clue something might be wrong. If your furry friend used to be outgoing and is now hiding or proves irritable when you attempt to pick him up or play, it is a clue he is in pain.Though it is true, some cats simply do not enjoy being touched and petted, a cat who suddenly changes in response to human attempts to touch, pet and play, is providing an indication he is sick or injured.It is also possible a cat that used to be independent but is now highly social is also dealing with an injury or illness that might lead to death. If death is near, the aging cat might actively seek out the company of his or her owner in an attempt to obtain a sense of comfort and peace before passing away.However, it is difficult to interpret if such a personality change is an indication of impending death or illness. Seize the opportunity to comfort your ailing cat as it might be your last chance to spend time with him or her before he/she departs this plane of existence.
Are Cats Really Aware They are Dying?
No one is quite certain whether cats understand when they are dying or near death. However, the mere fact that some cats walk far away from home in the days and hours prior to passing away in a secluded space is an indication that cats nearing death are aware that there is something wrong.However, cats do not understand death to the same level as human beings as our brains and knowledge base are comparably extensive and complex. The bottom line is cats who feel sick, injured, and/or vulnerable are that much more likely to stray from home. Cats are well aware of the fact that there are ferocious predators who will attack them when vulnerable.Cats are hardwired to conceal signs of weakness, injury, and illness as they know predators will view these faults as an opportunity to attack. As a result, cats are inclined to seek safe, secluded areas far away from potential threats when they are feeling sick or ill.In short, no one can say for certain whether cats are aware of the fact that they are dying. However, it is quite clear cats prefer to remain alone when they are preparing to die and also be alone at the moment of death.Cats appear to genuinely value the peace provided by quiet and secluded areas as these spaces provide a safe, distraction-free area to rest in their final moments. The bottom line is cats have fairly reliable instincts.It is quite possible some cats are instinctually aware that the end is near. Therefore, it is safe to say that if your cat is gravitating toward comfortable and quiet areas more than in the past or if your cat has disappeared, there is a chance he or she is nearing the end.