Losing a cat that was dear to you is always heartbreaking, and for many pet owners it takes a very long time before they can move on from the grief and sorrow. Often, cat parents adopt a new cat to cope with their loss, but some claim that they feel guilty about getting a new cat when they have just lost their fur baby.
Should you be feeling guilty about getting a new cat?
No, you should not feel guilty about getting a new cat after your previous cat has passed on. In fact, James Herriot, the famous veterinarian and author of “All Creatures Great and Small”, advises cat parents to do just this. A new cat may even help you learn to accept that your previous fur baby has gone, which would be a great help emotionally.
Your previous cat was a big part of your life, and will always live on in your memories. Do not think that you are showing respect for your previous cat by waiting a long time to adopt another one. If you need time to grieve the pet you have lost, do so, but adopting or getting a new cat can also help you process your emotions. You will soon realize that there is nothing wrong with moving on and getting a new cat.
Some cat owners note that getting a new cat is not an insult to the memory of your deceased cat. Rather, it means you are generous in heart and spirit for being able to welcome a new one into your home. The new pet will not replace the one you lost, but it will love you and make your home complete again.
Getting a new cat after losing one: Things to remember
Do not make hasty decisions.
If you are considering getting or adopting a cat after your fur baby has died, take time to think first. Do not let your friends or relatives pressure you into making a quick decision that you might regret later. Your decision should be based on what would be most beneficial for you and your new pet.
See to it that everyone in the family is involved in the decision.
Kids usually make strong bonds with pets, so consider their needs and feelings during the decision-making process. Your child may still be strongly attached to the deceased pet and still working through their grief. Involve your kids and the rest of the family in decisions about the cat’s breed or gender, and include your kids when choosing your new cat.
Keep in mind that the new cat is not a replacement for your previous cat.
You cannot replace your deceased cat, but you can build a new relationship with a new cat. You will create new experiences and memories with the new pet, and it might be a good idea to choose one that is somewhat different to the previous one, such as a different breed or gender. Try to avoid choosing a new cat that looks exactly like the previous one.
Make sure that the behavior, size and needs of your new cat suit your lifestyle, and avoid giving it the same name as your departed cat.
You should be aware of the reality that the new pet cannot be just like the previous cat. The new cat will respond differently and have its own unique traits. Do not compare the new pet with the cat that you lost.
You should also consider the needs of other surviving pets.
When choosing a new cat, you should also consider the needs of any surviving pets in your household. Pets can also mourn the loss of their buddy, and you need to be considerate when introducing a new pet. Dogs and cats are territorial, so it might take some time before they get used to the new cat. Give your current or surviving pets plenty of love and attention when introducing the newcomer.
When making significant decisions such as getting a new cat, you will be met with excitement, but also doubt and regret. Just remember that it will take around three months for a new cat to settle into the home. The first few days will be challenging, since your new pet is still adjusting to a new environment. The new cat may be shy or timid, but after three weeks she will get used to the routine and start to show her true personality. Cats also have unique personalities, and you need to allow yourselves time to get used to each other.
You should also be realistic about the fact that having a new cat will entail effort, commitment and financial capability. Delegate pet-care tasks to your family members. This will make caring for your new cat more manageable. If you encounter challenges over your pet’s health or behavioral issues, seek advice from online pet forums or consult your vet.
Most importantly, allow time for your new cat to settle into her life with you and your family. Work through things slowly, and in a matter of weeks everything should be going smoothly.
Cat owners tend to establish close emotional bonds with their pets, and it can be very difficult when their beloved cats pass away. While some cat owners are okay with adopting a new cat while getting over their grief, others struggle with the idea and feel guilty about it.
There is no reason for you to feel guilty about getting a new cat. In fact, it shows that you have a loving heart and a generous spirit. What’s more, a new cat in your life may be just what you need to help you move on from your loss.
Image: istockphoto.com / undefined undefined