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The Passing Away of Your Cat

The Passing Away of Your Cat

by. Willow S.

The passing away of your cat is quite an emotional time. No matter if you knew their day was near or if it is a complete shock, it will be hard to get through. If you had forewarning perhaps you already have a plan or idea of what you want to do. If you have pet insurance, it may cover some of the fees and expenses which you may incur after your cat’s passing but be sure to check your specific plan for details on coverage. A plan is a good thing to have;  It’s unavoidable and most of all – as hard as this sounds, it is an essential element in saying goodbye.

Preparation of Remains:

This may be the worst part because you have to figure out what to do with your cat right away until you decide what to do for the long term. Regardless of your choice and whoever you call, you have a few options. You might wish to wrap your pet in their favourite blanket or an old towel, this is helpful if you plan to have family members like young children say goodbye to your pet. The safer option is to tightly wrap the body in several plastic bags. this can seem like a colder way to manage things but it does help contain any bacteria. You want to make sure it has multiple layers, especially if it takes more than a few hours to establish the next step. In certain cases, you can contact your vet’s office and discuss options before you decide what to do. Animal control services may also be able to pick up your deceased cat, sometimes they can charge you. 

Service/Internment:

There are several options for what to do after your cat has passed away, many will depend on your location. Cities and municipalities all have different laws with regards to pet remains. The most common options are:

  • Burial at home or in a pet cemetery,
  • Cremation (communal or individual),
  • Compost (yes, really!)

Burial

For a burial, you’ll need to find a box or a casket.  We recommend a cool company that makes things called “Paw Pods”. They’re eco-friendly, biodegradable burial caskets that come with seeds of a perennial plant you can plant on top to always remember your kitty. There are no bylaws that would prohibit the burial of personal pets on private property, in the Toronto area, so long as you ensure that the burial is at a depth of 2 feet or more to prevent odours and animals from digging at the site. 

Most pet cemeteries would also have information on proper burial procedures.

Cremation

Cremation can be done as part of a communal cremation where multiple pets are cremated at the same time. This is usually cheap or free. Or, you can opt for a usually much more expensive option where your kitty alone is cremated, which will allow you the option to get his or her ashes, which you can then display or release how you wish (within accordance with the law of course). 

Compost

Finally, we recently found out about Rooted, a company that has created a process that helps your cat’s body go through a “recomposition” process, which turns the organic materials into usable compost. You can choose to donate the compost to a local forestry initiative, or you can have it returned to yourself to use, allowing your cat to live on by supplying vital nutrients to the plants in your yard. Currently, this company is based in Seattle but perhaps the process will come to Canada soon.

Aftermath:

There is no one way to cope with the loss of your precious furball. Your vet may be able to advise about what lies ahead in the stages of grieving. An author recently created a book about grieving your pet, P.S. I Love you More Than Tuna. This book is set for release in the Fall of 2020.

Grief is never an easy thing hopefully you will always remember that your kitty loved you and cherished you with all of its purr-fect feline heart.

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