Pet Loss Resources
As many of you know, it is hard to lose a beloved pet regardless of the circumstances. We are constantly touched by how deeply our clients care when their cats pass and strive to do all we can to help in this process. With an entire staff of cat lovers, everyone at Cats Exclusive knows first hand what it is like to lose a beloved feline family member. In this section you will find recommended support resources, books you may find helpful and ideas on how to memorialize a pet.
For more information on grieving stages as it relates to pets, you may find Cornell University's Pet Loss website helpful.
Pet Loss Support Groups and Hotlines
Seattle Humane Society provides counseling for adults and children, to help cope with pet loss, for no charge. 13212 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, WA. 425-641-0080
WSU Veterinary School - Pet Loss Support Hotline
This support line is staffed by volunteer veterinary students trained by a licensed therapist on grief counseling. 866-266-8635
Cornell University Veterinary School - Pet Loss Support Hotline
The support line is staffed by volunteer veterinary students who have undergone extensive training with professional grief counselors. 607-253-3932
This extensive pet grief website features an online pet loss support group, pet tributes, and several other features including a weekly online newsletter.
Private Grief Counseling
Farewells, Diane Dyer, RScP, Licensed Spiritual Counselor Provides pet memorial services and individual grief counseling by appointment. 2642 NW 63rd Street Apt. A, Seattle 206-437-2991
Linda E. Neahry, MA, LMHC Provides discounted rates for pet loss or serious illness diagnosis. North Seattle, 206-782-6144
Jennifer Streit, LMHC, Provides grief counseling for the loss of a pet or for those anticipating loss. 4700 4nd Ave.S.W. #560 West Seattle 206-938-8539
Most people find comfort in being able to memorialize their cat in some way. This helps acknowledge and honor the important role they played in your life. It helps bring meaning to your loss and draw closure on your grief.
Here at Cats Exclusive you have the option of having us make a complimentary clay imprint of your cat's paw that can be cherished forever.
Here are some ideas you might find useful in coming up with additional ways to honor your cat's
Make a special place in your home, yard or workplace that acknowledges and honors your cat’s life – a place where you can go (or be) and remember your lost friend. Use your creativity to honor your cat’s memory.
Have a memorial service for your cat. Involve the whole family in the planning. Make it as simple or as elaborate as you like and invite whomever you choose, as long as it meets your need
to express and share your sorrow, pay tribute to your deceased cat and support one another as you say goodbye.
If you're a writer, write - it could be an article, an anecdote, a story, a poem, a song, a letter, an obituary or a eulogy for your cat. If you don’t want to write for someone else, keep a private journal and write about your feelings as you journey through your grief. Write a farewell letter to your cat as a way of saying an in-depth, thorough good-bye. Say what you are feeling, what you will miss most, what you will always remember with fondness. Say what the relationship gave you and tell how your life will be influenced by having known and loved that cat.
Share anecdotes and favorite stories about the cat who died. Sometimes others need permission to talk about your deceased cat. Let them know you would rather keep the memory of your beloved cat alive than pretend that nothing has changed.
Decorate a candle and light it in memory of your cherished cat.
Purchase a book - perhaps a children's book - on coping with the loss of a cat, and donate it to your local library or school. Ask the librarian to place a label inside the front cover inscribed "In memory of (your cat’s name)."
Save something that belonged to your cat (collar, tags, food and water dishes; bed or blanket; toys; a clipping of fur or baby teeth.)
Save a clipping of fur and keep it in a tiny container or locket.
Encourage grieving children to draw pictures or write stories inspired by their memories of
their lost cat.
Have a professional portrait of your cat painted or drawn by an artist from your favorite photograph.
Plant a tree, bush, shrub, garden or flowerbed as a permanent growing memorial to your cat. Mark the site with a memorial plaque, marker or statue. Say It In Stone is a Northwest company that makes engraved memorial stones.
If you have your cat’s cremains, scatter or bury them in your cat’s favorite outdoor place, or in a potted plant in case you will be moving or put them in a box or urn and display in a special place.
Inscribe a plaque or nameplate with your cat’s name, years of birth and death, and whatever else you choose to write in tribute. Put the plaque on a framed photograph or wooden memory box, hang it on the wall, attach it to a garden bench or other piece of furniture, or display it near your cat’s grave.
Contact the Official Star Registry (800-275-9590) or the International Star Registry (800- 282-3333) to name a star after your cat. You can choose your constellation, and a star map of that constellation will be sent to you with your cat’s star marked on it.
Observe National Pet Memorial Day on the second Sunday in September.
Make a donation in your cat’s name:
Local Organizations That Accept Memorial Donations
- The Humane Society for Seattle/King County 425-641-0080
- Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) of Snohomish County 425-787-2500
- The Feral Cat Spay and Neuter Project 206-528-8125
- Saint Francis Fund of Cats Exclusive to provide medical care for abandoned cats. 206-546- 2287
Recommended Books on Pet Loss and Grieving
Pet Loss: A thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children by Herbert Nieburg, Arlene Fischer, Martin Scot Kosins ~
The death of a pet can cause enormous feelings of sorrow, guilt, and loneliness for children and adults alike. Unfortunately, these feelings are often ignored or downplayed, and pet owners find themselves unable to express real grief. This book encourages those how have suffered the loss of a pet to acknowledge such grief and tells them how to cope with the situation.
The Loss of a Pet by Wallace Sife ~ This is a self-help guide to understanding and better enduring the pet bereavement process. A special chapter on children and the death of their pets is particularly expansive and useful. This easy-to-read book covers al possible aspects in the grief and loss of a beloved pet. It is designed for the average person who is going through this special kind of anguish. It explains all the stages of bereavement, and how they affect us at this time.
Coping With Sorrow On the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson ~ A comprehensive, compassionate, and "user friendly" guide to every aspect of pet loss bereavement. In this book, you’ll find out why it’s normal and OK to grieve the loss of a pet—you’re not crazy or alone. The types and stages of grief are discussed, and you’ll also find some tested coping strategies to help you cope with the different aspects of grief.
My Personal Pet Remembrance Journal by Enid S. Traisman ~ This remembrance journal is a special place for you to share the feelings that have arisen since the death of your beloved pet. In your journal you can privately go over the details of your loss and its effect on you.Your reaction to the death of your pet is as unique and individual as was your relationship. Your personal grief reaction is affected by your experience with previous losses, how closely bonded you were to your pet, cause of death, support system and your personal nature.
It’s Okay to Cry by Maria L. Quintana, Shari Veleba, Harley King ~ This book contains the voices of 62 people whose pets have died. There are stories from pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers, zoo keepers, dog wardens, policemen, firemen, war veterans, children, celebrities, and pet counselors. Reading their stories will help you realize that you are not alone Each touching story will bring tears to your eyes and comfort to your heart.
In Remembrance of a Special Cat: A Collection of Inspirational Writings by Richard F.X. O’Connor ~ The ideal gift for someone who has lost an animal friend. “Rainbow Bridge” inspired this collection and is included in this small gift book to help anyone who has suffered the loss of a pet.
The Final Farewell: Preparing and Mourning the Loss of Your Pet by Marty Tousley, Katherine Heuerman ~ This book combines the expertise of a bereavement counselor with that of an expert in after-death pet care. It includes information about euthanasia and the grieving process, and explains in detail all the options available to people when their pets die. Unlike other books on pet loss, it is meant to be read in advance of a pet’s death, when the reader is in a better position to make those kind of decisions.
Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant ~ A picture book featuring bold folk-art illustrations profiles the special place where all cats can find an endless supply of catnip, tuna, and warm laps. This is good book for kids also.
Books for helping children cope...
The Tenth Good Thing about Barney by Judith Viorst
I'll Always Love You by Hans Wilhelm
Remembering Pets: A Book for Children Who Have Lost a Special Friend by Gina Dalpra- Berman
Ocho Loves Flowers by Anne Fontaine Avery ~ Written by a local author.
~ Rainbow Bridge ~
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to the Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water, and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together . . .