How To Deal With The Loss Of A Pet

loss of a pet

RIP Mercy | Source: Instagram

Super sad animal news today: Kim Kardashian’s adorable kitten, Mercy, died this past week. She was only four months old and judging from Kim’s Instagram pics, she was too cute for words. Seriously guys, I almost teared up a little bit reading this. One of the worst feelings in the world is losing someone you love and care about, and that extends to losing a pet you really cared about.

If you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of people getting really, really sad over the loss of a pet… don’t. Even if it seems like “just an animal” to you, to the owner of the pet, that little animal was something they loved. It hurts! I’ll admit something: I wasn’t always the animal lover I am today (I blame my mom). Before I got my very own cat for the first time, I always thought it was sort of silly for people to get seriously bummed out over the death of a pet. I thought a pet was something that could easily be replaced and nothing compared to losing an actual person.

But then I fell head over heels in love with my cat, Riley. I was obsessed with him. He cuddled with me while we were sleeping, he kept me company when I was lonely and he was fun to play with. Plus, he was adorable. Sadly, when he was only two-years-old, he got a kidney infection and there was nothing we could do. I had to put Riley to sleep on Christmas Eve, and it’s safe to say that that was the worst Christmas I’ve had so far. I was completely miserable. I felt like I had lost a friend. I had never thought an animal could have that kind of affect on me, and at first I felt a little silly being so devastated. Because, I mean, how do you deal with the loss of a pet?

If you’re wondering the same thing, here are five ways to deal with the death of a pet: 

My kitten Riley, who I still miss.

Don’t feel silly about being sad. Crying over the loss of a pet isn’t something you should be ashamed of. You’re allowed to cry and mourn your little friend – there’s nothing wrong with that, so don’t let anyone make fun of you for it. You spent a lot of time with your pet and they had a special place in your heart. While society might not always recognize that, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.

Give your pet a little memorial service. I’m not saying you have to plan an elaborate funeral for your pet, or even that you have to get other people in on this. It can be something just for you – like collecting your cutest pictures of him/her and making a little scrapbook. If you want to involve your family, just spend a little bit of time reminiscing on the awesome things about your lost pet. Remembering how great he/she was will make you feel happy about the time you spent with your pet.

Talk about your feelings. Just like when you’re mourning over anything, talking about your feelings can help you get over this. Talk about how much you miss your pet to your BFF or your mom… or just write about it in your journal (maybe not too much, though).

Open up to others who have lost pets. Talking about your feelings with friends or relatives who have also experienced really sad pet deaths might help you out. Those people have been through what you’re going through and having someone understand your feelings is always comforting. Avoid talking to people who aren’t really into animals. They’re not going to get what you’re so upset about it, and that’s probably only going to hurt you more.

Don’t feel guilty about getting another pet. When the time feels right, you can definitely get another pet. But don’t feel guilty, like you’re replacing your old pet – you’re just getting another little buddy and that’s totally fine. If you’re seriously upset over the loss of your pet, I would suggest waiting a little while to get a new one, since being around other animals might make you miss your pet even more at first.

Have you lost a pet recently? How did you deal with it? What kind of pet do you have? What would you do if he/she passed away? Tell me in the comments.


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  • bakerychaz

    My 4-year-old fish, Ringo, died two days ago. I’ve lost four other pets recently too (three rabbits and a guinea pig), which is hard for me. I think having a little memorial service is a good idea, I’ll hold one for little Ringo soon.

  • messymoo

    I rescued a black cat, thin and dirty i took her in, Everyone thought she was a kitten she was so small and malnourished i had her for 2 years and took her to the vet once a year finally i asked about the background of her and it turned out to be 13, her old owners were apparently abusive she also had a tumor on her belly so we had to put her down she was the best thing that had ever happened to me and i felt like i failed to save her. After all her hurting she was put to rest. All you have to do is remember that whatever short amount of time you’ve had with any animal there grateful and will love you forever

  • Charlotte

    We had a rabbit called Toffee but he had to be put down last weekend due to a tumor in his neck. He was ten years old and the story goes that our Mum bought him from the pet shop,thinking it’ll only be five or so years and he’ll die. And he just didn’t. We kept on saying that every winter will be his last and it never was, even when the UK got hit with all that snow in 2010.

  • sophie

    I think she killed the cat.

  • catlover

    Wow, your pet story sounds kinda familiar. I fell in love with my first cat, Sterling. He was the best cat in the world. Whenever i was upset he would comfort me, and he always made me happy. Since I was home schooled I didn’t have many friends, and sterling was my best friend. He got sick on Christmas, and died the day after. He was about five years old, and it was heartbreaking for me.