Cats and Coffee : Loss of a loved one

“No one can truly understand the bond that we form with the cats we love until they experience the loss of one.” – Unknown. ( 

In our last Cats & Coffee meeting, we talked about cat loss. It’s not an easy topic to discuss, but it’s important to recognize that we are not alone. There are many people coping with the loss of pets and share the same emotions of grief and loss. I would like to emphasize that a loss of pet not only means the passing of a pet, but also involves families that have lost a beloved pet and are not able to find or reunite with them.  

We also discussed the role of the “Caregiver” and what it means to take care of a terminally ill cat. As a caregiver, we focus on and invest so much time on the needs of our cat that we forget to take care of ourselves. The caregiver burden is a syndrome in people who care for geriatric, chronically and terminally ill family members, including pets. 

As a caregiver, anticipatory grief is also expected when caring for a cat or pet. Anticipatory grief is grief that arises before an expected death - it's when you know it's coming, but your cat is still alive. Many of us will experience anticipatory grief the moment we are given the news that our beloved cat has been diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness. This feeling may also arise when we realize that our pet has reached the geriatric stage of their life and where many physical changes occur in a cat's final life stage. 

To learn more about caregiver burden syndrome and anticipatory grief, there are a few articles that might help you to understand as a cat owner the many symptoms that you might experience while taking care of your cat. In addition, it includes the steps that can assist you to alleviate caregiver burden syndrome and anticipatory grief. 



When is the right time to say goodbye? 

As cat owners, we don’t want to imagine losing our cats. Sadly, there may be a time when we have to make the decision of saying goodbye to our family member. Here are some articles that may help guide you during these difficult times. 


Some resources to assess your cat’s quality of life 

Lap of Love (these links will take you to the location of the questionnaire, chart and calendar to assess your cat’s quality of life) 

  • Geriatric questionnaire – in the section of Geriatric Veterinary Patients section 
  • Quality of Life Scale – Scroll down to the bottom of the website, click on Resources, then click on Quality of Life Scale in order to download the PDF scale. 
  • Pet Quality of Life Calendar – on the left side of the webpage, under “Additional Resources” click Pet Quality of Life Calendar 


The thought of having your last moments in small sterile room with your family member can be stressful and devastating. Now, we have the option of pet hospice services and at-home-euthanasia where you and your loved ones are able to stay with your beloved cat during their final moments. Here are the pet hospice and at-home-euthanasia services available in the Las Vegas and Henderson area. 

More resources for loss and grief support. 

Reading Resources 


Online Resources 

Support Groups 



They will not go quietly, 

the cats who’ve shared our lives. 

In subtle ways they let us know 

their spirit still survives. 


Old habits still make us think 

we hear a meow at the door. 

Or step back when we drop 

a tasty morsel on the floor. 


Our feet still go around the place 

the food dish used to be, 

And, sometimes, coming home at night, 

we miss them terribly. 


And although time may bring new friends 

and a new food dish to fill, 

That one place in our hearts 

Belongs to them…and always will. 

By Linda Barnes – Pet Loss Poems 

We host a virtual meetup called "Cats & Coffee" every 3rd Thursday of the month. Our next meeting is July 15th at 6pm. You can register here.