Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Preparing Lottie for the loss of her brother

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Tobacat, Apr 26, 2017.


  1. Tobacat

    Tobacat PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    94
    Toby is in his final days/maybe weeks. He's going to leave his little sister, Lottie, behind. They do fight, hiss and swear at eachother at times, but they've always had the other one around. Obviously when the time comes, I'll try and ensure we're around as much as possible for a week or two, also giving her fuss, a lap and some treats. Is there any other way I can help or prepare her?
     
  2. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    12,862
    Likes Received:
    8,135
    I don't think there is with cats anymore than with pre-verbal children. So sorry.
     
  3. KCTT

    KCTT PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    2,232
    Likes Received:
    4,589
    So sorry to hear about Toby x

    When I lost Topsy to a long illness Tipsy knew he was coming to the end of his life. They were always so close but right at the end she backed off and started hissing at him. It upset me but I think that was natural reaction. Tipsy missed her brother and she did look for him she became quite clingy to me and I just let her giving her that extra attention. Lottie will probably be more concerned at your upset than her own and will try to comfort you.
     
  4. Shrike

    Shrike Brooke's faithful manservant

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    9,729
    I have read that it can be useful for the remaining cat to see the body of the departed, so they know they are dead and don't get upset looking for them. Not sure how practical that is though.
     
  5. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2013
    Messages:
    24,005
    Likes Received:
    35,623
    I would definitely let her see and sniff her brother once he has passed away so she understands he's died rather than just disappeared.

    IME they do miss them for a few days, but with lots of fuss and cuddles have settled quite quickly.
     
    SpringDance and Babyshoes like this.
  6. urbantigers

    urbantigers PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Messages:
    1,821
    Likes Received:
    3,862
    This. I'm not sure whether it really helps or not but I have read that too and did that first when I lost Magpie many years ago and 3 years ago when I lost Jaffa. With Magpie, Jaffa just hissed at him. I think it was because Magpie had been at the vets long enough to have the vet smell. With Jaffa, Mosi did seem to sniff him and investigate. What he took from that I don't know. The vet took Jaffa out the back and took the catheter out and they placed in him a fluffy sleeping bag with his head showing out of the top and laid him in his carrier. He looked so peaceful. I brought him home to say final goodbyes and it sounds a bit morbid but I really took some comfort from having him with me for 24 hours like that. I then took him back to the surgery for cremation.

    As far as the remaining cat coping - Jaffa was lost for a couple of months. Very clingy and wouldn't be even in a different room from me. Mosi was a bit better but was very lonely on his own and used bo be verty demanding. I also used to hear him through the front door every time I arrived home crying (in response to hearing me I think - he didn't cry constantly when I was gone - I did ask neighbours about this). It was only getting Kito that helped him be a bit less like that. I think they both missed the companionship of another cat rather than missing the individual. They are both indoor cats so that was probably part of the reason.
     
    #6 urbantigers, Apr 26, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2017
    moggie14 likes this.
  7. Etienne

    Etienne Dad to Puss and Shadow

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,782
    Likes Received:
    892
    I dont think my Abby ever got over the fact her litter sister was gone until the day she had to be PTS years later. Abby was like a mother to her smaller sister Rebel.
     
  8. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    5,704
    Likes Received:
    8,456
    I recently put my old girl to sleep which left her "brother" as sole cat. He has never lived on his own. I brought her body home so he could smell her which he did.

    However he was then very clingy with me. As he has always been an anxious cat and her being the confident one I think he got reassurance from her presence. In our cas he started developing some psychological issues (Feline Hyperesthesia Syndrome). Luckily a daily dose of Zylkene a natural calmative based on a protein found in milk has really helped him relax. He is still quite clingy but not needing to be on top of me 24/7 now and the FSH symptoms have disappeared.

    So it may be worth considering using zylkene if you think your remaining kitty might be stressed when the time comes.

    My thoughts are with you too. It is always horrible having to say good bye.
     
    moggie14 likes this.
  9. QOTN

    QOTN PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Messages:
    5,543
    Likes Received:
    10,499
    I always bring my cats home and often keep them with me for up to three days. For years now, they have stayed with their companions and the different reactions have been interesting and sometimes unexpected. One boy I thought was completely self-centred sat with his sister until I buried her, washing her and sleeping next to her when he had never paid her much attention before. Another who was devoted to his mother, stayed next to her for two hours, then covered her up with a blanket and got on with his life. Others have carried on as if the dead cat is still alive. I have pics of them in a heap as usual but, when I bury the one I have lost, they avoid the bed they have all slept in.

    I don't think you can predict in advance how an individual cat will respond. One of my boys is on his own at the moment after having spent over 11 years with other cats and he has coped better than I feared but worse than I had hoped but I do spend a disproportionate amount of time with him even now, 10 months after he lost his last companion. I still hope to make things better for him in due course because my breed is not designed to be lonely.
     
    moggie14 likes this.
  10. huckybuck

    huckybuck Feline Forum Fashionista

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    19,645
    Likes Received:
    56,316
    So sorry to hear about Toby and when the time comes I hope it's a quick and peaceful passing for him.

    I usually have mine PTS at home (the vet comes to the house)

    I let the cats watch if they want to and interestingly those that do seem to understand more what has happened than those that haven't seen it. I've never let them sniff the body as usually the vet takes it away. I do think that the grieving process (looking for the missing cat) has a lot to do with their scent. And as the days go by the scent of the cat gets less and less. I find it usually takes about 2 - 3 weeks and then they stop looking for the cat any longer.

    If you are very concerned about how Lottie will react then I suggest using Pet Remedy diffusers and maybe a Beaphar Calm spot on and perhaps zylkene for a few days prior and continue for 3 weeks afterwards.

    I will be thinking of you both at this sad time.
     
    ewelsh, Babyshoes and moggie14 like this.
  11. Tobacat

    Tobacat PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    94
    Thank you. I know I'm going to take him to the vets to be PTS as I think having a vet in the house could make one of them uneasy and they're safe here, so I know I'll take him to the vet - I never thought about taking him back home, so I will think about that.

    I will look into getting something which may help Lottie relax. She actually has a cheap version of Cystease (which treats cystitis and is calming), so if nothing else I might get the original product as I can carry on using this as her maintenance dose for cystitis.

    Luckily, we our working patterns, Lottie won't have to be left for more than a couple of hours on her own.
     
    huckybuck likes this.
  12. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    12,437
    Likes Received:
    14,418
    I had a Red Boy who was deeply bonded to the two adult cats who were here when I rescued him as a 5 week old kitten. They were older ladies but raised him and he was very dependent on them. When the first died, it was rather sudden, I was distraught and did not think to let him say good bye. He grieved and looked for her for months, it was really terrible.

    The first few months, I though I would lose him, too because of his grieving. It took him a full year to recover, one day I came home and found his favorite pink mouse skin out and about, so knew he was finally playing again, but he lost a spark that never came back.

    He was still his happy self, but he'd known loss and it showed. He became very anxious anytime I left the house with one of the other cats. He became even more dependent on his other mother. When she got elderly and ill, she prepared him. In her last six months she started separating herself from him. Up until then he would sleep with her as much as possible, but she had one bed that he never joined her on, and she started spending most of her time on that bed. He would search her out, and know where she was, but he had to turn to the other cat for cuddling comfort, which he did.

    Many times i would watch him wake up from a nap, and go check all the other beds, getting more anxious as he went, until he found her.

    He still grieved for her when she left us, but I made sure to prepare him, and let him say good bye, he knew she was gone and why and it wasn't as terrible as the first time. When he left us, the third girl, now bonded to him grieved somewhat, but recovered after a few months.

    To sum up, it's pretty awful when they grieve and look for their lost companion, but they do, in time, recover.
     
  13. Tobacat

    Tobacat PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    94
    Thank you everyone. I've ordered some Cystease (as I know this has a calming effect and can be used for her maintenance dose for cystitis instead of the cheap stuff I have here). Also, ordered some Belphar spot on. These may not be here on time, but I haven't got the car to go to pet shop as DH is only here 10pm-mid morning tomorrow and then later from Saturday onwards. I'm meant to be in at work Sunday during shop hours, so ordered if just as quick.
     
    huckybuck likes this.
  14. Tobacat

    Tobacat PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    94
    Lottie's cystease with calming effect is already out for delivery overnight (I paid for express delivery). I feel her brother is losing the fight, so hopefully we can get one or two in front of her before.

    Thank you for your suggestions everyone.
     
  15. maisiecat

    maisiecat PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Messages:
    3,371
    Likes Received:
    733
    My boy was friends with the neighbours cat, they had begun to get along well, our own girl never accepted him.

    We brought him home and showed her and she just walked away, to this day she won't go into 'his' room where he slept or look at the place he used to sleep. However, his friend came to visit soon after I had 'arranged' him and so I put him down so that he could see. He put his face close to my boys face for a little while, looked at me, and left very quietly, he was usually chatty and bouncy and looking for their food. He has sneaked into the house a few times since, and gone upstairs but no longer goes into that room either.

    Whatever reaction there would be I tend to think it helps them understand what has happened.

    A few drops of Rescue Remedy in her drinking water might help, or if you feel she needs it a tiny drop rubbed into her ears. It might make her a bit dozy.
     
  16. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    14,657
    Likes Received:
    11,990
    None of my gang have ever seemed to be stressed by the loss of one of the pack.
    What I have noticed is the remaining cats expanding territory or seeming to pick up habits from the deceased cat. The prime bed position on the pillow next to me was always claimed within a day or two of the previous incumbent passing on as an example.
    Have you given thought as to what to do after the sad event of PTS?
    I hope you wont be offended or upset if I suggest that you plan those details in advance.
    Whether I had PTS at home or at the practice, I have always asked the vet to take the body and store it for me which they do by putting the body into the deep freezer. I have always arranged cremation myself, so collect the body ( bring an old blanket or towel as it will be in a plastic bag with ID tag) and bring it to the crematorium. They will have a range of suitable caskets, or you can buy your own quite easily an far more cheaply. I book an individual cremation and return a few days later to pick up the ashes in the casket.
    Of course the vet can arrange all of this for you but I could not bear the thought of my beloved cat being transported along with other animals in a work van, so this ritual has become part of my coping ritual.
     
    #16 Paddypaws, Apr 28, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2017
    Emmasian and OrientalSlave like this.
  17. Tobacat

    Tobacat PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    641
    Likes Received:
    94
    Thank you maisie and paddypaws. I made the decision to put Toby to sleep this morning. If you look at my other thread you will see I am so lucky that I got the timing right, he literally lived up to the last hour he could.

    Toby saw the vet earlier in the week so I knew what was coming, which again was a great help to me. The vet talked me through how they would put him to sleep and suggested I think about bringing him home or cremation and what they could offer if I wanted it, so it's been good to have time to plan. I'd loved to have buried him in the garden as he so loved the outdoors, but the soil in our new garden is literally builders rubble and soil, so I've chosen cremation. When the time is right we can decide if he stays safe in the house with us or he's scattered in his much loved garden. We've just bought some new bedding, so when I took our old quilt cover off in the week, I kept it to put under him - he was on he part he normally slept with his own scent on.

    I appreciate everyone replying, there are so many genuine people out there that love their pets, but at the same time was to help others.
     
    Babyshoes likes this.
  18. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    14,657
    Likes Received:
    11,990
    I am so sorry for your loss @Tobacat
    X
     
  19. Charity

    Charity Endangered Species

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    22,717
    Likes Received:
    63,723
    I'm really sorry. Sweet dreams Toby.
     
  20. huckybuck

    huckybuck Feline Forum Fashionista

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2014
    Messages:
    19,645
    Likes Received:
    56,316
    So sad and sorry for your loss.

    RIP dear Toby knowing you were loved xx
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice