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Comforting Surviving Pets


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Hello again,

We are faced with a situation that I am sure is not uncommon, so if anyone has any suggestions.....

As I have written before, we have recently lost a cat and a dog. One of our surviving pets is a neutered tom that was unusually close to both.

The Tom's story. He adopted us about six years ago - just barely grown. We beleive he came from an extremely abusive home. He was abandoned when his mistress died suddenly and unexpectedly and the "master?" was sentenced to 40 years prison for domestic abuse. We attributed the tom's initial behavior with our three spayed female cats to his rough past. He was extremely aggressive and savage. We hoped neutering him would help him mellow. It didn't. It was a very bad situation. Then, we brought home our five week old Airedale puppy. The tom cat immediately adopted that puppy and raised her like his own. The tom's behavior changed from night to day. No one could ask for a more mellow, gentle cat. The Airedale and tom made a unique pair - their mutual love was obvious. As time progressed, the tom also formed an attachment to one of the female cats. We would always see them curled up together sleeping.

Now both of the tom's close companions are gone. He has such a mornful meow as he walks around the yard. He appears and I am sure he is depressed.

He has made some friendly advances to the one remaining female (who is about 10 years old) She remains distrustful of him. And rightfully so, as I have seem him sidle up to her as if in peace and then go into the attack mode.

Besides his loss, I am concerned that his prepuppy behavior may be returning.

I want to help him, but am not sure how or what to do. I am allergic to cats, but I try to show the tom an increase in attention - and my husband definitely does.

(Both cats are outside cats, but spend a large amount of time in our open porch.)

Any suggestions? Another puppy is not an option. At this time, I am not ready


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First off, I want to say sorry for your losses, and secondly, I know what it is like for a pet to mourn another pet. Our Horse Crash moped around for weeks after his companion Lily died. All I can say is show Tom as much affection as you can, shower him with love and a few treats every now and then and let him know though things changed, some things won't. I believe they feel as lost as we do and since they can't tell us about it, they act out, or withdraw, they don't know what else to do..I will be praying and thinking of you and Tom and wish you the best...

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I don't know if you are open to the idea or not, or if your finances would allow, but if it were me, I'd try an animal communicator, who could help you find out what exactly your tom cat's concerns, emotions and needs are in this situation. They should also be able to help your tom understand what has happened with his pals. Flower essences might also help with his emotional inbalance, but I don't know if you are able to provide a means by which to administer them ( like in a purified drinking water bowl ). Hope this might help. Other than that, like daddyslilgirl said, LOTS of affection and understanding will help, too.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi Fern, I am also dealing with my cat who is showing signs of depression. I lost my golden retreiver a few weeks ago and the two of them were very close. We had taken in Gwen(the cat) shortly after we had bought Kaylee(the dog).Gwen's life had a rough start. My son was downtown TO one very cold winter day when he came across a cardboard box of kittens that had literally been tossed to the curb. He heard a faint meow and went to the box to investigate.Sadly the box contained 4 kittens.All but one had frozen to death, and that was our little Gwen. The only reason she didn't die was that she was on the bottom of the litter and their body heat had kept her alive. Had my son not found her that day, her fate would have been the same. She had quite a few medical problems but our dear vet continued to nurse her back to health.Needless to say Kaylee and Gwen were inseparable their entire time together. The funniest moment was just after Gwen was back to health she decided she was going to nurse on Kaylee.So Gwen nuzzles up to Kaylees belly, looking for a nipple,and Kaylee just lifts her leg as to say What the heck.After quite a few minutes though, Gwen decided to give up, probably because there was too much fur,but she sure gave it her best shot. I swear to this day Gwen thinks she's a dog!!In the 1st week after Kaylee died, Gwen's howls were heartbreaking but this past weekend she seemed to be settling down abit,is starting to get back to a normal routine.I have lifted Kaylee's feeding bowls and put them away and we have changed the spot where Gwen now eats.They used to eat together and that seems to be helping her.I have put one of Kaylee's toys on the floor upstairs and she does spend abit of time lying on it and I think that helps her too.Although it causes me abit of grief to see the toy I know it's helping Gwen.

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