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Old 04-29-2011, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,820 posts, read 4,002,407 times
Reputation: 2452

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Two weeks ago, we had to put our precious dog Chelsea to sleep. She was our sweet mutt of 9 years. Since then, our cat Trixie has been overly affectionate -- almost to the point of getting on our nerves. Trixie has always been the classic cat where affection was given and received on her terms only. Now, she is demanding our attention and will actually reach out to us with her paws to draw us in to pet her. At first, it was cute and we were glad that she decided cuddling and petting weren't such a bad thing after all. Now, it is getting a little annoying.

When we are drinking or eating, she will jump up and want to be pet. However, stray cat hairs are not what I usually like to eat or drink and I will put her down. She jumps right back up and continues to demand attention.

Trixie came to us as a 5-week old stray and has always had Chelsea as a companion. You could always find the two of them laying together. When it came to play, Trixie would stalk Chelsea's tail. She would also put her paws around Chelsea's neck and go for the throat (I guess she thinks she is a lion).

Could this new found quest for our attention have something to do with Chelsea (the dog) not being around anymore? We also have another cat but Trixie shows no interest in her and barely acknowledges her existance. Do cats have long term memory and will she get over this?
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Old 04-29-2011, 07:34 PM
 
8,180 posts, read 15,780,508 times
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Absolutely Trixie is missing her beloved Chelsea. Cats form deep emotional attachments, and many grieve for a long time when they lose a companion they are close to. Trixie needs lots of love and understanding from you as she copes with her loss. Give her some extra attention, playing, grooming, cuddling, at more appropriate times, to help her adjust. Talk to her too, and tell her about Chelsea and why her friend is gone. There's no telling how much cats really understand, but it can't hurt.

A feliway plug in diffuser, or some rescue remedy wouldn't be out of line either.

I'm so sorry for your loss of your Chelsea.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,079 posts, read 8,875,953 times
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So sorry for your loss, it is very hard...

Example: One of my 18 yr old cats (male) died last year....his surviving sister was very sad and immediately began to stick to me like glue.....they had been very close, always sleeping curled up together, play-fighting etc. for 18 yrs.

Asked my vet just prior to his death if the surviving sibling would grieve and she said: OH NO......

I like my vet but: this just proved to me what tight bonds they form....with cats or dogs.

Over time, they will adjust




Quote:
Originally Posted by kjg1963 View Post
Two weeks ago, we had to put our precious dog Chelsea to sleep. She was our sweet mutt of 9 years. Since then, our cat Trixie has been overly affectionate -- almost to the point of getting on our nerves. Trixie has always been the classic cat where affection was given and received on her terms only. Now, she is demanding our attention and will actually reach out to us with her paws to draw us in to pet her. At first, it was cute and we were glad that she decided cuddling and petting weren't such a bad thing after all. Now, it is getting a little annoying.

When we are drinking or eating, she will jump up and want to be pet. However, stray cat hairs are not what I usually like to eat or drink and I will put her down. She jumps right back up and continues to demand attention.

Trixie came to us as a 5-week old stray and has always had Chelsea as a companion. You could always find the two of them laying together. When it came to play, Trixie would stalk Chelsea's tail. She would also put her paws around Chelsea's neck and go for the throat (I guess she thinks she is a lion).

Could this new found quest for our attention have something to do with Chelsea (the dog) not being around anymore? We also have another cat but Trixie shows no interest in her and barely acknowledges her existance. Do cats have long term memory and will she get over this?
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Glen Burnie, Maryland
1,820 posts, read 4,002,407 times
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Thank you for your response. I know how animals can sense things and I felt at first that she felt my pain and was comforting me. However, she is doing this with everyone and some that have known her for years are amazed at how affectionate she is now becoming. I am being patient with her and I will continue to do so. I guess a little hair in my coffee isn't so bad as long as she feels loved. She is a very cool and beautiful cat and is a major part of our family. If I get another dog, I hope they can form the same bond as her and Chelsea.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:11 AM
 
18,845 posts, read 34,804,635 times
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I don't think cats experience grief, but she did spend time with the dog, and now she spends that time with you. When I had more pets, my pets spent time with each other. But with one pet, the animal focuses on you. That is why I prefer one pet.

When I had three cats, and a dog, then went to one cat, the cat, Beau, did not "miss" his other pets, he seemed fine, then, he went back to living with pets, then an only for two years, now living with three other cats. He adjusts fine to either situation.

But he does like dogs, I think he spent so much time with our dog, he just likes them.
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Old 04-30-2011, 05:10 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 49,361,728 times
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I know I've had cats who showed signs of grief. Years ago we had a pair of female strays show up together and both were pregnant. They insisted on having their babies together in the same box, nursed each other kittens and were inseparable. When one died the other was overcome with grief. She wailed and cried and was just so miserable it broke my heart. She looked all over the house and yard for her friend and continued to be off her feed for weeks. She was never the same cat after that.
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Old 04-30-2011, 06:34 AM
 
8,180 posts, read 15,780,508 times
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Cats experience grief. My oldest boy grieved so deeply when he lost his beloved kitty companion who raised him I thought I was going to lose him, too. He went into hiding for weeks. I had to drag him out to medicate him and syringe feed him. Even after he came out of hiding he looked for her for months. Calling and calling all night.

One time, about 3 months after she was gone as I was making the bed one of the blankets humped up and looked like there was a cat under there (she always slept under that blanket, and he would sleep on top of her, outside the blanket). With a cry of joy he leaped up and put his paws on that lump. Of course it flattened down and the look on his face...if he could have he would have burst into tears.

It took a full year for him to get back to normal, and even so, he lost a bit of his spark. Even now, over 6 years later, he still becomes extremely anxious when I leave the house with another cat in the carrier. He waits by the door for me to come home with that cat, and if I come home empty handed he becomes frantic.

He didn't get to say goodbye, I think that was part of the problem. I didn't handle it right. I was so devastated by the cancer growing so fast, sleep deprived from taking care of her, I just packed her up and walked out without thinking about the other cats.

Two years ago when his other companion who raised him left, she had been sick for a long time also, but we knew, he knew, I knew, she knew that it was time, and I told him all about it and let him say good bye. He missed her terribly, but she had already weaned herself from him, she knew she was leaving him and that he would suffer from it. She stopped sleeping with him, going always to her bed that was hers only, where he never joined her, so he could get used to doing without her.

Sorry for the hijack, but I think it's important for people to know that cats do form these very deep long lasting bonds, and they suffer loss of a loved one very intensely.
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
1,841 posts, read 2,141,017 times
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I asked a friend once if cats grieve, and she sent me these videos:

Almost spooky..

YouTube - Ashley Micmac memories

YouTube - Ashley pure sadness
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Old 04-30-2011, 02:53 PM
 
8,180 posts, read 15,780,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatty MacButter View Post
I asked a friend once if cats grieve, and she sent me these videos:


Yes. Animals can be as devastated as we are from the loss of someone beloved to them.

To OP, based on something I read in one of the youtube links above:

Watch Trixie very closely to be sure she doesn't try to get out and go looking for Chelsea. May you all help each other cope with your grief. xx
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:54 PM
 
8,180 posts, read 15,780,508 times
Reputation: 13895
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatty MacButter View Post
I asked a friend once if cats grieve, and she sent me these videos:

PS I meant to say before, those are very moving videos. Are they from a friend of yours, or a friend of a friend? I hope Ashely is feeling much better by now.
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