Do cats mourn? When losing a close cat companion may the survivor become distressed to the point of not eating?

We have two feral barn cats that visit us and that we've been feeding morning and night for about a year. They are always together. Recently one appeared pregnant and seemed ready to give birth. She then disappeared ( she did this several months ago the last time she was pregnant) and reappeared a few weeks later. However this time she has not reappeared- but the male companion has reappeared after an absence of about a week or so. He has lost a lot of weight and looks very haggard.

Asked by Member 896145 on Aug 12th 2010 in Behavior & Training
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Yes, animals do mourn for each other. I have witnessed this with feral cats. I manage a colony of seven feral cats. One of them was deaf and her sister would always watch over her. She would run to her when she heard her cry. The deaf cat passed away last year and for several months her sister would approach me crying. Now she greets me with a "meow", but still keeps her distance like feral cats do. Maybe you should try to get the companion cat in a humane trap and take him to a vet who can deal with ferals. He may be sick. He definitely needs to be neutered and vaccinated for rabies and distemper. That would be a good start, unless he is that ill. Maybe the girl kitty will return. If she does, get her fixed ASAP! Best of luck.

answered on Aug 13th.

Other Answers


Izadore (Izzie)

Animals do mourn for each other. I've seen it with domestic animals and there's no reason why ferals should be any different if they've developed a relationship with another cat. However, I would be concerned that the male is not well, beyond mourning for his mate. You may want to contact your local rescue/shelter or animal control officer (through your police department) and ask if you can borrow a trap. Seek out a vet that treats ferals, or ask the humane officer or shelter/rescue for help. It sounds like this guy need to visit a vet for treatment.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 8/12/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


All of the above poster know that cat's do mourn. Be very aware especially in Siamese Cats. They will stop eating if they are the only cat, even if the owner goes on vacation. They will not eat and fade if they are not used to you leaving for a long period of time. If they have a companion cat that passes away they can (as any breed) become seriously depressed and not eat or drink and die. It is also higher risk for the surviving companion if it is sick itself.

Some pets need extra attention in their mourning to help them through. Give them plenty of love and affection and if you are worried they have become too thin take them to the vet to get them eating again. They may need fluids and a appetite stimulant. Grooming, treats and spa music helps around here during the loss of our loved furs.

RueRue answered on 8/16/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer