Dealing with practical issues upon the death of your catIn the unfortunate event of the death of your cat, you may need to take several administrative steps. If you have subscribed health insurance for your pet, for example, you will need to request a death certificate from your vet. If your cat is microchipped or tattooed, you will also need to inform the national pet register of their death. But first and foremost, you will need to decide how to deal with your cat’s remains.
In France, there are three options for pets weighing less than 40 kilos. You can bury your pet in your garden or on land you own, you can bury them in a pet cemetery or you can have your pet’s body cremated.
Burial or cremation: what you need to know
If you decide to bury your cat at home, you must follow some specific rules. The body must be buried at least 1 metre underground and at least 35 metres from any dwellings or water sources. You can wrap the body in a cloth, place it in a wooden or cardboard box, or place it directly in the ground. It is also advisable to cover the body with quicklime.
If you do not have enough outdoor space, you can entrust the body of your cat to a vet or a specialised company in order for it to be cremated. Note that if you opt for collective cremation, your cat’s remains will be cremated with those of other pets and you will not be able to recover your pet’s ashes. Individual cremation costs more but you will be able to recover your pet’s ashes and you may be allowed to attend the cremation.
Grieving your pet
The death of a cat is often very traumatic and can take more or less time to get over depending on your personality and the circumstances surrounding your pet’s death. It’s not unusual to feel as much grief as if you had lost someone close, as our pets tend to play a very important role in our lives. Everyone deals with grief differently. Certain rituals (involving flowers, poems, toys, etc.) carried out at the time of the burial or cremation or during the period that follows may help ease the pain.
Don’t hesitate to contact people who can understand what you are going through and discuss it with them. Some people decide to adopt another cat, but it is a very personal decision. In any event, it’s better to wait until you have finished grieving and to avoid adopting a “replacement cat” that looks just like your deceased pet. Your previous cat was unique thanks to their personality and traits. With your new cat, you are embarking on a new chapter and will create beautiful memories that will be added to, rather than erase, those of your former cat.