Pets' corner: How can I help my cat overcome grief?

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The Independent Online

My elderly cat's twin sister died about nine months ago. Since then, he has not been himself, spending lots of time crying and refusing to eat. Is this normal and is there anything we can do to help him return to the contented cat he was before? David Strang via e-mail

It is devastating losing our beloved animal companions. I can truly sympathise with you because I've recently lost my dog. It's hard enough losing a pet, never mind dealing with the grief of your remaining moggie! Your cat's grief is totally normal. He will take time to come to terms with his bereavement since they had such a close bond for so many years. One of the first stages of grief in cats is activation. They will pace the house looking for the missing companion and will also cry out for them. You may see some signs of depression after that. It seems that this is what your cat is suffering from. You will need to give him time to grieve and only he knows how long this will take. You will have to be patient to get him back to his old self. What you can do in the meantime is give him plenty of extra attention and love. Try giving him some special food to encourage him to eat. If you slightly warm it up, it may help. You can also speak to you vets about some natural remedies to calm him down.

Send your queries to The Independent Magazine, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or e-mail petscorner@independent.co.uk

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