Choosing whether to have a pet cremation or a burial is a decision no animal lover wants to have to make.
But when one sad day our feline companions do pass away, it is a decision we will have to face.
If you have not thought about your options in advance, then you may make a hasty decision, one that you later may regret.
When the pain of pet loss is still raw, we can be so overcome with the emotion of actually losing our beloved cat that we put to the back of our minds just what we are going to do with their remains.
As most cats do unfortunately end their days at the veterinary office it is best to think ahead, so you will be able to let the vet know straight away what you want to have done.
We are all different and we all think differently about death.
For example, my family have traditionally liked to keep things simple. So over the years, our pet cats have either been buried in the garden or we have allowed the vet to dispose of the remains for us.
Other people feel that having a professionally organised ceremony is a good way to say goodbye and also helps them come to terms with their loss.
Here are a few options for you to consider:
If you have your own garden, then this may be the simplest way for you and your family to have a final resting place for your pet close to hand.
For instance, when my beloved Little Mo died, I buried her under her favourite bush in the garden where she used to like to sleep in the shade. I marked the spot with a simple memorial stone and I also made a special pet memorial plaque to remember her by indoors.
Many other people mark their resting places by planting a tree or shrub. Alternatively, you could have a tree planted in their memory elsewhere by a professional company.
You must remember when carrying out a home burial that you must be able to dig deep enough so that they will not be disturbed (for instance by foxes) and that you should bury them in a place that is unlikely to be dug in the future, so avoid areas such as flowerbeds.
You may decide that you would like to have your pets remains at home but are either unable to bury the remains or would prefer not to. Having a specialist service carry out the cremation and return the ashes to you is a good solution.
Some services will even arrange for the collection of the cat's remains from the vet's office. It's best to check in advance that your vet's office allows other pet cremation services to collect from them.
When the ashes are returned to you, you can then decide to scatter the ashes, perhaps in a special place your cat liked to sleep outside, or you may want to have them put into an urn.
This is perhaps the most expensive option but has the advantage that your cat will have a permanent resting place at the pet cemetery and that you know that the grave will be looked after "in perpetuity".
This may be especially comforting if you move away from home or something happens to you.
You may even be able to arrange a pet funeral and pet memorial service if this is something you would like.
We all have our own ways of coping with the death of a loved one and this is just as true when it comes to our pets.
How you decide to mark your cats passing is a totally personal thing.
However do remember that other members of your family will also be affected by the pain of pet loss and it is always wise to seek their opinion as well.
They may have other beliefs or needs that should be taken into consideration.
As you can see there are many options available regarding the disposal of your pets remains, from a pet cremation to a burial at home or in a pet cemetery.
There are also many ways to keep your cats memory alive, from personalised pet memorials, planting trees, to various headstones and urns.
Please see my other pages all about coping with Pet Loss and the grieving process, including many comforting words and poems on my Rainbow Bridge page. Kate