How to deal with a cat grieving for the lost of his brother cat.

by Joycelyn
(Melbourne, Australia)

I have recently adopted 2 cats from an owner who is moving away to another country and can't bring them along. I have a male cat, (J, who is 1.5 yrs) at home and would like to find him a companion. The 2 new cats are siblings and have been with each other since birth. They are both 1.5 years old and one is a female while the other is a male.

When they first arrive, we place both cats in a safe room and have them and (J) take turns to be out in the living room with us. When the 2 cats are out, the female (P) cat starts exploring the place, etc. While her brother (S) hides at a corner and has always been timid. During subtle interaction with (J), (P) hisses at (J) incessantly while (S) seems to be alright with (J). However, seeing her sister (P) hiss, (S) will do the same.

After a few days of observation, it seems that (S) follows his sister (P) and is more of the timid one. Just after having them for 3 days, (S) ran out of the house when door was open as a friend of ours was chasing him wanting to carry him. He ran so fast that when I came in from outside, he just slipped past me. We tried catching him but he jumped over the fence and disappeared. We actually found him and was close to catching him again but he ran off climbing fences etc. Since then, its been 5 days.

We have pasted flyers all around, notified RSPCA, went door to door around the neighbourhood giving a small flyers, hired a cat trap as we have been placing food outside and they are always gone by morning, etc. But he has yet to be found. We are devastated and have caught a couple of stray cats and have brought them to RSPCA. But none of them were him.

It is our fault that he is missing but its worst seeing his sister all depressed. Even though she has only been here for about a week, it is clear that she is grieving for him. But please right me if I am wrong. She has been meowing or howling non-stop outside every room. She will only stop once we open it for her and she will head in to have a quick check and head back out again. We suspect she is looking for (S). Also, of all the windows in the
house, she sits at the one that has direct view of (S) jumping over the fence. I know it might be a random coincidence but this window is in the BATHROOM. She meows outside the Bathroom, just so she can go in as we keep it closed and sits by the ledge and watch.

Please advise as to what we can do to bring (S) home and help (P) if she is indeed grieving. (S) is microchipped but he doesn't have a collar as it was pulled out while he was running!

The good thing is (P) isn't hissing at (J) nomore. (J) was never really mean to (P and S) to begin with. But they don't seem happy. I am guessing (P) is too caught up with (S) disappearance. Please help..

Thank you for taking time to read this. I know its lengthy.

Answer by Kate
Yes cats do grieve for their animal friends when they go missing. So your female cats behavior is quite normal. the best thing you can do for her is to make sure she feels very secure in her new home with lots of toys and acyivities to keep her stimulated. Alsogive her lots of fuss and personal game time with you, it will help to build her confidence. It is ok that she is grieving, she will eventually get over it but her behavior now is normal.
Your male cat that ran away may just be exploring the area, my sisters cat went missing for 9 days and he didn't know the area at all as he had just moved there, but he turned up again at the back door as if nothing had happened. keep calling him and leaving food out side for him.
The other option is that he was not happy in the home environement ie with the other cat and has just decided that he would rather live somewhere else. I had a cat years ago who simply found herself a new home down the street as she didn't get on with my other cat.

Any way you have done everything you can to find your cat, so all you can do is keep your fingers crossed that he does come home. But remember cats are very smart animlas and are able to look after themselves very well, they will always find a way to get some food, find a new home etc if they want to.

Thanks for visiting us here and i hope you enjoy the web site. kate

Comments for How to deal with a cat grieving for the lost of his brother cat.

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by: Anonymous

did you found your cat

Thank you for your respond.
by: j

Thank you Kate. I really appreciate your kind respond. I will do as advised and stay hopeful that (S) will come back. Maybe (S) wasn't happy but he got along better with (J) than (P). Also, based on observation, I think (P) looks after (S) a lot. (S) is always always following (P) and whatever she does. We know cats are smart but we are just really worried about him as a cat near our neighbourhood just recently got ran over. However, talking to neighbours, one inspired us with his experience that happened 30 years ago. His cat went missing on a road trip and appeared 3 months later at his door. The cat's paws were all bleeding for the walk from interstate!

I guess (S) just really didn't wanna be carried and was thus running around in the house and just ran out the door when I was coming in.

We had a call today about (S). Hurried to that place and realised it wasn't him. I guess we have learn to not have such high expectations when we get calls as it hurts a lot more when it isn't him.

Once again, thank you for your reply and I will keep you updated and yes we LOVE the site..

ps: is it possible that someone might just pick him up and not want to return him? Every cat here has to be registered and (S) is already registered and micro-chipped.. but some households, because of the hassle, can't be bothered to take their cats to RSPCA to register them.

Answer from kate
great to hear from you and i still have my fingers crossed. lets also hope that he hasn't been picked up by someone who just wants to keep him, it could happen but i think most people would try and find their real home first. Definately keep me up dated.

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