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How will I know I'm ready to adopt again after the loss of my cat?

After the loss of a cat, it can be difficult to think about adopting another.

Firstly, you need to grieve your beloved cat and dealing with the loss is hard. However, it's also important to remember that you can still grieve if you do choose to open your heart to another. That decision isn't always an easy one to make.

Many people want to know when it is the right time to bring a new cat (or pet) into the family. There is no right or wrong answer to this, but common concerns include the following:

  • Is it disloyal to the cat who has passed to get another?

  • What if I don’t bond with the new cat in the same way I did with the one who I have lost?

  • How long should I wait?

  • How will my other pets cope?

No timeline exists; we do what we do when the time is right. It could be days. It could be years.

When my cat Ella fell ill and I knew her passing wasn't far away, I was adamant I would never adopt again. Ella had been my world for 14 years, she was irreplaceable. When she did pass away, I found myself instantly considering my other cat, Archie; who suffers separation anxiety when I am not around. I knew another cat would help him as he would struggle being alone.

When Aurelia arrived, I still cried over the loss of Ella but I was able to find moments of joy from Aurelia coming into her own. I soon learned they had totally different personalities and therefore it has never felt like I was replacing. Also Archie and Aurelia have a totally different relationship to the one Ella and Archie had. Whereas Ella never wanted to rough and tumble with Archie, Aurelia loves it. Where Archie had a caring older sister that put him in his place when he did wrong, he now has a playmate and they are BFFs.

There's still not a day that I don't think of Ella. She had a wonderful and loved life, but if anything was to come from the heartbreak of losing her, it was giving another cat a chance.

The one thing that is always guaranteed is that there will always be cats in rescue desperate to experience love from a furever human. A good rescue will know the cats in their care and will want to make sure any cat that joins your family after a loss is the right one.

A house can feel empty after the loss of a cat.

Although I struggled with feeling disloyal to Ella, I can safely say Aurelia has never been a replacement. She had carved her own pocket of love into my heart. It was Ella's time to leave me and I had no control on this but what a wonderful legacy she has left in allowing me to adopt her new 'sister'. I'll always have my memories of Ella, and it's exciting to see the new memories that life will bring with a new cat that is excited she has a home to call her own.

Written by Si Mon - ICR Facebook Group

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