How to prepare for the death of your cat?

death of an old cat

Death is an unfortunate certainty of life. Your cat, not matter how much you love and care for it will eventually pass on. I am not going to sugar coat the fact that it will be a tremendous loss for any loving owner and will be a source of pain. I write this articles to hopefully offer a little bit of advice in these darker times of being a cat owner, to hopefully ease a bit of grief or at least make it a little more bearable when the moment comes to say good bye.

how to deal with the death of your cat

I lost my first cat very suddenly after being hit by a car, and even though we were only together for 6 months the loss hit me hard. Now I have a cat who is 13 years old and is starting to show the signs of slowing down. Her sight is nowhere near what it used to be and I just hope her hearing does not start to falter as well. She will one day leave me and that is a fact that that I understand, but I will still cry a bit when reminded of my limited time with her. Due to an injury sustained in her younger years she may also need to be put down earlier if the arthritis in her leg becomes too painful. In saying this, no matter how soon she will leave me, I know that I have loved her with all my heart and always strived to do the best that I could for her while she was alive. When she passes, I hope that she will have has a full life and that she is content.

What can I do to prepare for the death of my cat?

Well, the first step I would say is to talk to your vet while the pet is still alive. Ask questions and see what their standard procedures are when a pet needs to be put down. It will be a morbid conversation, but it will at least give you a sense of direction when the time comes to pass and you will not feel as lost with what to do. Some vets offer some type of burial or cremation, but not all vets offer these services. It is usually up to the owner to decide what to do with the remains of the pet once they have passes. Whatever you decide, it’s a good idea to have a plan in mind with yourself and your vet so that at least that painful conversation does not need to happen when you are far more emotional and depressed.

How do I decide it is time for my cat to be put down?

Dealing with the death of a cat

Well this is another huge grey area for vets and pet owners. Usually there will come a time that a pet is in so much pain or discomfort that it is cruel to keep it alive. I have seen the ugly side of this when an owner refuses to put down a beloved pet. The dog in question was blind, deaf, could not control their bladder and was allergic to everything. I cannot imagine the misery that was that poor dogs last year, every time I saw her I only felt sadness and pain. The owners are not entirely to blame. They loved her so much that they did not wish to part with her and did everything they could to keep her happy and alive. They went to ‘natural vets’ and had her on a vert strict diet to keep her allergies at bay. To their credit, she far outlived what the vet had estimated, but it did come at both a financial and emotional cost. The dog thankfully passes away at the end of last year, in the arms of her owners who loved her dearly. But here is the issue, from an unbiased outside perspective, the dog did not have a great last year of life. I understand the owner’s feelings but it would have been less cruel to put her down 6 months earlier and given her a more dignified end to her life. When my cat comes to this age, I hope I am able to see past my own love for her to be able to identify if she is in that much pain. I do not want her to suffer and I hope to be able to send her off before her pain becomes unbearable. The point I am trying to make is that it is hard to say when it is time to say good bye. The best person to talk to is a vet who is only looking out for the well being of your pet, even if it means to end their life. Please read plenty of peer reviewed articles and have discussions with your vet to see when that time will be right for you and your pet, and always try to put the health and happiness of your pet before your own pain of their inevitable death.

How do I heal from the death of a pet?

Again, there is no easy answer to this question. My advice is to look after yourself and your mental health. Take a day or two off work, watch a sad movie and cry your heart out, eat your favorite meal, and hug a loved one for support. The point is you have every right to mourn the loss of your pet. Take as much time as you need to cry and process this grief, but do not let it halt your life forever. Every day try take one step forward to acceptance and peace with yourself, once you are ready, you can go and help another animal have a better life. You could even look at becoming a foster parent and help multiple animals find a better home. The death of a cat (or any animal for that matter) is not the end of the world, just a bittersweet end to a chapter of your life that you one day will look back on and remember.

healing from the death of a cat

I hope this article offers at least a little bit of helpful advice when dealing with such a sad time in your life. Just remember you are not alone, you can always talk to friends, family, or even me, an internet stranger.  Just remember; you did your best, they are at peace, it’s okay to cry, and even more important, it’s okay to move on and heal.

Choosing the Right Litter for Your Cat

which cat litter to use

Now that I have 2 cats choosing the right litter has become more important than ever. Before I could clean the litter once a day and leave it at that. Now, even with two litter boxes I need to be cleaning them both at least twice a day otherwise the cats can start leaving their faecal matter in places I don’t like. The past few months have been quite the cat litter journey and I am ready to share what I learned.

My Journey to find the Perfect Cat Litter…

Recycled Paper Litter

recycled paper cat litter

This was the original litter I had with my older cat. It was made from recycled paper and was biodegradable so it felt more environmentally conscious using the litter (as long as the litter tray liner was also biodegradable). The main downside is that after a week the smell or urine would be quite strong and could not last more than 7 days.

Due to the fact that I had to change the entire litter out every week this made it more expensive than some other options, but when I had just the one cat it worked well for me. The trouble came with the new cat (a ragdoll cross) who hated the paper litter and refused to use it. I would often find him peeing and pooping next to the litter box almost in protest. We had to change the litter and we had to change it fast.

crystal cat litter

Crystal Cat Litter

This litter worked fine in theory, however my older cat really didn’t like the crystals and would refuse to poo in it (but was still okay to pee). The newer cat didn’t overly mind it but it was clear he wasn’t comfortable with it.

While this litter may work with your cats it did not with mine so I had to move to the next one. This litter also required a liner so we could easily switch it out after 2 weeks.

Flushable clay clumping litter

This was our first ‘success’. Both cats were happy to poo and pee in this litter (for the most part) and the best part was it was able to be flushed down the toilet. Unfortunately however this litter was quite dusty which is terrible for a cats respiratory health and could potentially cause more issues down the line.

The litter would also stop clumping after a while as all the clumping clay would have been used up and the remaining litter would absorb the smells and v=be quite unpleasant. This litter also was the one that got everywhere and I was constantly getting out the dust pan to sweep it up and put it into the litter box. At least with this litter we were able to remove the litter liner on one of the litter boxes and at the end of the week combine the remaining litter and throw it out in one bag. The pros did not out way the cons for me so we had to find a new litter for us to us.

No-Dust Clay litter

Clumping clay cat litter

This is the actual godsend that works for both of my cats. No longer do they feel the need to poo and pee in the bath tub or shower. This litter is like the flushable clumping litter but has a higher ratio of clay and cannot be flushed. Despite being unflushable, it clumps like a dream. It is easy to scoop out the remains of my cat’s bowl movements and put them in the poo bin that sits close to the two litter trays. I don’t use a liner at all with this litter and at the end of the month I just need to give the litter trays a wipe.

Even through this litter is more expensive, it actually works out to be cheaper than the other options as I don’t need to completely empty the litter boxes at the end of the week and I can keep using the litter for up to 4 weeks. Like the other clay litter it does tend to get a little messy around the litter boxes and I do need to sweep them up once or twice a day when I am scooping out the clumped remains in the litter box. The biggest plus with this litter is the smell; since I am scooping out both cat pee and poo there is nothing left to stink up the bathroom.

This is the litter that worked best with my cats and I am very happy with the results. If you had an automatic cat litter box this seems to be the best litter to use with it as its great at clumping pee and poo together.

Final thoughts on my search for the perfect Cat Litter

Every cat is different and will have different preferences to cat litter. As you could see there was quite a lot of trial and error when trying to find a litter that worked for both my cats and my lifestyle. I encourage you to try and see what works best with your cat. It will be a lot of work at first (since constantly needing to clean the shower was a pain) but it will be worth it in the end and could even save you money in the long run. Good luck with your cat litter journey!

What is the Best Diet for my Cat?

Cat Food Diet

Cat Food DietWhat is too much cat food, what is too little? These are difficult questions to answer since it very much depends on the size of your cat and how active it is. Outdoor cats are more active and tend to need more cat food than indoor cats who need to have a closely monitored diet to keep weight down. Below I have create a table to help guide you with what and how much to feed your cat.

Table: Suggested Dry and Wet food combination diet from kitten to pregnant cat

Cat weight (average)

Cat Type

Dry Food

Wet Food

1.5 lb / 0.5 kg Kitten 1/6 cup kitten dry food 1.5 oz / 40 g (kitten food)
2.2 lb / 1 kg Older kitten 1/5 cup (adult) 2.1oz / 60 g (adult)
8 lb / 3.5kg Average cat weight 1/4 cup (adult) 2.8oz / 80g (adult)
13 lb / 5.8 kg Large Cat 1/3-½ cup 3.5oz / 100g (adult)
16 lb / 7.25 Pregnant Cat 1/3-½ cup 3.5-3.7oz /100-110g (adult)

*note, this table’s weights are based off averages from multiple sources listed in the bottom of this article.

There are a few main things to remember when working out what to feed your cat:

  • Make sure carbohydrates make up no more than 10% of your dry food
  • Wet food should predominantly be meat with little to no fillers
  • The average 8 pound (3.5kg) cat requires 240 calories a day
  • Dry food is roughly 300 calories per cup.

While cats do tend to prefer one over the other, a balanced diet is actually a combination of both drys and wets. I feed my cat a 1/4 cup of drys in the morning and one serving of wet (generally 85g) a night. Being an indoor cat I need to keep on top of her diet to maintain her slim figure since it can be very easy for an indoor cat to gain weight if their diet is not monitored.

healthy cat diet

Kittens around 4-8 weeks are being weaned off their mother’s milk so it is important to keep feeding them milk and gradually replace it with dry or wet kitten food.

For pregnant cats, its always a good idea to check with your vet what you need to do to help keep your cat healthy. They can suggest adding other stuff to the diet to keep mamma cat and kittens happy.

Keep monitoring how your cat responds to different foods. My cat hated the previous batch of dry bits we bought and we switched to a new brand and she now loves them. Trial and error is the best way to find out what your cat likes and remember to try and find grain-free food options for your cats.

What is the average lifespan of a cat?

average lifespan of a cat

The lifespan of a cat is very dependent on a number of factors such as environment, breeding, diet and so on. This article aims to talk about all these factors to help inform the average reader what they can expect when owning a cat.


While breeds themselves don’t seem to overly effect the life span of a cat, cats that are mixed-breed tend to live longer that their pure bred counterparts. This is likely due to past inbreeding with pure-breads which leads to an increased likelihood of genetic diseases that can severely limit the age a cat can reach and quality of life. It is for this reason that this site encourages adoption from a shelter instead of a pet shop or breeder since shelter cats are more likely to be mixed-breed and therefore live a longer and fuller life.


Diet is incredibly important for a cat. Do not, and I repeat, DO NOT feed a cat a vegetarian or vegan diet! They need protein above all else and require an even higher ratio than dogs do. They are obligate carnivores (true carnivores) and do not have the necessary organs to digest plant material. Also, as they get older they are less able to digest carbohydrates and lactose so a more pure meat diet full of poultry and fish is the way to go. Cats that do not have a good diet are likely to be prone to more illnesses and can even start to lose their fur!

Spay and Neuter:

Cats that have been spayed or neutered are no longer prone to developing diseases that affect the cat’s reproductive system when they get older. This and the fact that they will be less likely to roam looking for a mate will increase your cats chance at a longer and healthier life.

Environment : Inside vs Outside

Outside cat

Outside cats on average life to be 5-10 years. This is because they are more prone to dangers outside of the house. They could be hurt from falling from trees or from fights with other animals. They could also contact illnesses from other cats as well as have a higher change of getting fleas and ticks that could be fatal. The main benefit from a outside lifestyle is that cats get more exercise and are stimulated by their surroundings.

Inside cat

Inside cats on average live 2-3 times longer that outside cats, living to be around 15-20 years old! Inside cats are often vaccinated and sterilised so are less likely to get diseases and infections from these factors. They are also not exposed to the hazards that exist in an urban environment (such as cars and dogs). However, they need be given more attention. Play time is very important as it is one of their main ways to exercise which is necessary to avoid obesity which comes with other health issues.

Longest living cat

The title of longest living cat in the Guinness book of records is held by a cat by the name of Creme Puff who lived to the ripe old age of 38 years and 3 days! Today the oldest living cats seem to average around 30 years which is still an impressive feet.

I hope this article was helpful and remember that cats are a long-term partner and should be treated as such.

Here are also some other helpful articles on cat lifespans that you can check out!

Top 10 Common Cat diseases

Top 10 Common Cat diseases

Here are the Top 10 Common Cat Diseases that are most likely to affect you and your cat. Please note that I am not a veterinarian and professional advice should always be sought after in serious situations. This list is intended as an awareness tool and hopefully has some good tips on how to keep your cat happy and healthy!

1 Kidney Disease

Kidney disease (or kidney failure) is the most common disease in cats. Unfortunately there is no real way to prevent kidney disease and often the symptoms only show when the disease has greatly developed.  Symptoms include vomiting, weight loss, bad breath, lethargy, increased urination and back pain. There is medicine available for cats that have kidney disease can ease the symptoms and often a change in diet will also help.

2 Upper Respiratory Infection (a cold)

Just like humans, cats can contract colds too. Upper Respiratory Infection can be treated like other illnesses with prescription medication. It does become more complicated with older cats and FIV positive cats because their immune system is not a strong and could require further treatment.

3 Gum disease/Dental disease

Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, is a very common feline dental disease. It is caused by plaque accumulating around the gum line. Unlike some of the other diseases on this list, this disease is very preventable. Good dental hygiene by regularly bruising your cats teeth is the best way to prevent gum disease. It is best to start brushing your cats teeth as a kitten so they are used to the routine once they reach adult hood. Some older cats may not take as kindly to having their teeth brushed. If your cat is diagnosed with gingivitis, the vet will give your cats teeth a professional clean and the cat may need to go on some medicine. The most common symptoms of gingivitis is bad breath and very yellow teeth. Just remember, prevention is easier than cure so keep your cats teeth clean.

4 Broken bones/Sprains

Injuries are far more common with outdoor cats than indoor cats. They can be difficult to identify so it is important to pay attention to your cat’s behavior such as loss of appetite, swelling, and limping. Once you have identified that something is wrong, try to get your cat to a vet as soon as possible so they can see how serious the injury is. Some broken bones may require surgery, or even amputation.

5 Heart worms and tape worms

Heartworms and tape worms are often transmitted via insects that carry the worm eggs. They hatch inside your cats body and feed off their feline host. Early diagnosis is critical as worms, especially heart worms, can be very deadly for cats. The best way to protect your cat from heartworms is by de-worming your cat with a monthly preventative like tablets or gel. Ask your vet what ways they recommend to help prevent your cat from getting worms.

6 Fleas and Ticks

Fleas are a thing that almost every cat will at some point have a problem with. They look like little black dots in your cats fur and generally can cause your cat to itch obsessively. Once fleas become a problem they can be very hard to get rid of, often requiring a full house clean, washing all blankets and such to make sure that you kill not just the ones on your cat, but the ones living in your house as well. Ticks are the more dangerous of the two since some ticks can be very poisonous and can paralyze your cat and possibly lead to death. Prevention is better than cure so regularly check your cat for fleas, especially if they are an outside cat, and give them flea and tick preventatives.

7 Arthritis

Arthritis is practically inevitable as cats get older. It generally shows as the cat becomes less mobile and slower when they walk and get up. While there is no cure for arthritis, their pain can be eased through medication proscribed by your vet and other medicines like pet acupuncture.


Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (or FIV) is similar to the human version, HIV, in the way that it lowers the immune response of cats. It can be hard to diagnose since the disease can remain dormant for years. Symptoms of an FIV positive cat include; dental disease, Discharge from nose and eyes, hair loss, swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, and wounds that won’t heal. There is currently no cure for felines diagnosed with FIV but there is medication that will help them live a relatively normal and healthy life.

9 Obesity and diabetes

Obesity is another very preventable disease found in cats. It can also lead to diabetes which like human diabetes becomes an ongoing medical cost with insulin injections. Obesity can also cause other health problems like heart disease and kidney disease.  It is important to not over feed your cat and to property exercise them where possible. Play time is a great way to give your cat some mental and physical exercise and portion control will also help prevent your cat reaching unhealthy weights. You could also walk your cat if play time isn’t enough.

10 Cancer

Cancer is more likely to happen in older cats and has become one of the leading causes of deaths in that age group. Treatment is usually through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation but like human cancer, is not guaranteed to be successful. There is no sure fire way to prevent cancer, but giving your cat a healthy lifestyle will at least lessen the potential and a healthy cat will often have a better chance at surviving.

Other articles related to cat diseases: