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Pet World: How to help a grieving cat with loss

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

My 15-year-old male Cosmo was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma July 6, and the tumor grew so fast, and so we discussed options with our vet. Due to his age, we sadly decided to euthanize him on July 31. His brother cat Marv is 17, and they were bonded. Marv seems to be doing okay, but I think he misses Cosmo’s companionship. We would like to adopt a new cat, and I am wondering about some things. Should we adopt a young cat or an older one? How long should we wait? Male or female? Marv is pretty easy going and seems to get along with other cats well.

–Terry, Waupaca, Wisconsin

Dear Terry,

I am so sorry for your loss, but don’t feel like you have to rush to adopt a new companion for him as a new pet will divert attention from Marv, who probably needs your affection now more than ever. Sometimes, taking a few weeks to sit with a grieving animal and giving them some extra love helps the healing process for both of you.

Some senior pets aren’t overjoyed at the new energy a kitten brings to a home and may keep their distance. If he gets along with other cats, I recommend adopting an older cat. Older cats are often overlooked at animal shelters, and need new homes. Look for an easy-going female feline and keep her in a separate room for a few days to give them each time to pick up on each other’s scent before making formal introductions.


Dear Cathy,

Several times a month birds will fly into our windows. Some bounce off and fly away, some are stunned for a few minutes and then fly away, others, unfortunately, hit with such force that they don’t make it. Is there anything we can do to prevent or decrease the number of these crashes?

–Jim, Cetronia, Pennsylvania

Dear Jim,


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