♥ What You Should Know About Choosing Cat Cremation ♥
Cat cremation is a subject close to my heart. It’s personal. Raw and real. This post isn’t easy for me to do, but I know that so many of you are facing this heart wrenching decision in your own lives just as I did.
First and foremost, I want to say to you, if you have just faced or are soon to face the loss of your pet, I am so deeply sorry. My heart goes out to you in a way that I can not even begin to express. In all sincerity, I am sending you all the love and hugs I can.
I know this is a very difficult and sensitive subject. I wish saying goodbye to a beloved pet was never a reality, but sadly, it is. My hope is to present this with dignity and grace.
My Story of Choosing Cat Cremation
In July 2013, my whole world changed. Many people will find that to be overly dramatic, but it isn’t. My cat Sugar, aka “Shug” was one of a kind. She lit my world up with such love and happiness, compassion and pure joy. Her intelligence and understanding never ceased to amaze me.
Shug was born with feline leukemia (FeLV). Despite this, I was able to keep her extremely healthy. Her life was full, vibrant and filled with spoils fit for “the Queen.” 🙂 It took a lot of caution and care with her FeLV+ status but I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
During a visit with a local (rude, callous and pompous) Vet, a fatal choice was made by him. The Vet overdosed her on a drug and it was more than her body could handle.
She went into a state of shock, her organs began to shut down and within a couple of days, I had lost her. The highly specialized emergency clinic tried to save her but it was too late.
As I held Shug in my arms, absolutely devastated and broken, I knew then that I didn’t just want to bury her as all the other beloved pets had been. She was different and I wanted to keep her with us, even if we moved.
That’s why I chose cremation. I was completely unfamiliar with the process, where to go or what to do. So let me help you now that I’ve been through it.
I am writing this post on cat cremation to honor Shug and all of the much loved and adored cats we have enjoyed so much. It is a deeply personal story for me and I hope that it helps you on your journey.
Cost of Cat Cremation
The cost of cat cremation varies depending on where you go, where you live, what additional options you might choose, as well as whether or not you would like to have a professional memorial service.
The cost involved when I had Shug cremated was under $200. As you can see in the photo above, I chose a beautiful “rainbow bridge” urn for her as well, which was included in the cost.
Here are more detailed photos of the urn (which may also be available to you at your location)
3 Types of Pet Cremation
Most places offer 3 options for pet cremation: communal, partitioned or private.
1.Communal is exactly as it sounds. Your pet will be cremated with other pets. Choosing this option usually indicates you will not receive your pet’s ashes after cremation is performed.
The pet crematorium, veterinarian office or funeral home will dispose of the ashes on their grounds. This is the least expensive option with an average cost range under $100. (Typical is $30 to $50). If you do not wish to bury your pet and would not like to bring him/her home with you, this is the option to choose.
2. Partitioned is the middle range of cost and is a combination of the other forms of cremation combined. There will still be other pets in the incinerator at the same time as yours, as it is with communal. This practice however involves putting space and objects (partition) in between the animals to attempt keeping the remains separate.
Reputable crematories do try and use care when cremating your deceased four-legged family member but sadly, not all will. There is no guarantee others’ cremains won’t be mingled with yours. Cost is typically $150 or less with the average being around $75 to $100.
Private cremation is the best option for most pet parents. If you should choose to, some establishments will even allow you to witness a private cremation. Your cat will be placed in its own incinerator container with little to no chance of mixing cremains.
I chose this option for Shug but I did not opt to watch the cremation. It would have been entirely too painful for me personally. But that is a personal choice. For many, it helps with the grief process.
The average cost associated with private cremation is $100 to $300 but your location plays a significant role in expense. Some cities charge considerably more for this service, so please be sure and check around for more options if your budget is limited.
Many places offering cat cremation also offer additional ways for you to honor and memorialize your beloved friend. These include plaques, photo keepsakes, special urns, services and more.
In my case for Shug, I had a plaque made which is kept next to her picture…
Specially engraved plaques, like the one above, to display next to the urn are a sweet way to say “I love you and I miss you.”
Some special souls also created Cat Memorial Urn Jewelry. These beautiful stainless steel necklaces (in various colors) have screw holes so that you can easily add your cat’s ashes and keep them near your heart always. There is even a spot for your pet’s photo in the locket as well. I know this may not be for everyone but I personally think it’s very sweet.
If necklaces aren’t for you, they also offer memorial key-chains for cremains of your pet. This is an inexpensive way to remember them always. Truly, there are endless options available to choose from.
Who Offers Cat Cremation?
There are more places offering pet cremation than you might expect. I personally live in a very rural area and was able to find a funeral home offering this service.
Googling “pet cremation near me” will offer you some valuable insight into places in your vicinity that might be able to help you.
If you are currently working with a local Vet, be sure to call their office and inquire about who they partner with for their cremations. You may or may not be interested in working with them as well.
Another option would be to call (or visit) one of your local funeral homes and speak with them about options they might provide. Not all funeral homes are equipped to handle pets. Much like the Vet’s office, they should be able to recommend someone who does.
Regardless of where you go, be sure that it is somewhere you feel cared for and respected. Losing a pet is losing a family member. Anyone who doesn’t understand your loss has no business receiving your money.
Grief & Support
Grief & support are 2 very important factors to mention in an article like this.
Your grief is real and you should definitely acknowledge it. Reaching out and receiving support are critical. Your loss is very real and your pain is understandable.
Don’t go through this alone. If you don’t have someone there for you where you are, reach out online. Many places offer compassionate understanding during your difficult time. If the cremation service you choose can not connect you with a grief support group, below are some options online.
- Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
- Pet Loss Support Groups by State
- Rainbows Bridge Grief Support
- Pet Loss Support
- Best Friends Resources
You’ll Make The Right Choice
You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t love your cat. I know you will make the right choice for you and your kiddo. Trust that.
Did this article help you? Did it answer some questions for you and give you some ideas as to ways you can memorialize your furchild?
Please let me know if it did or if you have any other questions I might be able to answer for you.
Again, my heart is with you – I am so so sorry. (hug)
Please share this article if you have found it valuable, or if you know someone who is going through this process. Thank you!
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I'm Holly. Devoted wife to my amazing husband, Bill. Faithful woman of God. Introverted and Introspective INFJ (MBTI). Lover of nature and animals (especially cats). I love writing and research, especially on topics of nature, plants, faith, and cats! My hope is that people feel encouraged, comforted and supported after interacting with me. Especially fond of who society deem the "underdogs," I love helping people see their God-given beauty and celebrating it!