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What Happens When a Cat Dies at Home Naturally?

Sadly, our pets don’t live the length of a human, and their lifespans are incredibly shorter. This is why you will often see the demise of your pet before you pass.

So what happens when it is time for your pet to die? And what happens when it is in your home?

Many things happen when your cat is going to die naturally at home. You can look for specific signs of this and what you can do to make the situation comfortable for your pet. But most important of all, you must be prepared for the emotional repercussions.

You want to be prepared for your cat’s passing, and you want it done naturally. This is everything you need to know about what happens and how you can be ready.

5 things that happen when a cat is dying naturally

When your cat dies at home, there are many things you should expect that will happen.

#1 Most cats can sense their last days

Although cats can’t determine exactly when they are about to die, they do have a sense that it is coming near. They have a natural instinct when death is near; it has even been said that they can sense it through biological factors.

There have been stories of cats knowing when humans are about to die. There had even been a story of a cat in a retirement home that cuddled with the next patient that would soon die.

Since cats seem to be able to know this, it wouldn’t be a surprise that a cat is aware of its own death.

#2 Signs and symptoms your cat is about to die

Although a cat may know when they are dying, you may want to be aware as well. This can help you emotionally, mentally, and physically prepare you, your family, and your home for this event.

Here are some signs and symptoms you can look out for:

Your cat may already have many severe diseases, especially at an old age. If you are aware of this, you will have to take extra precautions and watch your cat.

It may be a little challenging to notice exactly when they die, but with a keen eye, you can see the signs before it happens.

#3 Preparing your cat for its final days

There are many ways that you can prepare your cat for death. The biggest factor to consider is that your cat’s quality of life is at its best near the end.

Don’t expect them to be perfectly happy with their situation, but you can make it as comfortable as possible.

Here are some things you can do to keep their last days tranquil and cozy:

  • Give a peaceful area where their items are easy to access.
  • Provide a comfortable place to relax.
  • If your cat has a disease or a lot of pain, try to get a prescription for pain management.
  • Allow your pet to get plenty of rest.
  • Make sure other pets don’t bother it during rest.
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You want your cat to be as comfortable as possible near the end. If your pet seems in a lot of pain, you may consider taking your cat to the vet to be euthanized.

You don’t want the last moments to be full of agony.

#4 Preparing your other pets

Allow your pets to interact with your cat as long as it is up to it. However, you don’t want to disturb any resting periods because it is harder and harder to conserve energy when your cat is close to death.

Don’t change their routine drastically, as this can make things worse.

#5 Preparing your family and yourself

It is good to prepare the whole family so they can start the grieving process and won’t be thrown off when the cat does finally pass. Sit your children down and let them know what is going on.

Explain to them in the simplest way what is happening and what to expect. They will have questions, so be ready to answer those as well.

What to do when my cat dies?

What Can I Do When My Cat Dies?

There are many things you need to do once your cat has passed away.

First, you must put a plastic or trash bag under their rear end. Your pet’s muscles will soon release all the body fluids as these muscles relax.

Before you decide whether to cremate your pet or bury it, you will want to allow your family and other pets some time to say goodbye. Let them sniff their friend and say farewell, so they understand that their family has gone.

Take a moment to recall how your cat used to rub against your legs.

You may want to take careful consideration for your children to say farewell. It may be in their best interest to say goodbye before your cat’s death instead of afterward.

Death can be a little messy, and you don’t want to traumatize your children.

Common causes of natural death in cats

There are many ways a cat can die naturally. Some may not be preventable, while others can be prevented or avoided for a long time.

Here are some of the causes to expect when your cat dies naturally:

  • Heart disease
  • Heartworms
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Predators
  • Diabetes or low sugar
  • Poisoning
  • Infection

You will find that there are many diseases out there that your cat could get. You may find that as they age, more diseases and other ailments may arise.

This is normal as one gets older, and felines aren’t much different from humans in this sense.

How to prevent these causes

Not every one of these can be completely prevented. Diseases can come without warning in a perfectly healthy cat, but you can provide your cat with healthy habits that can help reduce the risk.

Heart disease

heart disease

Heart disease is a serious condition, but you can reduce the risks by providing your cat with a healthy diet and exercise. You don’t want to overexert them, though, because this can also wear their heart down.

Remember that even if you do provide these healthy habits, there are still chances that heart disease will occur.

You can only reduce the risks, and sometimes there are genetic factors that come into play. You can do genetic tests to determine your pet’s risk.

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Unlike heart disease, heartworms are preventable and curable. You can check with your veterinarian to run tests to detect heartworms.

If your cat has this condition, the vet will be able to kill the heartworms through treatment. Then they will prescribe medicine that will kill off the eggs.

If your cat has a clean bill of health, it is a good idea to invest in heartworm medication. You can choose between a chewable pill, a liquid form, or a shot.

Your veterinarian can tell you more about these medications and what is best for you and your cat.

Cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest is one of the most common reasons why cats die. The best way to prevent this is to provide your cat with a healthy heart diet and exercise.

Reduce any stressors, and you will find that your pet is less likely to die from a heart attack.

Your cat will also have an increased chance of having a heart attack if it has pre-existing diseases. These diseases include heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and more.


If your cat is an outdoor pet or likes to go outside every now and then, there is the chance a predator can get to them. These can be other territorial cats, larger wild cats, wolves, coyotes, and large bird predators.

The best way to prevent predators from hurting your cat is to keep them indoors. If you don’t want to do this, just make sure they have their claws to defend themselves and that they stay healthy. 

Diabetes or low sugar

Diabetes and low sugar can cause an early death for your feline. Diabetes can be the cause of obesity. You can reduce the chances by ensuring your cat is a healthy weight and doesn’t overeat.

There are chances the diabetes is genetic rather than occurring after weight gain. If this is the case, continue to manage your cat’s insulin and try to keep healthy routines to decrease the likelihood of an early death.

Low sugar can be just as bad as diabetes and cause imbalances that can disturb your cats’ health. Make sure they have a well-balanced diet that provides all the nutrients it needs.

If your cat has consistent low blood sugar, you will want to check with your veterinarian to see the cause and how you can fix it.


Cats are naturally curious and will find anything to get into. With this curiosity, they can end up ingesting all types of chemicals and foods that are harmful to them.

It is best to keep any of these chemicals and foods away, so your cat doesn’t get into them.


Infections can mean anything from a virus or bacteria or sepsis. Most infections or sepsis are caused by open wounds. If your feline has a wound, keep it clean from dirt.

Depending on the depth of the wound, you may want to contact your veterinarian to see what you need to do. This is also why some cats require injections every year.

Final words

Cats die naturally every day. It is up to you how the end of their life is.

Please give them the comfortable ending that they deserve. Pets are a part of the family and deserve to be given that respect before they pass away.