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Q: Is it true cats hide when they know they are dying?

May 13, 2008 | By Bonnie G. | 13 answers | Expired: 2309 days ago

I have an 11 year old cat who has cancer, and two days ago she went missing. I'm not sure if she got out, or found a really good hiding spot in the house. My brother told me cats want to die alone. I'm completely heartbroken and if she has passed away I just want to know so I can have some closure. She's never been away from me for more than a couple of hours if she goes outside. I was just wondering if anyone else has had this experience....

Readers' Answers (13)
Christine
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May 16, 2008

Oh I am so so so very sorry you are going through this!!! This is one of the hardest things to go through in my opinion, I just went through it with my precious kitty last June, and yes, she did do that. She didn't really hide, but she did lay in odd places and in corners with her face towards the corner. That was sooo unlike her as she was always my complete shadow. Animals do indeed know. And you have my deepest thoughts, bless you and your kitty!

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Kelly
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May 14, 2008

I have had a 3 year old cat and a 11 year old dog die in the last 10 weeks. The cat was indoor only & kept trying to hide the days leading up to his death. The dog went in the far corner of the yard and was hiding behind a bush the day before he died.

I think they know they are dying and their instincts tell them to hide/protect themselves from others.

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Silver Dragon Pets N.
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May 18, 2008

First off, my condolences to you and your family. Losing a pet is never easy.

When my 12-year old cat passed away from organ failure she tried to hide under the bed, I can only assume to be alone.

I do want to add that most of the time "going off to die" is a cat thing, not a dog thing. While some dogs do wander off to die, for the most part senior dogs also suffer from some level of dementia (doggy Alzheimer's), and once they wander off they can't find their way home. As horrible as it sounds, they often die alone and scared because dogs generally crave the comfort of their human family when it's their time to go.

I do hope that you are able to retrieve your cat either way. I think that would be closure in and of itself.

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