The death of a four-legged friend is comparable in many way to the loss of a family member. During the grieving period, it can be difficult to decide what to do with your pet following their death, and having a plan in place can really help.
Your veterinary practice will most likely go through cremation or burial options with you, and understanding how the process works will go a long way when it comes to making the ultimate decision.
Is it better to cremate or bury my cat?
When it comes to choosing between cremation or burial, it's important to highlight that there is no right or wrong way to honour your pet.
Historically, burial may have been considered the more natural option, with many owners opting to bury their pet at home. However, awareness around cat cremation services has grown in recent years, and this is now a service offered by veterinary practices across the UK.
Are cats cremated individually?
Cat cremation comes in two different forms and the way your cat's ashes are processed will differ depending on which option you choose.
The first option is that of communal cremation for your cat, whereby your vet will arrange for them to be cremated with other pets who have passed away. Your pet's ashes will then be stored in a communal remembrance centre, or they may be scattered in gardens of remembrance. With communal cremation, it will not be possible to have the ashes returned to you.
Individual cremation, where your cat is cremated privately, may be a good choice if you want to choose the place yourself and have assurance that the service will only apply to your invidual pet. You'll then be certain that the ashes you recieve are those of your feline friend. In some cases, it may be possible to attend the cremation, however this must be discussed directly with the pet crematorium carrying out the service.
How long does cremating a cat take?
The cat cremation process can take up to an hour, after which the remains will be placed in a container. Depending on whether your cat is cremated individually or communally, the ashes may or may not be returned to you.
How much does cat cremation cost in the UK?
Cat cremation costs in the UK can vary depending on the crematorium and the service provided. Typically, this will range from between £99-£130. You can discuss the costs with your veterinary practice, along with any extras you may feel are appropriate.
How can I find a cat cremation service near me?
If you don't want to use the pet crematorium affiliated with your practice, you can try an online search for alternative options near you. There are now even a number of mobile crematoriums, who can help you if your pet passes away at home.
What should I do with my cat's ashes?
If you choose an individual cremation, you will be given a scatter tube following your cat's cremation. This provides you with the opportunity to place the ashes in a cat casket or urn of your choosing, or to scatter them at one of the pet cemeteries near you.
Is cat cremation the right choice for me?
Cat cremation is cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and can help provide a sense of closure following the loss of a much-loved companion. Ultimately however, only you will know if cat cremation is the right choice on a personal level.
It's important to feel supported during the decision making process. You can ask your veterinary clinic about bereavement support to help you navigate this difficult time.