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Child Dealing with Pet Death

Over the past 2 years, we have had a lot of pet deaths in our family...

April 2009 - 7 yo cat died - brain embolism
September 2009 - 6 yo rabbit died - old age
November 2009 - 15 yo cat died - cancer
July 2010 - 13 yo dog died - old age
October 2010 - 11 yo dog died - cancer
November 2010 - 14 yo cat died - cancer
January 2011 - 14 yo cat died - kidney failure

Our soon-to-be 5 year old has obviously went through this with us. Although she would seem sad, she would bounce back very quickly. She probably doesn't fully understand death, but she does know that once you die, you aren't coming back and she'll never see you again. This morning one of our cats died (14 yo w/kidney failure) and before taking her to the funeral home for cremation (we opt to cremate instead of bury in fear of one day moving...), I asked DD if she was sad and she said "no." I asked her why not and, although we've never "replaced" any of our pets with another animal, let alone a puppy or kitten, she asked if she can get a kitten now.

I'm not sure if since she's dealt with so much death that she is becoming desensitized or if this is a normal reaction.....?


Asked by AllAboutKeeley at 9:03 PM on Jan. 29, 2011 in Pets

Level 33 (59,731 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • My children are 7 and 9. We lost one of our cats 3 years ago after a long suffering illness. We lost another this past November. Let me go ahead and state that our cats are strictly indoor cats, and they are treated as members of our family. They are hanging with us all the time. They sleep in our beds, they hang out under our feet when we're eating, etc. My girls love them very much. However, they did not react strongly to either one of our cats passing away. They ARE old enough to understand, and they sometimes express a feeling of loss like "Boy I really miss Samantha sometimes". But while I cried for days following their deaths, my girls barely shed a tear. They are sweet, kind, loving, "normal" little girls, so I try not to worry about it. It did cross my mind that something could be "wrong" with them, but there's not. They just don't feel it the same way I do, KWIM? I wouldn't worry about your child. Sorry for your loss.

    Answer by vicesix at 7:48 AM on Apr. 21, 2011

  • Some kids handle it better then others. My DD will cry for days and still has her moments about past pets. Her friends are like your DD and get over it very quick. I wish my DD didn't take it so hard cause I don't like seeing her upset so much.

    Answer by nebcutie at 10:38 PM on Jan. 29, 2011

  • she probably knows if it is a young animal it won't die right away....

    Answer by mama2bof2 at 1:25 PM on Jan. 30, 2011

  • she went through many pet deaths, that she realizes now that it happens. So she accepts it cuz she been through it quite a few times
    so she's use to it.

    Answer by Pixie81 at 2:47 AM on Apr. 21, 2011

  • Oh wow, I didn't notice how old this question was! Someone just bumped it this morning. How strange, lol. Anyway, even though it was a few months ago, I hope things are better now, in whatever way they need to be.

    Answer by vicesix at 7:50 AM on Apr. 21, 2011