The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Why Do Cats Go Away to Die? The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Why Do Cats Go Away to Die?

Monday, June 25, 2018

Why Do Cats Go Away to Die?

We’ve all heard the story of a cat who was sick or old and one day just vanished. This has lead many people to believe that cats will go away to die on their own. But is this true?

Not all cats will hide when they are dying. We have sadly had enough cats who have died to see this ourselves. They have tended to stick close by when they are dying, spending large amounts of time sleeping. Cats are individuals and may have different preferences when it comes to how they handle being sick. Some will seek out the company of their human companions or pets, others prefer to be alone in a quiet place.

Do cats know they are dying?

According to Desmond Morris in his book Cat World – A Feline Encyclopedia, cats have an advantage over humans in regards to death, they don’t actually know what death is. They go away and hide because they are sick and feeling vulnerable. This makes perfect sense from an evolutionary point of view. It’s a cruel world out there and cats have larger predators who seek out the weak and the vulnerable as they are easier targets.

This also explains why cats can be quite seriously ill before obvious signs appear. They are hardwired to hide signs of sickness and weakness making them vulnerable to predators. It is for this reason that pregnant cats will seek a quiet and often out of the way spot to give birth and care for her young kittens. She, as well as her babies, are vulnerable at this stage in their lives and want to remain hidden from any potential dangers.

And finally, cats hide when they are dying is that they simply want to be alone. A sick cat isn’t feeling well and prefers to be somewhere quiet and dark so they can sleep in peace. I know when I’m sick I just want to be left on my own to wallow!

To read more on this story, click here: Why Do Cats Go Away to Die?


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