The Death of a Pet

Updated on June 24, 2010
*.M. asks from Tucson, AZ
9 answers

How do you tell children that their pet(cat) is child is 5 and one is 10........I'm asking for my sister!!!

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answers from Detroit on

I can only ask that you please not lie to them. I asked this similar questions recently on here, only I HAD lied to my 5 yr old and told him his beloved pet went to a retirement home (instead of telling him we had to put him to sleep). He sobbed often that he wanted his buddy to come home. Once I FINALLY told him the (part) truth (we explained that his buddy got very sick at the retirement home and passed away) he was able to deal with it and now just remembers only the good times with him. I won't lie to you (LOL) it was one of the hardest things that I had to do and when I finally told him, initially there were rivers of tears (from both him and I). But it needed to be done the right way. I messed up initially and I regret not being upfront with him. The moms on here gave me wonderful insight and I did my best to follow it and it did work out. Just go to my questions, its listed under "dog and dishonesty". Read the responses I got. These mommas were VERY helpful.

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answers from Anchorage on

I simply explained to my children that Earl returned to the earth, and that his energy would be used in new life. They seemed to accept that and although they were sad, there were no tears.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We just lost our cat of 16 years. We were honest with our kids. It hurt so bad to see them so heart broken, just as we were, but we all cried together as a family and supported each other. I am sorry for their loss. As my vet told me last week, this is the hardest part of loving a pet so much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I have always found it best to be open with my kids about things like this and to let them see that I am also sad about it. Recently we had several baby birds in our yard that needed caring for before they could fly away. One in particular was very tiny when we found it with no parents around. We cared for and fed him for several days. I expected him to fly away anytime, but one morning I went to check on him and he had died. My first thought was to tell my girls(8 & 11) that he had flown away, but instead I told them the truth. They were sad, but handled it very well. They found a small box and buried him under a tree. They painted a rock and used it has a headstone. I was very proud of them for they way they handled themselves. Lose is unfortunately a part of life, and this is an opportunity for your sister to teach her children about it and how to process and deal with it.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I agree, tell them the truth, that the cat was old and sick and it died.....don't go into much detail because you don't want them to think everyone that is old and sick is going to die right then........

I believe that when it is your time, it's your can tell them that.........if you believe in God, tell them that God called the cat back to him and he's taking care of it now......

I'm sure your sister will know just the right thing to say as long as she doesn't lie to mom sent my cat to a farm, told me it had died..........imagine how surprised she was when Ladybug showed up at the house 2 weeks later...........I was not a happy child!!! Felt betrayed because my Mom had lied to me..............

Take care and I'm sorry for your sisters loss of her's always hard....they are all such loving creatures our pets........

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answers from Phoenix on

My cat of 14 years died after our christmas trip this year. I told my kids the truth that she got sick and went to heaven. They did cry but think of her fondly. I was afraid it would open the door for more questions about death. My 4 year old didn't quite understand the conscept of death but knew Nosey wouldn't come back. My 6 year old asked some questions but we answered them vaguely enough to satisfy his inquary for the time being.

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answers from Phoenix on They are great. I have been using them for 3 weeks after we lost our 13 year old lab. They have a section on how to tell your children. Dr. Sife has a great book as well.

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answers from Los Angeles on

i didnt lie to son i had my husband to tell my son. We whent to wal-mart an we saw the goldfishes and i decided to buy it fot him. wild my mother in law was cleaning the fish tank the goldfish jump out and went down the drain. My husband explain to my son what had happen and told him that most likely that his golfish had DIED. I think its too young for my son to know about Life and Dead. But my hubby made sice that its part of life.

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