Your cat is a beloved member of the family. And when any family member passes away, you want to honor them as best you can. Whether you’re burying your pet or scattering their ashes after cremation, you might be interested in a special cat headstone.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Features Should You Look for in a Cat Headstone?
- Types of Personalized, Store-Bought Cat Headstones
- Types of DIY Cat Headstones
A cat headstone serves the same purpose as a headstone for a human. It marks the place of burial or where you scattered your loved one’s ashes. Even if you don’t have your pet’s remains, a cat headstone can provide a place for you to remember your precious companion.
Below, we’ll help you navigate the process of finding the perfect cat headstone, including what to look for, how to personalize your cat’s headstone, and more.
What Features Should You Look for in a Cat Headstone?
Your cat’s headstone should suit both you and your departed pet. It needs to have all of the features you want and need if it’s going to act as a permanent memorial to your beloved family member.
In many ways, shopping for a pet headstone is similar to searching for the best headstone or grave marker for a human family member. Specifically, the most important features are the material the headstone is made of, the weight and size of the headstone, and the personalization of the headstone.
Here’s more information about the features you should look for when you’re shopping for your cat’s headstone:
High-quality materials and weatherproofing
First, make sure the headstone you choose is made of a material that will hold up to the elements. Many “pet headstones” are actually just memorial placards., and they’re meant to be kept inside on a shelf or in place of honor. That means they’re not made to withstand the elements like a headstone needs to be.
If you’re planning to place your cat’s headstone outside, look for natural stone or other weatherproof materials, like this weatherproof marker. Most outdoor headstones, if they feature intricate engraving or other fine features, have a weatherproof coating, too.
Size and weight
Next, consider how large a headstone you’d like for your cat. Some headstones are relatively small and lightweight, while others are large and heavy.
The weight of the headstone depends on the material it’s made of, as well as its size. For example, a stone made of natural stone will usually weigh more than a same-sized stone made of resin.
Choose a headstone that suits what you’re looking for in a memorial. If you want a small stone to sit on the patio as a memorial, you’ll want to choose something you can move around easily.
If you want a true headstone to mark your pet’s burial location or where you scattered their ashes, you’ll want to choose something that will stay in place for a long time.
Finally, think about how much customizability you want and need in a headstone for your cat.
One option is a cat headstone that isn’t customized at all but features a quote like, “No longer by my side, but forever in my heart,” or an image of a cat’s pawprint. If customizability isn’t that important to you, you might choose one of these simple pieces to memorialize your pet.
Another option is a minimally-customizable cat headstone, which allows you to engrave your cat’s name and possibly customize another feature, like the size or shape. You can find this type of cat headstone online through various providers.
If customizability is crucial to you (for example, if you have a specific quote in mind, or you want to engrave an image of your cat), you’ll need to go with a more specialized service provider. Alternatively, you can make your cat’s headstone yourself and customize it to your heart’s content.
Types of Personalized, Store-Bought Cat Headstones
Now, let’s look at your options when it comes to store-bought personalized and customized cat headstones. If you’re not a DIY-er, or you’d just rather have your cat’s headstone created by a professional, these are your options.
1. Granite grave marker
One of the options that offers the most customizability is the granite marker. Many headstone providers allow the buyer to customize a marker with the pet’s name, as well as birth date and death date. You may choose to inscribe an epitaph or quote, too.
Some laser-etching services even allow you to submit a photo of your pet, which they’ll inscribe into the granite stone. Granite grave markers are also a long-lasting and distinguished way to honor your pet since they hold up exceedingly well to the elements.
2. Standing headstone
Most granite headstones lie flat on the ground as grave markers. They’re typically small to medium in size and rectangular. But another option available is a standing headstone for your cat.
Some headstone services offer a steel stand that attaches to the granite, stone, or resin marker so that it stands up six inches or so from the ground. This is the most common way to create a standing headstone for a pet.
3. Engraved natural stone
You can purchase an engraved river stone or another type of natural stone as an alternative to a perfectly-rectangular piece of granite. A natural stone can blend perfectly with any garden or look beautiful in any outdoor space.
Natural stone grave markers are typically smaller than granite headstones, but they allow you to inscribe your pet’s name and a simple image or short quotation. You can also have your pet’s date of birth and death etched into the rock, if you choose.
As natural stone, this type of headstone also stands up extremely well to the weather and to time.
4. Printed stone
As a lower-cost option to engraved stone, you can find stone grave markers that are painted or printed, instead. Because it requires less-specialized skills and tools, a painted or printed stone generally costs less than one that’s engraved.
However, make sure that the stone has a weatherproof coating, or the paint could wear off quickly.
5. Resin memory stone
Another lower-cost option is a resin memory stone. This is a man-made material that looks like stone and holds up to the elements relatively well. With a resin memory stone, you can have your pet’s name stamped into the material to imitate the look of an engraving.
6. Memorial stepping stone
If you want to incorporate your pet’s gravestone into a walkway or build a walkway to honor your pet, you can purchase a customized memorial stepping stone.
A memorial stepping stone is a round, typically polished stone that features your cat’s name, as well as any inscription you choose. You can purchase it in the same material as your other stepping stones, to match.
Types of DIY Cat Headstones
If you can’t find exactly what you want amongst the store-bought cat headstone options, or if you’d like to put more time and effort into the process, you can create a DIY cat headstone.
Keep in mind that some of these options, because you create them at home with household supplies, might not hold up to the elements as well as a professional headstone. But you can take steps, like adding a weatherproof coating, to prevent wear and tear from the outdoors.
7. Inscribed stone
If you’re artistically-inclined and handy with an engraving tool, you can create a customized headstone at home. You’ll just need a stone with a relatively flat and smooth surface that’s large enough to feature your cat’s name and any other information you want to inscribe.
Start out by creating your design on a piece of paper. Then, tape the paper secure to your stone and use a permanent marker to transfer your design through the paper to the stone. Then, trace your design with the engraving tool. You’ll want to thoroughly clean the stone before you get started and secure the stone in place on a table or the ground. You can use non-slip shelf liner or clamps to do this.
8. Etched paver or brick
If you can’t find the perfect stone, or you want a more squared-off look, you can use a paver or brick instead of a natural stone.
Follow the same steps, but keep in mind that a brick or paver might be more difficult to engrave. The material can easily crumble, especially if it’s an older piece of paver.
9. Painted stone
If you’d rather not engrave a stone, you can paint one, instead. Again, it’s best to create your design on paper, and then transfer it to your stone or paver.
If you paint your gravestone instead of engraving it, you’ll need to add a weatherproof coating to preserve your design.
10. Molded mortar
To create a molded mortar or cement headstone, you’ll need to pick up cement mix from the hardware store. Then, create a mold (you can find guides for this online) and pour the cement to create a custom headstone with your cat’s name and an inscription.
11. Treated hardwood
It may not be a head “stone,” per se, but you can use wood to mark your cat’s final resting place. Pick up a piece of hardwood from the hardware store and carve your inscription into it.
Wood is porous and decays quickly, so you should use a weatherproof wood treatment to seal it, and your engraving, against the elements.
Honoring Your Best Friend
Whether it’s sudden and unexpected, or it happens after a long illness, the loss of a pet is never easy. And pet memorial stones are just one way to honor the lives of those animals who touch us deeply with their presence and friendship. When you’re saying goodbye to your cat, consider what’s most meaningful to you, your pet, and your life together.
You might find the perfect representation within a headstone or gravemarker, or you might mark your cat’s final resting place another way. For example, you could plant a bed of flowers (maybe cat’s tail, tiger lily, or catnip) or even install a bird feeder or birdbath in their honor. Whatever helps you best remember and cherish the time you spent with your cat is the best choice.