It can be difficult to know exactly what to say when someone loses a pet. Even if you want to express your condolences, you might be afraid of leaning on cliche turns of phrase.
After all, how many times do you really need to hear the phrase “sorry for your loss” before it starts being repetitive? The thing is, it does a lot of good for people to have friends and loved ones reach out to them in times of grief.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Say ’Sorry for the Loss of Your Cat’ in a Card or Letter
- How to Say ’Sorry for the Loss of Your Cat’ in a Text or DM
- How to Say ’Sorry for the Loss of Your Cat’ in Person
Chances are, the people in your life won’t care if your condolences sound the same as what other people have said. They’ll just care that you’re there for them.
But if you’re worried about being redundant, you can try these other ways of expressing condolences for the loss of a pet.
How to Say ’Sorry for the Loss of Your Cat’ in a Card or Letter
When a family member passes away, you can probably assume that people are inundated with piles of condolence cards. But when a pet dies, they might not get any at all. Here’s what you can do to be there for someone who lost their cat.
1. “You’ve been on my mind so much lately. I wanted to let you know I’ve been thinking of you.”
If you’ve ever had a cat, you may know the feeling of having a silent shadow trailing them around their house.
After a loved one’s cat dies, they can feel very isolated without their feline friend. A message like this may help your loved one feel just a little less alone.
2. “You gave [pet’s name] such a great life.”
When a person or animal dies, humans sometimes do a strange thing. We stop referring to the deceased by name. If we talk about them at all, it’s usually in hushed voices, using vague terminology. It’s like we think that by saying “I’m sorry about your cat” instead of “I’m sorry about Freckles,” it’s less personal and won’t hurt as much. But it can be hard to never hear your pet’s name again.
Using the cat’s name in your condolence message is more personal and intimate. The message itself brings a positive note to what is undoubtedly a difficult time. It can be a good thing to remind the owner that his pet’s life was happy — it can give him some comfort.
3. “I found these pictures of [pet’s name] from that summer I stayed with you and I thought you might like to have them.”
If you’re sending a card, you can also go above and beyond and send a pet sympathy gift.
This one is simple and won’t cost you anything, but it can have a huge impact on the person you give it to. Getting to see images of a pet can be priceless for someone who is going through such a big loss.
How to Say ’Sorry for the Loss of Your Cat’ in a Text or DM
Not planning to send pet sympathy gifts? Why not text instead? Texts may seem informal but they’re a good way to quickly let someone know that you’ve heard about the loss. If you don’t want to wait to express your condolences, you can just reach for your phone.
These quick texts and phone messages are great examples of ways you can reach out.
4. “I know this was a really difficult decision you had to make. For what it’s worth, I think you did the right thing.”
When a pet gets older or gets sick, its owners sometimes have to make very difficult choices. If your cat is struck with an illness, what’s his prognosis? Will treating the disease cure it or will it merely prolong the inevitable? If you are able to prolong your pet’s life, will your pet suffer as a result? Is it a kindness to put your pet down and spare the pet from pain and confusion?
If your friend made the choice to have a pet put down, reassure your friend that she made the best choice in a difficult situation. That may help assuage some of her pain.
5. “I just heard about [pet’s name]. He was such a funny cat with so much personality. I’ll miss getting to see him when I come to visit.”
One of the hardest things about losing a pet is realizing that no one else had quite a special bond with them that you did.
A friend might feel alone in his or her grief and it would mean a lot to have someone reach out and share specific memories of a deceased cat. Think of the things that would give you comfort to hear about a pet, then treat a person dealing with that kind of loss the way you would want to be handled.
6. “If you’d like to get out of the house for a while, let me know. We could go grab a coffee or take a walk.”
When you reach out to a friend, you can initiate a change of scenery as a way to help your friend out.
How to Say ’Sorry for the Loss of Your Cat’ in Person
You may run into a friend or acquaintance and learn on the spot that they have lost a pet or you may plan to talk to them in person. These sentiments would be helpful to express in a situation where you learn about a pet’s death from an owner.
7. “I brought a decorative box with me. If you’d like, I can help you package up any toys or other items.”
Many people have a difficult time seeing their pet’s belongings after that pet dies. Objects like food and water bowls, collars, and toys can serve as painful reminders of a companion that is no longer there.
But it may take some time before a person feels comfortable throwing away or donating items that belonged to a beloved pet. Bring in a decorative box that can serve as a memory box.
You and your friend can gather up items that belonged to the late pet and keep them in one centralized location. This spares your friend from accidentally stumbling on objects that might hurt emotionally.
8. “I’m here to listen if you would like to talk.”
Everyone responds to death differently. Some people find it too painful to talk about a person or pet who has passed away. Other people find a lot of comfort in talking about their departed companions.
This sentiment lets your friend know that he can safely open up to you if chosen. But it’s noncommittal, so if your friend doesn’t want to speak, you’re also offering room to stay silent.
9. “This book really helped me a lot after my cat died a few years ago. I thought I would share it with you.”
When you have to cope with the death of a pet, it’s easy to feel very alone in your grief. Reading pet loss books can help you connect with other people who have shared their experiences with this kind of loss.
This sentiment can serve as a gentle reminder to your friend if you’ve experienced a similar loss. A friend may realize that she can reach out and talk to you if she wants someone who understands. Giving a book like this is also a practical, concrete gesture of support.
Express Condolences for the Loss of a Beloved Cat
For many people, losing a pet is as difficult emotionally as losing a friend or family member. Humans can form profound emotional bonds with their pets and the death of a pet can be incredibly traumatizing.
If someone you know is dealing with the death of their cat, it’s important to reach out and express your condolences. This can help your friend or loved one to know that he’s not alone in his grief and these messages can help you tell a friend “Sorry for the loss of your cat.”
If you're looking for more ways to support a friend after the death of pet, read our guides on pet memory boxes and pet memorial jewelry.