Following the passing of a beloved pet, there are many difficult decisions that need to be made. You should not rush to make any decision and remember your veterinary practice will be more than happy to help and support you when making these decisions. 

Following euthanasia or your pet passing away, there are 3 different options on what you can do with your pet’s body. These options include:

  • Individual cremation which then allows you to have the option of having their ashes back. These normally come in a casket of your choice.
  • Communal cremation which means your pet will be cremated with a group of other animals.
  • Taking your pet away to bury them.

The different options come with different prices and different benefits and negatives. If your pet has undergone any treatment with particularly dangerous drugs, the option of burial may not be offered. In this blog, we are going to focus on the third option, burying your cat at home. 

Firstly – don’t rush it, or yourself

You need to grieve for your loss. Don’t rush into something if you might change your mind later. It is much easier to bury a much loved pet with solemnity and ceremony than it is to later move them somewhere else.

Thinking about where you are going to bury your cat is important

You need to ensure your cat will not be dug up by wildlife or other pets. Burying your cat deep within the ground can help to prevent other creatures from discovering your cat. You should bury your cat 3 feet deep in heavy soils and 2 feet deep in lighter soils. Plan the space you want to bury your cat so you do not create a hole that is too small. 

There are also set rules you must follow

  • You must own, not rent, the plot of land in which you plan to bury your cat – if you have no garden, you cannot bury your cat in a public area. If you are moving house in the near future, perhaps waiting to bury your cat is a sensible idea.
  • Your pet must have lived in the house, so you cannot bury your cat in your friend’s garden.
  • You must bury your cat away from any water sources to avoid contamination. Also, looking at your water pipe plan is important as you do not want to dig up any key pipe work.

If you wish to bury your cat but you do not have a garden that allows you to meet the requirements, there are private pet cemeteries which you can visit in order to bury your pet.

You might want to plan a ceremony or memorial

Many people find this is helpful. However, others do not, and feel it should be as matter-of-fact as possible. Neither is right or wrong, it depends what is right for you.

Top tips for burying your cat at home:

  • Try not to bury your pet on a wet day because the ground may sink meaning there will be an obvious dent in the land where you have dug. 
  • If you need to wait prior to burying your cat, think about how best to preserve their body. We recommend placing your cat in a biodegradable bag and tightly closing it before placing the bag in the freezer. 
  • Before burying your pet, make sure you have got any memorial items from them that you’d like to keep. These may include their collar, a fur clipping, or even a paw print. 
  • Do not bury your pet within a plastic bag as these bags are often not biodegradable and may become a source of plastic pollution in the future.
  • Ensure you mark where your pet is buried as this will help if you decide to add a memorial marker at a later date.

Burying your cat at home can be done but planning is needed. Make sure you have thoroughly thought about your plan and are sure it is what you want. If you fail to follow the rules listed above, you may face a fine. Done right, however, having their home as their resting place and making your own memorial to them, burying your cat in the garden can be a comfort.

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