There are nearly 75 million cats in the United States, with 30.4% of households having a feline friend.
While each of those cats is most likely bringing much joy and many purrs to households across America, they will all inevitably bring great sadness when they pass away.
When someone you love passes away, no matter their species, it's natural to want to find a symbolic or ritualistic way to commemorate their life.
There are a lot of thoughtful cat memorial ideas that you can implement with your families or give as considerate cat memorial gifts. Let's take a look at ten of them.
10 Meaningful Cat Memorial Ideas
Even when our pet has lived a long, happy life, their passing always seems too soon. Everyone deals with the grief of a loved one's death in their own ways. Depending on your circumstances, some of these pet memorial ideas might make more or less sense for you and your family.
If you're moving around a lot or renting, you might not want to create a permanent memorial in your temporary backyard. If you have children, it might be even more important to hold some kind of ceremonial service or cathartic practice to help them process the death of their beloved pet.
1. Memorial Stones
Memorial stones for your cat come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and you can display them either inside your home or outside in your yard.
These commemorative stones could simply display your cat's name, or they could have an engraved portrait, the dates they lived, and a loving quote.
Maybe your memorial stone for your pet cat lives on a shelf surrounded by photographs of your cat, or maybe it takes a place in your garden where your cat loved to spend time.
You could also use the memorial stone as a headstone if you choose to bury the ashes of your feline friend.
2. Memorial Jewelry
There are a lot of different options if you're looking to possess a piece of cat memorial jewelry to keep your pet close to your heart.
You can order a custom necklace with a portrait of your cat, many different paw print items to remember your furry friends, and animal tag keychains. Pet memorial jewelry gives you the option of memorializing your beloved cat wherever you go.
Another unique jewelry item is urn necklaces. There are a number of different designs to choose from, and searching "cat ashes jewelry" turns up a long list of possibilities.
It's even possible to get jewelry made from diamonds that are the product of your pet's ashes being compressed under high heat and pressure.
It's so heartbreaking to lose a family pet and keeping some of their ashes near you wherever you go is a great way to keep their memory alive in your life.
3. Decorative Urn
If wearing cat memorial jewelry with your pet's ashes in it isn't up your alley, you may decide to keep your pet's ashes in a decorative urn in a special location. A great way to remember your pet is to set up a shrine on a shelf or two in your home, with their urn, photos, and other keepsakes that remind you of the good times you spent together.
Urns can be simple and nondescript, or they can be decorated with photos and your cat's name and the dates they lived.
Is there a quote that specifically reminds you of your pet and the nature of your relationship? Having it inscribed on your pet's urn is a great way to honor their memory.
4. Custom Pet Adventure Book
If you'd rather remember your best furry friend as the adventurous, lively creatures they were, you might consider ordering our one of a kind custom pet adventure books.
If you're struggling to come up with unique pet memorial gifts to give to a loved one who's lost a pet, sending them a special personalized pet book filled with adventurous interactions between them and their pet is a thoughtful way to show them that you understand how important their relationship with their pet was.
5. Commission a Portrait
This is another great cat memorial gift, with so many options to customize it as you please.
You could get a simple, small drawing done of your cat to add to a small shelf of photos, or you could get a large canvas portrait painted to hang over your fireplace.
Maybe you're the creative type or have always wanted to take up painting yourself. Working on your own portrait of your beloved cat can be a great way to honor their memory and also a therapeutic way to process the emotions of having lost someone so near and dear to your heart.
If you have kids, maybe you all sit down together to paint or draw your own rendition of the family pet. The passing of a pet is often the first time children encounter death. It can be healthy to spend time together as a family to acknowledge, appreciate, and process the passing of your family's cat.
If you and your cat always snuggled on the couch or in your bed, commissioning a custom pet memorial quilt could be a suitable way to keep your cat's memory alive.
There are so many different forms a pet memorial quilt can take. One option is to have a series of squares quilted together, each containing photographs, paw prints, quotes, and memories. Another option is to use different colored pieces of fabric to create an artistic quilted portrait of your cat.
This is another great project that you could make yourself if you're a bit crafty. Quilting is a time-consuming process and this would be a great time to reflect on the special relationship you had with your cat and how much joy they brought to your life.
If you have kids that are similarly devastated at the loss of your family pet, you might consider letting them each make quilt squares with fabric pens or paint. Quilts are powerful metaphors for family, in the way separate pieces can come together to both become one but also create something larger. Quilts, and families, are more than just the sum of their parts.
Not into the idea of a quilt, but like the idea of a memorial blanket? Get one of these customized fleece blankets, with the option of displaying an image with up to three of your pets.
7. Memory Photo Album
If you don't have a lot of space to create a special area of your house or your yard to remember your pet, you might consider creating a photo album filled with memories. Or perhaps you're more introverted and not interested in creating a grand display or wearing pet memorial jewelry, but would rather grieve and remember your pet in a more quiet manner.
Collecting all the photographs of your pet and your family together can be a moving process in itself. It's hard to not get emotional when looking at photos of loved ones who are no longer with us. Putting together a special album of all the photos you have of your pets gives you a way to revisit old memories and appreciate all that your pet contributed to your family.
Maybe you arrange the photographs chronologically, so you can watch your cat grow up each time you turn the page. Or maybe your family can spend time together each curating their favorite photos and even including a handwritten letter or poem in memory of your cat.
8. Memorial Garden Decorations
In addition to using a memorial stone in your garden to remember your family's pet, there a number of other ways to decorate your backyard so that the memory of your kitty are kept alive.
This special pet memorial wind chime is a thoughtful pet memorial gift. Every time the wind blows, you'll hear beautiful sounds and be reminded of the love and joy your pet cat brought to your life.
Another great way to remember your pet that's passed is with a customizable garden stake. Place this stake near your cat's favorite tree or spot to watch birds. This is also a great idea if you want to make an outdoor memorial for your pet but your yard isn't large enough or you're living in a rented space.
Statues are always a beautiful addition to your garden, and you might consider trying to track down a memorial statue that shares a likeness with your family's cat that passed on. You could also use a statue indoors, as a part of larger cat memorials or as a sweet, simple stand-alone commemorative piece.
9. Plant Something in Your Cat's Memory
A healthy way to process the death of a loved one and honor nature's cycle is to usher new life into this world.
A tree-planting ceremony in honor of your pet is a great ritual to bring the family together. If you have children that loved your pet, maybe let them each plant a tree or plant in your cat's memory.
If you bury your animal's ashes in your backyard, you could even plant a tree in the same spot with the sense that their ashes are being used to help the tree grow. You can even buy biodegradable urns that come with pine tree seeds so that when you bury your pet's ashes a tree grows from them.
If you don't have a backyard of your own to plant a tree in, there are services where you can have a memorial tree planted in a U.S. National Forest in your animal's honor.
10. Hold a Memorial Service
While physical and tangible pet memorial items can be a wonderful way to remember your cat, sometimes it can be healthy to have a ritual experience to commemorate and acknowledge your pet's passing. This can be particularly healthy if you have children, but honestly holding a memorial service for your pet can benefit anyone.
We might think of memorial services as reserved for our human loved ones, but our pets are a part of our families, too.
Gather your family together and maybe some family friends who knew and loved your pet as well. Hold a simple candle-lighting ceremony to set the tone for the event, or have an area in the room where each individual can light a candle in your cat's memory. Of course, don't let young children light candles on their own without supervision.
Prepare prayers and blessings to read during the service that is fitting with the religious and spiritual beliefs of your family. Poems, songs, and readings are all appropriate materials to be shared during this time. Each family member and service attendant can have the opportunity to tell their favorite story of memory of the family pet.
Display photos of the pet and even home video if you have a way of playing videos at your memorial location. You could even order t-shirts for every member of your family with an artistic rendition of your cat on them.
Having a ceremonial event to acknowledge and process the passing of a beloved animal is cathartic and therapeutic. It can also be a great learning experience for your children about the process of grieving the death of loved ones.
The Most Important Thing is Honoring Your Cat in a Way That Feels Right
When it comes to cat memorial ideas, there are no right or wrong answers. What's important is that you and your family find a meaningful way to honor your pet and acknowledge the gifts that their presence brought to your life.
For more thoughtful and interesting articles about all things pets, don't forget to check out the rest of our blog!
Looking for more information?
Click the links below for other pet guides: