Do cats wander off to die?

Some animal species leave home or wander off to die. Cats are one of the animals known to go away when they are dying. Do these animals know that their death would cause their owners immense sorrow? Cat owners want to believe that their pets wander off to die because they want to save the owners from the anguish of watching them take their last breath. Cat experts believe otherwise. They think that cat’s inclination to wander off to die alone is a myth.

Human/animal bond exists. Cats are one of the most popular choices for pets. We form strong bonds with cats. They become intrinsic parts of our lives because of the significant difference they make to our way of life. The death of the pet therefore would not be taken lightly as it is common for people to treat the pets as family members. Expectedly, owners would worry about the pet that has wandered off. Owners would look for the pet…other would even post Lost Cat notices. After a day or two the smell of decomposing body would lead the owners to where the cat is. The cat though is now dead. Why do cats wander off to die?

Cats have different personalities. Some cats would intentionally seek the owner’s attention when they are sick and in pain. Cats are noted for being independent animals. Owners would be aware that something is wrong with the pet if it has suddenly become extra affectionate or demanding. Oftentimes, these pets that have become clingy would take their last breath in the company of the human family. Other cats would intentionally leave home to die. Cat owners know that their pets are self-reliant and have the tendency to nurse their own injuries. Sick cats tend to stay away from the company of the human family. Sickness and pain would make a cat hide. Cats with this kind of personality die away from the human family.

Cats’ tendency to wander off when sick can be a preservation act. Cats know that when they are ill they would not be capable of fending off predators’ attack. Injured and sick cats would then look for a secure place to hide. Cats are experts at hiding their illness and pain thus owners would not be aware that the pet is seriously ill. Wandering away from home is common in outdoor cats. A sick cat may have no intention of leaving home but it can die outdoors because it has become too weak to return home. Cats were once solitary animals. Now they have evolved into animals that stay and live together in colonies. Feral and stray cats are known to wander off to die alone to protect other members of the colony from possible predator’s attacks. Domestic cats consider humans as family. The same with feral cats, these domestic cats that are aware that they are dying would leave home to protect the family. Pet cats are probably aware that the decaying body would draw predators. Cats are intelligent animals but it would be rather farfetched to believe that cats know that diseases can be caused by their decaying carcasses. Wandering off to die can be an instinctive behaviour of cats.

Cat owners have another theory for the cat’s tendency to wander off to die. Cat owners that have closely bonded with the pet would rather believe that the pet’s decision to wander off to die alone is for their benefit. Studies have not proven that cats have emotions. Cat owners though would like to believe that their pets have chosen to die alone because it wants to spare its human family the pain and sorrow they would feel if they would watch the pet slowly fade away.

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