Animals in Love Dying Within Days of Each Other
Dr. LaFarge, how do you explain the fact that animals who love each other often die within a very short span of time? My mother put one cat to sleep, and her other cat died three days later. Is this a coincidence, or is there something more to it? I think it happens with people, too.
- M. Zander
This is a very interesting observation. The issue has been studied in humans quite a bit. For example, approximately 70% of the elderly die within a few days of a birthday. To my knowledge, these patterns have not been studied in animals.
The ASPCA did a study that demonstrated that companion animals do grieve for each other but rarely, if ever, die from grief. What does occur is a pet parent may be so focused on the terminally ill animal that they don’t notice that the other animal is also weakening. This happens especially when the pets are close in age. In any case, it is wise to pay a lot of attention to the remaining pets whenever there is a death in the family.