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Do Cats Want To Be Alone When They Die? Unpacking Why Cats Go Off To Be Alone


Do Cats Want To Be Alone When They Die? Unpacking Why Cats Go Off To Be Alone



This post was updated on December 29th, 2023

Cats have a reputation for being solitary creatures, and it’s not uncommon for them to seek out privacy when they’re not feeling well. However, when it comes to the end of their life, it’s not always clear whether they want to be alone. This post explores the question, do cats want to be alone when they die?

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Cats do not necessarily want to be alone when they die. Cats instinctively hide when they are injured or not feeling well. This is sometimes mistaken belief that they went off to die. While some cats may prefer to pass away in solitude, others may seek out the comfort of their human companions. It’s important to remember that every cat is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Oh, I remember a time when my cat Finnegan was just a little ball of fur! He was so curious and adventurous. One day, he was having a grand old time climbing on this old wooden magazine rack in my office. Well, things took a bit of a turn when he lost his balance, toppled over, and crash! He broke a vase that was nearby, and unfortunately, ended up with a cut on his arm from the broken glass. It was a bit of a chaotic moment, but thankfully, he got the care he needed!

RELATED: Understanding And Caring For Your Feline: Insights From A Cat Mom

He ran off and hid, and even though he was a kitten, his hide-from-predator instinct kicked in. This instinct is of significant cat origin and is a survival technique cats use to survive while they heal.

I had no idea he was injured, but I knew from having two cats already that this was a typical cat strategy. I let him hide for a bit, but I coaxed him out with my voice to see his arm, which he promptly showed me by flipping it over.

We went to the vet for surgery.

What does a cat do right before it dies?

Before a cat passes away, it might display signs like seeking solitude, changes in behavior or appetite, decreased energy levels, withdrawing from usual activities, or seeking comfort from their human companions.

Do cats want to be alone before they die?

Not always.

While it’s natural to want to give your cat space during the difficult time of passing away, knowing the feline is helpful. Age and personality will have much to do with your approach to assisting. Providing them with love and support is essential if they need it. Ultimately, the best thing you can do is pay attention to your cat’s behavior and do what feels right for them.

When a cat is near the end of its life, it may display certain behaviors that indicate its decline. Here are three things a cat may do right before it dies:


Become Less Engaged

As a cat’s health declines, it may become less interested in playtime or activities that were once enjoyable. It may seem depressed or lethargic and may not be as active as it once was.

Be More Affectionate

On the other hand, some cats become more affectionate as they near the end of their lives. They may seek out more time with their owner and want to be held or cuddled.

Become More Talkative

Your cat may want more attention from you. The meow was designed to communicate with people, so your cat may use this technique to communicate before death.

Withdrawn and Seeking Solitude

Finally, some cats may become withdrawn and seek solitude as they approach the end of their life. They may want to be alone more often and may not want to interact with their owner or other pets in the household.

Wail and Yelp

The word “wailing” could be used to describe the mournful sound a cat makes when it is close to death. The yelping that is common in this situation may be a result of a seizure the cat is experiencing. It is important to seek veterinary care for cats exhibiting such symptoms. There might not be time as this is sometimes a noise made as the cat is passing.

RELEVANT: How I Found Vets Near Me For Cats Only When I Relocated

How do you tell if a cat is nearing the end of its life?

Here are signs that your cat may be nearing the end of its life:

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  • Decreased activity and loss of interest in playtime indicate your cat is not feeling well. If your cat seems depressed or lethargic, it may be a sign that its body is slowing down.
  • Following you around more. Perhaps seeking more attention from you than usual, it may be a sign that it is feeling vulnerable and wants comfort in its final days. Spending quality time with your cat can help ease its discomfort.
  • Withdrawal and seeking solitude are common behaviors in cats nearing the end of their lives. Your cat may prefer to be alone or in a quiet place.
  • Yowling is a common noise a cat makes several hours or days leading up to their death. This howling sound is usually from a cat having a seizure.
  • Loss of appetite. A cat who is nearing death will almost always stop eating although this can be just a sign it is very sick.

It is important to note that not eating is the number one sign that a cat is gravely ill and needs professional attention. However, this doesn’t always mean the cat is at the end of its life. A treatment could be available, and a conversation with a veterinarian is necessary to determine the best course of action. If you notice any of these signs in your cat, seeking veterinary care and support is essential.

Do cats say good-bye before dying?

A cat will not necessarily say goodbye to its owners before passing away, which can be disheartening if the death is sudden. Though signs of the end of life are almost always present, an owner can feel comfortable knowing what to do if the future is approaching.

Some owners decide to euthanize their cat if the feline is in pain and the death is prolonged. This is a solution to reduce suffering.

RELEVANT: The Case For Cat Friendly Only Vets


Where’s My Cat? Understanding Why They Hide and What to Do About It

It can be concerning when you can’t find your beloved feline friend, especially after this discussion about end of life.

More than likely, you know if they are at the end of their life with a terminal illness, old age or an injury.

There are many more reasons cats hide.

Cats are natural predators with a strong instinct to seek safe and secure hiding places. There are several reasons why your cat may be hiding, including feeling scared or stressed, feeling unwell, or simply seeking solitude.

If your cat is hiding due to stress or fear, try to identify what may be causing it.

Loud noises, new people or pets, or changes in routine can all trigger anxiety in cats.

Providing them with a safe and quiet space, such as a cozy cat bed or a covered crate, can help them feel more secure.

You can also try using pheromone sprays or diffusers, which mimic the natural calming scents that cats produce.

If your cat is hiding due to illness or injury, it’s essential to take them to the vet for a check-up. Cats are masters at hiding their pain or discomfort, so watching for changes in their behavior or appetite is vital. Your vet can provide a diagnosis and treatment plan to help your cat feel better.

Finally, if your cat is hiding simply because they want some alone time, respecting their boundaries is essential. Cats are independent creatures and need time to recharge and relax.

Please provide them with plenty of hiding spots throughout your home, such as cardboard boxes or cat trees, where they can retreat when they need space.

In conclusion, if your cat is hiding, don’t panic. It’s likely just their instinct to seek out a secure hiding spot.

However, don’t hesitate to ask your vet for advice if you’re concerned about their behavior or health.

By understanding why your cat is hiding and providing them with a safe and comfortable environment, you can help them feel more secure and content.


The idea that cats always want to be alone when they die is a common misconception. While some cats may prefer solitude, others may seek out the comfort of their human companions. It’s important to respect each cat’s individual preferences and needs, and provide them with the care and support they require during their final moments.

Ultimately, our goal should be to ensure that our feline friends pass away peacefully and with dignity, surrounded by love and compassion.

This post is all about, do cats want to be alone when they die.

๐Ÿพ Lisa Illman is the Founder of Kritter Kommunity, LLC! ๐Ÿก She’s got a dapper tuxedo cat who’s been her sidekick since he was a tiny furball. ๐Ÿฑ Before Finnegan came along, Lisa cared for two FIV-positive cats for over ten years! ๐ŸŒŸ Their love inspired her to create a cat enclosure and a portable catio, giving kitties the purrfect spot to bask in the sun and feel the breeze. โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒฟ

As a kid, Lisa shared her home with a Poodle and a chirpy parakeet! ๐Ÿฉ๐Ÿฆ

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