Ask a Mortician: What Should I Do With My Cat After She Dies?

In the latest episode of Ask a Mortician, our favorite deathxpert, Caitlin Doughty, discusses a subject many of us have had to or will have to tackle at some point: the death of a pet. What are your options when a cat dies? You don't have to let a veterinary clinic take over. You can opt for burial, cremation or taxidermy, for starters.


My Aunt Marisue had a pet rabbit named Bugs, and after he died, he was stuffed and displayed down in the rec room of her house (yes, this was in the South). It was kind of nice to see him when we went down there, and not as creepy as you might think. A friend in Hong Kong had his deceased dachshund placed in a box with roses and cremated; my sister's chihuahua was frozen for a few years after his death. The Ancient Egyptians mummified pets, including gazelles, dogs and cats and birds. These days you can turn your dog into a diamond. The important part is commemorating the animal life. As Caitlin puts it: "The death of a pet is not trivial."

Check out the video above, and be sure to follow Caitlin on Twitter.

[Order Of The Good Death]

Ask a Mortician: Can You Wear Artificial Nails in Your Coffin
Our Favorite Mortician Pleads: Talk to Your Children About Death
Ask a Mortician: How Do I Donate My Corpse to Science?
Death and Candy: A Special Halloween Edition of Ask a Mortician
Ask a Mortician: What's the Difference Between a Traditional and a Natural Burial?
Ask a Mortician: Do Funeral Homes Dissolve Bodies in Acid?
Ask A Mortician: What Do You Say to Someone Who Is Grieving?
Ask A Mortician: Can a Casket Explode?
Our Favorite Mortician Does Not Care for Zombies!
Our Favorite Mortician Reveals What Happens to Corpses in Space
Our Favorite Mortician Takes Us On A Hollywood Death Tour
Our Favorite Mortician Explains How You Can Have Her Job
Our Go-To Mortician Reveals Her Favorite Death Custom
Our Favorite Mortician Explains Cremation, Beastly-Sounding ‘Bone Blender'
Fun, Friendly, Female Mortician Will Answer All Your Random Questions About Death



Am I seriously the only person who's buried a pet in the backyard*? My childhood cat died of cancer last year, and we couldn't make it to the vet to euthanize him unfortunately. Had we made it, we might have had him cremated, but as it stood I ended up taking a DIY approach. Digging a hole in the backyard in the dead of winter sucked, but it was a release of emotions for me in a lot of ways and I don't regret it. Ugh I miss that cat so fucking much.

*I realize not everyone has a backyard. This is obviously only applicable if you do.