What to do after your beloved cat dies is not something any of us want to think about. But we know it is part of being a pet parent. Unfortunately, our furry family members can’t stay with us forever. That’s why, when the time comes, or even before, it’s important to know your options for your cat’s end-of-life arrangements.
You may be wondering if you should cremate your cat. What other details should you be taking into consideration, like the cost of cremation? To make the best choice for you and your four-legged family member, here are a few things you should know.
What is cremation?
Cremation is basically the disposing of the body by incineration. The body is placed in a small, enclosed chamber that is heated to temperatures of 2,000 degrees or more. The process takes a few hours, but eventually all that remains is ashes, tiny pieces of bone, and any inorganic materials – like a microchip for example. After, all of the remains are removed from the chamber and ground into a fine grey ash.
Many pet owners choose cremation because it’s convenient and usually more affordable than having your cat buried in a pet cemetery. Understanding the cost of your different cremation options can help you make the right decision when the time comes. To find a reputable aftercare provider in your area, take a look at the member directory for the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories https://www.iaopc.com/page/why-choose-iaopcc . In addition, ask questions to make sure they are fully licensed to cremate animals and they follow the burial/cremation laws of your county.
How much does it cost to cremate a cat?
The price to cremate your cat can vary depending on the type of cremation you choose, and where you are geographically. However, the average cat cremation costs anywhere from $30 in a communal cremation, to around $200 in a private cremation. Here’s an example of how it would breakdown by method:
Communal: Also known as mass cremation, communal cremation is the most affordable option. It costs, on average, between $30 and $70. As its name implies, in this process, multiple animals are cremated together. Many feel a solidarity with other pet owners when they choose this option. The down side to this method, is that you can’t request your pet’s remains be returned to you.
Individual or partitioned: Considered semi-private, this method costs between $50 to $150 on average. In this process, multiple pets are still cremated at the same time, but they’re kept apart. This way each pet can be identified, and their ashes kept separate. This process is an option for pet owners who want to keep their pet’s ashes. However, you should know that it’s still possible that some degree of mixing of remains can occur.
Private: Private cremation is the preferred method for pet owners who plan to keep their pet’s ashes as a remembrance. In this process, your pet is the only animal in the cremation chamber, and is cremated alone. This method guarantees that no other pet’s ashes will get intermingled with your pet’s remains. As you would expect, private cremation is also the most expensive, at $150 to $200 on average.
Does it cost more to cremate a larger cat?
The answer is usually no. Unlike cremation costs for dogs, where the larger the dog, the longer it takes to cremate and the more room it requires, cats tend to stay within a common size and weight range.
Does the cost to cremate a cat vary by location?
This time the answer is usually yes. Like most pet services, even veterinary care and boarding, costs can vary widely by geographic location. For example, in New York City, a private cremation for a cat could start at $300, while in a smaller city or town it might run closer to $40. It’s also a good idea for you to call more than one local cremation facility. You want to not only be sure they can accommodate your needs, but be sure you’re getting a fair price.
What additional fees might I expect?
The crematory and your veterinarian’s office are separate facilities. For that reason, the crematory may charge an additional “transfer” fee to pick up the remains from your veterinarian’s office, or to deliver the ashes to you. This fee typically ranges from $50-$75. So, to assure that there are no surprises, discuss these fees up front with your crematory.
Another additional cost that many cat owners are willing to take on, is the purchase of a unique urn or memorabilia. It’s a way to memorialize your pet in a special way, while keeping them near to you. Decorative boxes and urns allow you to display their ashes. Specialized plaques and keepsakes, as well as jewelry, keep a small portion of their remains close to your heart.
Saying goodbye to your four-legged companion is hard. If you find it weighing too heavily on you, don’t hesitate to reach out to any of the many support groups for those mourning the loss of a beloved pet. A few excellent resources are Rainbowsbridge https://rainbowsbridge.com/Grief_Support_Center/Grief_Support_Home.htm and The Grief Recovery Method https://www.griefrecoverymethod.com/our-programs/pet-loss-support-groups . Getting the support you need is important, and being prepared when the time comes lightens the burden.