Donate SIGN UP

How To Explain The Death Of A Pet To A Small Child Please?

Avatar Image
AuntLydia | 11:40 Tue 17th Jul 2018 | Family & Relationships
16 Answers
My lovely cat Fluffy was killed by a car a couple of weeks ago. I’m finding it hard to come to terms with it as she was my companion and I’m constantly reminded of her every day. I’ve had her remains cremated and the casket is now in my living room in her favourite place. She was much loved by everyone in the family, but especially my grand daughter who is aged 3. They don’t live near me and come and visit three or four times a year, but granddaughter always looks forward to seeing Fluffy and is now asking her mum when she’s going to see her again. They are coming down in a couple of weeks. I really don’t know what I’m going to say and will find it hard to hold back the tears if I must explain to her. Her parents say ‘just say she’s gone to heaven’ but that’s not an option for me for various reasons plus if this leads to conversation as to how and why I don’t think at this stage I could cope. Any suggestions please on how to tell a three year old grans cat has died?


1 to 16 of 16rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by AuntLydia. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Leave it to the parents!
Question Author
Fluffy was very, very tired so took a wee walk across the Rainbow Bridge for a long sleep. She's very happy there.
Agree with Bednobs. Leave it to the parents.
Because she will have more time to get used to the idea before she visits you
Loosing a pet can be very tough. When I was a child my Grandmother and Grandfather sadly lost their dog who I was very fond of. Later in life I also sadly lost a cat. I think the best thing for me was the honesty that they were gone, and in a better place. I got told by my Grandmother that their dog had died, as she cried and got comforted by my Father. Later in life, as I grew older and got to the age where I could reflect on past moments and learn from them, I realised that the situation in which I discovered this tragic news was a good one, surrounded by family, but also being able to be honest with how we felt about the situation.
I agree it should be the parents - they may have their own ideas of how to explain death, which every child is going to have to learn about, whether it's the unemotional method or uses euphemisms like gone to heaven, playing with angels etc which you have said yourself would not be your choice. Although 3 is a bit young I agree were she a bit older I would also expect the parents to explain that her gran will be upset about Fluffy so not to make a big issue of it in your presence.
Because they are her parents. If they wan her to believe in heaven that's what they can say. If there are follow up questions after they leave tjey are the ones who habe to deal with it. We recently had our dog put to sleep. I told my six year old that the vet helped to make him comfy and then he died.she goes to a religious school and her dad is religious. He told Herror he vet helped him go to heaven. When she asked me I told her the truth that some people believe in heaven but that I didn't knowant what happens when someone dies
Sorry about typos on my phone and swollen fingers
Question Author
Some very valid points . Yes I can see how her parents telling her will give her more time to understand. The parents can choose the best euphemism and hopefully I can hold it all together when she mentions Fluffy, which she will. She is very young, just turned three, so this may all go over her head like when her goldfish died and she said oh dear can I have another one. Emotions are still very raw with me and I think I was panicking a bit at what I could say and not seeing the bigger picture. Thanks.
just make sure they tell you what it is they told her. Because you will have to hold the party line whether you agree with it or not.
I agree that she should be told before her visit and that you should know what has been said.
Also to be told that granny is sad and that it is ok to cry over Fluffy.
I see my friend’s grandson twice a week, he is now 3. He met my Labrador a few times before she died in April. When he did ask after her, I said that she was very old and had died and that it was sad. He accepted it very easily.
-- answer removed --
PS please accept my sincere condolences, the loss of a pet is incredibly difficult x
I lost my cat of 16 years a few weeks ago, my emotions are still very raw, dont know what I would say to a child but , I just wanted to say how sorry I am Aunt Lydia I know exactly how you feel.
Question Author
Thank you all for your kind words.

1 to 16 of 16rss feed

Do you know the answer?

How To Explain The Death Of A Pet To A Small Child Please?

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.