How To Deal With Guilt After Rehoming a Cat

Deciding to rehome a cat is never an easy choice and it is natural to feel guilty for giving up your cat afterwards. If you are feeling remorse after rehoming a cat for any reason, you should feel reassured by the fact that you tried your best to give a good life, recognised that it wasn’t working out, and gave them a better chance.

Many cats are rehomed to new owners and shelters for a large variety of reasons. Although cats find changing homes stressful, they can eventually learn to adapt. The new home that they have been accepted in to may end up being a better fit for them.

Do cats miss their owners when they are rehomed?

Despite how they act, cats do become attached to their owners. If you were getting along with your cat before rehoming them, they will miss you. Cats that miss their old owners may show signs of stress and meow for them for some time. Moving on from past connections is a natural part of any animal’s life. It may be painful but they will learn to adapt. Thankfully, they will also be able to make a connection with their new owner in time.

That being said, if you decided to rehome your cat for behavioral issues, particulalry aggression, they may have been struggling to get along with you. The environment of your home and your schedule may not have been the right set up for your ex-cat to be completely comfortable in. It may be painful, but its in the cat’s best interest to live in a home where they can be happy in.

This is particularly true for indoor and younger cats which need more regular interaction from their owners through play to have meaningful and enriched lives. Your work and life schedule may have meant that you weren’t able to give your cat enough attention. Its unfortunate, but it is unexpected for even a devoted cat owner to make long term career decisions so they can be around their cat more.

Will be cats be sad if you give them away?

Cats typically don’t do well with big changes and expect to have regular routines. The sudden change of moving houses and owners can be a lot for a cat to deal with and they may show symptoms of stress and fear more than sadness.

This will normally go away in time. If you have rehomed your cat, the new owners or shelter that you have given them to will have a better understanding of your cat’s needs. This means that they are equipped to help your cat settle in as quickly as possible.

Although a rehomed cat may be upset for a number of weeks after first being given away, they will grow to be comfortable in their new space. Hopefully, they have the potential to be happier in their new house than when they were with you. Although this can be painful to think about, try to find peace knowing that your cat is in a better place now because of your decisions.

How do you get over the guilt of rehoming a cat?

Rehoming a cat doesn’t mean that you have done something wrong. A lot of cat owners really have tried their best to give a good home to their cats, but they can be demanding animals. Its natural to feel guilt after saying goodbye to a pet for any reason. Be easy and give yourself time to cope with the emotions that you are feeling.

Whatever the reason was for rehoming your cat, it means that you weren’t able to give them the proper care that you thought that they needed. This isn’t your fault, and it will have been a tough decision to come to. If you are feeling guilt, it probably is because you genuinely cared about your old pet. This should also mean that you should want what is best for them.

The guilt will eventually go away over time. If you are worried about your cat, you may be able to check on the cat through their new owner. Knowing that your ex-pet is leading a better life now may be enough to make you know you made the right decision for everybody.  

The only cruel way to get rid of a pet is to abandon them. Unfortunately, a lot of uncaring pet owners abandon their pets by dropping them off in a remote location and running away. This leaves the pet in danger as they don’t know how to safely survive in the wild and is a crime in many jurisdictions.

If feelings of guilt persist for a long time, you could consider talking to a support group or mental health professional. Verbally speaking to others may help you alleviate some of the feelings that you are experiencing.