Some owners take the cat home for a private burial, while others opt for cremation, in which case the veterinarian make arrangements with a local pet crematorium to pick up the body. Some owners have a pet mortician prepare the cat for burial in a pet cemetery. The decision is up to you, though local laws may have some say in what is done.
You should make the decision about burial options before your cat is euthanized so you don't have to think about it on that day.
A popular choice, interring your cat on your own property means that you can visit your pet's grave whenever you want. Local laws may prohibit this option, though. Check with your veterinarian, who should know the correct procedure. Also, this is not an option for those who rent or live in a city.
There are many pet cemeteries across the country. You can find pet cemeteries in the Yellow Pages, though pet mortuary services, or through your veterinarian. Many owners prefer this option, as the cemetery offers a certain sense of respect and permanence. If this is your choice, be sure to investigate the cemetery beforehand, because the quality of management can vary quite a bit.
Prices vary, but expect a plot to cost at least $100, with additional regular maintenance charges. You can supply your own casket or buy one from a reputable retailer (see your local Yellow Pages). Prices can vary from $50 for a no-frills plastic shell, up to over $500 or more for a custom-made casket.
An increasingly popular option, cremation enables you to keep your cat's ashes in an urn inside your home, bury them, or even scatter the ashes in a location that will be meaningful to you and your cat. Prices vary but should not exceed $200.
The biggest problem with cremation has been the doubt over whether or not you are truly getting your own pet's ashes.
Some cremation services have been caught doing mass cremations, then handing the ashes over to unsuspecting clients who are not aware that the ashes they hold are those of their pet, plus a dozen others. If the cremation service you contact will not allow you to be there for the start of the procedure, find one that will.
Excerpted from The K.I.S.S. Guide to Cat Care by Steve Duno
Copyright 2001 by Steve Duno.
Excerpted by permission of Dorling Kindersley Publishing Inc.
All rights reserved.
No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.