do cats run away to die

Do Cats Run Away to Die?

Cats are often solitary animals, and it is not uncommon for them to go missing from time to time. But do cats run away to die? Sadly, the answer may be yes.

Signs That a Cat is Ill or Dying

Before assuming that your cat is running away to die, it is important to consider whether they are showing any signs of ill health. Symptoms vary depending on the condition, but common signs of a dying cat include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Signs of pain or distress

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is essential that you take your cat to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible.

The Instinct to Die Away From Home

It has long been believed that cats have an instinctive desire to die alone, away from home. This is true for many species of animals, including cats. Some cats may hide away and refuse to let anyone near them, potentially running away if a family member tries to approach them.

The location of a cat’s final resting place can also be telling. Cats that die naturally often choose to curl up in a warm, sunny spot, or a sheltered area near a tree or bush. If a cat is found dead in an area far away from home, it could suggest that they chose to go there in search of a peaceful place to die.

How to Help a Dying Cat

If you think that your cat is approaching death and they are refusing to stay at home, the best thing you can do is keep them comfortable. Provide a warm, safe place outside and make sure that they have access to food, water, and shelter.

It is important to bear in mind that cats may naturally choose to die away from home, and there may be little you can do to change this. This can be difficult for owners to accept, but ultimately, it shows a level of respect for the cat’s wishes.


Cats may run away to die, and this is a natural instinct for many species. If you suspect that your cat is ill or dying, it is important to see a vet immediately, and to provide a warm, comfortable place for your cat to spend their final moments.

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