You may be dreading all the end-of-life decisions you'll have to make after your ailing cat's death. But making these decisions now could save time and even give you space to focus on grieving when the time comes. One popular options for cats is cremation. Pet owners often choose cremation so as to have a tangible memory of the cat or to sprinkle the ashes somewhere special. Plus, it's far less expensive than burial in a pet cemetery.
Depending on where you live and where your cat is cremated, the process could cost anywhere from $50 to $200. Another variable is your cat's weight; lighter cats and lighter animals in general, cost less. On average, you should probably expect to pay $100 to $150. Some crematoriums include fees for animal pickup and other additions, like a a wooden box or stainless steel urn to store the remains. Ask about all fees when you make arrangements.
Cremation Options with Returned Ashes
One reason the price range is so wide is that there are several ways for a crematorium to cremate the remains of a cat. On the more expensive side, you may prefer to have your cat cremated alone in the cremation chamber, with no other animal remains. This is called a private cremation, and you will have the option to watch if you like. Alternately, the cat can be cremated with other animal remains, but with some sort of barrier that separates its remains from the rest. This may be called individual, individual segregated or separated cremation, and it costs less than private cremation. With either option, you should receive the ashes.
The cheapest option is called communal cremation; it means that multiple animals are cremated in the chamber with no separation. You will not receive the remains.
If you choose a private or separated cremation, the crematorium is legally bound to return the correct ashes to you. Most of the time, identification tags are used to prevent mistakes; ask your crematorium what method it uses. To set your mind at ease, use a crematorium with membership in a professional organization such as the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories or the Cremation Association of North America.
- Cremation Resource: How Much Does Cat Cremation Cost?
- Cremation Resource: Pet Cremation FAQ
- Pet Passages: FAQ
- ASPCA: What to Do When Your Pet Has Died at Home
- Animal Human Society: Cremation Services
- PetMD: The Decision to Euthanize a Pet - A Vet's Perspective
- The Los Angeles Times: Owners Picking Cheaper Services for Deceased Pets
- Vetstreet.com: Pet Cremation 101 - What You Need to Know to Make an Informed Decision
- Cremation Association of North America: Draft Proposal - Standards of Practice for Cremation of Pets
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