Moving on from the loss of a cat, for me at least, means finding ways to keep their memory alive, not just trying to shake off grief. There are simple steps to memorialise your lost cat, some that are slightly more involved, and some that can be long-term, lasting legacies for your pet.
This article shares some of the most personal cat memorial ideas to honour the memory of your feline friend. None are going to break the bank, but all offer you a chance to build time for joy into your grieving.
Cat Memorials are an Important Part of Grieving
Nothing you do will ever replace your cat, or fill that void they leave behind, but… you can find ways to turn your memories of them into joyful moments, and even use your grief to inspire change and support young cats in need.
Memorials don’t need to be costly, and many cat parents find something as simple as changing their phone background to a cosy photo of their pet to be enough.
Even if you’re on an impossibly tight budget, there are some things you can do for free that will keep your cat close when you need them, like DIY collar bracelets, or storing a lock of their hair in a locket.
How Your Vet Can Help
Your vet can help with any cat memorial with a couple of simple requests when you take them in ahead of cremation. Clipping a small lock of hair, or taking a paw print gives you a lasting physical connection to them.
It’s often hard to ask for these services in times of grief, but that lock of hair will likely be your most treasured memory of your cat in years to come.
Make Sure Your Cat’s Memorial Represents Them
Above everything else, try to find a way to memorialise your cat that is genuinely appropriate to them. That might mean planting a tree because they adored sharpening their claws on bark in the garden, or setting a stone memorial in their favourite spot.
It could be naming a star in their memory because they were an outright night owl.
Whatever you choose to do, if you spend some time and think about what will bring you comfort, and do them justice at the same time, it will be the right choice.
18 Cat Memorial Ideas to Choose From
Cat burials, space in cemeteries, and cremation are the first but not final steps in memorialising a furry family member. These cat memorial ideas, hopefully, offer some simple inspiration for ways to create lasting memories.
1. Donate to Charities
For many cat owners, the rescue centre or adoption charity you got your cat from can feel like family. When they pass, one of the most rewarding ways to make something meaningful of their memory is donating to that charity.
Even if your cat wasn’t a rescue, the insurance payout for pedigrees can pay for a full month’s supply of food for a shelter. There are many more wonderful cat rescues in Australia than the ones below, and you can search on Facebook for cat shelters near you for a more personal touch.
Regular donations or one-off contributions are equally appreciated and can be made in your cat’s memory to some charities, who send thank you cards out so you know the impact your donation makes.
If money is tight, but you would like to support these charities, any unused bedding is useful to cat charities of all sizes, and for smaller local rescues, unwanted gifts make great raffle prizes for fundraising events. You can even volunteer your time to support the cattery on everything from fostering to weaning kittens.
Some wonderful charities to donate to include:
2. Personalised Art Work
Art deserves a place in every home, but it takes someone special to do honest justice to your pet.
Digital images can be quick ways to get personalised memorial art work up and save you a long wait, but in the long term, you’ll appreciate spending some time browsing the serious artists of Etsy and getting a genuinely skilled local painter or illustrator to create something special in memory of your pet cat.
3. Name a Star for Your Cat
I adore stargazing, and so did Velcro. He was a real night cat. In his younger days, he roamed around outdoors at all hours of the night. One of my favourite memories is sitting on the porch with him, a few months before he passed, and just gazing up at the stars.
Now he is up there forever, and I can chat to him on clear nights. It’s an inexpensive way to make sure your cat’s memory lasts forever, and if it's even slightly appropriate for your bright-eyed kitten, the Star Registry is a simple way to do it.
4. Cat Memorial Statues
Whatever your budget, there will be a cat statue out there. From personalised ceramics you can find from local artists, to cast sculptures available everywhere from Amazon to local garden centres.
In our old cat’s favourite spot, under the tree opposite the patio, we’ve got a simple cat statue of a sitting cat which gives us somewhere to focus when we want to talk to him, or just smile hello in the morning.
5. Cat Urns
Urns don’t just need to be practical, and they don’t even need to be expensive. Not many people are aware, but it’s worth knowing; when your cat’s ashes are returned, they are generally in a sealed bag, inside the urn, so you can use nearly any sealed container to safely display and store your cat’s ashes.
For more information on cat urns, and how to choose the right one, we’ve got a full article on pet urns.
6. Cat Memorial Stones
PawTribute on Etsy sells pristine memorial stones for cats and dogs. They make inexpensive grave markers, or memorial spots in communal pet cemeteries, without needing bulky headstones.
The natural stone and expertly engraved messages from PawTribute are a wonderful way to commemorate your cat.
7. Cat Headstones and Gravestones
This small slate gravestone by PresentsMadePersonal on Etsy is one of the best examples of pet gravestones, with personalised engravings, rather than printed text, set into a gorgeous slate slab and finished beautifully too.
It is dispatched from the UK, so there is no quick delivery on this particular headstone, but local funeral directors might be able to source local headstones sooner.
8. Cat Grave Marker
Grave markers don’t have to be traditional headstones. If you want more inspiration on how to mark your pet’s burial spot, or where their ashes were scattered, we’ve written about more examples of pet memorial rocks for dogs which can also be used for cats.
9. Cat Memorial Garden or Tree
One of the loveliest ways to memorialise anybody, or any pet, is by planting a tree. That tree can include their ashes when it is planted, or simply be a point in your garden to stop and feel close to your pet.
We did this the week after ours passed, planting a gorgeous Cercis canadensis, with huge, burgundy, heart-shaped leaves. Each year we press one leaf and add it to an album.
10. Cat Memorial Shadow Box
Simple paper cut shadow boxes make gorgeous ways to remember your pet, and many will light up in the evening. This cat shadow box by Chipola Studio on Etsy is a wonderful, simple, way to remember your pet, with printable templates for you to create something special.
This sort of memorial, that involves something hands-on, is particularly useful if you have kids, as the activity helps them build more of a connection to the events, and learn about the importance of memorials.
You can also make your own completely from scratch with this lovely hinged shadow box. Consider adding their favourite toys or collars to the frame to keep them safe and secure, but always on display.
11. Cat Memorial Photo Frame
Personalised photo frames used to mean sticking bits of photos and collaging something yourself, but you can find some really sleek personalised frames that don’t just mean more, they work with your décor too.
These stylish, textured plastic frames by Cubicoola, personalised with your cat's name and a choice of colours are a simple and effective way to permanently commemorate a lost pet.
12. Cat Memorial Frame with Collar Holder
This gorgeously designed memorial frame includes a hook to make a feature of your cat’s collar, and the spinning picture frame has space to add a personal message as well as your chosen photograph.
13. Personalised Pet Memorial Cat Planter (Cat Plant Pot)
ASpecialDot on Etsy sells these cute memorial planters for small succulents, and they have to be one of the cutest memorial options I’ve ever come across.
If you’re after sweet little memorials to place around your home, these are perhaps the nicest you’ll find.
14. Cat Memory Photo Album
Perhaps the most important part of processing your grief is to make time to remember your cat. If you’ve got photos, even just a few, or simple memories, like small toys, feathers, or even tags, you can use all of that to build memory boxes or photo albums.
Photo albums might spend much of their life on the shelf, but the importance of them comes from the process of making them. It allows you to really spend time remembering the good times, rather than remaining in static grief.
This tasteful photo album, with a beautiful linen cover, is available in a mix of colours. It might not be personalised, but that’s what your time is for, and part of the joy of compiling it.
15. Cat Memorial Jewellery
Personalised jewellery comes in many forms, but genuinely handmade personalised gifts will always hold a dearer place in our hearts. ZoeRiverElegance sells personalised charm necklaces and bracelets for cat and dog owners who want something relatively simple.
For something a little more unique, you can get custom polymer clay charms made by Australian crafters on Etsy, by simply supplying a photo of your beloved cat.
16. Cat Memorial Locket
Lockets, specifically designed to hold small amounts of ashes or pet fur are a more expensive way to memorialise your pet cat, but they are one that will truly do them justice.
One of the best dedicated cat memorial jewellers in Australia is Always in My Heart, specialising in lockets, jewellery urns and memorial jewellery in sterling silver, gold and rose gold.
17. Create a Diamond from their Ashes
If you choose to cremate your cat, their urn can provide the perfect reminder and trigger for joyful recollections, but for some, it can trigger the wrong emotions.
One option available to anybody who has lost a pet cat is to go to a specialist company that will turn those ashes into a gorgeous diamond.
The diamonds are usually tiny, but they can be incorporated into other jewellery, or simply saved as a memory in themselves.
Heart in Diamond offers a good service in Australia for ashes diamonds.
18. Cat Memorial Candles
If you’re considering a memorial candle, choose one with a reusable case. Every year, you can refill your candle and light it in memory of your cat, providing a lasting physical memorial that offers you an act of remembrance to come back to whenever you feel the need.
Also, see our list of beautiful memorial candles for pets for more options.
19. Cat Memorial Plaques
If all of this seems expensive, please don’t worry. There are ways to memorialise your cat on a budget and even for free. You don’t need to spend money to show your cat you’re thinking of them.
One of the best-looking budget choices for an indoor or outdoor cat memorial is an engraved or cut-out plaque, like this metal sign available from PetsFellow.
20. Paw Prints
And if your vet offers the service, or if you have time to prepare in advance, taking a paw print (or a print of each paw if you can) either in clay, plaster or paint, is a brilliant way to keep your cat’s presence felt.
We’ve got a set of four beautiful, tiny paws, printed in ink next to the garden window at home. Of all the memorial ideas on here, this is the one that brings me the most peace.
Some vets will charge for the service, but it’s a nominal fee, generally to cover the cost of inks and any display case they offer with the prints.
Make Your Cat Memorial Meaningful
For more information on grieving for a lost cat, and advice on how to find help and support, read our article on losing a cat and how to cope. Creating a memorial for your cat is just one part of grieving, but hopefully, our list of cat memorial ideas take some of the time and effort of the process.