A question about my pet


Sorry if this is in the wrong place. It’s an issue about death, so I figure this is where this type of thing should be.

My pet is going in for surgery soon. The doctor says there’s a 50/50 chance he’ll survive; he could die on the operating table, or he could die in surgery. I’m wondering what the Church says - if anything - about how to properly take care of a pet’s body, in the unfortunate event he doesn’t survive. He’s a fairly small animal, and I think my dad is leaning towards getting him stuffed, but I don’t know if the Church allows that. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.


The Church has no position on this.


Nothing immoral about taxidermy. They do it all the time. I don’t know what kind of pet you have, but I think it would be hard for everyone to have him stuffed and to see it day in and day out. My dog died almost three years ago, and I can’t imagine having her sitting in my living room, stuffed. It would be impossible for me to accept it.

If you could bury your pet that would be fine, or maybe cremation.


:eek: I hope he’s joking. I doubt the Church has said anything about taxidermy, as long as the one being “stuffed” is not human.


I agree with others that the Church has no position on this. I also agree that having to look at your pet every day could be incredibly, incredibly hard. I know I couldn’t do it. When my 15 year old cat died a few years ago, I had him cremated and his ashes are in a little rosewood box.


Things Catholics can do with animal bodies that served as pets or helpers.

  1. Bury
  2. Flush
  3. Cremate
    4 taxidermy
    5 eat
  4. Dispose in trash
    7 use for mulch.
    8 dissect
    9 tan

basically anything is on the table that is not disrespectful


Do whatever would best facilitate the grieving process and would provide the most closure for you.


That’s not a good idea if the animal died of natural causes, i.e., old age or disease.


Well yeah, of course if Betsy dies of mad cow, don’t eat. That should go without saying. But lots of people eat domesticated animals. Chickens are popular around here.


I should have put a smiley on my post. :slight_smile:

But there’s a difference between a domesticated animal meant for food & a pet. The OP is talking about a pet. As for domesticated animals, anyone who eats meat is eating a domesticated animal, not a wild one (except for hunters). Some of us grow our own. But unfortunately, being kind of sentimental, my elderly hens have become permanent guests. One, Miss Speckles, is at least 12 years old.

Another mistake is to name them. :blush:


do what feels right in order to console yourself to your loss. I’ve lost pets and I find myself always thinking about the circumstances of their deaths. It’s a hard thing to endure. I hope you find the strength if your pet does in fact die.


When I lose a cat I have it cremated but I have in the past also buried a cat when it died. I would have trouble seeing a dead pet stuffed and in the house all day.

Perhaps you can convince your dad to help you bury your pet if it dies.

And I will pray that your pet has a successful surgery.


Seriously? I hope you are joking, eating, throw in the trash? LOL

No matter what you believe about this, the animal WAS a living, breathing creature, made by God, anyone who has owned a pet knows they each have their own distinct personality, and they are all very loving, somehow I dont think dissecting, or using for mulch is very respectful of a creature that had nothing but love for their human owners.

Personally I bury my pets that have passed, but I know many who have them cremated and keep their urns in the house. I would not like to have one stuffed and be reminded of their death each time I see it, that would be too creepy.


Of course I was serious. What do find so odd about that?


Burying, cremating, both normal ways to send a pet off, I can understand why someone would have a pet stuffed as well, but to eat, dissect, throw in trash? What purpose is there to dissect a former pet?

I could see eating it if the times called for it, like a serious lack of food, but I cant see doing it at any other time, plus most common pets do not make the greatest food (cats, dogs,)


The problem you have is you are limiting yourself to cats and dogs…

People love all types of animals. Fish, lizards, snakes, rabbits, horses, pigs…

I know several people who swear pigs make better house pets than dogs.
Fish are usually flushed. I know of at least two families that dissected rodents. Mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters etc.
Some kids even have pet chickens.

We love all types of animals and there are all types of respectful ways to dispose of them when they die.


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