Animals and God

I have seen many posts regarding pet lovers and what happens to our animals when they die. I am sad and sickened by the answers that seem to be coming from Church authorities: namely that animals don’t go to heaven or have souls, and consequently could either land up in hell or going no where at all. Well rubbish.

I believe that animals do have souls, and should not be banished from the prospect of heaven because people are arrogant enough to think they are simply instinctual beings with no self awareness, intelligence or purpose on this planet. Just because God gave us dominion over all creation does not mean that animals are stupid or soulless. One of the greatest examples I can think of as far as animals having some sort of spiritual aspect to their being includes the following: dogs that rescue owners from fires, service dogs, or animals that will die when their owner passes, animals that find their way home when lost (even after months and years of searching). If the Church wants to teach that animals are soulless than I will never agree with her at all.

The Church does not have some “catechism on cats” nor “dogmas for dogs”…

What will be for us in the end is not fully revealed.

…perhaps though when we are risen…when we have our resurrrected bodies…our glorified bodies…and there is the new heavens and new earth.…then perhaps there can be animals…and perhaps in some way God can recreate our pets…



If you must have your pet in heaven, you are in the wrong religion!

When I was young, I had an interest in biology and had a crayfish as a pet. Sure don’t want to see that up there!

Can there be pets in heaven? God does what He wills, but I don’t care yes or no! God is there! I doubt that I will be able to take my eyes off of the beatific vision.

Check out Fr. Serpa’s latest answer in AAA.

The only teaching of the Church is in paragraphs 2415-2418 of the Catechism. Also, here is a C.A. answer to your question. Now, although nothing in either source says anything about animals going to heaven ( Revelation is silent on that ), it does not mean that animals will not to to heaven. Who knows, perhaps God will surprise the Philosophers!

" Do animals have souls like human beings?
Animals have souls–and so do plants. Does this answer sound like something out of the New Age movement? Don’t worry–it isn’t. Rest assured we’re not saying animals and plants have souls like ours.

The soul is the principle of life. Since animals and plants are living things, they have souls, but not in the sense in which human beings have souls. Our souls are rational–theirs aren’t–and ours are rational because they’re spiritual, not material.

Animals and plants can’t do anything which transcends the limitations of matter. Although some animals seem clever, they don’t actually possess conceptional intelligence. They can’t, for instance, conceive of the abstract notion of justice.

Animals and plants also lack a moral sense. When you scold Spot for chewing the carpet and tell him what he did was “wrong,” you aren’t assigning guilt of sin to him, since he can’t commit a sin.

Animal and vegetable souls are dependent entirely on matter for their operation and being. They cease to exist at death. (There’s no “doggie heaven.”)

Human souls, by contrast, aren’t material. They’re spiritual. Only a spirit can know and love, a spirit’s two chief faculties being the intellect (which knows) and the will (which loves). We know human souls are spiritual since humans can know and love.

We also know human souls are immortal because spirits can’t decompose. They have no parts: Only a thing with parts can fall apart. A spirit is a unit. It has no top or bottom, no left or right, no inside or outside.

Every bit of matter, even the smallest, has parts. The human body can decompose–it’s made of matter, after all–but the human soul can’t. That’s why we say it’s immortal.

A good discussion of the differences between human beings and animals is available in Mortimer Adler’s The Difference of Man and the Difference it Makes.

Answered by: Catholic Answers Staff . "

Instead of saying that animals have material souls, I think it more appropriate to say that animals have very highly developed natures, which are not spiritual.


I believe animals have souls just not eternal souls like we do and they don’t have a spirit like we do. As a rule I don’t think animals will go to heaven, nor hell, when they die they are just gone. But, I do believe that for Christians God may, for us and our sake allow our beloved pets to go to heaven to be with us for eternity, but it’s done only for us, not because the animal kingdom automatically goes to heaven. An alley cat or animal out in the wild won’t go to heaven or hell, they will just cease to exist, but a pet who was owned by a Christian I believe God may grant those pets eternal life in Heaven for us to be with us. :slight_smile: So I believe both views. It’s not all one way or the other. I do believe there are also animals in heaven, lots of them and some may look like earth animals and some may look like nothing that ever existed on earth like a gremlin when they were cute and fluffy before they ate after midnight LOL. Some animals may even talk in heaven. :slight_smile: So whatever happens to our pets on earth, it’s not like we won’t have pets in heaven, and the pets we have in heaven really can stay with us for eternity. :thumbsup: There will be cute pets up there that we can’t even imagine right now. But a loyal pet you had for years here on earth I believe God can make allowences for them and give them a pass to get into Heaven. So even the pets of Christians are blessed through us just by being our pet. :slight_smile:

Lol it seems we think alike. I see no reason why animals cant go to heaven. But we just be careful jumping to conclusions since there’s no evidence for or against this premise.

I agree with this! Even if our earth pets don’t make it to heaven with us, it’s not like we will be sad and incomplete, God will be there after all, and nothing can top that! :thumbsup: But if it makes you feel better here on earth to think our pets will be there waiting for us, no harm in thinking that, but I know no one who will be sad once you get there if your pet isn’t there, since there will be so many other wonders to behold not to mention seeing and being with God, our earthly pets will be the last thing on our mind at that time. For a long time we’ll be just grateful to be there ourselves! :slight_smile:

Um ok God will be there. So what, are you going to play cards with him for all eternity or something? Part of the joy of life is experiencing Gods creation as well as God himself. Havent you ever stood atop a hill and just looked at nature in all its spledor? I think people like you envision heaven as just a room lol. If heaven is some eternal mass service then no thank you ill just stay on earth lol.

Dog’s don’t go to heaven.

Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murderers and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood. (Revelation 22:15)

I guess dogs go to Hell. :shrug:


Camels might go to heaven…

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)

Maybe there is like a camel purgatory where they all have to squeeze through the eye of a needle for 1000 years or something. :confused:


Birds however, will be in heaven and will enjoy the marriage supper…

***Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly in midheaven, "Come, gather for the great supper of God, *(Revelation 19:17)

How great is the Bible! :smiley:

Sorry all you dog lovers but it is best to go trade in Fido for a parakeet. It rhymes with Paraclete anyway. The HOA doesn’t allow camels.


Animals may not sin or understand sin, but I can certainly tell you I have seen many and cat and dog act guilty. Sure we have taught them what we want and don’t want them to do. But it sure is funny when they do something no one even expects and then act like the “Cat that go the canary.” One of our late dogs used to bring us gifts when he did anything naughty. It was a sure sign he did something he had been taught not to do.

Same with the cats. They would usually bring home a branch with leaves, a moth or butterfly, or even a bird. Sometimes it was just the normal “see what I caught” anyone might expect, but other times it was something they did directly after getting scolded for jumping on the counter.

My only point is animals are smarter than we give them credit for, certainly demonstrate concern for their own offspring and their “people”, and can create some pretty fun adventures for everyone to ponder. I can’t dismiss them as being dumb robots or pure instinctual creatures. I never will.

What you appear to be asking for is this world raised up to heaven. Can you not imagine anything beyond what you perceive via your senses? The splendor of creation is completely eclipsed by the splendor of the Creator! Those sunsets we admire and the beautiful mountains and trees are all temporary, finite. God is eternal and infinite. There are joys in heaven that cannot be described by our feeble minds. I am confident that we will be so enthralled, so absorbed by the magnificence of heaven that we may be able to think of nothing else.

You don’t understand. I’m saying that in the presence of God there cannot exist any kind of emptiness or want. Also I said there will be all kinds of heavenly animals up there that we can have as pets and those pets CAN stay with us for eternity. You missed like 99% of what I said. LOL.

I think we also have to approach this from another angle. In addition to asking “what will make me happy in Heaven”, we should also be asking why some people think that animals do not belong there. The CCC teaches that **by their mere existence **animals praise God and give him glory. Why should they not be rewarded for this? Why would He not want all of His creation back with Him?

I don’t want a pet cherub. They’re scary and freak me out.

Animals, pets specifically, are kind of weird in theology. Their capacity for love seems to be very different from ours (not less, just different), but we can’t really know for certain what’s going on in there. Obviously, love as a rational choice is beyond the grasp of many in the animal kingdom, but they obviously do show us affection, or at the very least has the appearance and effects of affection. They’re also without original sin, so that’s something to consider.

Here’s something that’s certain, though. We believe God to be omniscient. God knows every detail of how every animal acts, would act, thinks, and feels. That means that our pets exist not only within the physical world, but also within the mind of God, and nothing within an eternal mind can ever cease to exist.

There are two issues on animals.
One is whether animals go to Heaven when they die and the other whether there will be animals in the new Heaven and Earth at the end of time.
As animals do NOT have immortal souls they do not go to Heaven when they die. Their souls cease to exist when the animal dies.
Will there there be animals in the new Heaven and Earth at the end of time. Who knows? God can do whatever he wants.

Well heaven is certainly not going to be just kneeling in front of God and repeating" youre awesome" for eternity. Out senses can give us clues about what heaven will be like. We are physical creatures and according to the church we will have bodies in heaven so it follows logically that heaven for us humans will be a material place and we will also partake in material pleasures. (After all our bodies wont just be dead weight. ) heaven is not some cushy stasis we retire to. Its not some white light or nirvana that we go to sleep in. In heaven we will be more awake and the senses will be more vivid. Its not going to be fluffy clouds and chubby children like in those ugly medieval paintings. It will be dynamic, stimulating, lively, sensual as well as joyful. So obviously it is not farfetched to believe our pets will be there.

Well animals are purely motivated by their emotions. So they cant be good or bad. But they are one part of our human nature. A very important one. If physical matter will exist in heaven then so will animals.

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