Do you think there will be animals in heaven?
My grandchildren want to know…
What supports your theory?
Do you think there will be animals in heaven?
If you cannot be fully happy without them then they must be there.
If you are there and they are not then it means you can be perfectly happy without them.
That is the definition of heaven.
Animals do not have free will and souls in the same sense that humans do so they cannot be “saved” like we may think. However they are created by God and are thus good by nature. What exactly happens to them after death is unknown but I do not think it unreasonable to assume that when God creates a new heaven and a new earth like is foretold in Scripture that there will be animals there, perhaps even animals we knew and loved.
This is a “hot button” topic on CAF and past threads have gotten very heated.
I personally trust God to do the right thing by the animals, which He created and which are incapable of committing sin. And I trust Him to also do the right thing to make me completely happy in Heaven.
Edited to add, in terms of discussing with children, I’m reminded of the part of the “Little House” books where the Ingalls’ family dog, Jack, dies and Laura asks Pa if Jack went to Heaven. Pa, wise as always, says that God who doesn’t forget the sparrows wouldn’t leave a good dog like Jack out in the cold. It’s not Catholic doctrine (and the Ingalls were Protestant) but I always liked that response.
I was just talking to some renowned Catholic theologian vets the other day. They reassured me that all animals are assured of going to Heaven if they do good works on Earth. Works include: eating their bowl clean, always listening and obeying their owner and as often as possible smiling for their owner when he or she returns home.
Dogs have a definite advantage over other pets.
Doubtful. Which bums me out but I don’t see it happening
It depends what you mean? At the end of time God can create animals to be in Heaven to even look like your pets but as for animals going to heaven when they die that does not happen.
The Church teaches that only humans have immortal souls. Animals have mortal souls which cease to exist when they die.
What if you couldn’t be happy without a person who is in hell?
What does that have to do with the thread title?
the answer is that you can be happy even if someone you know or love is in hell. I do not know how that is so, but I trust God when he says he will wipe away all tears from our eyes.
Careful not to digress from OP
I personally think all of our pets will be in Heaven but in their animals forms just no hunger, no suffering, no pain. I asked a priest this once and he said “No” because they don’t have souls like we have souls. I asked him, is Heaven perfect. He said yes. I said well then our pets will be there. I KNOW animals don’t have the souls humans do but they do give love and concern and yes they even save lives. So I think they will be there, I might be totally wrong but I sure hope I get to see all of the pets we’ve had over our lifetimes. Like Father Mike says in the video I don’t NEED them there to be happy for God gives me total happiness. I am there to be with God and God is more than enough.
I always liked Peter Kreeft’s take on this question.
"10. Are there animals in heaven?
The simplest answer is: Why not? How irrational is the prejudice that would allow plants (green fields and flowers) but not animals into Heaven! Much more reasonable is C. S. Lewis’ speculation that we will be “between the angels who are our elder brothers and the beasts who are our jesters, servants, and playfellows”. Scripture seems to confirm this: “thy judgments are like the great deep; man and beast thou savest, O Lord”. Animals belong in the "new earth , as much as trees.
C. S. Lewis supposes that animals are saved “in” their masters, as part of their extended family. Only tamed animals would be saved in this way. It would seem more likely that wild animals are in Heaven too, since wildness, otherness, not-mine-ness, is a proper pleasure for us. The very fact that the seagull takes no notice of me when it utters its remote, lonely call is part of its glory.
Would the same animals be in Heaven as on earth? “Is my dead cat in Heaven?” Again, why not? God can raise up the very grass; why not cats? Though the blessed have better things to do than play with pets, the better does not exclude the lesser. We were meant from the beginning to have stewardship over the animals; we have not fulfilled that divine plan yet on earth; therefore it seems likely that the right relationship with animals will be part of Heaven: proper “petship”. And what better place to begin than with already petted pets?
Only human nature was assumed at the Incarnation. God became man, and not any other creature. Therefore, only human nature has been redeemed.
If you cannot be extremely happy for all eternity in the presence of God…
Feel free to draw your own conclusion!
The family cat died recently, so we asked one of our priests this question. He said that the Church tends to lean towards “no,” but that we could spend all day debating the issue and never be really sure. He said it’s better to let go and trust God.
I’m sure whatever love I feel for my darling cat is just a shadow of her Maker’s love. If she’s in Heaven or some sort of kitty afterlife, well and good. If not, that’s fine too, because God knows what’s best and that’s good enough for me.
In the end, no one ever really belongs to us. They’re sort of on loan from God, a temporary joy to love and care for, and ultimately surrender into His hands when He says it’s time.
But animals never sinned, so I’d hypothesize that they might be on the new earth.
“For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” - Colossians 1:19–20
I think the best answer we can give is: if your pets are required for your perfect happiness, then they’ll be there.
If you feel…
…then it is an inordinate attachment you’ll be purified of in purgatory, an understanding of which you’ll be at peace with in heaven.
“Things” (living or inanimate) are not needed in Heaven to make us happy. By definition the beatific vision is happiness. So the idea that our pets will be in heaven “if we need them to be” misunderstands the beatific vision greatly. That is NOT a Catholic teaching.
Animals do not have spiritual souls— eternal souls that are meant for unity with God in Heaven. Only we have spiritual souls, immortality. Animals have material souls. Their souls do not persist after death. Animals are not capable of the beatific vision precisely because they lack spiritual souls.
What will happen at the final judgment and the new Heaven and new Earth— we do not know. God has not revealed this to us.
I would also add the hopeful words of St. Ambrose to St. Monica regarding her concern for her son’s salvation:
It cannot be that the son of those tears should perish.
No. Animals have souls but they are not immortal.