When a pet dies it’s always painful, whether the pet is a cat, dog, bird, hamster, snake… It’s not uncommon dreaming of a deceased pet, but is it a visitation or another dream category? I’ve written about this topic for departed fathers and mothers; however, there are people who feel pets aren’t as important as people and/or have no soul. Yet, death affects everyone differently and who are we to judge someone’s grief, whether it’s a human or pet? Dreams about our pets help ease our pain.

Dreaming of a Deceased Pet

In this blog post I will go over how our pets let us know they’re about to cross, comfort us after they pass, visit us, and when it’s not a visitation dream.

About to Cross Over

There are times a pet owner knows that there’s something off with their pet: not as active, lack of appetite, moody, and so on. Although, love of your pet could trigger denial. Your pet will visit you beforehand to inform of their upcoming passing. In 2008, my cat, Midnite, visited me in a dream as follows:

I put Midnite in the enclosed back porch and used a hammer to nail in the boards on the doorway to keep her in. Even though the door was boarded up, she escaped through a hole in the wall. I was so upset, although she was happy.

Now, I realize this dream is very symbolic, but I had been interpreting my dreams for a long time, and recognized the feeling of grief after a loved one departs to the other side. Midnite died in my arms shortly after that dream.

deceased pet dream meaning
Midnite

After Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

Many clients have told me how they have dreams of their pets a day or two after they died. This is not unusual for both humans and pets visit their loved ones to let them know they’re okay. Why do they visit in dreams? The following is a paragraph from my blog “Dreams of a Deceased Mother,” which was briefly mentioned in the first paragraph.

Those who have departed are now vibrating at a higher energetic frequency. While being alive on Earth, we must vibrate at a lower frequency to be able to maintain a solid form. It is much easier for us Earthlings to reach a higher frequency in the dream state. For those who are newly departed, it’s less demanding to lower themselves into our dream state than the physical awake state. Hence, the reason our deceased mothers appear in our dreams as it is a halfway meeting point.

The same applies to pet’s energy. Besides alerting their owner that it’s time for he/she to cross over the rainbow bridge, it also a process to assist him/her to let go of their family member in order to move forward.

Visitation Dreams

There are times when you’re dreaming of a deceased pet that it’s an actual visit. How can you tell? Your pet is spending time with you, whether that’s playing, giving and receiving love, or through their voice and/or body movements. Here are three examples:

Sleeping with You

Many clients and friends have told me that they feel, smell, or sense their pet on their bed in their usual sleeping spot during their dreams or right before waking up.

Dream Visitation meditation

Barking

A family member, who is a cat owner, told me that she dreamed of a dog barking. She woke up thinking that doesn’t sound like my neighbor’s dog; therefore, it immediately occurred to her that was the sound of her dog’s bark who had passed away.

Goodbye

When Merlin, my white cat, was a kitten. I had the following dream:

Midnite was on top of a pedestal and jumped off, then Merlin leaped up to the top of the pedestal.

This was Midnite’s way of showing me that she approved of Merlin, happy that I had another kitty in my life, and wouldn’t be visiting me as much.

pet dream meaning
Merlin as a Kitten

Not a Visitation

How do you know it’s not a visitation when you are dreaming of a deceased pet? Simply it doesn’t feel like a visit, nor are you spending time with them. If you’re dreaming of past events, then obviously it’s not a visitation. One huge sign is if there are other emotions than love; for instance, anger, sadness, or jealousy. This dream is pointing to unresolved issues you have with your pet, which need to be addressed.

Final Words

Losing a beloved pet is in reality – losing a family member. Allow yourself as much time as you need to grieve. Ignore those who say it’s just an animal as it’s their lost to have never experienced that kind of love. Reflect on the times you shared. And remember that’s it better to have loved than never to experience the love.

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You’re welcome to leave a comment, although I DO NOT interpret dreams for free there or anywhere else. If you need help with your dream of a deceased pet and/or how to process the grief, please visit dream interpretation services and spiritual growth coaching.

Dreaming of a Deceased Pet
Dreams of Deceased Pets

About the Author Pamela Cummins

Pamela Cummins specializes in dream interpretation and personal/spiritual growth. She is available for dream analysis, coaching, and workshops. Pamela is the author of Learn the Secret Language of Dreams, the FREE eBook Got Dreams? Discover Your Ideal Dream Journal, four other books, and Analyze Your Dreams Oracle Cards.

39 comments

  1. Wow, this your article is so wonderful. All that you have here on your site are very great, you put a very hard effort in writing this article and that will be making me check your web blog from time to time. Just to learn more about your latest post and all…

    1. I lost 10 year old kitty baby Bruce to kidney failure last month. He was diagnosed in December and shocked all the vets with how normal and happy he acted considering his extreme levels. Luckily his symptoms came on suddenly and he only had to deal with it for a few days before I put him to sleep. but ever since then, I’ve been having dreams of him visiting me. in the dreams, I am well aware that he isn’t living anymore. but he’s so happy, and wants to hangout. It’s always like “wow bruce is here!” And last night’s dream was me being excited to see him, getting to hold him and open the window for him to sniff outside. it broke my heart a little bit because he was searching for his litter box that isn’t in our house anymore.. but I’m just so thankful to have these moments with him in my dreams 💙

      Also I wasn’t close with my dad the past few years, but after he died last May, I’ve had a few dreams that felt like he was showing me he was safe and happy.

      1. I’m sorry about your loss of Bruce due to kidney failure, yet happy that you’re spending time with him in your dreams and that your dad has stopped by.

  2. I had a pet mouse who was very sweet, smart and super attached to me. Unfortunately he died very young, about a month ago, and two days ago I dreamed that he was running towards me. while he was doing that all of a sudden the color of his coat changed to a much lighter color and when he almost reached me, he dissolved! I woke up right at that point. Really wonder what that means…

    1. I’m sorry for the lost of your pet mouse. Your dream reminds me of when my cat, Midnite, “visited me” on the night of her death. She jumped on my bed, and meowed as she rubbed against my leg. I went to pet her, then she jumped thru the window and disappeared… Midnite and your mouse were letting us know they’re with us and are okay.

      1. Thank you so much for your response! I often thought I feel his energy. This was the first time I knowingly dreamed of him. It’s comforting to know that our animals are still around.

  3. We adopted our cat 16 months ago. My 12 year old cat passed away from Euthanization last Friday. He was living with severe heart disease, liver disease, arthritis, and mega colon. He had a stroke and lost the bottom half of his body. He was actually relieved that the bottom half didn’t hurt anymore but he couldn’t swallow without violently gagging but wanted to eat his favorite food. I had to make the decision to euthanize him, but he was so spunky and upset with me before he fell asleep in my arms at the vet. I didn’t regret what i did, but I knew he was upset with me. He wasn’t ready to leave us. Today he finally visited me in the my dream, and violently shot diarrhea at my face and hair. I wasn’t upset, I understood he was upset with me and did what he did to express it. Later he was walking around confidently around the apt and I woke up. Today, we will be adopting a cat that looks like him that has been in the shelter since 2008. She gave birth to a litter of kittens in 2008, and my cat was born in 2008… Maybe we found his mom. She’s 15 years old with early signs of liver disease. I will give her the all the love and respect she deserves.

  4. This article gave me a sense of comfort. My dog of 4 years died due to a kidney failure yesterday. It’s my fault for not taking care of her properly. I always want to see her. I’m even thinking of digging her grave just to see her again. I’m worried that she’s alone there. I used to see them on TV as being overreacting but now I am experiencing it. Everywhere I look, I remember her playing ang sleeping. And now I just woke up and I dreamed of her, sleeping under my bed where she used to sleep. I was so happy in that dream and rubbed her behind the ears. I woke up feeling light and less depressed. Now I vow to take care of my other dog. I’m sure he’s going to miss her a lot.

    1. I’m grateful that this article brought you some comfort during your grieving. Losing a pet is difficult and it’s easy to blame ourselves of how I could do better, if only I had done this, or if I had more money I would have… Yes, it’s important to take care of our pets, but in reality we have no control of their timing to cross over. My father and stepmom just lost their cat, Snug, (who was around your dog’s age) a few days ago due to kidney cancer. Believe me, they take great care of and spend a ton of money on their cats! Sadly, their vet was only able to diagnose the cancer when it was in the last stage. May your dog who is here give you much comfort and love during his time on Earth.

  5. Thank you for this article. I lost my dog of nearly 17 years back in January. I was a child when we got her, so we grew up together. She lived a full and happy life, and brought us endless joy. We shared a strong, special bond, and I adored her. Towards the end of her life, we cared for her as much as we could until it was time to let her go. She was ready before we were. I carried her into the vet that day, and kept thinking of how that would be the last time I ever held her. That thought stayed with me for months after her death and it tore at me. I’ve had dreams of her, but last night, I dreamed that I was holding her. We were not at my parents’ house, but the house I moved into as an adult. She was healthy, her fur vibrant, and I held her in front of a mirror so we could see ourselves. She loved being held this way. Suddenly, I remembered that she was gone, and began weeping while still holding her. Through the sadness, I felt my love for her and felt her weight in my arms. I still have my moments when I mourn her, but I know she’s happier now and comfortable. I’ll always share that bond with her.

  6. A few weeks ago, I dreamt of my dead cat that died in 2016 or 2017. Please tell me what this means because I really want to know what it means!

  7. My dog died recently I only saw visions of him in my house Like during day time I have never seen a dream of him all I want to know is whether it is a bad sign I will be very grateful if you could help me

  8. My cat never came home for two months. I even have no idea what happened to him. I thought maybe he already died. For the past two months I often dream of him coming home and I was overjoyed. I exclaim “see? He’s still alive!!” But wake up feeling lonely. Then last night i dreamed of him coming home again. I hugged him because i missed him for so long. Then i let go of him he sat on the floor and was suddenly dying. I cried because for so long i was able to hug him and now he suddenly dies. Then he lived. But he was not a white cat anymore but a gray striped cat which we have at home now. I still feel lonely, until now.

  9. I had a pet dog that I had bought as a gift to my father for fathers day about 6 years ago. The dog was very smart and very attached to me. He was ill and once while I was out, my mother had gone to put him down without warning. I came home and he was gone. I’ve never once cried about him, even that day, but today, fathers day 3 years after he passed, he was in a dream of mine. Everything about the dream felt so intensely real. He had come into my bedroom and I was surprised to see him but he was still joyful and loving the way I remember him, I then sat on the floor with him and hugged him, petting underneath his chin and then I began crying while I was holding him. The kind of crying that makes your throat hurt. Yet, when I woke up I had no memory of the dream until my father mentioned him at breakfast. I’ve been uncontrollably crying since then and I can’t seem to get a grip and I keep looking over thinking he’s going to be there even though I haven’t seen or thought about him in so long.

    1. Thanks for sharing your dream. I often say that dreams help us realize the truth and how we feel about a situation, which is why it’s important to acknowledge/feel grief and other emotions.

  10. We recently lost our beloved Aussie two days after a car accident involving a deer. It was a couple months before I dreamt of him. In the first stream he was facing away from me and nothing else in the second dream he was coming to me happy I guess healthy looking but nothing more can you help me with this I’ve done nothing but cry for three months

  11. I love this blog post. Thank you so much for putting it out there. I have a kitty who I lost to heart failure quite suddenly about a year ago. All of the sudden, the last couple of weeks, I’ve been having dreams of him! I’m sure they are visitations. The first dream, he was just there in the crook of my arm. I looked down at him and exclaimed: “PeeKee! What are you doing here, baby boy?! I miss you so much!!” And he blinked at me with that little head nod they do, and reached at me with his paw like he used to. Oh, my heart!! I was so happy. And then again last night I dreamt of him, but this time it was strange and a little dark. He was back again but his fur was funky and dirty, and he was so thirsty and hungry! I began to immediately give him water (I gave him water from the glass I was drinking from and he sipped from it) and gave him some food he happily ate. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that he’d come back from the dead. it was that feeling. Like the movie Pet Sematary. But he wasn’t mean, just didn’t feel great and giving off the impression he’d reanimated and come home. It was eerie and I was feeling like I’d buried him alive. What the heck was that about following such a beautiful dream?

  12. I woke up today, knowing so vividly how I dreamt about my deceased pet dogs. First it was our shepherd Maico. He died last year. He came to me in my parental bedroom, leaping onto my bed. We left, together, and we went camping by the forest. Maico slept with me on a blanket, and I felt protected by him. He sat beside me, panting, keeping watch.

    The dream transitioned over to our jack russel dog Tippie, who died 2 years ago. I remember how I was holding her in that same spot. Everything was fine, until I see my phantom-like mother, whose high energy always had a burn-out effect on the dogs, and health issues like epilepsy. I held Tippie, and she saw my mom pass by.
    I knew Tippie wanted to go to her, but I had that jealous feeling I used to have as a kid, when the dogs refused my attention for someone else’s. I turned away Tippie’s head, so she wouldn’t see mom, but it made Tippie weep for a bit. I woke up feeling exptremely guilty.
    I was a wild kid and Tippie has been through some accidents with me….I was encouraging her one time to walk the stairs she was afraid of. Almost on the loft, she slipped right in between the steps, and tumbled right down to the ground floor…..I remember how I had been in panic and yelled her name hard as I ran after her. I found her on the floor, making all kinds of feeble pain noises. I was just so glad she was alive and didn’t have any broken bones or anything…I’ve held her for hours on end, until my family came home late at night. Yep I’ve never let any dog walk on stairs with open steps since then.
    I’m sure that’s why I dreamt of Tippie, feeling guilty. I’m not sure if she visited me, but I’m pretty sure Maico did, because his energy was so real at the time. I saw him vividly, and felt his presence so normally, as though he was lying right beside me.

    1. Thanks for sharing your dream, Reene. I understand about stairs because my former home had a metal spiral staircase with big spaces in between the steps. My cats used to play on those stairs and thankfully they would stop when I yelled, “No play on the stairs.” Rhiannon fell one time, luckily it only stunned her.

  13. My 15 year old dog, Daisy, died 7 weeks ago. Last night I dreamed she was with me in a supermarket and when I looked around she was walking out of the automatic doors and disappeared. I spent the rest of the dream looking for her, but never found her.

  14. My 4 year old dog passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday. I have been struggling with accepting it and trying to adapt without her here. Last night I dreamt of coming home from work one day (after she had passed) and walking into the living room with her laying in our spot on the couch with her looking at me. She came up to me and I was kneeling down as she snuggled her head into my neck and me telling her how much I loved and missed her. The next part I remember is laying on my bed with her and my husband and commenting on her thick fur and how pretty she was (She has shorter thin fur than normal dogs her breed and was always cold) she looked happy and healthy. Then I just remember it (The dream) fading away but not in a bad or negative way. I was so happy to see her again, I cried when I woke up but I was also happy for her and to be able to tell her how much I loved her. I can’t stop thinking about the dream though.

  15. I am searching for the meaning of dreams I have been having. I had a golden retriever Mandy who passed at 13 years old. I found out she was dying the same day my sister told me she was getting married. I grabbed Maddies face and told her she couldn’t go right now I needed her. The day after my sisters wedding she passed. Years later I rescued an 8 year old abused puppy mill Papillon. I knew Maddy was happy for me. I was blessed to have LucyLOO until last June when she turned 20. She was my love and although I saved her life in many ways she saved mine. I often dream of her now and she is much younger like when I first brought her home. Although I know she is there somewhere I am desperate to find her and I never can. I find this very upsetting. I should also mention my father is currently palliative.

    1. I am sorry for the loss of your dogs and will keep your father in my prayers. Grief over our pets comes in stages and everyone is different on how they process it. I hope reading this post gave you some peace and insights into your dreams. As stated at the end in the blog, if you need further assistance I have services available.

  16. I just woke from my dream about 20 minutes back and came across your blog after searching what it could mean. It was so vivid. My family recently lost our beloved dog Bella just 5 days ago to cancer. She was mostly my dads dog and he loved her more than anything.
    In the dream our front verandah sensor light turned on which alerted me someone was outside. There is a panel of glass on our front door so I looked through this to see what had made the light turn on and I saw only the back of Bella. Her body was in a tense frozen stance with her head down, growling at something in some trees at our fenceline that I couldn’t see. I woke up after that with an instant feeling of being scared of whatever she was protecting us from. It will sound weird too but when I woke my eyes were disoriented and I thought i saw something scary looking standing at the end of my bed. I’m in my 20s but I’ve had to turn on my bedside lamp like I’m a kid waking from some nighmare. Waiting for that scared feeling to subside before I try to get some sleep…In my life I have rarely had dreams so vivid or ones that frighten me and wake me from my sleep. I love and miss Bella and the one thing thats giving me comfort is even in my dreams she is protecting me and my family. Thanks for the blog as its made me consider things ive never thought before.

  17. I lost my Orbie in 2018. She was 19 years old. She was with me since she was 5 months old. I have been struggling with moving on . My Dad recently gave me a 7 week old kitten. I named her Candy. Candy has been Chasing and trilling at something I couldn’t see. Then last night I had a dream of Orbie standing on the heart part of my chest. Something she’d never had done while alive. When I woke up I had this feeling of “she’s in my heart.” or “she will always be in my heart.” Not sure if it was a visit or what.

    1. Lisa, I don’t think we ever stop missing our deceased pets. Sigh, if they could only live longer… Please reread the visitation section of this blog and think of how you felt in the dreams as your feelings are huge clues in a dream. In any case, the most important lesson of your dream is – Orbie is and always be in your heart…

      1. I personally think its her way of saying, “its time for me to go. You are in good hands.”

  18. Last night I dreamt of my cat who died about 5 years ago. My mother bought a new cat as a replacement but until today I can‘t accept that cat. I would still feel feel sad from time to time thinking of my old cat Gafi. I had a special bond with it since I grew up with it. In my dream he was deaf and I just following him everywhere, protecting him from cars on the street. Even though I felt like I had to protect him at all costs, he seemed to be fine on his own. Maybe this was a sign that I shouldn’t feel sad anymore because he‘s fine now?
    I don’t know.

    1. Our deceased pets and loved ones are okay on the other side, it’s those who are left on Earth that grieve. In the meantime, please don’t take your grief out on the new cat nor think of it as a replacement. Rather accept this kitty’s unique personality.

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