If you want to cremate your deceased cat, you will have to decide what cremation option is the best choice for your pet and your budget. The exact methods and procedures that are used to cremate your cat will play a significant part in determining the overall cost of his final arrangements.
When your cat is cremated, his body is burned to ash at extremely high temperatures. The preferred temperature for cremation is between 1400 and 1800 degrees. Once the body has been turned to ash, the ashes are mechanically processed to remove bone fragments and other particles that were not completely disintegrated by the fire. The resulting ashes are referred to as cremated remains, or cremains. Once your cat's body has been turned into cremains, you can choose whether to have the crematory dispose of your pet or give them to you. The general cost of pet cremation is typically a couple hundred dollars. It may be more or less, depending on the specific choices you make regarding the process.
Types of Crematories
The location where you have your pet cremated will affect the price. Some veterinarians have the ability to cremate pets at their facilities, but most send the pets out. If your county animal control has a crematory, this likely will be the least expensive way for you to have your cat cremated. The downside of using county facilities is that you are unlikely to be able to get your pets cremains after the process has been completed.
Specialized animal crematories exist specifically for the purpose of cremating your pet's remains. These facilities tend to offer you more choices for how you want to cremate and memorialize your pet. The type of crematory you use will affect the price of your cat's cremation.
If you chose to give your cat a private cremation, you are assuring that your cat is the only cat being cremated at the time the procedure is done. Private cremation is typically the most expensive type of cremation for a pet. After the cremation, the ashes of your pet can be returned to you. One of the primary benefits of private cremation is that you can be 100 percent certain that the cremains contain the ashes of your cat and only your cat.
Individual cremation is the term used to describe a service where your cat will be cremated on an individual tray within a crematorium that also contains the remains of several other animals. Individual cremation is generally slightly less expensive than private cremation because your pet is not alone. When you get your pet's cremains back from this type of cremation, the remains will likely contain the ashes of your pet as well as some of the ashes from the other pets cremated at the same time. The mixing of the ashes occurs when the cremated remains are processed before they are given back to pet owners.
A communal cremation occurs when your cat's body is cremated along with the bodies of a number of other pets. This is the least expensive form of cremation. In most cases, you will not get the ashes back from this type of cremation. If you did choose to receive the ashes from a communal cremation, there would be no guarantee as to what percentage of the ashes you received would come from your cat.
The price of your cat's cremation may rise or fall depending on the specific facility you use. Some crematories charge a fee for picking up your pet's body. You may have to pay extra if you choose to watch the cremation occur or elect to have a memorial ceremony performed for your pet in addition to the cremation. You may also pay extra for the urn that will hold your pet's ashes if the crematorium supplies it to you.
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Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.