A PET cat can be the centre of home life, being a constant presence in their owner's lives for many years.

It's therefore understandable that the death of a cat can come as a shock and many owners can find it difficult to come to terms with their loss.

Grieving for a cat may become more difficult as the death of a pet is not always seen as a significant loss, leading some people to hide their feelings.

This means many people avoid talking about how grief has affected them, which can cause them to feel very alone.

Ahead of Grief Awareness Day (Friday, August 30), Cats Protection is highlighting its free and confidential Paws to Listen support service, so people facing the loss of a cat do not have to feel alone.

The service is available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, except bank holidays.

Anyone wishing to use the service can call 0800 024 9494 and a call back service is available if lines are busy.

Alternatively, an email service is available by emailing pawstolisten@cats.org.uk

Catherine Joyce, Paws to Listen Team Leader Cats Protection