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Loss Of A Pet Bird: What To Do With The Cage

After the death of a pet bird, what do you do with its belongings?

By Nikki Moustaki

During the shock and grief of losing a bird, there’s nothing sadder than looking at its empty cage, with all the toys that the bird loved and the food dishes that won’t be touched again. It’s almost too much to bear at first. Should you get rid of the bird’s stuff right away?

Part of that decision might have to do with whether or not the bird died of something contagious and if you have other birds in the house. If so, remove all of the bird’s items immediately, and either throw them away or put them in a location far from the other birds and disinfect them. If the cause of the death isn’t attributed to something contagious, then you have more time to make that decision.

“The best advice I can give is not to make any decisions about your bird’s belongings hastily,” said Moira Allen of Maryland, author of “Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet” and editor of The Pet Loss Support Page at

“Often, your first reaction might be to want to get rid of the cage and anything else that reminds you of the bird, because it’s too painful to look at,” continued Allen. “Later, you may wish you had this reminder of your pet. Rather than actually disposing of any items associated with your bird, put them away for a time until you have worked through the grieving process and are in a better place to decide what you actually want to do with them. Ultimately, many people find that they prefer to donate a beloved pet’s belongings to a shelter or rescue society, where they will benefit other pets in need, rather than transfer them to a new pet.”

If you do decide to donate your bird’s cage and belongings thoroughly disinfect them first, even if the cause of death wasn’t due to contagious disease.

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