My Wonderful Pet Cremation Experience


Young woman praying for her deceased pet hamster.

My wonderful pet cremation experience

In this post, I will discuss the death of my hamster, the psychological impact of this incident on me, and then about how Pets Afterlife provided a really sensitive pet cremation service for my pet hamster. 

My Hamster

My hamster Fluffy died in the middle of 2023, during a particularly difficult time in my life. I was working in an extremely fast-paced job in an environment where intense competition was encouraged by management.

My hamster was one of my main lifelines and a steady source of loyalty, fun, and companionship in a life dominated by constant feelings of insecurity, exhaustion, and sometimes, paranoia.

She was also coming up on three years of age. If you are familiar with hamsters, most of them die after they reach two-and-a-half years. Fluffy was a brown Djungarian hamster. These hamsters shed their brown coat for a white one in the winter, but since I did not live in a temperate country, I never did get to see her white coat. However, her coat did change with the passage of time. And at the time of her death, she had been growing a little bit grey in patches behind the ears and over the eyes. But living in constant crisis-mode made me lose track of time and I thought she would be around forever.

The Death

Needless to say, her death came as a nasty shock. She passed sometime in the night during the week, so when I found her in the morning (before I went in to work). I had played with her the last evening, and she showed few signs that she was about to die except maybe that she did not leap around as fast as she did as a young hamster. At the very least, I had said goodbye, in some way.

I was still in shock at seeing her body as it had gone stiff in rigor mortis, and she did not look at all as if she were sleeping. 

I also knew that if her body sat outside in the heat for longer, it would decompose and it would be incredibly painful for me to see her like that. So, after a quick google search on options on how to dispose of a small pet’s body, I had two choices: the first choice was to bag up the body and dispose of it in the garbage like general waste. The second choice was to have her body cremated.

Although the option to throw her body in the trash was free of charge and would ultimately lead to her being incinerated, I felt that my little friend of the past three years deserved to be memorialized and also for her body to be treated in a more respectful way. And so it was, I decided to arrange to cremate my pet.

The Cremation

I decided to use Pets Afterlife to give my pet hamster a serene sendoff, as I live in the east and it is the pet crematorium that is easiest to get to, seeing as it is in Kaki Bukit. Pets Afterlife was incredibly responsive, I called them in the morning and they advised me to bag her body up for collection. Then the handler came in the evening to collect her. 

I managed to get a day off work the next day (which was when I scheduled the pet cremation service), so I could arrange for Pets Afterlife to store Fluffy’s body in a freezer until I could come in and say goodbye. I remember that I started crying in the middle of trying to make the arrangements, and the person on the other end of the line was such an angel, she just said she understood how difficult it was to lose Fluffy, and usually I get so self-conscious when I mention my pets, but this time I just felt absolutely fine talking about it. So, whoever it was at Pets Afterlife, you’re an angel and I’ll remember you forever.

Pets Afterlife offered two packages, Blissful and Eternal, and both include a private cremation and the return of the ashes in an urn, so I went for the Blissful Package. Once I got to Pets Afterlife’s location, I started tearing up again, but as I watched my hamster’s body get gently delivered into the flames, and saw the orange flames consume her body and render it into ash, I felt as if, possibly, if an afterlife exists for animals, that this was the next stage in her journey and that the flames represented being freed. Yes, I know it sounds unhinged but grief makes everything unreal and the highly improbable seems to become so possible.

The peace that I felt afterward

Finally, the ashes were delivered to me in an urn. I currently have the urn on my shelf, next to some of Fluffy’s favourite toys and two framed photographs of her: one taken on the day I got her, the other one taken less than a year before she died. Pets Afterlife told me as I was leaving that if I ever felt like it, I was welcome to bring Fluffy’s ashes back to them and they would assist in scattering her ashes in the sea between Pulau Tekong and Pulau Ubin. One day, when the time is right, I’m planning on bringing the ashes back so that the last of Fluffy’s remains can be returned to nature and the circle of life. 

As a pet owner (or more accurately, pet family member), I think there will always remain some sadness, but when I see the urn of ashes alongside the records of my hamster’s life, I feel that I’m finally at peace.


Summing up, the loss of my pet hamster was traumatic but the pet cremation process allowed me to spend more time ruminating on my beloved pet and thinking about how much she had helped me over the years. I think the pet cremations are like all kinds of funerals, they are for the living and not for the dead, and the reason for a funeral is to give the bereaved a special time and ritual to say goodbye to the dead.

I hope that this article on pet cremation will convince all owners of small pets to consider a pet cremation instead of throwing their dead pet into the garbage. The heft of the pet cremation ultimately allows you to feel like you can let go of your dead pet and leave you with a lasting peace.

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