Phantom pet syndrome

3 nights ago I left a 3 week sit, a repeat with animals I have been loving on for years but I have now experienced something new, strange but super nice.

I am calling it phantom pet syndrome.

I have literally felt the cats in bed with me. The warmth of their bodies and even movements against my own body. Several times I reached over to stroke them only to realize they were only with me in my mind and heart.
It was so very comforting.
Share your experiences please.


How sweet! My experience was not quite the same, but in similar vein. We fostered a broken cat back to life for 13 months. When he got adopted, I kept seeing him in the shadows in all his favourite nooks and crannies. I guess I just missed him. He’s doing really well at his new home.


@botvot awww what a bundle of cuteness! :cat::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


@Amparo yes, when we lost our little girl Sassy a couple of years ago, my husband and I both swore we could hear her clicking her paws down the hall and could hear her sigh by the bed (just like she did when she wanted us to bring her up). To this day, I still feel her presence and know this is her beautiful spirit just being close!


I left my last sit a couple of days ago. I’m still saying “stay” to an imaginary dog as I open my car door.


I get that, for sure.
After sits, after fostering, and most dramatically after my own sweet bebes have died.
:smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :candle:


A true phenomenon @Amparo at last you’ve given it a name …… and phantom pet syndrome is incurable I’m afraid, had it for 15 years mine’s the Holly syndrome …. and it’s one I’m very happy to have :dog::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I always go home to my dog — who likes to cuddle, especially on my return — so I don’t have phantom pets, but I do miss the pets I’ve sat. Sometimes, I mistakenly call my dog by their names and vice versa.


Every so often when our dog is out getting groomed on on a playdate I forget that’s where he is and since we both work from home it’s quite unnerving when you’re used to your pet snuggling up wherever you are and then all of a sudden they’re not. So yes many times I have felt his presence or thought he was next to me when he’s not.


The one and only time I had a reiki massage the masseur commented there was a black Labrador dog sitting by my head. I was so relaxed I didn’t understand what she was saying. Afterwards we were having a cup of tea and talking about the experience and I suddenly realised it was my childhood dog Lassie. She must have died when I was about 10. It was comforting to know she was looking after me.


I’ve had pets forever. Everything from 6" long walking sticks to a 3 ft long iguana, and of course, cats and dogs. When my last dog passed away, we decided that pet sitting would be a better way for us to get our fix.

We started with a company that the dogs came to our house, and that was fun, to have a pooch joyfully running around, or sleepily dozing on our couch.

Then after we started with TH, it was the same situation but someone else’s house.

I can’t tell you how many times I would wake up and get ready to take a dog outside, only to remember that I am sleeping in my own bed, and there are no dogs in my housen

Or I would feel around for a cat that had been sleeping with me in bed, confused that he wasn’t there, but of course why would he be?! That kitty is in his own home! :smile:


Many dogs I care for like to lick out the remnants of my breakfast yoghurt pot (with owner’s permission).
When I get home I always look around at breakfast for the loitering dog. Still takes me by surprise when they are not there :rofl: