Do Pets Go to Heaven?

Full Question

What happens to dead pets? do they go to heaven?


What is heaven?  “state of supreme, definitive happiness”, “communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed” (CCC 1024).

This state presupposes rational knowledge and love which animals do not posses and what this means is that this heaven defined cannot be experienced by any non-human animal.

Pets depend on their material makeup, they do not continue to exist after death as human souls do. They therefore cannot exist in heaven before the return of Christ on earth. However, when Christ creates the “new heaven and new earth” (see CCC 1043; 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1), the pets who exist at the time of his return might be able to exist therein. Not in the sense of experiencing the Beatific Vision like humans will, but might be able to live on the new earth. I said “pets who exist at the time”, because those who have died cannot resurrect since they do not have rational souls.

The Church has never given any teachings concerning pets in heaven. Any response will be appealing to reason and not to any predefined teachings of the Church.




  1. carol0goodson Reply

    I’ll be honest: as much as my pets truly love me, it is hard for me to believe they won’t be there.

  2. JoAnn Lutz Leppert Reply

    A local Friar has written two books…Will I SEE MY CAT in Heaven and same title except My Dog. Jesus used many different animals .. Dove, goats, donkey, camels, fish, and sheep to teach us..If He used them He loved them and surely there is place for animals.

  3. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “This definitive state of human happiness and communion of life and love presupposes the powers of rational knowledge and love, which animals do not have.”
    It’s ridiculous to say our pets don’t have the power of, or express “love.” Our pets are far more loving than most humans. As for rational knowledge – that too is just a matter of degree. They may not possess the same cognitive abilities as normal humans, but then neither do fundamentalist religionists (grin).
    How happy can one be in heaven if they are denied the pet who loved them more than any other human ever did? Where’s the motivation for heaven, if that which you love most will not be there? Oh goody, you get to watch the suffering of the billions who didn’t make it, but eventually even that will become ho hum, boring….. or is Yahweh-Jesus going to wipe your mind of all that, so you won’t be who you are now anyway? After all the prayer says, “thy will be done,” not ours. We get no free will. We will be zombies, otherwise those who are decent people will be horrified at the suffering of the billions cast into Hell, and sorrowed by the loss of the pets who loved us. This heaven thing holds no allure outside of not being Hell (which one? Sheol, Gehenna, Hades, or Tartarus? Four words were translated to the pagan word “Hell.” Which one do we go to?)

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