Veterinarians are the experts, being prepared to respond if your cat gets hurt at home can make a huge difference for kitty, at least until you can get to a veterinarian.
A cat first-aid kit is critical to conquering any emergency. Having the right tools readily available will lower your stress level and allow you to focus on your furry friend. When making a first-aid kit for your cat, here are 10 things no cat parent should be without:
What to Include in Your Cats First-Aid Kit
1. Bandaging materials.
- 2” and 4” Gauze Squares for applying direct pressure to a bleeding wound
- Gauze Rolls to wrap the squares in place once bleeding has stopped
- Flexible Wrap to compress and secure the gauze, maintaining pressure on the wound until reaching veterinary attention
2. Over-the-Counter Medication and any normal prescription medications. Always keep filled prescriptions of your cat’s regular medication on hand, and/or supplements to keep her feeling her best, as well as these must-haves for emergencies:
- Diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl) for bee stings & allergies; 1 mg for every 1lbs. kitty weighs.
- Diotame (Mylanta is a good choice) for upset tummies; 1 tsp. for every 10 lbs. the cat weighs.
3. Properly fitting Muzzle and Towel. Cats have 2 types of weapons—in addition to their teeth, cat’s claws are kept sharp by their ability to retract. You must keep yourself safe so you can help your cat!
- Try the muzzle on your cat a few times a year for a brief moment, then take it off and treat her (food or ear scratches) so that she’ll be accustomed to the muzzle when she needs to be.
- A towel can be used to hold the kitty in covering her paws and minimizing scratches to you.
- Learn how to properly “scruff” your cat to gently restrain for various procedures.
4. Flat Leash to make into Figure 8 Harness. This gentle restraint can be used when performing first aid to your cat.
- Flat leash can also be used to latch a broken kitty carrier.
5. Dehydrated or Canned Pumpkin. Make sure it’s pureed pumpkin and not pumpkin pie mix with all the added ingredients!
- 1 Tbsp. helps alleviate constipation and also aids with diarrhea while ½ tsp. daily can keep fur balls at bay.
6. 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. Only use when non-caustic toxins have been swallowed.
- 1 Tbsp. for every 10 lbs. of body weight dribbled on the back of the tongue will induce vomiting.
- For harsh chemicals, dilute by getting water or non-fat yogurt into kitty and get quick veterinary assistance.
- Watch expiration date and never let this item get warm or it won’t work.
7. Needless syringe or eyedropper.
8. Thermometer and lubricating gel to get a baseline temperature reading for your cat.
- Lubricate the tip of the thermometer, gently lift the tail and insert thermometer into the rectum at a 45° angle.
- Normal temperature range is 100.4°F – 102.5°F.
9. Eyewash. Can be used for flushing out eyes or any wound.
- Only ingredient should be “Purified Water” or “Saline.”
10. Cat first aid manual, such as the Cat First Aid & CPR Pocket Guide by Quickfind Books.
- This small book with a unique tab system has a wealth of information to teach you the basics of cat first aid and guide you at the time of the emergency.
Once you have assembled your cat first-aid kit, keep it in an easily accessible location and tell all family members where to find it and how to use it. What you have in your cat’s first aid kit is important but so is replacing the items you use up and those that expire. Equally as important is really getting to know what is normal for your cat by checking her vitals, doing a weekly head-to-tail check-up to feel for lumps and bumps, and staying keenly aware to the many signs and symptoms of illness or injury. By catching something early, you may save your cat’s life! One of the best ways to do this is to sign up for a Pet First Aid & CPR Class.
Paws crossed for a healthy and happy life with your feline best friend!
Are You and Your Cats Prepared for an Emergency?
By Denise Fleck
Denise Fleck is an award winning author and freelance writer. After extensive training and practice, she developed her own Pet First-Aid & CPR curriculum as well as a 5 month long Animal Care course for high school students in conjunction with the Burbank Unified School District. She has shared animal life-saving skills on CBS –TV’s The Doctors, Animal Planet and other shows. To complement her teachings, Denise created a line of Pet First-Aid Kits, posters and books for children teaching animal respect and care! Visit www.sunnydogink.com or call (818) 951-7962.