If your cat has been injured or is experiencing a medical emergency, call your veterinarian before you attempt any type of first aid.
Always make sure to speak with your veterinarian and/or with a poison control specialist prior to initiating any therapies at home. Never administer any over-the-counter human medications to pets without speaking to a veterinary professional first.
Emergencies happen when you least expect it.
Here are some basic things you should have prepared in case of an emergency with your cat
Emergency Contact Information
Create a notebook or index card with important phone numbers and addresses. Store it in sealable sandwich bag to keep dry.
Make sure to include the following information:
- Primary veterinary clinic
- Closest emergency-veterinary clinic (include directions)
- Pet Poison Helpline: petpoisonhelpline.com (1-800-213-6680)
- Microchip ID number and company phone number
- First aid book
- Current vaccination records, especially proof of rabies vaccination
- Current list of medications; include name, dosage, and frequency
- Current medical records including any conditions or diseases, as well as treatment plans
- List of temporary evacuation centers/shelters that are pet friendly
First Aid Kit
Use a sealable waterproof container like a toolbox or hard covered lunch box to contain all of your first aid supplies.
The first aid kit should contain:
- Non-latex gloves
- Gauze or other absorbent material and an outer protective bandage layer
- Artificial tears or other sterile ophthalmic drops
- Non-adherent pads such as Telfa pads
- Adhesive tape for the bandages
- Bandage scissors
- Antibiotic ointment
- Water based lubricant, such as K-Y jelly, to protect open wounds
- Eyedropper or syringe without a needle to clean wounds
- Cotton balls or cotton swabs
- Magnifying glass
- Cold pack/chemical hot pack
- Liquid dishwashing detergent for oil or other contaminant exposure
- Muzzle or other method of protecting caregivers from bite risk when a cat is in pain or frightened by accident
Basic Transportation Supplies
Items you should have so you can safely transport your cat in an emergency situation:
- Secure carrier – recommend that your carrier is hard sided one that can open from top and front
- Collar with tags
- Leash – if your cat has been trained and is comfortable with it
- Large towel/blanket- to assist in moving an injured or sick pet, or to cover a frightened or anxious animal
- Bedding for carrier
For more suggestions about how to create a pet first aid kit, visit the Pet Poison Helpline resources.