Emergencies happen when you least expect it.
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 before starting any therapies at home. Never administer any over-the-counter human medications to cats without speaking to a veterinary professional first.
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 another 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 (we recommend you choose a hard-sided carrier that opens from the 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.