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An important aspect of caring for your cat is being prepared for an accident or emergency. You probably have an emergency first aid kit at home or in your car, so make sure that you also have one readily available for your cat or dog too.
Having an emergency first aid kit can help you provide your cat with essential first aid before you get to the vet for treatment, and can save your cat’s life.
A convenient and portable first aid kit is also useful in the event of a natural disaster – such as floods or fires – when you are required to evacuate your home.
Putting together your first aid kit
Firstly, you need a strong, durable and water resistant container for your first aid supplies. Plastic is best as metal can rust over time. Plastic fishing boxes are often ideal as they have lots of compartments which make it easy to store your first aid supplies, and they usually have a handle.
The first aid kit below is merely a suggested starting point. Consider your cat, their current health and medical conditions, their lifestyle and your local environment to prepare a first aid kit that best meets their needs. For example, if you have an outdoor cat and you live in an area where there are ticks, then you should include a tick removal device within your first aid kit.
What to include in your cat’s first aid kit
Important Phone Numbers:
- Emergency contact numbers – your local vet, emergency after hours vet clinic, pet poison hotline.
Tools and Equipment:
- Small blunt edged scissors
- Small magnifying glass
- Pen light with batteries
- Rectal digital thermometer
- Lubricant such as mineral oil or KY Jelly
- Plastic eyedropper / oral syringes
- Towels – paper and cloth
- Latex disposable gloves
- Hand sanitizer (for you)
- Cat first aid manual
Medical Supplies and Materials:
- Antiseptic wipes
- Non-stick sterile gauze pads / roll of gauze
- Adhesive tape
- Elastic bandage wrap
- Band-aids (for you)
- Cotton balls and swabs
- Instant cold pack
- Antiseptic for cleaning wounds
- Antibiotic ointment
- Eyewash solution
- Sterile saline solution
- Ear cleaning solution
- Anti-diarrhoea medicine
- Rehydrating solution
- Karo or glucose syrup (for cats with diabetes)
- Insect sting relief pads/pen
- Cortisone spray or cream
- Styptic pencil or powder
- Hydrogen peroxide – used to make your cat vomit **
- Activated charcoal – for ingested poisons **
**use only as directed by your vet.
Note: Make sure that you review the contents of your feline first aid kit on a yearly basic, and that you replace any medicines that have expired.
Emergency contact numbers
Don’t forget to include the phone number of your local vet clinic, including their emergency contact number, and the number of the pet poison hotline if your country offers one. Also, make sure you have the phone number of the after-hours vet clinic, and that you know their opening hours and how to get there via the shortest possible route. When an emergency strikes, you do not want to waste precious time searching for a phone number or figuring out where you have to drive to. Make sure you secure your emergency contact numbers, and any other pet documents in a zip-lock bag to keep them safe and dry.
Buying a first aid kit
If you don’t want to create your own feline first aid kit, then consider buying a ready-made kit that is vet approved. There are many options available online, or ask you local vet for advice.
Hopefully, you’ll never have to use a first aid kit for your cats, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared.
Do you have a feline first aid kit prepared? What does your first aid kit include?
Images: DLG Images / Found Animals Foundation via Flickr
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