First Aid Kits for Kitties
Having a first aid kit ready for your cat is just as important as having one for yourself. According to My Cat Health Guide,
The first thing you need to do is grab a bag on container where you will store all the contents of the first aid kit. This container should be easily accessible and recognizable, in case you need someone to grab it for you. As an extra tip, write a paper with all the emergency numbers for your cat and stick it to the bag or container; the numbers should include Animal Poison Control, the vet’s phone number, your local pet hospital, taxi services that allow pets.
Essential Items to Keep in a First Aid kit for Cats
The following items are essential to treat minor injuries, and keep your cat healthy. Check that you have everything:
• Peroxide, this substance can induce vomit when the cat has been poisoned, use it only after consulting with Animal Poison Control.
• Triple antibiotic treatment, for cuts.
• Nail trimmer
• Scissors, for necessary cutting of hair.
• Sterile telpha pads, they shouldn’t be sticky as it is useless with fur.
• Saline solution, this can help clearing out dirt, sand and other eye irritants.
• Sterile Vaseline for cat’s eyes. This is a great product to avoid water an soap coming in contact with the eyes
Preparing Yourself to Give First aid to Your Cat
All these items will be useless if you are not prepared to give first aid treatment to your cat. There are many great cat health books that can provide you with all the information you need to know. Remember that first aid is immediate, seek out veterinary help as soon as possible.
I would like to add that it’s essential to know ahead of time which vets offer on-call house calls. If possible, familiarize yourself with these as early in parenthood as you can so it won’t be a mystery who to call in case of emergency. Catster has this to say about first aid kits:
By definition, cat emergencies are critical health crises which require immediate medical intervention. Creating a cat emergency first aid kit is recommended for all cat parents and may buy your cat critical time until veterinary care can be sought through a pet hospital. Many of the supplies you will be using to create your cat first aid kit will also be handy in case of human first aid needs. A first aid kit for cats and people is a vital component in an emergency disaster preparedness plan as well.
What Should Your Cat Emergency First Aid Kit Contain?
You can purchase cat first aid kits or make your own. A plastic tote or a large book bag is good for storing your kit. It is advised that you make not one but two kits, one that will be in your house and one that can travel in your car at all times.
Your Kit Should Include:
- Cotton balls and swabs
- Sterile gauze pads and bandages
- First aid tape
- Antibacterial ointment
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing alcohol
- Antiseptic wipes
- A splint
- Styptic powder to stop bleeding
- Pepto bismol
- Prescription medications (for you and your pets)
- Sterile latex gloves
- Eye wash
- A book on human and pet first aid
- Mineral oil
- Buffered aspirin
- A blanket
- A large bottle of water
- Self-activating hot pack
- Self-activating ice pack
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Copies of veterinary documents
Whenever possible, a cell phone with service that can reach 911 in case of emergencies with the phone number of the nearest emergency vet programmed is a great addition to your emergency first aid kit. Check your batteries periodically to make sure that they are ready to go when you need them in an emergency.
Giving First Aid To Cats
Now that you’ve created your emergency first aid kit, what will you do with these supplies in case of an emergency? Some pet hospitals offer courses in cat first aid as do many branches of the Red Cross (www.redcross.org – search by zip code for a class in your area) and an organization called PetTech. Courses are usually fairly inexpensive (often less than $50) and are typically only one or two days long. Many courses will include a pet first aid book – if yours does, keep it with your first aid kit. If your course does not offer a pet first aid book, ask your instructor for recommendations on one you can purchase or pick up a copy of “Pet First Aid – Cats and Dogs” from the Red Cross.
Just as your pet first aid kit will contain many items which are valuable in human medical emergencies, many of the topics covered in a pet first aid class will mirror those taught in a human first aid class, like performing CPR, helping an animal who is choking, recognizing and responding to signs of shock, cleaning and bandaging wounds, splinting, assessing vital signs, insect and snake bites, etc. Your course should also cover pet-specific topics like restraining and muzzling, bloat, taking your cat’s temperature, dealing with bloat, etc.
Prepared And Knowledgeable Saves Lives
The time and expense invested in creating a first aid kit and learning how to use it effectively in medical emergencies can very well save the life of a lived one, two or four-legged. You do not need to create separate first aid kits for the pets and people, although separate first aid training is advocated for human and pet first aid emergencies. Re-certification is critical and recommended at least every two years.
Get certified in pet first aid and create your emergency first aid kit today. Your family will thank you for it!
One thing that I’m surprised neither article mentions is packing a day or two of your cat’s food in said kit, or a portable bowl in which to serve water. This may come under the category of disaster kit, in case the family has to evacuate the home, but I think it’s a good idea to include in first aid kits as well. The kit may be dual-purpose.
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