If you’ve ever had a cat-related emergency, you know that the time to think about your first aid kit is not during the crisis. You can do both yourself and your cat a service by planning ahead.
Relish in the peace of mind that accompanies preparation by assembling your first aid kit. You can even pop your kit into your cat carrier so that you know everything you need is ready to go at all times.
Use an emergency contact card to detail important information about your pet. Include the numbers for your veterinarian and poison control. You can keep cards like these in other places, such as your wallet or fridge.
You may already have certain supplies you need at home. Some of these are self-explanatory, but others are easy to forget.
- Bandages / Gauze – Self-adherent bandages save time in a pinch. Wrap the area loosely enough that you don’t end up preventing circulation. Look for gauze that will not stick to your cat’s hair or skin.
- Gloves – A pair of gloves protect both you and your pet from harmful bacteria. Keep more than one pair in your kit just in case the first one rips.
- Blunt-Tipped Scissors – Blunt, rounded-tip scissors are useful for safely cutting bandages. You can also use them to trim away the fur near a wound. Loud clippers can intimidate a cat on a good day, let alone during a high-stress situation.
- Cotton – You can use cotton balls, pads, or swabs to carry out precise treatment.
- Syringe – When you’re providing liquid medication or trying to flush out a wound, you’ll be thankful for a syringe.
- Tweezers – Pull out a shard of glass or other debris with tweezers. You can also use them for tick removal.
- Thermometer – Your cat’s temperature gives insight to internal health. Having a thermometer on hand will help if you’re on the phone with your vet and they request a description of vital signs. A dab of petroleum jelly makes the insertion process less invasive for your pet.
- Towels – Whether to keep your cat warm during transport or use during care, a towel always comes in handy.
If your cat has any regular medications, place a small supply of those in your kit first. It’s best to have spare medication in case of an emergency.
Other medical supplies include:
- Styptic Powder – Including styptic powder is a first aid kit standard. It helps stop and clot any bleeding.
- Hydrogen Peroxide – Before you use hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting, call your vet for guidance.
- Antiseptic Wipes – You can use a spray, wipe, or ointment, but the antiseptic wipes tend to be easiest.
- Eye Solution – Use a sterile eyewash to soothe irritation or to flush out the eye.
There are other items that could be useful in an emergency, but the above basics cover most situations. Depending on your own cat’s unique needs, you can add to your kit as you see fit. Consult with your veterinarian if you have questions about how to administer first aid care.