When you own cats, there are many things to keep in mind. You not only need to make sure their environment is safe for them but also have a working knowledge of what cats should and shouldn’t eat, while you keep their best interests at heart. In addition, it’s important to know some cat first aid tips, just in case.
Necessary First Aid Supplies
First aid kits are important not only for humans but also for cats. If you own a cat, you should have a first aid kit prepared in case of emergencies as well. That kit should first and foremost include the phone numbers of your veterinarian, the nearest emergency veterinarian clinic (if your vet doesn’t offer an emergency option), and the number for animal poison control. These phone numbers will be crucial if your cat is in distress and needs help.
Additionally, your kit should include a leash, gauze, strips of cloth, adhesive tape for bandages (not human bandages), milk of magnesia, hydrogen peroxide, an eyedropper, a digital thermometer, a muzzle, and even a board or blanket that can be used to stabilize an injured cat.
Why You Need These Supplies
You should use supplies like gauze, strips of cloth, and adhesive tape for wound care. If your cat has an injury and is bleeding, it is important to apply pressure and try to get the bleeding under control as quickly as possible.
If your cat is injured, a leash and muzzle are helpful to keep both you and your cat safe. Especially if your furry friend has the tendency to bite when hurt, the only way you can help is to muzzle him or her.
A digital thermometer should be used rectally to monitor the temperature of your cat, and you can use the eyedropper to administer medicine or even to help flush a wound.
Lastly, the hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting in your cat, but should only be used after you have spoken to a vet.
Similarly, after speaking to a professional, you can use the milk of magnesia with activated charcoal to help absorb poison in your cat.
First Aid Tips
What To Do When Your Cat is Poisoned
If you suspect your cat has been poisoned, it’s important to act quickly. If you think your cat has accidentally ingested something that it shouldn’t have or if it was attacked and purposefully poisoned, you must move fast. In fact, you need to seek care for your cat immediately.
When speaking to a professional on the phone, they may suggest you use either the hydrogen peroxide to help your cat to throw up the poison or the milk of magnesia to help remove the poison before you can bring in your cat for further care. Either way, you never want to give your animal medicine without talking to a professional.
In many cases, your cat may only have a few hours before something critical happens. Be sure to think clearly and make decisive decisions.
How to Handle a Choking Cat
Another first aid tip you should know is how to deal with a choking cat. We all know that sometimes our furry friends eat more than they can handle or chew on something they shouldn’t. When this happens, you should be able to do something to alleviate your cat from choking.
If your cat is choking and clearly in distress, you should first try to find out if you can see the object in the cat’s throat. Depending on the size of your cat, you might be able to open its mouth and actually see the object obstructing its airway.
If you can clearly see and grip the object, then proceed to pull the object from the throat. But be aware that your cat may be more likely to bite when it’s in choking distress. If you are unable to remove the object or your cat collapses, you should try to lay it on its side and strike the rib cage with the palm of your hands 3 to 4 times.
Cat Safety and First Aid During Hot Days
During hot days, it’s particularly important to keep your cat’s safety in mind. If you suspect that your beloved cat is suffering from heatstroke, remove them from the heat as best and as fast as you can. Place a cool or cold wet towel around its neck and head without covering the eyes, nose, or mouth. Switch out the towel regularly until you are able to get your cat to a vet for medical attention.
Handling a Bleeding Wound
For external bleeding, it is best to muzzle your cat to help you better treat the wound. Press a gauze pad over the wound to help control the bleeding and make sure you apply pressure in order to get it to stop. You may also want to consider using an eyedropper to help flush any dirt and debris from the wound. And again, seek medical attention if you are unable to get the bleeding to stop or if the wound is large because it may require further medical care. When in doubt, calling your vet is never the wrong choice.
Handling a Suspected Seizure
Lastly, if you suspect your cat is having a seizure, you shouldn’t put your hands near its face. Instead, make sure that you remove any objects around the cat so it doesn’t get hurt. You should time the length of the seizure because it’s very important information to give to your vet when you call them. After the seizure has stopped, be sure to call your vet and ask for further instructions on what to do with your cat.
These tips are important to internalize for any cat owner, and in some cases can be the difference between life and death. Just like it’s important to know first aid for humans, the same is equally true for your cats. To learn more about how to properly take care of your cats in an emergency, please contact us.