Every cat carer should be prepared and have a first aid kit on hand for emergencies. Having a few basic items on hand will enable you to treat minor problems at home, or in an emergency, provide basic life-saving care until you get to your veterinarian’s office. It is a good idea to have a first-aid kit in the house and one in the car, especially if you spend a lot of time travelling.
The first aid kit should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of the reach of children and periodically checked to ensure first aid items have not passed their expiry date. Many online pet suppliers now sell first aid kits for cats, or you can make one up yourself.
Regularly rotate items in the first aid kit to ensure that they are always within their use-by date.
What you will need:
- Adhesive tape – 1-inch roll
- Activated charcoal tablets
- Alcohol-isopropyl (for sterilising equipment)
- Antibacterial ointment
- Antibacterial soap
- Bandage (preferably self-adhering)
- Betadine solution (dilute 1:10)
- Bubble wrap (for splinting)
- Clean, soft towel or blanket
- Container with a lid
- Cotton balls or roll of cotton wool
- Cotton tips
- First-aid book
- Gauze pads 3 x 3 inch
- Gauze roll 3 inch
- Gauze tape
- Heating pad
- Hydrocortisone ointment
- Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
- Information card with your pet’s baseline temperature and weight
- Karo syrup
- Milk of magnesium tablets (5 gram)
- Petroleum jelly
- Ready-made cold packs & hot packs or a hot water bottle
- Scissors (blunt-tipped)
- Sterile saline flush solution
- Surgical tape
- Syringe (10cc)
- Telephone number of your poisons hotline.
- Telephone number of your veterinarian, including an emergency clinic.
- Thermometer (rectal)
- Tick remover
- Triangular bandage
Always replace first aid materials and medications after they have been used.
It is also important to have some basic first aid knowledge, so that should you need to treat your cat, you have some experience. Your veterinarian may be able to recommend (or run) classes for basic pet first aid.
Remember, an injured cat may be scared when treated, proceed with caution and have somebody to help restrain & calm the cat if possible.
Normal vital signs in cats
Knowledge is power and being aware of the normal vital signs and stats of cats is important for assessing the severity of illness or injury. Of course, there may be variations, but the general guidelines are as follows:
Temperature 38C – 39.1C (100.4F – 102.F).
Pulse 160 – 240 per minute.
Respirations 20 – 30 per minute.