Disaster Planning For Cats
Natural disasters are some of the scariest and most damaging phenomena out there. Since they happen with little or no warning, they often cause chaos and confusion if not planned for in advance.
If pets are a part of your family, it’s important to include them in the family disaster planning and preparation. Cats especially require some specific thinking as you plan how to keep them safe in the worst case scenario.
The team at Cat Care of Vinings wants to help give you the knowledge and skills to make disaster planning for cats a breeze. Let’s get started!
Natural Disaster Planning For Cats
Even if a natural disaster never occurs, it’s smart to be prepared and ready for anything. Having a plan for your cats as well as any supplies you need to care for them at the ready will help keep you calm – a must in any emergency situation.
A simple rule of thumb is that if it’s not safe for you in your home, it’s not safe for your pets. Don’t leave your pet behind if you have to evacuate; emergency first responders may not have the resources to rescue them. And never leave your pets outdoors in inclement weather.
Emergency Supplies for Cats
Start by putting together a pet emergency kit with all your cat’s emergency supplies. A backpack works really well for this. You can purchase one premade and add to it, or build one yourself.
The essentials include:
- A two week supply of cat food (canned and dry – change this out periodically)
- Fresh water for up to two weeks (change this out too)
- Non spill pet food and water bowls
- A supply of litter, a litter box, scoop, and pet waste bags
- Collar and ID tags
- Vaccine history and medical records
- Medications for up to two weeks
- Trash bags, paper towels, and cleaning spray
- Towels or washcloths
- Pet bed
- Cat carrier, with both a side and top entry
- A pet first aid kit
- Your pet’s special toys, treats, and other items
- A recent picture of you and your pet, with identifying markings
You may not be home when a natural disaster strikes. It’s advisable to make plans with a friend or family member who knows your pets and can help evacuate them if you can’t get home. First responders also need to know you have pets in the home. A window decal from the ASPCA lets them know how many pets you have, what species, and their names.
For cats, a big part of whether or not they can be rescued is whether or not they will enter a crate. It is a good idea to crate train your cat. As a last resort, a pillow case can also be used to rescue a cat who is resistant to a cat carrier.
Other plans to make:
- Locate emergency shelters close by. Know that some don’t accept pets.
- Find a boarding facility or animal hospital near the shelter.
- Consider an out of town family member or trusted friend to house your pet
- If your pet needs emergency medical care, you’ll want to know where to go. Ask us for our recommendations of emergency veterinarians in our area.
- Microchips can save your pet’s life in a disaster. Have one placed, or check that the registration is up to date with your current contact information.
If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Be aware that boarding facilities require current vaccination records as well as current parasite prevention. Keep up with the basics so you’re not caught unprepared.
During a natural disaster, what’s good for you is good for your pets. So get them ready today. If you have concerns or questions, please reach out to our team at any time.
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