By: Talin Seta Shahinian
Many pet owners don’t have an emergency plan for themselves, let alone their cat. June is National Pet Preparedness Month and is a good reminder to have an emergency plan for yourself and your best fur friend. Here are some ways you can make sure you’re prepared to keep your cat safe in case of an emergency.
Get to Know Your Area
Make sure you’re familiar with what weather patterns and natural disasters are more likely to occur in your area. Is your region prone to hurricanes? Tornados? Flooding? Wildfires? Other emergencies can occur regardless of your location or weather patterns. A power outage, chemical spill, train derailment, or plane crash could make it challenging to reach your cat or necessitate a hasty evacuation. So it’s essential to familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes to help you come up with an effective emergency plan. Consulting resources such as Prepare Your Pets for Disasters can be helpful as a starting point.
Find a Shelter
Search for pet-friendly evacuation shelters in advance. Time is of the essence when a disaster strikes. The last thing you want is to be scrambling to make calls and look up shelters, especially if your internet has been knocked out. You want to stay with your cat, so first, look for shelters that will accept you both. If there are no local emergency shelters, some other options are your veterinarian’s office, animal shelters, hotels that allow pets, a pet boarding business, or the house of a family member or friend that lives outside the danger radius.
ID Your Cat
Identification is a must! Make sure your cat has an ID tag and a microchip with your current contact information. If your cat doesn’t have one yet, part of your planning should be to get them microchipped. It’s imperative if they get separated from you during a disaster. For the lowdown on microchips, visit Cat Microchip: How to ID, track, and always find your kitty! It shouldn’t be the only tool you use to protect your cat, but it’s an important one.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Include these items in your preparedness kit. A good idea is to put them in a waterproof bag or suitcase if possible. If not, use large plastic bags to protect items from any potential water damage.
- Your cat’s medical records, including Vaccination records, as some shelters will require it for admission.
- If your kitty takes any medications, have a list handy. Also, have an extra supply of their medicines available if at all possible.
- Contact information for your veterinarian.
- A supply of one to two weeks of cat food.
- Collapsible travel food and water bowls.
- Cat litter and litter box.
- A list of your emergency contacts.
- A photo of your cat and a picture of you together, in case you get separated.
- A blanket with their scent already on it.
- A t-shirt of yours to put into their carrier for a bit of comfort.
- A flashlight with extra batteries, or one that is crank operated.
- A pet life jacket.
- A pet first aid kit (along with one for you and your humans!)
- Some Bottled water.
- Some of their favorite toys.
While a natural disaster or other emergency is a scary, stressful event, if you prepare for it in advance, you and your precious feline friend stand a much better chance of getting through it and staying safe. Then you can go on to enjoy a happy life together!
If you live in NW Wisconsin, Purple Cat Mobile Vet Clinic is here to help you keep your cat healthy and happy. We’re a high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic. We see cats exclusively. Find information for scheduling on our www.purplecatvet.com website. You can also look on our Facebook page for more helpful information on all things feline!