Has anyone noticed the increase in natural disasters not just in the United States but around the world? We all remember Hurricane Katrina. Does anyone remember the California Fire Disaster in 2009. Matter of fact, I believe they had one in 2012 and this year. Then we have the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of 2004. Let’s look at our recent disasters. South Dakotans experienced a freakish early snowstorm (up to four feet fell in some places) that killed tens of thousands of cattle. The Midwest is just beginning to recover from powerful tornados more commonly seen in the summer. Then we have the devastating typhoon that decimated parts of the Philippines. Have you seen the predictions of California running out of water by 2016 ? Check out this article http://rt.com/usa/240657-nasa-california-water-drought/ . Last but not least the record breaking snow storm of Boston this year, http://www.weather.com/news/news/new-england-boston-record-snow-tracker .
All of this has gotten me to thinking about how ill prepared most of us are when it comes to taking care of our pets, in the event of a disaster. I am constantly thinking about my pets in case something happens to me. But what has been forefront is, what about my cats . How do I keep them safe in precarious times? Cats present some unique challenges when emergencies arise. Dogs can go without food for days with no ill effects. Owners can toss a leash on their dogs and walk out of many disaster zones. Put your bird’s or guinea pig’s cage in the car and a few days worth of supplies will likely come along with them. None of this applies to most cats.
Look around sites on the Internet that sell emergency kits for cats, it will shock you to find most appear to be repurposed human or dog kits. They have laughable items such as a slip lead – you know the cheap leashes that loop through a ring at one end to form an all-in-one collar and leash. These will do in a pinch for dogs, but imagine the reaction of a non leash-trained cat! She would either entangle and likely choke herself in her frenzy to escape or, in fact, escape. Another site contained dog food rather than cat food. Below are suggestions for an emergency kit for our cat babies.
CAT EMERGENCY KIT
Putting together your own cat emergency kit really isn’t that hard. You probably have many of the items on hand already. Simply fill in the gaps and put everything together in a bag that’s easy to grab in the event of an emergency. Here’s my recommended list of what to include:
- Cat carrier (put your bag of supplies inside if you don’t use it often)
- Old towels or “pee pads” to line the bottom of the carrier
- Litter pan (a small, disposable aluminum roasting pan would work well)
- Small zip lock bag filled with cat litter. Use it sparingly so you can just dump and refill the pan rather than scooping.
- A few, small garbage bags
- Latex gloves
- Hand sanitizing wipes (can also be used to clean bowls, etc.)
- Food and water bowls (disposable food storage containers with lids are ideal)
- Canned cat food with flip top lids. Canned is best since it contains most of the water a cat will need, but if your cat is used to dry, include a zip-lock bag of that as well
- A small bottle of water (8 ounces should last a cat for 3 days)
- A week’s supply of any medications your cat takes
- An envelope (ideally waterproof) that contains the following:
- Your cat’s picture, license number, and microchip number/company (in case you get separated)
- Veterinary records including vaccinations and any pertinent health information
- Phone numbers for your regular veterinarian and a nearby 24 hour vet hospital
- Two pet-friendly places to which you could evacuate (one nearby and one further away)
- Last but not least, A Feline First AID KIT. We will follow up on what to include in a First Aid Kit.