An injured cat like a person is likely to first take fright or flight then once the immediate emergency causing the injury is over lapse into shock. A space blanket or large sheet of plastic ‘bubble wrap’ will maintain body temperature in cases of shock and hypothermia – squares of clean cotton material old linen or cotton bed sheets are a good and ready alternative.
Some suggestions for a cat first aid kit.
– sterile eyewash
– contact-lens saline solution can be used
-sticky surgical plaster tape to hold dressings in place
-surgical gloves for when treating wounds
-surgical spirit to remove ticks
-syringe plunger to administer liquid medicine
-table salt to make saline solution two teaspoons of salt dissolved in one litre of warm water with which to clean wounds and counter infection
-towel to wrap the cat in when administering medication, and also to restrain it in event of an accident
Airway and breathing
If the cat is unconscious in a collapsed state, check that he is breathing. If there is little or no breathing and the tongue is blue-black, open the mouth and remove anything that is blocking the airway. Gently lift the chin to extend the cat’s neck to open the airway. If he still does not breathe, administer artificial respiration:
1. Hold the cat’s mouth shut and cover his nose with your mouth.
2. Gently breathe up the cat’s nose – 30 breaths every minute taking your mouth from his nose between breaths to allow him to exhale.
3. Keep this up until the cat begins to breathe on his own, veterinary help arrives or you believe the cat to be beyond help.
Next, check for a heartbeat. Do the by putting your ear on the cat’s the on the left-hand side, just behind elbow, and you will be able to hear Also check for a pulse – place couple of fingers in the same place as you put your ear, or on the inside on the cat’s thigh in the groin area.. If there is no heartbeat begin chest compression:
1. Place one hand either side of the cat’s chest, just behind his elbows.
2. Squeeze the chest in a smooth action, giving two compressions ever second always use the flat of tit hand – never the fingers. Do not use too much force, as it is easy to break the ribs.
3. Give two breaths to the cat for every four compressions. Keep this up until the cat’s heart begins to beat, you cannot do any more, or a vet takes over. Keep checking for a heartbeat or pulse throughout your attempts at heart massage.
Applying topical treatments to your cat
Only use treatments prescribed by your vet and apply them as directed.
- When administering drops or ointment to the eye, hold the cat’s head still and aim for the centre of the eye.
- To apply ear drops, hold the head still, squeeze in the drops, and then gently massage the base of the ear to ensure the liquid is evenly distributed on the affected area.
- Wear rubber or plastic gloves to protect yourself when applying flea spray, massage it into the coat and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Faeces and urine
If your cat has difficulty in defecating or urinating, he needs very urgent veterinary attention. Stools should be firm, but not hard or loose, while urine should be pale yellow in colour and free from clouding and an offensive smell. Both should be free from traces of blood.
Ease of movement
Stiffness when moving around could indicate joint problems. Limping suggests a direct pain source such as a fractured limb, a wound, a thorn stuck in the footpad, or an infected claw bed. A general reluctance to move around, combined with crying out when picked up, or even when touched, maybe due to an internal injury or ailment.
-Symptoms of concern
-Blood in urine or faeces
-Coughing or sneezing
-Difficulty in eating
-Difficulty in eliminating
-Dullness or fever
-Fur loss or failure to self-groom
-Increased or decreased thirst
-Veterinary health checks
Choose a vet who specializes in feline health, and make the effort to cultivate a good relationship with him or her. An owner who takes their cat for regular health checks and routine vaccinations, and seeks advice on parasite control and dental care, is a valued customer for whom a vet will be prepared to give more time.
Take your pet for a check-up at least once a year combine this with the annual vaccination booster, and every six months for old cats aged 10 or more; this can often identify health problems before they become serious. Keeping a diary of your pet’s behaviour and health and being able to explain any changes you have noticed, and when these first occurred, is very useful in helping your vet treat your cat appropriately and swiftly when the need arises.
At a glance
-Loss of appetite
-Marked change in behaviour
-The pallor of lips and gums
-Scratching or licking
-Signs of acute pain
-Stiff or unsteady gait
-Ulceration of mouth
-Weight loss or increase