When I wanted to put together a first aid kit to have on hand during Cupcake’s outings, I started researching pet first aid kits. I quickly realized that many of them are meant for people who hike out in the wilderness with their pets. I don’t do wilderness hikes, so Cupcake’s first aid kit doesn’t need to, either.
Cupcake is a city cat, so her outings are urban and suburban, where vet’s offices are never too far away. That’s good, since I don’t have first aid training for cats. What we needed were a few things to have on hand to help us out before and on the way to a vet’s office for assistance.
Our basic city cat first aid kit has only a handful of things in it.
Years ago, I had a cat who took medication to prevent heart problems, and we had some ER visits when minor wounds would not clot properly. As a result, most of the first aid I know is for bleeding. I know to apply direct pressure to a wound for several minutes before checking to see if the bleeding has stopped.
To help with this, Cupcake’s first aid kit has a roll of gauze, a couple rolls of bandages that cling to themselves to hold gauze in place, and EMT scissors to cut the gauze and bandages in the kit to help with that. The kit also includes a tube of clotting gel to help stop bleeding from minor wounds.
Cupcake’s first aid kit also includes a pair of tweezers. If Cupcake gets something stuck in her teeth or throat, tweezers help remove it without needing fingers to get inbetween the teeth of a distressed cat.
I could also use tweezers to remove a tick, though I recently picked up a tick key and clipped it inside the first aid kit. A tick key is a gadget that is wide for you to put over a tick, then it narrows to help you remove the tick from your pet’s skin. Cupcake doesn’t go into tick-prone areas, so hopefully we won’t have to put it to the test.
One of the key things included in Cupcake’s first aid kit is paperwork, which is sealed in a plastic bag. Since I rely on being able to go to a veterinarian for first aid help, I always have her Rabies certification on hand, along with contact information for her vet and a list of local emergency vet locations. Let’s face it, if I’m on the far side of our city in an emergency, I won’t remember where the closest vet ER is without a list!
It’s also helpful to have contact information for your cat’s microchip company in case you need to contact them while away from home. Your cat is chipped and the chip is registered, right?
Some of the microchip registries offer a veterinary hotline or free access to the national animal poison control line. Be sure to check into those benefits and make note of them in your first aid kit so you will have those resources available in an emergency, too.
That’s all that is currently in our first aid kit. When I can take a pet first aid course, I will probably expand what we carry, but the important thing is to have the things that are within your ability to use and to have a plan to get help for your cat when their need for first aid is more than you can handle.
What’s in the first aid kit you carry for your cat when you leave the house together?