Every cat owner’s biggest nightmare is having to handle unexpected medical emergencies. Seeing our cat sick or injured feels nothing short of terrifying, but there are steps that you can take to ease the pain of your little ones!
Knowledge about cat first aid is critical, and learning about these steps will allow you to help your kitty during sudden medical emergencies. Before we begin, take note that the information provided should not be replaced with medical advice, please head to the nearest veterinarian if your cat needs it!
Let’s take a look at some tips on how to handle feline first aid emergencies.
Prepare a First Aid Kit
First and foremost, prepare a first aid kit for your cat that you can use at a moment’s notice! In fact, preparing these beforehand is part of being a responsible pet owner, and allows you to feel better equipped to help your cat during emergencies.
Some important items to include in this kit are thermometers, clean towels, cotton pads, ointment and an Elizabethan collar. You should also consider including Urine Off’s Odor & Stain Remover For Cats to sterilize and get rid of any odors and stains that may come when your cat is sick.
Check your Cat’s Vital Signs
If you do notice that your cat is unwell, it is important to check for some of the general symptoms your cat may be facing. For that, you should check your cat’s temperature, pulse and respiration.
Check your Cat’s Temperature
Your cat’s temperature is a great indicator of how they’re feeling overall. You can check their temperature by using a rectal thermometer. Make sure to lube it and use it gently on your cat. A normal cat temperature range would be 37.8°C to 39.2°C.
Check your Cat’s Pulse
Next, you can check your cat’s pulse by placing your hand on the inside of their upper hind leg. Count the number of beats you feel throughout 15 seconds and find the beats per minute by multiplying the number you get by 4. On average, your cat should have a pulse of around 160-240 beats per minute. Do note that a kitten’s heart normally beats at about 220 to 260 per minute instead.
Check your Cat’s Respiratory Rate
Lastly, checking for your cat’s respiratory rate at rest is also extremely important. You can do so by counting the number of times their chest rises and falls throughout a minute.They should have an average of 20 to 30 breaths per minute.
If your cat is experiencing any signs of poor health and you are unable to diagnose what is wrong, make sure to send your cat to the veterinarian right away.
Delivering Cat First Aid
In some cases, delivering swift first aid can actually help save your cat’s life. So it’s still important to understand how to identify common medical issues and help your cat through them. Let’s take a look at some of these medical issues and see how you can identify and manage them.
Beware of Breathing Difficulties
One of the scariest things any cat owner can experience is your cat having breathing issues. However, with quick first aid, you’ll be able to help improve their chances of survival.
In particular, If your cat is unresponsive or is experiencing troubles with breathing you should take the following steps:
Extend their head and neck by aligning them in a straight line, carefully pulling the tongue out of their mouth.
At this time, you should also check for anything that could be obstructing their airway, cautiously removing any potential debris
Ensure that you tightly shut the muzzle of your cat, then blow into their nostrils, give 2-3 breaths and watch for a rise in the chest
Reposition their neck and check again for obstructions to their airway if there is no response
In circumstances where there may be debris that cannot be seen, turn the cat upside down and give 5 sharp thrusts to the rib cage to expel the foreign object.
Continue to provide 20 breaths per minute and constantly check for any signs of response
Once in a while, you may notice that your cat may be having more accidents around the house and that their stool is more fluid. In this case, your cat might be having diarrhoea.
If it persists, using NaturVet Anti-Diarrhea Plus Kaolin Liquid Aid for Cats can be helpful. The pleasant tasting liquid does wonders to relieve diarrhea and includes Kaolin - an anti-diarrhea additive for the absorption of toxins. Make sure to also leave your cat plenty of water to help them replenish their bodily fluids.
Alternatively, visiting a vet is also recommended if you start to see blood in their stool, as it can often be an underlying symptom of a more serious issue.
Fire and cats don’t mix well - and it’s a common fear many cat owners have. In fact, one of the most common ways for cats to get burnt is from hot stoves and candles. Make sure to keep exposed fires out of your cat’s reach to prevent burns.
However, if your cat does get burnt, immediately run cool water over the burned area and proceed to gently cover the area with wet towels. You should also check for any loss of skin, and wrap these areas with clean towels or gauze.
In the case of a serious burn, make sure to get your cat to a veterinarian for further checks.
With Singapore’s hot climate, it is important to constantly check for signs of heatstroke. They often occur when a cat’s temperature rises due to its environment and lack of access to water during a hot day. Cats with thick fur are most prone to heatstroke.
The most common symptom of heatstroke is excessive panting, but it can also show in the form of lethargy, distress, vomiting and the loss of consciousness. One way to cool your cat’s temperature when this occurs is to rinse them with cool water. Wrapping it in a cool, wet towel can also help. Throughout this process, ensure that they are given plenty of water.
It’s safe to say that every cat owner loves spoiling their cats with new treats and toys, but not everyone may be familiar with the allergies their cats might face.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that cats can face in almost any environment, whether it’s exposure to insect stings, drugs or new food. The common symptoms include:
Lack of bowel control
In any case, if you suspect that your cat may be experiencing an anaphylactic shock, you should immediately head to the nearest veterinarian in your area. Anaphylaxis is unpredictable. The earlier your cat is administered the help it needs, the lower the chance that the allergy reaction turns out to be fatal.
Cats are often seen as the most hygienic pets and are often known for their cleanliness. However, have you noticed that your cat is spending more time than usual to groom themselves?
If so, your cat may be experiencing itchiness. The most common causes of itching includes parasites, bacterial, fungal and yeast infections, as well as allergies. Itching can also be a secondary symptom of other diseases. Typically, it is recommended that you seek veterinary care if the itching persists as they will be able to better assess the seriousness of the condition.
Feline aggression can be a huge stressor for both you and your cat. What comes after is often bites and scratches from other cats.
The first step you should take when you notice these wounds is to clean their paws and affected area. You can first try using Petz Route’s Wet Tissue for its antibacterial properties, then proceed with cleaning the areas with warm water. Make sure to cover the area to prevent infections.
First Aid Courses
The tips above may come in handy, but learning how to provide pet first aid to your cat for a an even wider variety of emergencies requires training.
Fear not, for there are certified courses you can take up such as Ngee Ann’s CET Academy’s Basic First Aid for Pets course that will teach you about cat CPR and other important first aid measures. There are many other verified courses you can take up in Singapore to learn to provide better emergency care for your cats so feel free to explore the internet for more!
Seek Veterinarian Care
In the end, if your cat is facing any abnormalities, seeking help from veterinarian professionals is crucial. Always ensure that their ride to the vet is comfortable and safe. Stefanplast Gulliver 1 Cat Carrier is designed to do just that, equipped with safety belts and sturdy latches. All you need to do is line the carrier with a few soft towers for extra comfort.
Even the healthiest of cats can get sick once in a while - knowing what to do when your cat needs first aid is critical for every pet parent. Thankfully, with enough prior research and preparation, you should be well on your way to providing your cat with a safe environment to live and play in!
Tammi is an avid writer, but especially loves learning and writing about animals! She spends her free time visiting cat cafes, playing video games and having plenty of cuddle time with her pup.