Pet Cover Direct

First aid emergency for Cats

When you take ownership of a cat you become responsible for their care. Therefore you should be aware of the emergency first aid that should be given to cats that are in an accident. The advice that follows is for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice and treatment from a qualified vet.

Burns or Scalds

The first thing to do with burns or scalds is to rinse the area under cold water for a few minutes. You must not cover the area. After you have rinsed the area, contact your vet immediately for further treatment and advice.

Choking

Cats can choke on anything from a fish bone to a nettle. If this happens, wrap your cat in a blanket or towel – to safely restrain them - then open their mouth and try to locate the object ensuring not to tilt their head backwards as this could result in the object falling further down their throat. If you can see the object and can safely pull it out, do so, but if you are unsure or unable to see anything - then take you cat to the vets as soon as possible. Don’t pull at anything you are unsure of as it could be attached to the stomach.

How to deal with dehydration

Dehydration can be caused by a number of illnesses such as heatstroke and kidney disease. One way of seeing if your cat is dehydrated is by pinching the skin at the back of the cat's neck, if it falls back slowly then your cat is dehydrated. An early sign of dehydration is if your cat’s gums feel dry or tacky. Dehydration can cause cats to feel extremely weak and can cause fits and even death so it is important to contact your vet quickly.

Electrocution

Before you treat your pet make sure that the electric appliance involved is turned off to prevent any risk of you getting electrocuted. You may find that if your cat has chewed through a cable their mouth will be burned and electrocution can often lead to cardiac arrest so it is important to get your cat to the vet immediately.

Near-drowning accidents

The first thing to do after rescuing a cat from water is to keep them warm. Seek veterinary help as soon as possible, If the cat is unconscious and you don't have time to get to a vet, you can attempt artificial respiration. First, check for a heartbeat, then hold your cat's head lower than his body to drain the lungs of water. Lay the cat on its side and clear anything from its mouth and pull the tongue forward. If this doesn’t start any breathing you will have to push down carefully on the cat’s chest with a short sharp push with the flat of your hand every five seconds, allowing their lungs to fill with fresh air.

If this fails to work then you will need to use mouth to nose respiration. Do this by holding the cat's mouth firmly closed and blowing short gentle breaths up both of the cat’s nostrils. Pause and repeat until the cat starts to breath, be careful not to over-inflate the lungs though.

Serious falls or accidents

The first thing to do, if possible, is to move the cat away from any further danger - if it is in the road for instance. Make a type of stretcher from a blanket or coat, and carefully slide the cat onto the stretcher making sure that you are careful with them as they may have broken bones. Due to the cat being in pain they may lash out if they are conscious, so wear gloves and make sure you don’t lean your face in too close to them.  Try not to twist them as they may have have a back injury, also keep they head slightly lower than the rest of their body so that the blood continues to flow around their body. Wrap your cat up keeping them warm and get them to the vet immediately.

External bleeding

For any external bleeding, place a firm cold compress over the wound to help stem the blood flow. Do not use any disinfectant and get your cat to the vet immediately.

Poisoning

Symptoms to look out for that could mean your cat has poisoning are vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling and staggering. If you notice these symptoms contact your vet immediately. If you know that your cat has eaten rat poison it is important that they have vitamin K injections immediately. If you find that your cat has got paint or oil on its fur then use vegetable oil or petroleum jelly to soften it and then bath them in soapy water and rinse them thoroughly.

Stings or Insect bites

If you cat gets stung then it is important to remove the sting with tweezers immediately. Be careful not to squeeze the sting as it will release more poison. If your cat has been stung by a bee use an alkali to bathe the sting, just an ordinary baking soda in cold water will do. If they have been stung by a wasp then treat the sting with an acidic such as vinegar. If they get stung in the mouth it is important you get them immediately to the vet as this could cause their mouth or throat to swell preventing them from breathing.