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Cat First Aid

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Cat First Aid

Cat bowls and feeders, toys and scratching posts are just the beginning of supplies needed for responsible pet parenting. As wonderful as it is to plan for all the fun parts of sharing your home with a cat, it’s smart to prepare for bumps in the road, too. Cat wound care doesn’t need to be complicated, and you’ll feel more confident and prepared knowing you have a few reliable cat care items at home in case of emergency.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat First Aid

When you become injured, there are steps you can take at home to reduce discomfort or further injury before you even see a doctor. The same is true for your cat. While you should always consult a veterinarian about a cat wound, it’s a good idea to keep some basic supplies on hand to ease your cat’s distress until you’re able to see your vet. Antibiotics, bandages and proper cat collars, leashes and harnesses for safely restraining a scared or agitated cat can help prevent more injury. Cat first aid shouldn’t take the place of veterinary cat care, but it can greatly reduce additional harm to your cat.

Building a cat emergency kit is simple when you have the right cat first aid supplies. Handy cat care items to keep in your kit include:

  • Antibiotic ointment Get an antibiotic ointment for cats that is designed for them and use it for surface scratches and cuts. Don’t use harsh or irritating antiseptics like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Cat bandage Self-adhering bandages placed over a gauze pad allow you to protect your cat’s wound until a vet can be consulted. If your cat is bleeding profusely, a tightly wrapped bandage can prevent dangerous blood loss.
  • Cat cone A cone collar can keep your cat from biting or scratching at a wound. Just make sure to keep your kitty inside while the collar is in use, as their vision and coordination will be somewhat impaired while they’re wearing a cone.
  • Pain relief for cats Your vet might prescribe a pain-relieving medication for your cat. Make sure to follow veterinarian instructions, as some pain relievers made for humans are harmful to felines.

If being bandaged or coned seems to be stressful to your cat, you might want to incorporate cat calming aids into their routine until they’re feeling less anxious. Some calming aids are sprays or diffusers that work atmospherically to reduce your cat’s stress—and associated destructive behaviors—while others take the form of soft chews that can be given with cat food.

It’s important to only use an antibiotic ointment for cats that is deemed safe for feline use—not a treatment designed for humans—when you care for a cat wound. Some first aid items made for humans contain ingredients that are harmful or toxic for cats. Safe solutions include chlorhexidine, iodine and hypochlorous acid. When you’re shopping for topical cat wound care treatments, make sure the solution you select is clearly labeled as safe for cats, or consult your veterinarian about their preferred cat care ointments.