Cat First Aid

When the household feline is in need of emergency care, it is often a race around the home to gather the supplies needed to care for the hurt feline.  Just as with a child, every home must be equipped with a cat first aid kit for the scrap with the cat next door or the unfortunate situation of being hit by a car, which may leave the feline needing immediate emergency care for survival.   

Feline First Aid Kit Supplies

There are many scraps and brushes that a cat can get into and to ensure the safety of your feline you should have the following emergency supplies for your cat:

  • Bandages
  • Cold Syringes
  • Gauze
  • Surgical tapes
  • Rectal thermometers
  • Towel for a splint
  • Receiving blanket for warmth
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Surgical Glove
  • Elastic Bandages
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors

The common scrap is something you may run up against every day or the slice from a contenting feline’s fingernail.  For minor situations such as cat scratches a simple application of hydrogen peroxide is adequate.  For a more severe cat injury, it is necessary to take the feline to the veterinarian immediately. 

 More serious injuries would include: 

  • Being hit by a vehicle
  • Has ingested something toxic
  • Food poisoning
  • Trauma:  to any part of the body
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Has loss of consciousness even briefly
  • Has diarrhea with bleeding
  • Difficulty walking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shock
  • Uncontrollable bleeding

Monitoring a Cat's Breathing

Place the palm of your hand gently/lightly over the feline’s ribcage midway to monitor the breathing of the feline. The felines normal respiratory rate is between 20 to 30 breaths per minutes.  Count the number of times the feline inhales over a sixty second span, to calculate the respiratory frequency.

The feline respiration through the nose will be silent with the exception of a feline with a short muzzle and/or restricted nostrils.  This is found in Persians.  Feline’s breathing through the nose will sound more audible.  Signals such as a wheezing sound indicate a restricted passageway and a gurgling sound will indicate fluid in the respiratory system.  Alert your vet as to the standard of breathing.

When a feline breathing appears to be forced and body is expressed with pain, panting with mouth opened, chest heaves and abdomen pumps up and down this is known costo-abdominal respiration and the feline should be taken to the vet immediately.

Monitoring a Cat's Hearbeat

Position the feline on their right side, bending the left elbow by pressing gently back against his paw.  Calculate the beats by counting over a thirty second interval and times by two.  A normal rate monitors between 110 to 140 beat per minute, with the exception of kittens that can beat as rapid as 200 beats per minute. 

Temperature of the Cat

Conditions such as fever and shock will change the rate of the heart beat in the feline, along with certain diseases.  Internal hemorrhage will also effect the rate of the feline, as the rate may immediately increase while the feline’s body defenses try to stabilize the body, but if unsuccessful the heart rate will drop.   

The normal temperature for the feline is generally between 100 to 103F.  To take a feline’s temperature use a rectal thermometer

  • Shake it down to read 99F
  • Lubricate the thermometer with lubricant jelly or petroleum jelly
  • Place the tip of the thermometer against the anus
  • Gently insert the thermometer about one inch in the anus.  Do this gradually.
  • Leave in for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Slowly remove the thermometer and wipe with a cotton swab or clean tissue and read.