Major catastrophes have struck the U.S. on nearly all sides, with massive wildfires and hurricanes. Most people know that for these emergency situations and others, having an emergency kit is a necessity. An emergency kit can help you escape, or simply sit put, and provide for you and your family, while you wait for aid. However, if your cat isn't included in your emergency kit, you're overlooking a major need. Here are the four things you absolutely must include in your emergency kit, to ensure your cat is well taken care of during a disaster.
Like humans, cats need food and water in emergency situations. The Department of Homeland Security suggests kits include at least three days worth of water and food for each human, so it's a good idea to follow the same guideline for cats, too. How much food you include should depend upon how much your cat typically eats over the course of a day, multiplied by three. Don't try to put your cat on a diet during a disaster. Starvation could lead to fatty liver disease, which could have devastating results.
Your cat should have any identification you have for them included in the kit. Keep a hard copy of a recent photo of your cat, as well as their name, microchip ID number, if they have one, and health information in your kit. This should include recent vaccinations, the name of their veterinarian, and information on any health conditions they might have, especially if it requires medical care on a regular basis.
People panic badly enough during emergencies, but a cat that's frightened can be even worse. This is why it's so important to be able to keep your cat controlled, while you're on the move or forced out of your home due to a disaster.
Your kit should include a folding cat carrier - preferably a canvas or fabric cat carrier with zippers, not a flimsy cardboard carrier - to keep your kitty in. In addition, an extra collar, as well as a cat-sized harness and leash are a good idea. Your cat doesn't have to be comfortable with taking walks; you simply need a harness and leash to help prevent your cat from running away, when they're out of their carrier.
It's also not a bad idea to include a pair of gloves for whomever is going to handle the cat, since kitties can scratch and bite when they're frightened.
Lastly, make sure your emergency kit includes some basic emergency supplies that can be used on a cat. You can put gauze, self-adhering bandages, and extra doses of any medication your cat currently takes in the kit. You can ask your veterinarian to give you a prescription for feline antibiotics in case of an emergency injury, too.
Cats need attention and care, in case of an emergency, just like humans do. Hopefully, the need for your emergency kit will never come to pass, but if it should, you'll be ready to care for your family - including the fuzziest member.